Four judges were sworn in to higher offices Monday (September 7) by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, during a ceremony at King’s House.
Sworn in were: His Honour Mr. Frank Williams, Her Honour Miss Carol Edwards, His Honour Mr. Evan Brown, to act as Puisne Judges; and Her Honour Mrs. Sharon Ayton-George, who will serve as Master-in-Chambers for the Supreme Court.
The Governor-General, before handing over the ceremonial Instruments of Appointment to the judges, remarked that the occasion was very significant to the justice system of Jamaica. He also urged the judges to continue to protect the legitimacy and integrity of the judicial system.
He noted that despite the “challenges”, the public will be observing their performances, and will be scrutinizing their timeliness and the quality of their judgments.
The Governor-General said the judges had a high responsibility, not only to themselves, but also to the people of Jamaica.
“We implore you to ensure that your actions are fair and balanced so that you can, at all times, command the respect of Jamaicans at all levels and constantly reaffirm the integrity, and quality of the judicial system,” he added.
He expressed confidence that the judges would maintain the high integrity of their office, commending them on their appointment.
“When one reaches a certain position in the judicial system, there are some places that one cannot go, there are some people that one cannot associate with, there are some things that one cannot do, there are some emotions that one cannot express and there are some favours that one cannot accept,” he cautioned.
In her charge to the appointees, Chief Justice, Hon. Mrs. Zaila McCalla, said that, despite the demands, they would have to be proactive to ensure that the time of the court is not wasted.
“We have the awesome responsibility of being agents of change from a culture of delay, to a reformed justice system that is efficient, fair and reliable. We cannot, however, allow the challenges, no matter how formidable, to derail us from our duty to dispense justice with the utmost efficiency and sensitivity. We must continue to do the best that we can, with the resources that we have,” she urged her colleagues.
She congratulated them on the hard work they have done over the years, adding that it is on that basis that they have been called upon to continue serving.
“I am very pleased to have additional capable hands on deck to accomplish the work of the judiciary,” the Chief Justice added.
Responding on behalf of the judges, Justice Frank Williams expressed appreciation.
“We are acutely aware.that we are being entrusted with an awesome responsibility, and we vow today to ensure that, at the end of the day, the Judicial Services Commission and you all can rest satisfied that the confidence that you have reposed in us was indeed well placed,” he said.