Governor-General His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen has installed the Hon. Justice Dennis Morrison Q.C., president of the Court of Appeal at the Swearing-In Ceremony at King’s House, on Monday (January 4, 2016).
Consistent with the requirements, The Governor- General also conferred on Mr. Justice Morrison the nation’s fifth highest honour, the Order of Jamaica (OJ).
“We have confidence in you since you are eminently qualified by virtue of experience, exposure and erudition,” His Excellency commented of Mr. Justice Morrison in his introductory remarks.
The Governor-General also shared that Justice Morrison may be one of the few if not the only Rhodes Scholar to be elevated to the position of President of the Court of Appeal.
He further stated that, “If the way you function on the Rhode Scholarship Selection Committee is anything to go by, and your nuanced contribution there, then I can safely say to this audience, that the Court of Appeal will be guided by safe hands.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller and Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Mr. Andrew Holness, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, Minister of Justice, Chief Justice; the Hon. Mrs. Justice Zaila McCalla, OJ and retired President of the Court of Appeal; Mr. Justice Seymour Panton, OJ, also gave tribute to Mr. Justice Morrison for his legal brilliance, academic qualifications and suitability for the job.
In her address, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Mrs. Portia Simpson Miller said “Jamaica is proud of Justice Dennis Morrison and is thankful that we have a man of his mettle to lead the Court of Appeal, our highest domestic court. His intellectual acumen and numerous skills long make him a leading candidate for the very high office which he formally assumes today.”
Indeed he was destined for this and we all feel a sense of joy and satisfaction when destiny is fulfilled in such a positive way,” Mrs. Simpson Miller went on.
Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Andrew Holness praised Mr. Justice Morrison as a Rhodes Scholar and brilliant legal mind who had contributed so much to the legal profession.
“I am sure we would all agree, that Dennis Morrison is a fine product of the Jamaican Legal System and he represents the best of Jamaica,” Mr. Holness said.
Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding traced the distinguished legal career of Mr. Justice Morrison from the time of his Norman Manley Law School days. Mr. Golding singled out his work in helping to improve the justice system particularly in the area of chairing the Chief Justice Committee on criminal case management and the development of sentencing guidelines.
Chief Justice the Hon. Mrs. Zaila McCalla said Mr. Justice Morrison was an eminently suitable candidate for appointment as President of the Court of Appeal and noted that this year criminal court management would be fully functional in order to maximize time.
The Hon. Mr. Justice Panton, outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, in praising his successor, pointed out that the breath of Mr. Morrison’s experience outranks that of any judge in the Commonwealth.
Replying, Mr. Morrison thanked all who had played a part in his development leading to the swearing in ceremony and pledged to continue to improve the court.
A range of other dignitaries including representatives from the Government, Parliament and the legal fraternity attended the ceremony.
Hon. Mr. Justice Dennis Morrison acted as President of the Court of Appeal from August 2015 when Mr. Panton went on pre-retirement leave.
Check out The Office of the Governor- General (Jamaica) on Facebook for photographic highlights of this event at the link below