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Tributes to Sir Hugh A. Rawlins outgoing Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal

His lordship Sir Hugh A. Rawlins, Chief Justice

A Special sitting to mark the retirement of his lordship Sir Hugh A. Rawlins, Chief Justice from the bench of the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court was held on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at the Supreme Court, Government Headquarters.

Government officials and members of the judiciary including the legal fraternity, the clergy, the media and well-wishers gathered for the Special Sitting in the embarrassingly tiny courtroom, to bid farewell to the Nevisian born Sir Hugh A. Rawlins. Sitting on the bench for the occasion were the Honourable Chief Justice himself Sir Hugh Rawlins, Hon. Justice John Benjamin, Hon Justice Mario Michel and Hon. Justice Ian Mitchell.

L-R Mrs. Esco Henry, Attorney General, Miss Kathyann Pyke, Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Kenneth Allen, QC, Mr. Hogarth Sargeant, Attorney-at-Law

 

In His Lordship the Hon. Justice John Benjamin’s opening remarks he expressed how pleased he was to be in Montserrat once again. He said after he heard the news of the retirement of Sir Rawlins it took him days to accept it, but he was reassured by the fact that he knew Sir Rawlins having worked with him, that he doesn’t take decisions lightly.

Hon. Attorney General Mrs. Esco Henry in a tribute publicly expressed her gratitude on behalf of the government and people of Montserrat for the humane service Sir Rawlins provided to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. “My lord it is an open secret that you are very well respected by all legal fraternity within the OECS and the wider Caribbean region and I dare say international legal circles. Your dedication to the highest ideals of the practice of law and your commitment to excellence in all facets of service delivery within the administration of justice system is almost legionary, your honesty, your integrity, your diplomacy and courtesy are all hall marks of the most renounced holders of judicial office.”

L-R: Justice Benjamin, Justice Mitchell, Chief Justice Rawlins and Mario Michel

She went to say, “What is however rare my lord is the humility which you seem to wear so effortlessly and which is obviously an authentic part of your personality. It is striking and does not go unremarked especially because it does not diminish in any way…”

Miss. Kathyann Pyke, Director of Public Prosecution spoke extensively to Sir Rawlins in connection with his deep contribution towards the development of the law.  Miss Pyke said: “…I can speak with great knowledge that before I even knew you is the case of Morse and the Queen. Your outline and discussion of the procedure and the substantive issues that a judge has to address when considering the imposition whether or not to impose the death penalty”.

Miss Pyke explained how she has read extensively about many judges. She proceeded to express how Sir Rawlins has contributed greatly to the development of jurisprudence throughout the Commonwealth.

QC Kenneth Allen noted Sir Rawlins many achievements during his term in office, where two stood out to him. “Your work in helping the legal profession in this jurisdiction to grow stronger, more decent and more dignified and the sterling efforts you made to ensure that your courts and offices under your control are adequately and efficiently staffed at all times,” he said.

Attorney at law Hogarth Sergeant described Sir Rawlins as: “Impeccable and objective” in adjudicating the cases before him. Attorney Sergeant also spoke about the timing in which Sir Rawlins is leaving the law profession. “You are leaving us at an exciting time, we are hearing echoes around the region of OECS governments making plans to have referendums in their respective territories to move towards the CCJ. You are leaving us when we are forced in the profession to give the public confidence in our profession once again”. Attorney Sergeant continued, “you are leaving us at a time, an age of Google, mobiles, IPads and emails.”

In outgoing Chief Justice Sir Hugh Rawlins response after commenting on the addresses made by the speakers, he spoke extensively on the law as it is ”a passion” to him. “To me the law is a passion and I like the application of it in as pure a form as it could be, without side wings, without other consideration outside of the law and the application of the law,” he said.

He highlighted that dignity and the character that must exist in practitioners of the law, that even when taking all the social, cultural and other circumstances into consideration, it is the law that must be applied in the end.

He responded with thanks on behalf of himself and his wife for all the things that had been said of them. The retiring Chief Justice said he spent 43 years of structured work in law. He recalled how surprised he was when he learnt that he had been quoted at the Privy Council in the case referred to by the DPP, Moise v R (July 2005). He hinted without being specific that he will continue to do more of what he loves to do to the end, hinting he will be working in relating areas of the field of law.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

His lordship Sir Hugh A. Rawlins, Chief Justice

A Special sitting to mark the retirement of his lordship Sir Hugh A. Rawlins, Chief Justice from the bench of the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court was held on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at the Supreme Court, Government Headquarters.

Government officials and members of the judiciary including the legal fraternity, the clergy, the media and well-wishers gathered for the Special Sitting in the embarrassingly tiny courtroom, to bid farewell to the Nevisian born Sir Hugh A. Rawlins. Sitting on the bench for the occasion were the Honourable Chief Justice himself Sir Hugh Rawlins, Hon. Justice John Benjamin, Hon Justice Mario Michel and Hon. Justice Ian Mitchell.

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L-R Mrs. Esco Henry, Attorney General, Miss Kathyann Pyke, Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Kenneth Allen, QC, Mr. Hogarth Sargeant, Attorney-at-Law

 

In His Lordship the Hon. Justice John Benjamin’s opening remarks he expressed how pleased he was to be in Montserrat once again. He said after he heard the news of the retirement of Sir Rawlins it took him days to accept it, but he was reassured by the fact that he knew Sir Rawlins having worked with him, that he doesn’t take decisions lightly.

Hon. Attorney General Mrs. Esco Henry in a tribute publicly expressed her gratitude on behalf of the government and people of Montserrat for the humane service Sir Rawlins provided to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. “My lord it is an open secret that you are very well respected by all legal fraternity within the OECS and the wider Caribbean region and I dare say international legal circles. Your dedication to the highest ideals of the practice of law and your commitment to excellence in all facets of service delivery within the administration of justice system is almost legionary, your honesty, your integrity, your diplomacy and courtesy are all hall marks of the most renounced holders of judicial office.”

L-R: Justice Benjamin, Justice Mitchell, Chief Justice Rawlins and Mario Michel

She went to say, “What is however rare my lord is the humility which you seem to wear so effortlessly and which is obviously an authentic part of your personality. It is striking and does not go unremarked especially because it does not diminish in any way…”

Miss. Kathyann Pyke, Director of Public Prosecution spoke extensively to Sir Rawlins in connection with his deep contribution towards the development of the law.  Miss Pyke said: “…I can speak with great knowledge that before I even knew you is the case of Morse and the Queen. Your outline and discussion of the procedure and the substantive issues that a judge has to address when considering the imposition whether or not to impose the death penalty”.

Miss Pyke explained how she has read extensively about many judges. She proceeded to express how Sir Rawlins has contributed greatly to the development of jurisprudence throughout the Commonwealth.

QC Kenneth Allen noted Sir Rawlins many achievements during his term in office, where two stood out to him. “Your work in helping the legal profession in this jurisdiction to grow stronger, more decent and more dignified and the sterling efforts you made to ensure that your courts and offices under your control are adequately and efficiently staffed at all times,” he said.

Attorney at law Hogarth Sergeant described Sir Rawlins as: “Impeccable and objective” in adjudicating the cases before him. Attorney Sergeant also spoke about the timing in which Sir Rawlins is leaving the law profession. “You are leaving us at an exciting time, we are hearing echoes around the region of OECS governments making plans to have referendums in their respective territories to move towards the CCJ. You are leaving us when we are forced in the profession to give the public confidence in our profession once again”. Attorney Sergeant continued, “you are leaving us at a time, an age of Google, mobiles, IPads and emails.”

In outgoing Chief Justice Sir Hugh Rawlins response after commenting on the addresses made by the speakers, he spoke extensively on the law as it is ”a passion” to him. “To me the law is a passion and I like the application of it in as pure a form as it could be, without side wings, without other consideration outside of the law and the application of the law,” he said.

He highlighted that dignity and the character that must exist in practitioners of the law, that even when taking all the social, cultural and other circumstances into consideration, it is the law that must be applied in the end.

He responded with thanks on behalf of himself and his wife for all the things that had been said of them. The retiring Chief Justice said he spent 43 years of structured work in law. He recalled how surprised he was when he learnt that he had been quoted at the Privy Council in the case referred to by the DPP, Moise v R (July 2005). He hinted without being specific that he will continue to do more of what he loves to do to the end, hinting he will be working in relating areas of the field of law.