I am very pleased to be joining you, this morning, in my capacity as Deputy Governor-General, to execute this auspicious duty of swearing-in our four judges to higher offices within our Courts. These appointments speak to the hard work these Judges have done over the years, and is the basis on which they have been called upon to continue serving.
The occasion for which we are gathered is very significant to the justice system of Jamaica and is indicative of progress.
Ladies and gentlemen, Lords and Ladies, please permit me to, on behalf of His Excellency The Governor-General, extend congratulations to Chief Justice, the Honourable Mrs. Justice Zaila McCalla, who was last month conferred with the prestigious appointment as an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple Inn in London, England, in recognition of her contribution to the law in Jamaica.
Our Chief Justice’s appointment along with the new designations of our judges, this morning, reflects the fact that strides are being made within our judicial system, irrespective of the challenges. I urged you judges to continue to protect the legitimacy and integrity of our judicial system. Despite the challenges the public will be observing your performances, and will be scrutinising the timeliness and the quality of your judgments. Be reminded of the people’s perception that, “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
You just cannot, allow the challenges, no matter how formidable, to derail you in your duty to dispense justice with the utmost efficiency and sensitivity. Just continue to do the best you can, with the resources that you have. Let me also implore you to ensure that your actions are fair and balanced so that you can, at all times, command the respect of Jamaicans at all levels and constantly reaffirm the integrity, and quality of the judicial system.
As my charge to you, I endorse a comment made by the Honourable Chief Justice at an earlier swearing in, be mindful that “when one reaches a certain position in the judicial system, there are some places that one cannot go, there are some people that one cannot associate with, there are some things that one cannot do, there are some emotions that one cannot express and there are some favours that one cannot accept” (and let me add) or deliver.
The position to which you are called must always reflect, “Justice for one, Justice for all.”
I commend you for acceding to this request and appointment to enhance a system geared towards accessibility and fairness. I congratulate you on your respective appointments and I have every confidence that you will maintain the high integrity of your respective offices.
I will now read the Instrument of Appointment.