KINGSTON, Jan. 4 (JIS): An efficient and accessible justice system that is high in quality is being guaranteed to members of the public by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.
“We are determined to invest in justice for our people…Justice must be at the heart and centre of the society. It stands tall as the essential DNA of all that Government seeks to achieve for our people,” said Mrs. Simpson Miller.
The Prime Minister was addressing senior members of the legal profession, during the swearing-in ceremony of the new President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Cecil Dennis Morrison, at King’s House, on January 4. He was accorded Jamaica’s fifth highest honour, the Order of Jamaica.
For an efficient justice system, Mrs. Simpson Miller acknowledged that key changes in the sector must be made.
“This requires synergies between prosecution and defence counsel to achieve the timely disposal of cases,” she stated.
The Prime Minister indicated that Justice Morrison’s adept legal knowledge and levels of expertise made him qualified for the position.
In his remarks, Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, expressed confidence in Justice Morrison’s ability, noting that “the Court of Appeal will be guided by safe hands.”
The Governor-General also emphasised the enormous responsibilities for which the new Court of Appeal President will be tasked with, similar to his predecessors.
He used the opportunity to praise former Court of Appeal President, Justice Seymour Panton, for his stellar work in service to the Court.
Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, in his remarks, assured Justice Morrison of his support and also offered congratulations to him.
Like the Governor-General, Mr. Holness used the opportunity to thank Justice Seymour Panton for his “sterling contribution” to the Court and implored the new Court of Appeal President to build on the foundation already laid before him.
Justice Minister, Hon. Mark Golding, expressed gratitude to Justice Morrison for helping to improve the justice system, particularly as it relates to chairing the Chief Justice Committees on criminal case management and the development of sentencing guidelines.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla, added her congratulations to Justice Morrison.
“The evidence shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Hon. Mr. Justice Cecil Dennis Morrison is an eminently suitable candidate for appointment as President of the Court of Appeal of Jamaica,” said Mrs. McCalla.
The Chief Justice expects that this year, criminal case management will be fully implemented in all courts, in order to maximise the use of judicial time.
For his part, Justice Morrison expressed gratitude for the appointment as well as being afforded the opportunity to build on a court of excellence.
He pledged that he would continue to change and improve the Court of Appeal during his tenure.