Good afternoon, distinguished Faculty, Presenters and Participants.
May I crave your indulgence to adopt the protocol established on the first day.
The problem of delays, prohibitive cost, complex procedures, and the frustration connected with the uncertain progress of trials have been the bane of many a judicial system; the Judiciary of the Turks and Caicos Islands is no stranger to these frustrations.
In the three days of this seminar, the Judiciary and its stakeholders have been participants at an intellectual festival where many ideas and proven strategies and interventions aimed at obviating the problem, have been showcased.
We have received information and instruction on core concepts, philosophical underpinnings of the overriding objective in case management, and how they relate to measurable performance standards. These will no doubt stimulate stakeholder conversation regarding what a good judiciary should look like, and how that standard may be met.
The Judiciary and our stakeholders have been reminded of our responsibility to do justice; we have been reminded that we occupy a position of trust, and that we are accountable to the public that we exist to serve. Accountability includes providing quality justice. Quality justice is underpinned by integrity, and produces fairness, and equity.
In the three days of this seminar, our eyes have been opened to myriad possibilities, regarding strategies we can adopt and adapt to suit our unique needs as we seek to respond to the call to take a second look at our system of justice delivery, and to follow the well-trodden path of pursuing active case management.
We have also been energized to pursue our E-Judiciary program which will harness technology for justice delivery.
As a sensitizer, this seminar has excelled itself. All the presentations have been sterling, bringing home to us the need to introduce strategies into our Rules and equipping us stakeholders, to now go to the drawing board to craft for ourselves new Civil Procedure Rules, and to provide Criminal Procedure Rules, that should reflect our objective of providing access to quality justice, our vision statement.
We are grateful to the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute for organising this seminar for us.
I must place this on record: that this three-day feast of ideas and information has been offered to the Judiciary of Turks and Caicos Islands free of charge.
I must therefore make special mention of Sir Dennis Byron, Chairman; Justice Madan Lokur, President; Justice Peter Jamadar Academic Director, and Judge Sandra Oxner, for giving us this priceless gift.
I also thank the distinguished, and highly esteemed Presenters:
- The Hon. Dame Janice Pereira, Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
- The Hon. Justice Kokaram, Judge of Court of Appeal of Trinidad and Tobago
- The Hon. Justice Georgis Taylor-Alexander, Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
- The Hon. Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds, Judge of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago
- The Hon. Justice Indira Francis, President of the Industrial Court of The Bahamas
- The Hon. Justice Rajiv Persad, Acting High Court Judge, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
- Mr. Ruggles Ferguson, President of the Organisation of Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Associations
- Mr. Bevil Wooding, Executive Director APEX
And our Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Ms. Angela Brooks.
It will be remiss of me not to give special thanks to The Hon. Attorney General, the esteemed Director of Public Prosecutions, and the distinguished President of the Bar whose acceptance of the invitation to be part of this seminar, has produced this inclusive seminar for all stakeholders in justice delivery in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
This brings us to the conclusion of the seminar that has delivered on its promise and beyond.
I am certain, that I speak for the entire legal sector of Turks and Caicos Islands represented here, when I make CJEI Faculty and Presenters a promise, that your time and resources expended on behalf of the Judiciary of the Turks and Caicos Islands and its stakeholders, will not be wasted.
In response to your spirit of generosity, we shall be tireless in the pursuit of strategies and interventions that will make as truly accountable to the people of Turks and Caicos Islands, as institutions tasked with the delivery of justice.
I have no doubt that our relationship, forged out of a common desire for excellence in output, will continue, and that we will see you all again, Faculty and Presenters, in these Islands, so aptly described as “beautiful by nature”, especially when we can conduct in-person business.
I thank you all, very much.