Eight judges have been appointed to serve in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal for the Easter Term. Three were appointed to act as Judges of Appeal, another three were appointed Puisne Judges, while two will act as Masters-in-Chambers.
The Judges, which included one male, took and subscribed “The Oath of Allegiance” and “The Judicial Oath” as they were sworn in by Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen at King’s House this morning.
“The appointment of each of you reaffirms your competence in service and commitment to nation-building through your work, and the understanding that the tasks assigned to you are not easy”, Sir Patrick Allen remarked.
While underscoring the importance of the Judiciary in Jamaica’s system of Government, The Governor-General reminded the Judges of the importance of their role in the process. “I share with Jamaica the admiration which the vast majority of people not only here but also elsewhere have for our judicial system and for the men and women who uphold the high reputation,” Sir Patrick Allen observed.
The Governor-General added, “Your position today requires years of study followed by years of experience, infused of course with your aptitude and attitude, passion for precision and careful analysis of the principles of law which underpin a just and safe society.”
The Honourable Mrs. Justice Marcia Dunbar-Green, who was appointed to act as Judge of Appeal for a second consecutive term, gave remarks on behalf of the appointees.
“My fellow colleagues and I are deeply touched and inspired by the words of congratulations and encouragement that we have heard. We are buoyed by the confidence that has been placed in us and commit an unswerving resolve to honour that trust,” she said.
Justice Dunbar-Green also stated that it was not lost on them that the appointments are being made at a time of unprecedented challenges. “The operating systems of society are being changed by technologies such as machine learning and machine intelligence. At the same time, we are being brought to our knees by a pandemic that seems bent on mimicking the Black Death of the mid-14th Century. It is in moments like this that our justice system must retain the public’s trust,” Justice Dunbar-Green said.
The Honourable Mr. Justice Patrick Brooks, President of the Court of Appeal and the Honourable Mr. Justice Bryan Sykes, Chief Justice, in their remarks highlighted the outstanding track record of the newly-sworn judges, and the confidence they have in their ability to perform well in their new roles.
In observance of the strict COVID-19 pandemic protocol, the ceremony was streamed to an online audience to facilitate the attendance of other members of the Judiciary, family, and friends of the Judges.
Well deserved. The judicial system will benefit greatly from appointment.