Tue | Jan 26, 2021

Justice Morrison to retire from Court of Appeal

Published:Tuesday | December 1, 2020 | 12:12 AM
Justice Dennis Morrison.
Justice Dennis Morrison.

President of the Court of Appeal Justice C. Dennis Morrison is to retire on his 70th birthday on Friday, December 4.

Morrison was appointed to serve in the Court of Appeal of Jamaica in 2008 and in January 2016, he was appointed president.

Called to the Bar in Jamaica in 1975, he practised for 25 years before transitioning to the Bench.

He also served as a judge of the Court of Appeal of Belize (2004 to 2015) and acted as a judge of the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal (January 2015). He has been serving as a judge of the Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands since 2015.

Morrison described his career as fulfilling, noting that he has had the opportunity to do some of the things that he considered to be important in life.

“I have been able to give back through teaching at Norman Manley Law School, which is still an important part of what I do. In private practice, I think I was able to achieve a leading voice in relation to The Jamaican Bar Association, matters of human rights and the like. Then here in the Court of Appeal, I think I have had the good fortune of working with some great colleagues and to contribute something to the growth of the court over the last 12 years,” he said.

Morrison expressed confidence that the Court of Appeal would be in good hands, adding that there was a younger group of judges who have a longer career path to provide a better store of experience of people sitting on the Bench.

“We have a very strong group at Court of Appeal with varied experience. The level of output, which we are already seeing from our new young people, suggests that there is nothing at all to fear about changes to come in the next couple of years,” Morrison said.

“I think whoever becomes president will find that he or she has a team which is helpful, cooperative, willing to work, strong-willed – as it should be – independent of mind, but altogether a team to work with. So I wish whoever it is, good luck. I hope they will find it as satisfying a time as I did,” Morrison said, as he looks forward to spending more time with his grandchildren, exercising more regularly, and reading more books.

Chief Justice Bryan Sykes thanked Morrison for his immeasurable contribution to the judiciary.

“He has reached heights in his career which makes him one of the best judicial minds the court has had the pleasure of having. The judiciary of Jamaica and, indeed, the wider Caribbean community is indebted to Justice Morrison for the wealth of work that he has left us,” said Sykes.

Caribbean Court of Justice President, Justice Adrian Saunders, said Justice Morrison’s temperament, wisdom and unimpeachable integrity have helped to consolidate, advance and ennoble Caribbean jurisprudence.