Justice Brooks tipped to replace Dennis Morrison as Appeal Court president

Justice Brooks tipped to replace Dennis Morrison as Appeal Court president

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

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Justice Patrick Brooks is the jurist most likely to be appointed Appeal Court president after Justice Dennis Morrison goes on pre-retirement leave this Friday, the Jamaica Observer has learnt.

According to a knowledgeable source, Justice Brooks, who has been a judge of the Court of Appeal since January 2012, is the most favoured judge among eminent practitioners in the legal profession to be named to the post.

“The call, of course, is the prime minister's, who makes the appointment after consulting with the opposition leader. However, Justice Brooks is easily the person best suited for the job, outside of Justice Hilary Phillips, but she, I believe, is due to retire sometime next year,” the source said.

Justice Phillips was appointed to the court in July 2009.

A special sitting of the court is scheduled for Friday to honour Justice Morrison, who has served with distinction in a number of jurisdictions.

Morrison's biography, posted on the Caribbean Court of Justice website, states that he was called to the Bar in 1975 and practised law with the firm Dunn, Cox & Orrett for over 25 years. In 1994, he was appointed Queen's Counsel. In 2008, he was appointed to the Court of Appeal of Jamaica and in 2016 he was named president and conferred the nation's fifth highest honour, the Order of Jamaica.

He also served as a judge of the Court of Appeal of Belize from 2004 to 2015; acted as a judge of the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal (January 2015); and has been a judge of the Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands since May 2015.

Morrison was educated at The University of the West Indies, the Norman Manley Law School and the University of Oxford as Jamaica Rhodes Scholar in 1975.

Justice Brooks was admitted to practice in 1979. He worked in the government service as a prosecutor in various capacities, including Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

After that he spent three years as a legal officer at Jamaica Public Service Company Limited, then joined Nunes, Scholefield, DeLeon & Co where he was a partner for over 16 years before being appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Jamaica in September 2002.

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