Daughter of eminent Jamaican lawyer Ian Ramsay sworn in as chief justice of Turks & Caicos  

Monday, September 22, 2014

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PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands (CMC) – Jamaican-born Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale was Monday sworn in as the first female chief justice of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).

Justice Ramsay-Hale is the daughter of the late legendary Jamaican attorney Ian Ramsay, QC, who is widely regarded as one of the best lawyers in the history of the Caribbean and who was the first Jamaican lawyer to earn the distinction of Queen’s Counsel.‏

Ramsay passed away in 2002.

“I warmly welcome the appointment of the first female chief justice in the Turks and Caicos,” said Governor of the British Overseas Territory Peter Beckingham. “This follows just months after the appointment of the first female attorney general, as well as the earlier appointment of the first female director of public prosecutions.”

The chief justice is the highest judicial officer in the country, and acts as a chief administrative officer for the courts. The principal responsibilities of the position include presiding over both civil and criminal trials in Grand Turk and Providenciales, as well as dealing with sufficiency, plea and direction hearings, an official statement said.

Beckingham said that a strong, robust and transparent judicial and legal system is crucially important to the prosperity of TCI.

“The country’s economy is performing well, but no one should be under any illusions that reputational damage to TCI’s judicial system could quickly harm the country’s economic prospects,” he said, noting the commitment of the new chief justice’s commitment to modernising the judicial and legal systems of the TCI.

Justice Ramsay-Hale holds a degree in economics from the London School of Economics in addition to her law degree from the University of the West Indies.
Prior to her arrival in the Turks and Caicos Islands she was appointed a judge of the Family Court in St James, Jamaica, eventually moving to the criminal courts as a resident magistrate for the parish.

She then moved to Cayman Islands to serve as a magistrate of the Summary Court and she sat as an acting judge of the Grand Court for several months.

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