Kawaley thanked for stellar service’
Bermuda’s legal community came together to thank outgoing Chief Justice Ian Kawaley at a special sitting of the Supreme Court.
Larry Mussenden, director of Public Prosecutions, said that Mr Justice Kawaley had provided “stellar service”.
He added: “We will be for ever grateful for your service as counsel, judge, and Chief Justice.”
Karen Williams-Smith, president of the Bermuda Bar Association, said: “In your six short years on the bench as Chief Justice, we have seen sound judgments, fair hearings of extreme research and preparation by you on each case by attorneys that appeared before you.”
Ms Williams-Smith added: “We have been comforted by the judiciary and our legal system and its progression, all while you were at the helm.”
Victoria Pearman, Bermuda’s Ombudsman, said that Mr Justice Kawaley had “pressed us to improve our standards”.
Ms Pearman added: “You pushed us to want to do things better.
“You have encouraged us to lead the way to receive the rigour of international standards without losing ourselves.”
Lawyer Saul Froomkin said the ceremony marked both a “sad and a special day”.
Mr Froomkin explained: “Sad because we are losing you — your wisdom, your experience, your kindness.”
Mark Diel said that Mr Justice Kawaley had “infected the bench with positive qualities”.
Mr Diel added: “There is no question you are leaving the jurisdiction of this island better than you found it.”
Charles Richardson, another lawyer, thanked Mr Justice Kawaley for helping him find his path in law as a “desperate” young man at Westgate in 1995.
Mr Richardson said: “The world wouldn’t have heard of Charles Richardson if it wasn’t for you.”
He said that Mr Justice Kawaley should be remembered as a public servant “who rolled up his sleeves to touch people’s lives”.
Mr Justice Kawaley replaced Sir Richard Ground as chief justice in April 2012.
In his time as the island’s top Supreme Court judge, he made several groundbreaking rulings.
A judgment in 2012 upheld the rights of parents to have a say on teacher transfer in the education system.
In 2014, a decision by Mr Justice Kawaley paved the way for some Permanent Resident’s Certificate holders to gain status.
Last month, he upheld a constitutional challenge against the Domestic Partnership Act, delivering a judgment that declared invalid the parts of the legislation which revoked marriage equality.
Mr Justice Kawaley was called to the Bermuda Bar in 1980.
He divided his time in the early part of his career between Bermuda, the Seychelles and London.
Narinder Hargun, the new Chief Justice, will be sworn in at a ceremony at Government House on Monday.
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