Good morning and welcome to King’s House for this significant Ceremony. I use this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and productive New Year.
As we gather for this Swearing–in with a limited in-person audience and many online viewers, I can’t help but think that this may be the ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future in this COVID -19 environment.
The pandemic has seriously affected the court system across the globe, Jamaica of course being no exception, but we continue to observe the requisite public health protocols and remain mindful of the need to be vigilant.
This new landscape has forced us to be creative in the administration of justice. There is an increased reliance on the use of teleconferencing and video conferencing as regular methods of communication. And although jury trials have been suspended, judgements are still being delivered, virtually. We commend the Judiciary for these initiatives!
I am sure, Chief Justice, that in January of last year when you and your team created the Strategic Plan and Roadmap, which is intended to transform the Judiciary; managing in a pandemic environment was not contemplated. Yet you have found innovative ways to handle the delivery of justice so that persons needing those services are not severely impacted.
Our Judiciary, is one of the three pillars of our governance structure, is regarded with great respect. In your Oath of Allegiance and Judicial Oath, you promise to act as protectors, to guard and defend, and uphold The Constitution, while interpreting the law, and dispensing justice to all impartially.
Sir Francis Bacon, the English philosopher, Attorney General, and Lord Chancellor, describes the attributes of Judges:
“Judges ought to be more learned than witty, more reverent than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue”
The Ladies and Lords of the Jamaican Judiciary have always demonstrated their discipline, attention to detail, professionalism, and integrity.
I want to congratulate the Judges who are being sworn in this morning:
- The Honourable Mrs Justice Vivene Harris – Judge of Appeal designate…
- Her Honour Miss Justice Carole Barnaby – Puisne Judge designate…
- Acting Puisne Judges designate:
- The Honourable Mrs Justice Icolin Reid
- The Honourable Mr Justice Vaughn Smith
- The Honourable Mrs Justice Tara Carr
- The Honourable Mrs. Justice Pamela Mason
- The Honourable Mrs Justice Annmarie Lawrence-Grainger
- Her Honour Ms Kamar Anderson
- Acting Masters-in Chamber
- Her Honour Ms Stephany Orr
- Her Honour Mrs Sherna Reid-Clayton
I urge everyone to support the development of our judicial system as we make excellence our watchword and justice the framework of the sustainable future to which we are all committed.
I know that many of your family members are witnessing this event. Some online. I invite them to give you their fullest support as you embark on this new phase of your career. I wish you each one of you a successful tenure.