The pleasure is mine to welcome each one of you to King’s House for the Swearing-in Ceremony for Mr. Justice Patrick Brooks as President of the Court of Appeal.
Let me use this occasion firstly, to pay my respects to, and acknowledge the contribution of the Honourable Mr. Justice C Dennis Morrison, whose retirement on Thursday December 4, closes a chapter in his stellar career as President of the Court of Appeal.
We thank you sir, and we will remember your calm, gracious personality and the professionalism and dignity you displayed as you lead out in the Court of Appeal as its President.
I wish for you and your family the very best of what the future holds, including some rest.
This morning we gather to swear in Justice Patrick Brooks into one of the highest offices in the Judiciary of Jamaica, as POCA. Justice Brooks is publicly known to be of unquestioned character, knowledge and fairness, and is hailed by his colleagues as possessing immense talent.
Justice Brooks, you are being sworn-in at a very challenging time in Jamaica’s history, and when its leadership in all branches of Government, and all the sectors of society are stretched to provide guidance, support and direction to our people.
We are besieged by the global COVID -19 pandemic, the nagging spectre/and reality of crime and violence, possible economic downturn, among other social ills & maladies, the consequences of which you no doubt often face in the courts.
We must contend with these issues as we do not have the luxury of burying our heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich, thinking these issues will disappear with time. We know that these matters cannot be resolved by any one branch of Government and our constitution provides for that nexus and corporate responsible notwithstanding the independence that is inherently derived in the execution of tasks, to achieve the same outcome.
It is critically important that the nation perceive that we are united in our efforts to achieve our developmental goals. This may require more consultations at the leadership level of the three branches of government.
Your elevation as President of the Court of Appeal is yet another step along your illustrious career path and should redound to the benefit of the nation. I am sure that your qualities, character, experience, and scholarship will place you in good stead to execute your tasks.
Please remember that, “To whom much is given, much is expected!”
You have a support team of sharp, brilliant judges who are original, passionate thinkers, to further enrich your journey.
With your appointment today, Jamaica is well on it ways to dealing with some of the new realities of our time.
For your achievements, today I will also confer on you our 5th highest honour – the Order of Jamaica in accordance with your elevation.