Categorized | Local, News, Regional

Opening of 2013-14 law year

Opening-law-year-church-(13)What rang out of the theme, “The role of the court in the Region’s socioeconomic Development”, and kept sounding repeatedly by various speakers including the Hon Chief Justice Dame Janice Pereira in the feature address delivered by simulcast, were the words, “Justice for All!”

Her Ladyship, the Hon. Dame Janice Pereira delivered her second law year opening address for the first time from her homeland, an occasion that, according to her, may not present itself for another decade. In her homeland it has been described as ‘a magical and historical occasion.

As has been the tradition like in the other territories of the East Caribbean Supreme Court, the Opening was celebrated by a church service held again the St. John’s Anglican church, following prayers and scripture readings by various priests, pastors and the legal fraternity to include Justice Albert Redhead.

RC priest Fr. George Agger lead the proceedings, with other participation from Rev. Joan Meade, Rev.Ruth Allen, Bishop Melroy Meade, Bishop Abraham Riley, and Fr. Carlisle Vyphius delivering the homily. Fr. Vyphius spoke from two passages as well as that from the “parable of the good Samaritan”: Deuteronomy 6:5 – ‘And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might.’ Leviticus 18:19 – ‘Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.’

Miss Esco Henry, Hon. Attorney General, Mr. Hogarth Sergeant, Miss Kristen Taylor represented the bar in their delivery of readings and prayers.

Prior to the sitting, while CJ Hon. Pereira inspected a guard of honour from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force formed outside the complex, Justice Rehead did likewise with the Royal Montserrat Police Force outside Government Headquarters in Montserrat.

The official opening court session began with the address by the Chief Justice presented streamed live via simulcast to all the territories, in Montserrat in the presence of a packed court room of public officials, to include His Excellency Governor Davis and his wife, the hon. Premier, leader of the opposition and other ministers and legislators and cross section of the public and private sector, along with numerous members of the bar.

CJ Prereira delivered her address under the theme “The role of the court in the Region’s socioeconomic Development”

“Recognizing that an effective Judicial system is at the core of all social and economic development, the court consistently strives for the achievement of professionalism and excellence in the timely, effective and efficient access to an administration of a cohesive, independent and accountable system of justice for the benefit of its member states,” Hon. Pereira said.

She noted meantime that despite the economic hardships, the Judiciary must find creative and innovate ways to live up to its mandate. “We are aware that the court is too vital an institution for us to sit idly by to watch the time and circumstances determine our faith,” Hon. Pereira pointed out, putting forward that the judicial system is not viewed as integral to the country’s socioeconomic development; however, a country’s socioeconomic development also depends on an effective legal system which is just as pivotal as any country’s financial institution. And also,

that there is need to ensure that the court fulfills its purpose effectively and effectively.

“Justice Law and Order are therefore essential preconditions to growth and economic development within the context of any democratic society or economic union,” advocating that, “the stage for occupying a single space had already been set in motion by the establishment of a regional court under the ages of the supreme court order in 1967 at the time when our member states which were in association with the UK were moving to full independence.”

“ The Eastern Caribbean Supreme court occupies as a matter of law a single judicial space,” she said, “There can be no doubt as to its place along with such institutions as the ECCB, the ECCU in fostering economic union and development among member states and territories,” she continued.

“The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court had insured into the continuing upholding of the rule of law by providing an avenue through which disputes can be settled fairly the fundamental rights of persons protected and respected, and justice accessible to all,” she advocated at one point of her speech.

Other speakers following the CJ’s feature address then addressed the court presided over by retired Justice Readhead, now acting judge for Montserrat. The AG Esco Henry welcomed back Judge Redhead, “because the title and name “Mr Justice Redhead” is well-known and well-regarded on our shores. You are no stranger to members of the legal profession nor indeed to Mr. and Mrs. John Public,” she contended.

Miss Henry reflected on the three branches of government (not democracy) submitting, “…recent societal developments regionally and globally point to a disconcerting acceptance of liberalism and attacks on conservatism in all facets of life which seem to want to usher in an unprecedented period of “do and say as you please”, without reservation or regard for the rights and reputations of others.”

She then linked her submission to the “Justice for All” sentiment that echoed also in the CJ’s address, highlighting three principles from the framers of the Latimer House Principles considering them to be an effective framework for the implementation by governments, parliaments and judiciaries of the Commonwealth’s fundamental values.

1. ” People should have easy and unhindered access to courts, particularly to enforce their fundamental rights. Any existing procedural obstacles to access to justice should be removed.”

2. “Adequate legal aid schemes should be provided for poor and disadvantaged litigants, including public interest advocates.”

And the third, closely related to the second is:

3. “Legal professional organizations should assist in the provision, through pro bono schemes, of access to justice for the impecunious.”

“The common thread which links those 3 principles,” she said, “are captured in the words: “access to justice”.”

She stated, “Unless and until there is true access to justice for all,” and asked the question, “can we proclaim that we live in a just society?

Welcoming the judge, Kenneth Allen QC spoke for the inner bar, while Miss Chivone Gerald spoke for the Utter Bar.

The youthful Gerald is one of the very young female lawyers which outnumber the males of the Montserrat bar. She is the president of the Montserrat Bar Association.

She reported on the back of the AG’s call for pro bono work to meet justice for all. “The introduction of pro bono work is one of several initiatives that will be undertaken by the organization this year,” said, adding, “Attorneys undertake pro bono work to provide legal services without payment or for a reduced fee to members of the community who otherwise would not be able to afford legal representation.” 

The reported further that the Association was revived this year, noting that there have been some update in legislation within the past year, making mention of the labour code. 

Judge Redhead ended the day’s proceeding with a response expressing thanks for welcome. After commenting on the prayer by Pastor Ruth Allen where she called, “for those who bear responsibility for maintaining law in our land…that the innocent may be protected, evil doers be brought to account…,” he gave his own brief blessing to the justice for all theory. 

“…in the BVI pro-bono is alive and well there, no litigant comes to court without a lawyer, even if they have to make a contribution,” he began. 

He continued, “I am firmly of the view, that it is the unquestionable duty of all of us lawyers, magistrate, the public and all who are involved in the administration of justice, to work tirelessly to that end, bringing justice to all in a timely manner,” mentioning further, that the “court particularly, in a fledgling society of democracies, as we are in the OECS, must never be seen to be irrelevant.”

Leave a Reply

TMR print pages

Newsletter

Archives

CARICOM – Staff Vacancy

CXC HEADQUARTERS - Executive Search

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d

A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Opening-law-year-church-(13)What rang out of the theme, “The role of the court in the Region’s socioeconomic Development”, and kept sounding repeatedly by various speakers including the Hon Chief Justice Dame Janice Pereira in the feature address delivered by simulcast, were the words, “Justice for All!”

Her Ladyship, the Hon. Dame Janice Pereira delivered her second law year opening address for the first time from her homeland, an occasion that, according to her, may not present itself for another decade. In her homeland it has been described as ‘a magical and historical occasion.

As has been the tradition like in the other territories of the East Caribbean Supreme Court, the Opening was celebrated by a church service held again the St. John’s Anglican church, following prayers and scripture readings by various priests, pastors and the legal fraternity to include Justice Albert Redhead.

Insert Ads Here

RC priest Fr. George Agger lead the proceedings, with other participation from Rev. Joan Meade, Rev.Ruth Allen, Bishop Melroy Meade, Bishop Abraham Riley, and Fr. Carlisle Vyphius delivering the homily. Fr. Vyphius spoke from two passages as well as that from the “parable of the good Samaritan”: Deuteronomy 6:5 – ‘And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might.’ Leviticus 18:19 – ‘Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.’

Miss Esco Henry, Hon. Attorney General, Mr. Hogarth Sergeant, Miss Kristen Taylor represented the bar in their delivery of readings and prayers.

Prior to the sitting, while CJ Hon. Pereira inspected a guard of honour from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force formed outside the complex, Justice Rehead did likewise with the Royal Montserrat Police Force outside Government Headquarters in Montserrat.

The official opening court session began with the address by the Chief Justice presented streamed live via simulcast to all the territories, in Montserrat in the presence of a packed court room of public officials, to include His Excellency Governor Davis and his wife, the hon. Premier, leader of the opposition and other ministers and legislators and cross section of the public and private sector, along with numerous members of the bar.

CJ Prereira delivered her address under the theme “The role of the court in the Region’s socioeconomic Development”

“Recognizing that an effective Judicial system is at the core of all social and economic development, the court consistently strives for the achievement of professionalism and excellence in the timely, effective and efficient access to an administration of a cohesive, independent and accountable system of justice for the benefit of its member states,” Hon. Pereira said.

She noted meantime that despite the economic hardships, the Judiciary must find creative and innovate ways to live up to its mandate. “We are aware that the court is too vital an institution for us to sit idly by to watch the time and circumstances determine our faith,” Hon. Pereira pointed out, putting forward that the judicial system is not viewed as integral to the country’s socioeconomic development; however, a country’s socioeconomic development also depends on an effective legal system which is just as pivotal as any country’s financial institution. And also,

that there is need to ensure that the court fulfills its purpose effectively and effectively.

“Justice Law and Order are therefore essential preconditions to growth and economic development within the context of any democratic society or economic union,” advocating that, “the stage for occupying a single space had already been set in motion by the establishment of a regional court under the ages of the supreme court order in 1967 at the time when our member states which were in association with the UK were moving to full independence.”

“ The Eastern Caribbean Supreme court occupies as a matter of law a single judicial space,” she said, “There can be no doubt as to its place along with such institutions as the ECCB, the ECCU in fostering economic union and development among member states and territories,” she continued.

“The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court had insured into the continuing upholding of the rule of law by providing an avenue through which disputes can be settled fairly the fundamental rights of persons protected and respected, and justice accessible to all,” she advocated at one point of her speech.

Other speakers following the CJ’s feature address then addressed the court presided over by retired Justice Readhead, now acting judge for Montserrat. The AG Esco Henry welcomed back Judge Redhead, “because the title and name “Mr Justice Redhead” is well-known and well-regarded on our shores. You are no stranger to members of the legal profession nor indeed to Mr. and Mrs. John Public,” she contended.

Miss Henry reflected on the three branches of government (not democracy) submitting, “…recent societal developments regionally and globally point to a disconcerting acceptance of liberalism and attacks on conservatism in all facets of life which seem to want to usher in an unprecedented period of “do and say as you please”, without reservation or regard for the rights and reputations of others.”

She then linked her submission to the “Justice for All” sentiment that echoed also in the CJ’s address, highlighting three principles from the framers of the Latimer House Principles considering them to be an effective framework for the implementation by governments, parliaments and judiciaries of the Commonwealth’s fundamental values.

1. ” People should have easy and unhindered access to courts, particularly to enforce their fundamental rights. Any existing procedural obstacles to access to justice should be removed.”

2. “Adequate legal aid schemes should be provided for poor and disadvantaged litigants, including public interest advocates.”

And the third, closely related to the second is:

3. “Legal professional organizations should assist in the provision, through pro bono schemes, of access to justice for the impecunious.”

“The common thread which links those 3 principles,” she said, “are captured in the words: “access to justice”.”

She stated, “Unless and until there is true access to justice for all,” and asked the question, “can we proclaim that we live in a just society?

Welcoming the judge, Kenneth Allen QC spoke for the inner bar, while Miss Chivone Gerald spoke for the Utter Bar.

The youthful Gerald is one of the very young female lawyers which outnumber the males of the Montserrat bar. She is the president of the Montserrat Bar Association.

She reported on the back of the AG’s call for pro bono work to meet justice for all. “The introduction of pro bono work is one of several initiatives that will be undertaken by the organization this year,” said, adding, “Attorneys undertake pro bono work to provide legal services without payment or for a reduced fee to members of the community who otherwise would not be able to afford legal representation.” 

The reported further that the Association was revived this year, noting that there have been some update in legislation within the past year, making mention of the labour code. 

Judge Redhead ended the day’s proceeding with a response expressing thanks for welcome. After commenting on the prayer by Pastor Ruth Allen where she called, “for those who bear responsibility for maintaining law in our land…that the innocent may be protected, evil doers be brought to account…,” he gave his own brief blessing to the justice for all theory. 

“…in the BVI pro-bono is alive and well there, no litigant comes to court without a lawyer, even if they have to make a contribution,” he began. 

He continued, “I am firmly of the view, that it is the unquestionable duty of all of us lawyers, magistrate, the public and all who are involved in the administration of justice, to work tirelessly to that end, bringing justice to all in a timely manner,” mentioning further, that the “court particularly, in a fledgling society of democracies, as we are in the OECS, must never be seen to be irrelevant.”