Ten judges were sworn into higher office on Thursday (January 7) by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, during a ceremony at King’s House.
They are Vivene Harris, who was appointed to serve as a judge in the Court of Appeal effective January 11, and Carole Barnaby, who will serve as Puisne Judge from January 7.
Also effective on January 7 is the appointment of Icolin Reid, Vaughn Smith and Tara Carr as Acting Puisne Judges.
Pamela Mason and Annmarie Lawrence- Grainger will also serve as Acting Puisne Judges between January 7 and March 26.
Also taking the oath of office were Kamar Anderson, who was sworn in as Master-in-Chambers, while Stephany Orr and Sheran Reid-Clayton will Act as Masters- in-Chambers.
The Governor-General, while congratulating and wishing the new appointees continued success, commended them for always demonstrating discipline, attention to detail, professionalism, and integrity.
He urged Jamaicans to support the development of the country’s judicial system “as we make excellence our watchword and justice the framework for the sustainable future to which we are all committed”.
The Governor-General further commended the members of the judiciary for finding innovative ways to ensure that justice is still being dispensed despite the pandemic.
President of the Court of the Appeal, Justice Patrick Brooks, also extended congratulations to the new batch of appointees, many of whom, he noted, he watched take their “early steps” in the profession and have now matured into “confident judicial officers”.
“They are more than capable of taking on the tasks, which are required by their respective appointments,” he said.
“They have demonstrated in their careers, thus far, the integrity that is required of judges and I am assured that the future of the judiciary looks bright and decidedly beautiful,” he added.
Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, for his part, said that the newly appointed judges have not only demonstrated the legal acumen required but a willingness to work and to contribute to the overall efficiency of the court and the well-being of their colleagues.
“We have persons, here, who have worked well and have worked hard and are not only knowledgeable in the law but they have a commitment to serve Jamaica and Jamaicans. They… are among the people who can take us to where we need to be, that is to be among the best in the world,” the Chief Justice noted.
Justice Harris, who responded on behalf of her colleagues, expressed appreciation for the confidence placed in them to execute their respective duties and pledged to continue to maintain their core business of dispensing justice and providing sound, timely judgments and efficient court services to Jamaicans despite the challenges and changes brought on by the pandemic.
“We are well aware of the responsibilities that will be attached to the offices that we will assume. We are aware of the expectations that are to be met and in keeping with the oaths that we all have taken here this morning, you can rest assured that we shall approach our duties with independence, impartiality, integrity, propriety, competence, diligence and zeal,” she pledged.