On Monday, January 6, 2020, His Honour Mr. Chester Crooks was sworn in as Chief Parish Judge by His Excellency The Most Honorable Sir Patrick Allen in a ceremony held in the Ballroom at King’s House.
His Excellencey noted that the occasion signified a major contribution to the ongoing efforts by Chief Justice Brian Sykes to modernize the court system, therefore providing efficient and speedy delivery of justice to all citizens. He implored members of the legal fraternity in the audience to not become complacent with the system, but to recommit to the excellence they are capable of.
In his address the Chief Justice lauded the newly appointed Chief Parish Judge as a person of unquestionable character and wholesome advice. He further highlighted the importance and historic significance of the occasion by noting that His Honour Mr. Chester Crooks was only the second Chief Parish Judge to be sworn- in in the history of Jamaica’s court system.
He indicated that the appointment ensured the continuation of reforms in the courts, initiated by Mrs. Justice Zaila McCalla, Retired Chief Justice. Justice Sykes further expressed his belief that when citizens had favourable experiences at the parish level it would help to further a favourable opinion of the legal system in their minds.
In response, His Honour, Mr. Chester Crooks revealed that he felt strongly about the occasion recognized that the parish court manages a ‘lion share’ of the work within the court system. He however, expressed his commitment to carrying out his duty to the highest professional standard. He thanked his family, friends and colleagues for their unwavering support .