Bermuda-born Chief Justice takes the reins

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  • <B>Chief Justice Swearing-In:</B> Former Chief Justice Sir James Astwood, Richard Ground, new Chief Justice Ian Kawaley and Governor Sir Richard Gozney .

    Chief Justice Swearing-In: Former Chief Justice Sir James Astwood, Richard Ground, new Chief Justice Ian Kawaley and Governor Sir Richard Gozney .
    ((Photo by Akil Simmons))

  • <B>Governor Sir Richard Gozney</B> swearing in former Puisne Judge Ian Kawaley as the new Chief Justice of Bermuda.

    Governor Sir Richard Gozney swearing in former Puisne Judge Ian Kawaley as the new Chief Justice of Bermuda.
    ((Photo by Akil Simmons))

  • Ian Kawaley, the new Chief Justice of Bermuda.

    Ian Kawaley, the new Chief Justice of Bermuda.
    ((Photo by Akil Simmons))


Ian Kawaley was appointed Bermuda’s Chief Justice in a brief ceremony at Government House yesterday morning.

Mr Kawaley takes over the Country’s top judicial appointment from Richard Ground, who is retiring.

About 30 people attended the ceremony including professional colleagues, political leaders and friends and family members.

“It’s great honour and privilege to be appointed Chief Justice,” said Mr Kawaley shortly after the appointment papers were signed by Governor Sir Richard Gozney.

“Bermuda is a special jurisdiction to me personally having been born here. But I think it’s also fair to say that Bermuda is one of the most respected legal jurisdictions in the Atlantic and Caribbean region, so it’s a great honour to head up the judicial system here.”

Mr Kawaley expressed his gratitude to the Governor for appointing him and to Premier Paula Cox and Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier, “who did not object to my appointment”.

“I think that augurs well because it means that I can do my duties and do right to all manner of people according to the usages of laws of Bermuda without fear or favour, affection or ill will.”

He added: “This occasion is not only about me. This occasion is about the judicial and legal system of Bermuda and the duty of judges to do justice in a way that is fair to all the people that come before the courts. And I am very mindful of the fact that Bermuda is a diverse community, made up not just of Bermudians but of people who have come to Bermuda to work and also we serve a number of international companies and entities that are owned by people in various parts of the world and so the judicial system has to serve very diverse interests.

“And I hope that I will be able to continue the very good work that my predecessor, Justice Ground, did in leading a judicial system that has become firm, fair and efficient in all of its areas.”

Mr Ground spent eight years in the post.

Mr Kawaley noted that the work of Chief Justice could not be done alone.

“I will be part of a team and in reality, no Chief Justice can do anything by himself or herself. I have a very important team of fellow judges some of whom have, perhaps, what some may regard as having much more star quality than myself,” Mr Kawaley said.

“I also have a very strong administrative support team. So as a team, together with those people who the courts depend on, the lawyers, the various different support services, the police, the prison service that we interact with, I hope that Bermuda’s judicial system will go from strength to strength.”

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Published Apr 4, 2012 at 9:07 am (Updated Apr 4, 2012 at 9:07 am)

Bermuda-born Chief Justice takes the reins

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