Badenock and Scott called to the Bar
November 1, 2013
Badenock and Scott called to the Bar

The number of legal practitioners in St Vincent and the Grenadines saw an increase last week, when Union Island resident Heidi Badenock and Shamora Scott of Campden Park were admitted to practise as barristers and solicitors.{{more}}

The ceremony, which took place at the High Court in Kingstown on Friday, October 25, was presided over by Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle and saw a large turnout of family members, friends and well-wishers.

Badenock’s application to the court was presented and seconded by attorneys Nicole Sylvester and Joseph Delves respectively.

Badenock obtained her law degree with honours from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus and the Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago.

Sylvester said she got to know Badenock after the young woman joined her Chambers as a pupil. She described Badenock a hard-working individual who has a lot to offer to the profession. Attorney Joseph Delves, who seconded Badenock’s call, urged Badenock to be an agent for justice. He said, in his view, she is well on her way to doing great things. He added that she will be a great addition to the often vilified, but noble profession of law. Delves also congratulated Badenock’s parents for successfully raising Heidi and her five sisters.

The 23-year-old, in her first address to the Bar, made a pledge to do whatever she could to uphold the nobility of the profession, the laws of this state and the constitution of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Badenock thanked her parents, Reuben and Alwilda Badenock for creating an environment which taught her about perseverance and believing in herself. She also thanked Sylvester for her support.

“Today, I am extremely grateful and privileged to stand here before all of you and have you witness the beginning of my newest journey. I always knew what I was supposed to be. Mind you not what I wanted to be, but what I was supposed to be,” Badenock stated.

Stating that the success she attained does not belong only to her, but also those around her, the former Girls’ High School (GHS) student and national scholar said, “I embrace this opportunity in the manner with which I have operated throughout life, with perseverance and resting assured that the Grace of God, as it has before, will continue to cover me.”

A recipient of the Association of Law Officers of Trinidad and Tobago Prize for Ethics, Rights and Obligations of the Legal Profession, Badenock stated that mediocrity will never be part of her quest.

“I will be the change I would want to see in whatever avenue it may be, and as I go forward today knowing with the words of Vincent Van Gogh “I am still far being from being what I want to be, but with God’s help I shall succeed.”

Shamora Scott, whose application was also presented by Sylvester, obtained her law degree with honours from the Cave Hill Campus of the UWI and her Legal Education Certificate from Hugh Wooding Law School. In her address to the court, Scott said there are many great professions in the world and there are many great individuals, but to her, no career better exemplifies the definition of courage, determination and stamina than the legal profession.

Scott expressed thanks to her parents, Raphael and Sharon Scott; sisters, Tonya and Raphic;a and her grandmother, Linda Baptiste. The former GHS student also thanked Sylvester for moving her call and allowing her to do her in-service training at her Chambers. Scott also expressed thanks to Parnel Campbell QC for seconding her call.

“The profession I have entered was created for service. Therefore, I will not underestimate the importance of the contribution I can make to someone’s life, to my community, to my country and to my world. I encourage myself to serve and serve valiantly. And I say to every Vincentian present here today let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other,” Scott said.

“I know the road ahead will be long and this is merely the beginning. My climb will be steep. I will not get there in one year. There will be setbacks; there are many who won’t agree with every decision I make… Moreover I will always be honest with myself. Efficiency and integrity will be my watchwords. I will treat my clients with equality, regardless of ethnicity, political affiliation or financial circumstances. I look forward to maintaining the high standards of this noble profession.”

In presenting Scott, Sylvester said she had the honour of observing Scott for the past three years and described her as a person full of integrity, wisdom, and courtesy. She added that Scott has remained humble and despite her quiet demeanour, she is a powerhouse for advocacy.

“Advocacy is a critical tool of art, an art of our profession, and is now becoming the least concentrated part,” Sylvester added.

Sylvester said she is always looking forward to seeing Scott use her tool of advocacy and let it flourish to better the profession.

Seconding Scott’s call, Queen’s Counsel Parnel Campbell said she’s entering the profession at a time when there are challenges facing the society and legal profession, some of which he said are self-inflicted. Campbell voiced his displeasure at the poor showing by members of the profession at such an event.

“We need to do better. We have to understand that our society is changing rapidly and we cannot take our professional status and responsibilities for granted… We have to do what we can to stem the negative drift. And if we do not begin by taking our responsibilities seriously as members of the Bar, we would just drift along with a tide that is receding…,” Campbell added.

He said lawyers must stand against the drift and be prepared to espouse their values regardless of skepticism by others. He said they will see colleagues misleading colleagues and they will have to decide when to say they are not doing that or not participating in that methodology.

Sharing brief remarks, Bruce-Lyle said the admission of the young women to the Bar reinforces the point that the male of species is becoming endangered.

“When women run things, things run better,” Bruce-Lyle said.

He urged the young barristers not to forget where they come from and to be always thankful to their families for helping them along the way and be thankful for the sacrifices they made.(KW)