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Barbados judge joins CCJ bench

Thursday, January 24, 2019

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Justice Andrew Burgess, formerly a Justice of Appeal in Barbados' Court of Appeal, was recently sworn in as a judge of the CCJ at a ceremony held at Government House in Barbados.

Justice Andrew Burgess was sworn in by Dame Sandra Mason, governor general of Barbados.

President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Adrian Saunders, also gave remarks welcoming the newest CCJ judge to the bench.

Justice Saunders, speaking of Justice Burgess' appointment, noted that from “rigorous, competitive, merit-based process that Justice Burgess emerged as a successful candidate.

“His appointment is richly deserved. He has been, over the last eight years, a judge of the Barbados Court of Appeal [and] throughout those eight years I have had occasion to study his judgements,” said Justice Saunders.

“I have always been impressed by Andrew's breadth of knowledge, by the high quality of his writing skills and by his attention to detail. He will be a most welcome addition to the CCJ bench as he brings with him a tremendous amount of experience both as an eminent member of the academic community and as an appellate judge,” the CCJ president added.

Justice Burgess was selected from a field of 18 applicants by the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission (RJLSC), an independent 10-member commission, comprised of a group of distinguished people from all over the region. Six commissioners are selected by bar associations and law institutions in the region. Two others are, respectively, a chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission and a head of judiciary of a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state, each on a triennial rotating basis. Finally, there are two people from civil society nominated jointly by the secretary general of Caricom and the director general of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.

In his remarks to the gathering, Justice Burgess stated that he is aware that the CCJ is perhaps the most important post-independence regional initiative.

“In my view, the CCJ has so far established itself as an exemplary Caribbean institution. I am also aware that to protect and build upon this is not for the faint-hearted,” he said. He said that he will also rely upon the support of this family and extended network to ensure that he undertakes the demands with diligence.

Justice Burgess became a Court of Appeal Judge in 2010 in Barbados. He was previously a dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies' Cave Hill campus and a professor of corporate and commercial law. He also had a distinguished career internationally as a judge of the Inter-American Development Bank's Administrative Tribunal in Washington, DC, USA. Justice Burgess was the body's vice-president in 2007 and 2009 and served as president from 2009-2010. He is also a judge on the World Bank Administrative Tribunal, having been appointed in 2013. In 2017, he was elected by his fellow judges to be the vice-president of the tribunal.

Justice Burgess' appointment will fill the vacancy left by the elevation of the CCJ president to that post in July 2018.

The RJLSC, said the CCJ, will shortly announce the appointment of another judge selected during the same process, to succeed Justice David Hayton, who will be retiring in July 2019 after a distinguished tenure at the court.


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