Senior Resident Magistrate Vivene Harris was on April 10 sworn in as puisne judge in the Supreme Court at a ceremony held at King’s House.
The appointment comes as government continues to put measures in place to improve access to justice for Jamaicans and to advance clearing up of the backlog of cases in the island’s courts.
In accepting her appointment, Justice Harris said she is aware of the challenges in the justice system, but that the members of the judiciary are committed to the process.
“I pledge to follow the exemplary example that has been set and shall apply myself to the task at hand with the competence, industry, impartiality and integrity that is befitting of this esteemed and honourable office,” she assured.
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who presided over the brief ceremony, congratulated Justice Harris on her appointment. He stated that “justice and the rule of law are basic needs…not only for good governance, but also for ensuring the stability and vibrancy of our democratic system”.
He said the appointment is an indication that Jamaica has quality professionals, who are able to manage affairs in just about every area, including in the judicial system.
Justice Harris was appointed Resident Magistrate in June 2001 and as senior Resident Magistrate in September 2010.
Prior to those appointments, she served as Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, as well as Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Crown Counsel, and Clerk of Courts.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Senior Reporter