Class of 89
THE NORMAN Manley Law School class of 1989 reunion dinner was not short of excitement, fun-filled memories and fellowship.
The event which was held at the Terra Nova Hotel in St Andrew on the weekend saw the likes of Justice Minister Mark Golding, Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey, and Alexander Williams, opposition spokesperson on justice - all members of the class of 1989.
Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, who was guest speaker at the event, encouraged lawmakers to uphold the foundation on which the law was built.
"No one can deny the irrefutable case for profound changes, and in certain areas both in the content and system for the administration of law. Many are encompassed in the programme of justice reform which I had the privilege to initiate during my prime ministerial tenure. However, in the end, efficiency, transparency, timeliness and accountability must be features of that new prevailing order," Patterson told the gathering.
He added: "Even as the mansion expands to serve the growing demand, let us never forget or seek to undermine the sound foundations we have inherited - the legacy of the common law, the independence of the judiciary, the right to a fair hearing and trial by jury.
"It was that great jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes, who once observed that the law at times appears to be 'the government of the living by the dead'. It has been asserted that precedents reveal the wisdom of the past. But there is the constant need for the law 'to be creative social engineers of the present and enlightened architects of the future'."
He also emphasised that proper laws and policies are critical for the development of a nation.
"Peter Tosh (late reggae singer), in his own inimitable style, called for 'equal rights and justice'. Without them, we will constantly be at war both within and without," he said.
"I implore you to never pause on the journey to fulfil the aspirations of our people and to realise the dream of building that Caribbean civilisation which we fashion with our own minds and in accordance with laws of our own making," he declared.