Six Judges were yesterday (Sept.15) sworn in to serve in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court by Deputy Governor-General, the Very Reverend Canon Weeville Gordon, at a ceremony held at King’s House.
The Judges sworn in are: Justice Mahadev Dukharan, to act as Judge of the Court of Appeal; His Honour, Martin Gayle, to act as Puisne Judge; Justice Gloria Smith, to act as Judge of the Court of Appeal; Her Honour, Marva McDonald Bishop, to act as Judge of the Court of Appeal; His Honour Bertram Morrison, to act as Puisne Judge; and Her Honour, Sarah Thompson James to act as Puisne Judge.
President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Seymour Panton congratulated the judges, and noted that “they have been doing a satisfactory job, having been sworn in on earlier occasions.”
Justice Panton also urged the judges to continue to uphold the high standards that have been set by their colleagues.
“There will be persons, and there are usually persons in Jamaica, who will attempt to say things which amount to demerit. But one thing that we are sure of is that the judges of Jamaica are at the top of the list world wide, when we deal with the question of integrity. There is no doubt about that, and what we ask is that the judges continue to maintain their integrity, and to give Jamaica their best,” he said.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, Chief Justice, Zaila McCalla urged the judges to be more proactive in how they carry out their duties, while noting that there are over 400 cases on the list for trial in the Home Circuit Court.
“We are going to have to be more proactive, for example, in the granting of adjournments, and the Director of Public Prosecutions will be called upon to be ready to try cases when they come before the court,” Mrs. McCalla said.
She added that the judges will have to move away from a culture of adjournment without very good reason.
“The aim will be to see that all the courts are fully utilised for the whole day. Everyone will have to be prepared to work assiduously to attain the desired goal. So I ask you to join with me as a team, to work so that at the end of the day, we can see some improvement,” she implored.
Meanwhile Justice Mahadev Dukharan, who was sworn in to act as Judge of the Court of Appeal, noted that, “We are cognisant of the responsibility that has been placed up on us, and we are a dedicated and committed bunch of judges. It is testimony that we are all back here again, which means that the powers at be, are satisfied that we are dong our best and I am quite certain we are going to do our best as we are a bunch of committed judges”.