I welcome you warmly to King’s House for this ceremony which speaks volumes about the tremendous contribution that women are making to the justice system in our country. We are met this morning for the swearing in of eight female jurists to higher position in the Judiciary.
Chief Justice, I know that this does not even remotely represent gender bias or affirmative action. Clearly, no such provision exists in the remit of the Judicial Service Commission. Rather, the CVs of these eight honourable judges demonstrate the extent to which they have distinguished themselves in jurisprudence and the confidence that you have reposed in them.
I am therefore pleased to greet and congratulate:
- The Hon. Mrs. Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop who is being sworn in to act as Judge of the Court of Appeal;
- Her Honour Mrs. Vivene Harris who will appointed a Puisne Judge;
- To be sworn-in to act as Puisne Judges:
- 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 will be appointed as Master-in-Chambers and,
- Miss Rosemarie Harris will be sworn in to act as Master-in-Chambers
I have every confidence that these professionals will continue to uphold the high standards that are commonly associated with Jamaica’s judiciary. We know that despite the varied challenges our judiciary faces, their watchword is a consistent striving for excellence.
Jamaican Jurists also command a high level of respect in other jurisdictions. At the international level, several have served with distinction in the Organization of American States and the United Nations.
Our Court’s independence must be defended against veiled instructions and overzealous criticism from both near and far. One way in which this can be achieved is for more communication with members of the public. The relationship between the judiciary and society must not be confined to the halls of justice.
It must be nurtured and built on the spirit of openness in order to increase understanding and the assurance that in all matters justice will be served.
It was Martin Luther King Jr who once said:
Every step toward the goal of injustice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
You distinguished, dedicated jurists who being sworn-in this morning, recognize the truth of this statement. I urge you to maintain the integrity of the judiciary and lift to new horizons respect for the Rule of Law in Jamaica. May you enjoy the rights, privileges and responsibilities of these highly esteemed offices.
I shall now read the Instruments of Appointments.