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Justice Saunders lauded by peers

Justice Saunders lauded by peers

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The elevation of Justice Adrian Saunders to the Caribbean Court of Justice has been lauded by his peers in the legal profession.

Speaking at a special sitting of the Court of Appeal, Justice Fredrick Bruce-Lyle, High Court Judge, commended Justice Saunders saying it was of tremendous pleasure to him that a Vincentian had been selected to serve on the soon-to-be-established hallowed halls of the CCJ.{{more}}

Bruce-Lyle was among other members of the OECS judiciary and the local Bar Association on Friday 29th January paying glowing tribute to Saunders who is Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal.

Chief Justice Saunders, a Vincentian national, is one of five persons selected to serve on the soon-to-be-established Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

Justice Bruce-Lyle said when he heard the announcement of Justice Saunders’ selection to serve on the CCJ, he remarked to himself that the OECS judiciary was losing another “bright star”, but then on hindsight it dawned on him that Justice Saunders was part of Caribbean history.

Justice Bruce-Lyle said that while he applauded Justice Saunders’ elevation, he was cognizant of the terrible gap he would be leaving behind in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal. He however expressed confidence that the gap would be filled soon to guarantee the continued development of the OECS jurisprudence.

Also addressing the special sitting, Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan thanked and applauded Justice Saunders for his distinguished service to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the OECS sub-region and called him “a hard act to follow.”

Jones-Morgan congratulated Justice Saunders and said his fine qualities would serve him well at the CCJ.

“We know that you will bring to the Caribbean Court of Justice these very qualities that saw your first appointment to the Bench not so very long ago. I remind you then, my Lordship Chief Justice, as I did, that promotion comes not from the east or west but it comes from God.”

The Attorney General, who is also a Seventh Day Adventist preacher admonished Saunders to conduct himself and all his dealings “in the fear of the Lord” saying it is “only then my Lord Chief Justice would you be truly successful”.

Jones-Morgan, reflecting on her own experience, said she knew Justice Saunders would need the love and support of his wife and family to carry him ahead in hectic days. She assured him that as he takes up new residence in her homeland, (Trinidad and Tobago) she and her family stood ready to give any assistance he may need.

As her voice broke and tears rolled down her cheek, she added that “it was not a time for sorrow but time for rejoicing”. She said thirteen years ago when she got married, Saunders was there to share her family’s joy and they were now sharing his joy.

“My Lord Chief Justice, it is not every day a son of the soil rises to these heights. You’re not going very far. You’d have prepared us for the journey when you left here to go to the Eastern Caribbean. You are going to my homeland now. Despite the terrible things you hear in the news of my birth-place, it is a beautiful island in the sun.

You will love it as much as I love St. Vincent and the Grenadines, my adopted homeland. I have every assurance you will do well there”.

Queens Counsel Bertram Commissiong also commended Justice Saunders for his distinguished service at the Bar and Bench.

“There is no doubt about it, sir, that you have distinguished yourself as a judge of the High Court. “But,” he stated, “that is not surprising because you were a distinguished practitioner. And it is a test to your character and willingness to serve that you left what was a very lucrative practice in St. Vincent, very unlike most of us, to do service in the judiciary. I commend you for that and I’m sure the whole of the region will commend you and the whole of St. Vincent commend you.”

Commissiong added he hoped that when the CCJ “gives erudite judgements, the Privy Council will take notice of it for those territories that continue to have it (Privy Council) as their final court of appeal.

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