Former Chief Justice Welcomes Hon. Bryan Sykes’ Appointment

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Retired Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla (left), shakes hands with newly appointed Chief Justice, Hon. Bryan Sykes, following his swearing in at King’s House on Thursday (March 1).

Story Highlights

  • Retired Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla, has welcomed the appointment of her successor, Hon. Justice Bryan Sykes.
  • “I take pleasure in offering my heartiest congratulations to Chief Justice Sykes. It hardly needs to be repeated that he is a judge of unquestionable integrity and ability and is eminently qualified to be confirmed as Chief Justice of Jamaica,” Mrs. McCalla said.
  • Mrs. McCalla said up to January 2018, prior to being appointed to act as Chief Justice on February 1, Mr. Sykes served the Supreme Court where he was assigned to the Commercial Division, which he served with distinction.

Retired Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla, has welcomed the appointment of her successor, Hon. Justice Bryan Sykes.

Mr. Sykes was sworn in by the Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, during a brief ceremony at King’s House on Thursday (March 1).

“I take pleasure in offering my heartiest congratulations to Chief Justice Sykes. It hardly needs to be repeated that he is a judge of unquestionable integrity and ability and is eminently qualified to be confirmed as Chief Justice of Jamaica,” Mrs. McCalla said.

She noted that Mr. Sykes has vast experience in the court system where he commenced his career as a temporary clerk of courts. She said he rose to the positon of Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, and was subsequently appointed as a Puisne Judge in 2005.

Mrs. McCalla said up to January 2018, prior to being appointed to act as Chief Justice on February 1, Mr. Sykes served the Supreme Court where he was assigned to the Commercial Division, which he served with distinction.

She pointed out that that Division was established consequent on the hierarchy of the judiciary, including her predecessor, Chief Justice Lensley Wolfe, recognising the need to offer a high level of service to commercial customers, while “bearing in mind that investors and potential investors needed the assurance of an expeditious service”.

“During my tenure, I took note of international surveys, such as the Doing Business Index, and the complement of judges of that Division was increased from one to three. I am very pleased to say that the judges assigned to that Division, past and present, including Hon. Chief Justice Sykes, have given excellent service, at times exceeding expectations,” she added.

Additionally, Mrs. McCalla said Mr. Sykes has a track record of excellence, not only in the courts but other institutions.

“His background of distinctive service at the Norman Manley Law School and assistance with judicial education in Jamaica and overseas make him highly qualified to do so,” she said.

Against this background, Mrs. McCalla said she is confident that Mr. Sykes will continue the transformation of Jamaica’s courts and justice systems, and build on the initiatives his predecessors started.

“Recent statements attributed to Chief Justice Sykes are an indication that he is resolved to continue to pursue the Criminal Case Management Initiative, which is being implemented in all our courts. Much progress has already been made with digitisation of the records of our courts. The Case Information Statistical System (CISS) has already been implemented in all our Parish Courts, and, indeed, the first Comprehensive Annual Statistical Report for that court, has been published,” she outlined.

The former Chief Justice further indicated that digitisation of the Supreme Court’s records is in progress and that regular reports on the courts’ performance have also been published.

“Chief Justice Sykes has already indicated his intention to maximise these efforts. (Sir) I do hope the digital recording of evidence in all our courts will become a reality during your tenure,” she said.

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