September 23, 2011
Pastor Ollivierre: The laws we follow today have rich history in the Bible

Members of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bar Association may still be seeking answers to the questions posed to them on Tuesday, September 20, by Pastor Stephen Ollivierre.{{more}}

Ollivierre’s questioning came as he delivered the sermon for the new law year 2011 to 2012 which got underway on Tuesday with an ecumenical service at the Kingstown Methodist Church.

The service, which was organized by the SVG Christian Council, was held under the theme “Promoting Peace and Justice, Celebrating our Freedom”.

Pastor Ollivierre told the gathering “The laws we follow today, have rich history in the Bible.”

According to him, biblical laws are the basis of the entire modern day civil justice system.

“Today, lawyers play an integral part of the civil justice system which has its rules in the Bible …” Ollivierre added .

He said that justice is the most important thing in the court system today and that the Bible also emphasises justice in the court system.

Pastor Ollivierre said on a daily basis lawyers are involved in seeking justice for their clients, which “is a righteous cause.”

He advised the members of the Bar that if they are going to promote peace and justice, they must identify whether or not they themselves have any transgressions.

“Firstly, the Bible said that they afflicted the righteous, and we must ask ourselves the question… Do we have a system that afflicts the righteous?” he asked.

Reading from the book of Amos, Ollivierre explained that the word righteous was used in the text primarily in a judicial sense, referring to those in Israel who were just in their cause and right in their conduct.

However, according to the scriptures, “When the righteous appeared in court to defend themselves against false charges, they were denied or condemned as evil doers for the price of silver… and secondly, they refused to hear the poor.”

“Do we have a system in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that refuses to hear the poor?” the pastor asked.

He further advised the lawyers and judges gathered that God had already established his laws.

“Today we thank God for lawyers, and we thank God for everyone of you,” he said.

More questions were then posed to the Bar; this time he requested that they must ask themselves daily: “What am I doing, am I true to my calling?”

“It may not be a picture of our judicial system, but individually, am I guilty of depriving those who seek justice, am I guilty of not standing up for those who are poor?”

In order to answer those questions, Pastor Ollivierre warned that the judgment of the Bar members must be based on principles which he quoted from the scriptures of Amos, Chapter 5 reading from verse 15.

In this chapter, the Bible speaks about hating evil and loving good in order to establish justice.

Dressed in their black gowns, members of the Bar performed the rendition ‘The right hand of God’ before the congregation, which also comprised other Court officials, family members, police officers, boy and girl scouts.

Following the service, the gathering, led by the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Band, marched to the Court House where there was a special sitting of the High Court. (AA)