The Hon. Mr. Justice Andrew Burgess, formerly a Justice of Appeal in Barbados’ Court of Appeal, became a Judge of the CCJ in a dignified ceremony at Government House in Barbados on Friday, 18th of January 2019.
Mr. Justice Andrew Burgess was sworn in by Her Excellency, Dame Sandra Mason, the Governor-General of Barbados.
The President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the Hon. Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders, also gave remarks welcoming the newest CCJ Judge to the Bench.
Mr. Justice Saunders speaking of Mr. Justice Burgess’ appointment, noted that from “rigorous, competitive, merit-based process that Mr Justice Andrew Burgess emerged as a successful candidate. His appointment is richly deserved. Since he has been, over the last eight years, a judge of the Barbados Court of Appeal. Throughout those 8 years I have had occasion to study his judgments.”
Mr. Justice Saunders added, “I have always been impressed by Andrew’s breadth of knowledge, by the high quality of his writing skills and by his attention to detail. He will be a most welcome addition to the CCJ Bench as he brings with him a tremendous amount of experience both as an eminent member of the academic community and as an appellate judge.”
Mr. Justice Burgess was selected from a field of 18 applicants by the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission (RJLSC), an independent ten-member Commission, comprised of a group of distinguished persons from all over the region. Six commissioners are selected by Bar Associations and Law Institutions in the region.
Two others are, respectively, a chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission and a Head of Judiciary of a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state, each on a triennial rotating basis. Finally, there are two persons from civil society nominated jointly by the Secretary-General of CARICOM and the Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.
In his remarks to the gathering, Mr. Justice Andrew Burgess stated that “I am aware that the CCJ is perhaps the most important post-independence regional initiative. In my view, the CCJ has so far established itself as an exemplary Caribbean institution. I am also aware that to protect and build upon this is not for the faint-hearted”. Adding that he will also rely upon the support of this family and extended network to ensure that he undertakes the demands with diligence.
Mr. Justice Burgess became a Court of Appeal Judge in 2010 in Barbados. He was previously a Dean of the Faculty of Law at The University of the West Indies’ Cave Hill campus and a Professor of Corporate and Commercial Law. He also had a distinguished career internationally as a judge of the Inter-American Development Bank’s Administrative Tribunal in Washington DC.
Mr. Justice Burgess was the body’s Vice-President in 2007 and 2009 and served as President from 2009-2010. He is also a judge on the World Bank Administrative Tribunal, having been appointed in 2013. In 2017, he was elected by his fellow Judges to be the Vice President of the tribunal.
Mr. Justice Burgess’ appointment will fill the vacancy left by the elevation of CCJ’s President to that post in July 2018.
The RJLSC will also shortly announce the appointment of another Judge selected during the same process, to succeed the Hon. Mr. Justice David Hayton, who will be retiring in July 2019 after a distinguished tenure at the Court.