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Judge Kessaram clears air in Wedderburn case

Formal disclosure: Assistant Justice David Kessaram

Lawyers at a Supreme Court hearing for a judicial review into the termination of the former chief executive of the Bermuda Health Council have sought to dispel the possibility of the presiding judge being accused of bias.

Assistant Justice David Kessaram formally disclosed that his firm has acted for doctors and dentists in connection with “malpractice and disclosure matters”.

Mr Justice Kessaram heard the concern yesterday as Tawanna Wedderburn, who was dismissed from her post in December, appealed to the courts to have her termination quashed. The concern of allegations of bias was raised by Charles Richardson and Juliana Snelling.

The lawyers are acting, between them, on behalf of the BHeC and its chairman, as well as Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, and David Burt, the Premier.

Both sides met to agree a trial date on the preliminary issues in the case.

Ms Snelling told the court that BHeC board members who resolved to terminate Ms Wedderburn were filing a letter “backing up their decision, and that they made the decision in good faith”.

She said that counsel “just wanted to make sure that no issue is raised in the future of any appearance of bias”.

Lawyer Eugene Johnston, on behalf of Ms Wedderburn, told the court he would raise an issue “if there is evidence that arises”.

Mr Justice Kessaram told both parties that potential bias “didn’t appear on my radar”, but that if Mr Johnston “wants to reserve his position, then he can”.

The case continues next month.

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