Barnwell’s  aim is to make a difference
December 14, 2012
Barnwell’s aim is to make a difference

Shirlan Barnwell does not want to simply be known as another person who joined the legal fraternity.{{more}}

Instead, it is her dream to follow court rules and seek and champion changes in legalisation where they are needed.

Barnwell’s comments came during her first address as a lawyer after she was admitted to practise law here on December 7 at the High Court.

Her call to the Bar was witnessed by her parents, Samuel and Nancy Barnwell, son Jordan and close relatives and friends.

Barnwell expressed with much zeal her interest in serving as a lawyer.

“I commit before you, my lord, to utilize that renowned Barnwell work ethic to climb onto the elite limb reserved for the most skilled and respected members of the legal fraternity…” she said.

Her application was presented by senior counsel Samuel Commissiong and seconded by Jomo Thomas.

Barnwell successfully completed her professional studies legal programme at the College of Law in London and completed the Bar at the College of Law in Birmingham, England.

Barnwell, who also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and literature from York University in Canada, a master’s degree in developmental studies from the University of Leeds, said she is especially interested in the enactment and enforcement of legislation that protect the rights of women and children.

“I am also very interested in the implementation of a code of conduct for barristers. Such legalisation is extremely important for the proper administration of justice, as well as the protection of barristers. Therefore, I urge the SVG Bar Association to lean harder on the government to ensure the speedy implementation of legislation that governs and regulates lawyers.”

The educator and former Girls’ High School student, described her call to the Bar as “awesome”, and thanked her parents, especially her father, for instilling in her a strong work ethic and making it possible for her to pursue her academic interests.

She further thanked her sister, Sheril, for taking care of her son while she was away and further expressed her gratitude to her other family members and close friends.

In his remarks, Thomas said he is convicted that Barnwell is on her way to becoming an “astute technician” of the law.

“She will be a formidable adversary. Her research skills are immeasurable…” Thomas said.

Meanwhile, Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle said he was “very impressed” with Barnwell’s qualifications.

He urged her to put God first and take her time.

“The rewards will come. Do not focus on SVG alone. Don’t be perturbed by the numbers you see calling to Bar in SVG. There is still a large piece of the cake for you if you specialize,” Bruce-Lyle said.

“You should start looking outside the box. There is the whole region. There is a lot of work out there.”

Other brief remarks came from counsel Maia Eustace and Rene Baptiste. (KW)