Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla has commended Justice Howard Cooke, retired Judge of the Court of Appeal; Hon. Justice Marva McIntosh, retired Senior Puisne Judge; and attorney-at-law George Watt, for their outstanding contribution to the Judiciary and the Private Bar.
She was addressing the Cornwall Bar Association’s annual awards banquet, held at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort, in Montego Bay, on December 4, where the two judges and the lawyer were honoured for their service to the country.
“These awardees have had distinguished careers and have all contributed significantly to the Judiciary and the Private Bar. The recognition of these three individuals signals that the highest standards have been attained and that they have earned the admiration and respect, not only of the public, but of their peers in the legal fraternity,” the Chief Justice said.
The Chief Justice said they have built reputations for courtesy, fairness, excellence, professionalism and integrity, qualities that all should aspire to emulate.
Retired Senior Puisne Judge, Hon. Justice Marva McIntosh (right), receives an award from Ms. Keri Johnson during the Cornwall Bar Association’s Annual Awards Banquet at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay, on Saturday, December 4.
“I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with all three awardees, who have truly distinguished themselves in the legal profession. Justice Cooke, throughout his legal career, had demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the administration of Justice and we therefore salute him tonight, as we do our other two honourees. At the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, where I worked with him in the 1970s, he was always ready and willing to help others and to share his knowledge. He continued in that tradition while on the Supreme Court Bench and at the Court of Appeal,” Justice McCalla said.
She said his passion for the law, the agility of his mind and the sharpness of his tongue, were all well known traits, and that throughout his career, he contributed significantly to the advancement of the justice system.
The Chief Justice argued that similar sentiments may also be articulated in respect of the Hon. Justice McIntosh, who was well known for her enthusiasm, capacity to work and her “very witty” personality.
“That she has not been psychologically affected by some of the cases over which she has presided, is a clear demonstration of her mental capacity to deal with traumatic situations. Justice McIntosh is a conscientious worker. She has always demonstrated this in the performance of her duties and it is characteristic of her that she is even-handed, fair and has a good knowledge of the law. She is highly deserving of being honoured tonight. I therefore thank her publicly for her commitment and dedication to the improvement of our justice system,” she said.
The Chief Justice said Mr. Watt has had a distinguished career and is also highly deserving of the award bestowed on him by the Cornwall Bar Association.
“Mr. Watt was a founding member of the Cornwall Bar Association and has served the legal profession well. May those who follow in the footsteps of these distinguished persons, take inspiration from the shining sense of professionalism that they have displayed throughout their careers,” she said.
The three awardees were presented with citations and plaques.