Attorney-at-Law Henry Shillingford
Attorney-at-Law Henry Shillingford

Dear Dominica,

I have occasion to write to you to explain, rationalize and yes, even apologise to my friends and family whom I might have caused anxiety by my actions of the last few days, which were solely done on your behalf, the reason for which I now explain to you.

On Thursday November 22nd at about 10am, I went to the Registry and I tried to enter from Long Lane. I saw it was cordoned off and manned by individuals in Army type uniforms of a camouflage pattern. I tried to enter thru there and was refused by the personnel at the entrance. I told them they had NO RIGHT TO STOP ANYONE from going to the Court especially me since I am an Officer of the Court.

This was to no avail. I walked around to the Bay Front to attempt to enter from the Main Entrance. However the entire Boulevard was Cordoned Off, NO TRAFFIC from Cork St to Kennedy Ave. Again there were cordons manned by individuals in 'Army type' uniforms of various camouflage patterns. In attempting to enter there I was again refused after exchanging words with the . individuals in Army type uniforms of a camouflage pattern

I immediately returned to my office and called the Registry to speak to the REGISTRAR and inform him, if he did not already know, that there were individuals in 'Army type' uniforms surrounding the Registry and they would not let me enter to conduct my business. However the secretary said that the Registrar and the Assistant Register were both traveling. I asked her to tell me who was the Acting Registrar to which she replied "I do not know".

The Registrar is probably the most important person to most of you members of the PUBLIC for it is HE who records EVERY BIRTH…EVERY DEATH…EVERY MARRIAGE…EVERY DIVORCE…EVERY LAND SALE…EVERY LEASE…EVERY CONTRACT…EVERY PROBATE…EVERY DEED hence it is the Registrar and the REGISTRY which, in fact, authenticates and makes LEGAL OUR DOMINICANESS. The REGISTRY is more important to the daily life of every Dominican then Parliament, the Courts, the Police HQ.

You can imagine I was taken aback, hence I called the President of the Bar Association to inform her that we have NO REGISTRAR to which she responded "That's impossible Mr. Shillingford…I know that the Registrar and the Deputy are traveling but they MUST HAVE a REGISTRAR, we are far down a road BUT NOT THAT FAR." She called back within 5 minutes and explained that she had found who it was, Ms. Auguste, a quiet, timid but extremely capable person who is truly bringing efficiency to the Title Section. She said she had spoken to her and Ms. Auguiste come down and escort me in. On hearing this I immediately went back to the ME Charles Blvd to await her.

She arrived about 2 – 3 minutes after me and told the person dressed like a uniformed soldier that she was the Acting Registrar and this is Mr. Shillingford, an Attorney. Could you let him in, to which this TOY SOLDIER said NO. I exclaimed WHAT! And he repeated NO you are not entering here. If Ms. Auguiste could have disappeared into the earth she would have. My heart went out for her, being so blatantly DISRESPECTED by this officer.

It was at that point that I realised that this was a demonstrable example of the fact that in DOMINICA there is NO LAW & NO CONSTITUTION. Here the Guy with the most Guns can dictate How Things Shall Operate. Well, I have watched the decay and rot that has been wrought upon the pristine image of Dominica, the Nature Island of the World, over the last 15 years and the resulting deterioration of what are considered 'The Norms of Civilized Society.'

The events of Thursday November 22, 2018 were so skewed in LAW, so off the charts in legal terms, that I must list them:

• The High Court is surrounded "by soldiers"

• The Registry also surrounded "by soldiers"

• A four block CENTRAL area of the Capital city cordoned off including the main artery ME Charles Blvd.

• The cordons are manned by soldiers with automatic weapons and wearing flac jackets and various camouflage pattern uniforms.

• No Name, No Flag, No Rank on the uniforms.


This is the LAW but it is not WRITTEN DOWN because it is so FUNDAMENTAL it is in law 'A Priori' to written laws as written laws can only be valid if these conditions exist.

  1. Armies cannot be used against its own citizens.

  2. Armies are to protect a country from foreign invasion.

  3. Army personnel have NO POWER OF ARREST.

Further and more particularity

  1. Dominica has no Army i.e. Defense Force, as it was disbanded as the last Defense Force in Dominica attempted a coup d'état against the government the leader Colonel Newton was the last person hanged.

  2. The EXECUTIVE (the State) cannot interfere or intervene in any manner with the working of the JUDICIARY (the Courts).

  3. Having an ARMY surround a Court means that the State is Under Martial Law.

Now it is clear that the Prime Minister has not or refuses to read the Constitution much less apply it hence as a result I HAD TO TAKE CIVIL ACTION, that you have all seen and heard being shared on the news and social media.

I took this action because as a citizen of Dominica and an Attorney I felt compelled to exercise my rights under the law. It was a CIVIL ACTION the right of EVERY DOMINICAN.

There are two other issues that arise but I will deal with them at a later date

• The inhumane treatment arrestees and the condition of the jails in Dominica

• My personal treatment in the Jail and the circumstances of my actual arrest.

Power to The People

Henry Shillingford

Editor's note: Last week Attorney-at-Law Henry Shillingford was arrested and charged for obstructing the police.