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Turks and Caicos Judicial Appointments announced by Governor



Mabel Agyemang, New Chief Justice of the Turks and Caicos hails from Ghana

#GrandTurk, Turks and Caicos Islands — Thursday, 20th February 2020  Ensuring there is a vibrant Judiciary that not only dispenses justice, but provides balance to the Executive, is an essential element of democratic law-abiding society. 

I’m announcing today three new judicial appointments: the next Chief Justice, a second Judge and the appointment of a new Chief Magistrate for the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Over the next month or so I’ll be announcing further judicial appointments linked to the Appeal Court.

In keeping the public informed, let me start by saying something about the process as well as the result.

In making judicial decisions the Governor is not alone. He has outstanding counsel. He makes his decision based on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission; a group of three very senior and experienced Judges. 

H.E. Nigel Dakin, Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands

The Commission who advise the Governor are: Justice Sir Michael Barnett, a former Chief Justice of the Bahamas and now a Judge on the Appeal Court of the Bahamas. Justice Hilary Philips, President of the Court of Appeal of Jamaica and Justice Zaila McCalla a former Chief Justice of Jamaica.

It is the JSC who sift the applicants and then choose which applicants they will interview. It is the JSC, and not the Governor, who conducts the interviews. Using the role of Chief Justice as an example the role was advertised internationally, not just regionally, and the JSC received a very strong field of applications.

From this field the JSC chose to interview seven candidates. They don’t ask the Governor’s views on individual candidates either before the sift or before the interview. They did consult with the President of the local Bar and they did canvass individuals to see if there was interest from members of the senior Bar in TCI; no local candidates chose to put themselves forward this time for the role of Chief Justice. 

The JSC also canvassed the Governor’s view, not in terms of named candidates but any special requirements the Governor might identify.  I said that beyond being an excellent Jurist, and having an independent spirit, TCI needed a Chief Justice with the energy and experience of taking through change in the Justice Sector.


The blue print for that change has been crafted by our outgoing Chief Justice with significant support from those in the wider criminal justice stakeholder group.  As a result, all those interviewed were provided with a copy of the Strategy and interviews included questions about approach and implementation.

With regard to the appointments I am now announcing, I have acted on the advice of the JSC, not only in terms of the appointment of a successful named individual, but also in terms of the type of contract that underpins the appointment.

The Islands new Chief Justice will be Mrs Justice Mabel Agyemang.

New Chief Justice of the Turks and Caicos Islands
Mabel Agyemang of Ghana

Justice Agyemang has worked as a Superior Court Judge in three Commonwealth Jurisdictions. At present she is a Justice of the Court of Appeal in Ghana.

She is a product of the University of Ghana and the Ghana School of Law, she was in private legal practice from 1987 to 1991 when she joined the Judiciary of Ghana. In 2002, she was appointed a High Court Judge.

From 2004 to 2014 she was seconded to the Commonwealth Secretariat as an expert to the Judiciaries of The Gambia and Swaziland where she worked as a High Court Judge. She was then appointed an expert Judge of The Gambia Court of Appeal. From 2013 to 2014 she was the Chief Justice of The Gambia.  She took up her present role in 2015.

It is worth saying something about her departure from her role in the Gambia. This is a badge of significant honour. She stood up to an autocrat – one of Africa’s most notorious strongmen – Yahya Jammeh – whose 22-year rule only ended in 2017.  Through integrity and courage, she attempted to protect the Judiciary from an overarching executive.

It’s probably best I give, as but one example, evidence provided by the Bar Council in the Gambia. 

Justice Agyemang was elevated to the position of Chief Justice, a very difficult position to hold in an autocratic regime. The Bar welcomed her appointment as we strongly believed in her independence and capacity to steer the justice system. During her tenure as Chief Justice, she had firm control of the judiciary, as well as the support of the judges, the Bar Association and the judicial staff. She instilled a culture of discipline and professionalism in the Judiciary. The attitude to work by judicial officers dramatically changed, and they became more professional and effective. Punctuality was expected of everyone and she led by example. She introduced reforms to ensure access to justice to litigants and to minimize the unnecessary delays in the dispensation of justice. She initiated the amendment of the Rules of Court to ensure expeditious determination of cases. She was a driver of innovation and reform, introducing ICT solutions to Judges for case law research amongst other things.

It was regrettable that despite her excellent and successful tenure, the President at the time unlawfully terminated her services to the dismay and disappointment of the entire legal fraternity. At that period of the time, the then autocratic President was doing everything possible to control the Judiciary. Indeed, the departure of Justice Mabel Agyemang was sorely felt, as she left an indelible mark in our judicial sector.

The new Chief Justice herself asked the JSC that she be employed on a three-year contract and that was the JSC’s recommendation to me, which I have accepted.

The Islands new Puisne Judge will be Ms Tanya Lobban-Jackson.

Former Chief Magistrate, Tanya Lobban-Jackson is now a judge in TCI

Ms Tanya Lobban-Jackson has been the extremely effective Chief Magistrate of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Magistrates Courts, where the vast majority of cases are heard have had conviction rates of 80% that mirror the UK’s and they have a reputation for efficiency.

Ms Lobban-Jackson was appointed to the post of Chief Magistrate of the Turks and Caicos Islands in August of 2016. In that post she was ex officio Coroner and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty Authority.

Prior to being appointed to the Magistracy, Ms. Lobban-Jackson was a Senior Prosecutor in Jamaica and Senior Crown Counsel in the Cayman Islands gaining eighteen years’ experience in advocacy in the Magistrate’s Court, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

Trained in the areas of Child Safeguarding, Human Trafficking, Money Laundering, and Case Management; she was first appointed to act as Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of the Turks and Caicos Islands in December of 2018 and has done so periodically since then.

Ms Lobban-Jackson as Chief Magistrate alongside her now colleague Mr Justice Aziz, who remains with us in TCI, have both been instrumental in building a consensus in the TCI Judiciary that has resulted in the strategy that the new Chief Justice will drive forward.

The JSC’s recommendation was that Ms Lobban-Jackson should be appointed with tenure until she reach’s the age of constitutional retirement. A recommendation that I have accepted.

Mr Jolyon Hatmin will be the next Chief Magistrate of TCI.

New Chief Magistrate in TCI judiciary, Jolyon Hatmin

Mr Hatmin was appointed Resident Magistrate in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2012.  Prior to this he was the Managing Attorney of the Legal Aid Authority in his native Guyana, representing clients at the civil and criminal bar. He also worked as a Legal Advisor to the Guyana Sugar Corporation and was a public prosecutor for several years. He was first admitted to the Bar in 2000.

Mr Hatmin has built a reputation for sound judgements in his role as a Magistrate and his promotion will also allow him a seat at the senior stake-holders group that will take forward reform of the Justice sector and is to be welcomed.

In Summary: We will have in TCI a reforming Chief Justice, a Chief Justice who has won the respect of the Bar and Bench in multiple Commonwealth jurisdictions, a Chief Justice highly regarded by the Commonwealth Secretariat, and a Chief Justice who stood up for the Judiciary against an extremely powerful autocratic Executive.

Working with her we will have two excellent Judges, Justice Aziz and Justice Lobban-Jackson who have been instrumental in building the strategy that our new Chief Justice will take forward. The appointment of Mr. Hatmin as Chief Magistrate – and the elevation of Justice Lobban-Jackson -should reassure TCI that a drive for improvement, through change, will not be at the expense of continuity.


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Turks and Caicos Islands school sports season 2023/24 officially opens in September



Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, September 19, 2023 – After an active summer of events, Turks and Caicos Islands School Sports (TCISS) season 2023/24 will open with TCISS Football for Boys and Girls on September 30, 2023.

The opening ceremony of TCISS Football will take place at the TCI Football Association on Venetian Road, Providenciales and we will commute to the National Stadium for the games. Games will take place weekly on Fridays and Saturdays. After making their debut last year, TCISS Girls Football will run concurrently with Boys Football on a split pitch from September through October. The championship games are slated for October 28, 2023.

Last year’s Girls’ football champions were the Marjorie Basden High School after defeating the British West Indies Collegiate 2-1. The Boys’ champions were the Clement Howell High School who beat out the Elite High School who forfeited the game 1-0. All current students, fans and alumni are encouraged to watch the games weekly each Friday and Saturday, with tickets for Adults $5 and Children $3.

TCISS Boys Basketball quickly picks up after the Football season ends, spanning from early November 2023 to January 2024. Home and away games are one the highlights of this event, affording all teams a chance at a ‘home-court’ advantage throughout the season. As is tradition in TCISS, schools will be randomly selected and placed into pools to compete. Ultimately the strongest teams will meet at the championships. The reigning champions are the Clement Howell High School who defeated the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School 92-56 for the gold.

In a double-team affair, TCISS Girls Softball will launch a few weeks post Boys Basketball’s commencement, for a season which lasts from November 2023 – January 2024. This means softball and basketball seasons will run concurrently like last year, and tickets will allow entry to both games. The reigning champions are the HJ Robinson High School who won the championships 14-6 in their hometown Grand Turk against the Wesley Methodist High School. The championships will return to the nation’s capital next year, in honour of last year’s champions.

Ending the TCISS season will be the Track and Field events also known as Athletics. The Athletics opener will be the Track and Field Development meets. Historically this has been segmented into two meets: Sprints and Throws, Distance and Jumps.

Following will be the TCISS Inter-High Track and Field Championships also known as Nationals in March 2024 then the TCISS Inter-Primary Track and Field Championships also in March. Last year’s champions of Inter-High was the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School and for Inter-Primary the Ona Glinton Primary School. After being implemented last season, TCISS Track and Field champions are determined by a medal count with gold holding the most weight.

TCISS 2023/24 Sport Schedule

  • TCISS Inter-High School Football Boys, TCISS Inter-High School Football Girls – September 30, 2023 – October 28, 2023 (Providenciales)
  • TCISS Inter-High School Basketball – November 2023 – January 2024 (All-Island)
  • TCISS Inter-High School Softball – November 2023 – January 2023 (Season Games – Providenciales. Semi-finals & Championships – Grand Turk)
  • Track and Field Development Meets – February 2024
  • TCISS Inter-High School Track and Field – February – March 2024 (Providenciales)
  • TCISS Inter-Primary School Track and Field – March 2023 (Providenciales)

The full TCISS event schedule and further updates will be found on the TCI Sports Commission’s website

For the latest news on the TCISS, fans can follow on Instagram (@tcisportscommission) and Facebook (Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission). To share your experience with TCISS on social, use the hashtags #TCISS and #morethanjustsports.

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Court Ruling leaves Young Son without Mother, Father killed in 2022 violence



Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter


#TurksandCaicos, September 19, 2023 – A young son is left without a father, taken through gun violence and his mother, now deported back to her home country of Jamaica.

A Jamaican woman, ANDREA ROSE MARIE ATKINSON, now in her late fifties, who was married to a Wheeland, Blue Hills, Providenciales native, appeared before the Hon. Chief Magistrate Mr. Jolyon Hatmin.

Atkinson was charged on August 7th with remaining in the Islands beyond the permitted time.  The Chief Magistrate (CM) asked the lady if she would like an opportunity to get legal representation?  She said, your Honour, I just want to get this over with because “mi can’t take da cell no more” “mi bin lock up now fa sa much days, mi just a plea guilty and go back to mi Yard.”

The lady, communicating in her native, raw Jamaican patois tried to explain to the CM that she once had a permanent resident certificate (PRC) but after the divorced she was trying to get a work permit.

She said, yes, she overstayed but she was trying to make herself legal.

The woman asked the CM for some time to sort out her son and her things before they send her home.  The mother of a boy child told the chief magistrate that she didn’t know where her child was because since law enforcement arrested her and took her into Immigration lock-up and since, she has not seen or heard from her son.

This matter was heard in August.

Investigation by this reporter uncovered that the son, a Turks and Caicos Islander, was taken in by one of the deceased sisters; therefore an aunt to the boy.

The CM sentenced the Jamaican woman ANDREA ROSE MARIE ATKINSON to a fine of $2,000.00 to be paid immediately in default, she will serve 90 days imprisonment.

He also recommended deportation; giving the former PRC holder seven days to sort out her son and her belongings.

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The First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly of the Turks & Caicos Islands


 The Opening Ceremony for the First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly occurred on the 14th September at 10 o’clock in the forenoon with its usual pomp and fanfare.

During the proceedings, the Honourable Premier and Minister for Public Policy, Hon. C. Washington Misick, moved the motion that the House of Assembly be suspended to allow for the reading of the Speech from the Throne, presented by Her Excellency, the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam.

The Speech from the Throne, having highlighted some of the Government’s accomplishments since being elected to office on 19th February 2021, culminated with the proposed Legislative Agenda to be considered for the upcoming legislative year which included, but is not limited to:

Constitution (Amendment) Order;

Retiring Allowance (Amendment) Bill;

Community College (Amendment) Bill;

Gaming Control (Amendment) Bill;

Business Licensing (Amendment) Bill;

Real Estate Licensing Bill

Immigration Bill; and

Crown Land (Amendment) Bill

The Speech from the Throne took a long-term perspective and placed emphasis on fulfilling the objectives of the Vision 2040 document and the Government’s strategic plan to move the Turks and Caicos Islands towards developed country status within the next two decades by investing in projects and policies that will result in a more robust triple-bottom-line economy.

The Speech from the Throne also addressed short to medium term deliverables; highlighting that the Government has twelve (12) high-priority projects being progressed.  It posited that the National Delivery Unit (NDU) is tasked with assisting project owners and implementers advance the Government’s priorities. The value added by this Unit is the facilitation with streamlining of project management processes to ensure the most efficient timelines and use of available resources – all for the ultimate benefit of the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The day’s proceeding ended with a motion entitled: Write-Off of TC Invest/TOLCO Loan that was tabled by the Minister of Finance, the Honourable E. Jay Saunders. The motion which sought to write off $10.8 million in debt accumulated by scores of borrowers was passed.  This write-off was a welcomed intervention by many Turks and Caicos Islanders, laden with debt obligations for over 11 years following the divestiture of the former TC Invest Agency.  The write-off directly affects over 150 borrowers but is indirectly beneficial to many more.

For some, giving them a second lease on life, which, when property ownership is considered can be extended to inter-generationally.

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