Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has expressed confidence in the eight female jurists who were sworn in at King’s House today, September 10, 2014. He commended them on the expertise and commitment they had demonstrated which proved that they would continue to uphold the high standards commonly associated with Jamaica’s judiciary.
The Governor-General said that despite the challenges facing the judiciary “their watchword is a consistent striving for excellence.” He noted that Jamaican Jurists, wherever they serve, including in international organizations, have always commanded a high level of respect.
On the matter of the Court’s independence, Sir Patrick Allen said that it must be “defended against veiled instructions and overzealous criticisms from both near and far.” He added that “one way in which this can be achieved is for more communication with members of the public.”
The Governor-General emphasized that the relationship between the judiciary and society should not be confined to the halls of justice. He urged the new appointees to nurture and build on the spirit of openness in order to increase understanding and the assurance that in all matters justice will be served.
Also speaking at the swearing-in ceremony were the Hon. Mr. Justice Dennis Morrison who represented the President of the Court of Appeal, the Hon. Mrs. Justice McCalla, Chief Justice and the Hon. Mrs. Justice Marva McDonald Bishop, who replied on behalf of her Colleagues.
The common thread throughout was the commitment to excellence despite the known challenges in the justice system. Although progress which was being achieved, there were deficiencies which needed attention in order to secure the level of service with which they and all Jamaica could be satisfied.
Sworn-in this morning were: the Hon. Mrs. Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop, who will act as Judge in the Court of Appeal; Her Honour Mrs. Vivene Harris who was appointed Puisne Judge; to act as Puisne Judges are: Mrs. Audre Whelma Veronica Lindo, Her Honour Miss Cresencia Brown, Her Honour Mrs. Georgiana Fraser and Her Honour Mrs. Marcia Dunbar-Green. Mrs. Sonia Bertram-Lindo was appointed Master-in-Chambers and Miss Rosemarie Harris was sworn in to act as Master-in-Chambers.