The benefits of Citizenship by Investment (“CBI”) can be diverse but one most important benefit of becoming a citizen of St Lucia is “Rule of Law”. St Lucia is a respected, legitimate democracy governed by the “rule of law” is shared by all potential economic citizens. The rule of law principle is the cornerstone of Saint Lucia’s legislation. The preamble to the Constitution of Saint Lucia reads, “The people of Saint Lucia believe that all persons have been endowed equally by God with inalienable rights and dignity… and maintain that these freedoms can only be safeguarded by the rule of law.”
The principle of constitutionality mandates that all laws enacted and all actions of the state must conform to the Constitution of Saint Lucia. This means that any law, procedure or act which violates the Constitution is unconstitutional and void. Thus, fundamental constitutional principles of protection of the law, fairness and due process must, and indeed have, been incorporated into the Citizenship by Investment Act of Saint Lucia (“CBI Act”), and the Citizenship of Saint Lucia Act (“Citizenship Act”) which was enacted in 1979.
Under the CBI Act, a registered citizen by investment may have his/her citizenship revoked in very limited statutorily prescribed circumstances; for example, if it is found that citizenship was obtained by fraud or deceit. Further, the legislation provides that the State must specify in writing the grounds for revocation of citizenship. Persons who have had their citizenship revoked may appeal to the High Court of the ECSC. Similarly, under the Citizenship Act, a citizen may only have citizenship revoked in limited circumstances by statute; for example, if the citizen has been found to have committed treason against Saint Lucia. Similarly to the CBI Act, the Citizenship Act provides citizens with the right to be heard by an independent body. These statutes therefore provide limited and clearly defined circumstances where citizenship may be revoked and, in all cases, are to be interpreted in line with the Constitution. Further, the right of appeal affords the affected party protection of the law and ensures that the constitutional safeguards put in place for citizens are considered by an impartial court.
Prospective investors in Saint Lucia’s CBI are guaranteed Saint Lucia’s continued observance of the rule of law and its Court’s commitment to due process. Whilst this does not preclude revocation of citizenship, deportation, or seizure of one’s passports in appropriate circumstances, it ensures that these occurrences are limited to that which is allowed by the law, are not subjective or arbitrary, and are conducted in a manner which is fair, considers the rights of all parties involved and is monitored by an impartial judiciary.
The CBI countries of Eastern Caribbean states are all under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (“ECSC”). This court, established in 1967, is responsible for the interpretation and application of the laws of six member states including Saint Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda, and Grenada, and three British Overseas Territories including the British Virgin Islands. To ensure procedural fairness, final appeal from the decisions of the ECSC lie to the Caribbean Court of Justice or the Privy Council in the United Kingdom.
Source: CIP Saint Lucia