Justice Hazel Harris to act as Court of Appeal president
JUSTICE Hazel Harris was yesterday sworn in as acting president of the Court of Appeal by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, during a brief ceremony at King's House.
She will assume her acting duties on August 2, during the absence of President of the Court of Appeal Justice Seymour Panton, who will be on vacation leave.
Sir Patrick said yesterday that it was a tribute to Justice Harris that Justice Panton found it fitting to recommend her to act in his absence, "and it is also a tribute to you, that your colleagues are reposing that level of confidence in you".
Added the governor general: "We thank you for the quality of service that you have given in the past and throughout your tenure in the public service and in the judiciary service, in particular."
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Zaila McCalla said Justice Harris has given sterling service to her country in various capacities, including Registrar of the Supreme Court, Master in Chambers, a judge in the Supreme Court, and a judge of the Court of Appeal, which she said has given her a wealth of knowledge and experience.
"The Court of Appeal will be in capable hands during President Panton's absence, as Justice Harris will continue to provide exemplary service to the judiciary as she has done in the past," said the chief justice.
Justice Panton, meanwhile, said he was confident that Justice Harris, who is well known for hard work, will perform the duties of president in the manner that the judges of the court and others would expect her to do.
The acting Court of Appeal judge said she accepted the appointment with great humility, noting that even though it is a tedious task, "this is one for which I am fully aware...(and) I promise that I will do everything that is right in performing my duties".
Justice Harris previously acted as president of the Court of Appeal in 2012.