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Justice Thom: Administration of justice is alive and well

Justice Thom: Administration of justice is alive and well


A plate of curried fish, rice and peas, with a crunchy green salad on the side; add a game of American Football (NFL) on tv, and you have the ideal setting for Justice Gertel Thom to relax and unwind from a hectic day of administration of justice.

Justice Thom is one of the two resident High Court judges in St Vincent and the Grenadines. She spoke to SEARCHLIGHT shortly before the 40th anniversary special sitting of the High Court.{{more}}

Justice Thom, originally from Guyana, said that she wanted all and sundry to be confident that the administration of justice is alive and well in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“No society can develop without a proper system of administration of justice,” said Justice Thom who served as the Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda for four years.

Justice Thom said that in the midst of all the pressures associated with a career in the judiciary her greatest disappointment has been that persons she had expected forthrightness from have often disappointed.

The confident judge who was first called to the bar in her homeland in 1984, the eighth of 11 children, said that hadn’t it been for the high demands of her law career she herself would have had more than the two children she has.

She told SEARCHLIGHT that while history was her first love, since making the switch to law she has enjoyed the journey. She said that she has never been fazed by the emotions of relatives of persons that she may have sentenced to prison.

“I know that I consider all the circumstances in a matter before I pass sentence, so once I have passed sentence I forget about that matter and move to the other one,” she said.

Justice Thom reiterated the view of her colleague, Justice Bruce Lyle, stating that life in the judiciary, in a small society is very lonely.

“You have to be very careful with whom you associate, because people are all linked together, and so it always difficult,” she explained.

She said that her 12-year-old daughter finds it difficult to deal with her profession as regards the restrictions, even though she appreciates the seriousness and importance of the job.