Good morning. Welcome to King’s House for this first Swearing-in Ceremony for 2022. I trust everyone had a calm, restful and peaceful Holiday and I wish you a bright and productive New Year.
Congratulations on your adapting to new approaches to aggressively delivering service in this altered environment and ensuring that the wheels of justice do not grind to a halt.
I am particularly impressed with the ways in which the Judiciary engaged the public about challenges being experienced and how they are surmounting them.
A brief scan of news items shows that there were at least ten major issues which were highlighted last year. These included:
- The inadequate physical infrastructure of some court houses
- Debates on the merits of the jury system as opposed to bench trials
- Judicial emoluments
- The Caribbean Court of Justice
- The timeliness of delivery of court transcripts
- The need for technological infrastructure in courts and police stations to facilitate increased online trials
- Close protection services for judges
- Sentencing and the right of appeal, and,
- The race to complete the backlog of judgements by March 2022.
Chief Justice, it was a busy year and there is little doubt that the year ahead will be any different.
However, we know that despite these matters of concern, the fundamental principles of the Judiciary remain intact and it will continue to discharge its responsibilities with diligence, principle, impartiality, integrity and good faith.
I commend the Judges for their discipline of study, attention to detail and professionalism
I express my good wishes to the Judges who will be appointed this morning:
Acting President of the Court of Appeal
- The Honourable Mrs Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop
Acting Judges of Appeal
- The Honourable Mrs Georgiana Fraser
- The Honourable Mr Justice Kissock Laing
Acting Puisne Judges
- Master Tania Mott Tulloch-Reid
- Her Honour Mrs Sandria Wong-Small
We wish you well, we depend on you to use the capacity of the office to help fix what is wrong in Jamaica today. Your role in this process must be evidently outstanding as together with the legislature and the Executive you form that three-fold cord that is not easily broken.