March 10, 2006
Lawyers Express Disappointment

Lawyers here are not happy with the treatment meted out to Family Court President Sharon Morris -Cummings. Their concerns were conveyed in a release signed by Nicole Sylvester, president of the local Bar Association. {{more}}

They expressed their feelings following an extraordinary meeting of the Bar Association Monday February 27.

According to Sylvester, the Bar “expressed its profound disappointment” that Morris-Cummings’ contract was not renewed.

Sylvester, also at the helm of the local Human Rights association, applauded and congratulated the outgoing president “for having carried out her duties …in an exemplary, impartial, conscientious and honest manner.”

The Bar Association has written to the Chairman of Regional and Judicial Services Commission Brian Alleyne Senior Counsel outlining their concerns, but up to last Wednesday Alleyne had not replied.

Morris/Cummings’ contract ended last February. She served in that capacity for the previous two years. However she had been working in the Magistracy here for four years.

Sylvester was not pleased with the manner in which the new appointment was done. She cited a “lack of transparency with regard to the purported vacancy of the office of the President of the family Court.”

Sylvester noted that there were no advertisements for the post. However, Tuesday February 21, former registrar Colleen McDonald was sworn in as new Family Court president.

The Bar Association has expressed “our confidence in the proven ability of the acting appointee.”

The Bar association also raised the issue of magistrates needing “greater security of tenure,” to ensure that they “will be less exposed to the vagaries of the executive and the government.”