But to conclude that sovereignty is not an issue in the BVI would be to oversimplify the situation dramatically, not to mention to distort the concept of sovereignty itself. The second quotation comes from a Jamaican justice in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) during its January sitting in the BVI. The BVI court system shares an appellate court with the other Commonwealth countries and territories of the Caribbean. Based in St. Lucia, the ECSC is an itinerant entity that travels from island to island throughout the year, hearing appeals to local High Court judgments. The next higher level of appeal beyond the ECSC is the Privy Council and/or British Supreme Court in London. In its jural structure, then,

the BVI, its Caribbean neighbours and many other Commonwealth countries still reflect the legacy of British imperialism through the plurivocality of the common law. Unlike in an American appellate court, it is routine in a Commonwealth court to hear references to cases decided in faraway lands by foreign judges. There is considerable imperial nostalgia in such proceedings, as judges, barristers and solicitors dressed in ribbons and robes (although powdered wigs are no longer worn) debate case law from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Gibraltar, Papua New Guinea, and other exotic locales, all before a symbolic representation of the Crown. In this case, a large photograph of the Queen hangs (just slightly crooked) behind the bench. All who enter and leave the courtroom bow or curtsy before it.