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Public Servant following his dream

Public Servant following his dream


Rickie Burnett, an outstanding public servant with 21 years experience in the justice system is taking further steps towards his dream of practicing here as a lawyer.

The Calder resident left St.Vincent and the Grenadines on Monday for the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago, where he will spend the next two years pursuing professional training leading to the Legal Education Certificate.{{more}}

On April 9, 1984, Burnett joined the staff at the High Court Registry. On three occasions he was transferred from that department but upon every transfer he was retransferred to the High Court Registry where until recently he held the post of High Court clerk.

Five years ago, Burnett who originates from Fairburn Pastures and spent most of his life in Mesopotamia, embarked on a legal career when he enrolled in the University of London External Programme to pursue a four-year Law Degree. Upon his successful completion of the course in 2004, Burnett sought admission to the Legal Education programme and was also successful.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, Burnett said his initiation in Law came when he was assigned to the High Court as its clerk. This post afforded him the opportunity to become intimately involved with the procedures of the Law, hear the arguments of lawyers and observe the interaction between the judges and the lawyers.

“That was my impetus!” Burnett emphasized.

“The judges and the lawyers always encouraged me to study Law. They felt I should go the full way,” Burnett remarked.

The son of Batson and Sylvia Burnett, both deceased, said when the Eastern Caribbean Court of Justice started its Civil Justice Reform he was intimately involved from day one. The reform process resulted in him getting the opportunity to attend four workshops on Civil Justice Reform, which also motivated him to study Law. Burnett, is happily married to Maria Burnett, and is the father of two daughters, Samantha and Rimaria.

As he embraces his future with open arms Burnett said: “I am able and ready for the challenge. When you work at the High Court that is where the Law is. The initiation I’ve had not many young lawyers had that opportunity.

Cognizant of the claim that there are too many lawyers in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, Burnett stated emphatically he does not agree with such notion.

“There could never be too many lawyers. With the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) on stream and the world becoming a global village, professionals can travel through the region and work. You should see the Caribbean as your market and even if St.Vincent is your target market there can never be too many lawyers,” said Burnett.

He added: “Once you deliver quality work there is space for you.”

He disclosed that his most memorable experience while working at the High Court was serving during the Fletcher Trial.

“That was more than a case, that was our justice system on trial and with the presence of the American media, one had to be almost perfect with the procedure,” said Burnett.

On completion of his studies at Hugh Wooding Law School, Burnett said he will like to provide legal aid in the public service before branching out in the private sector.