When Jenesha Bhoorasingh was called to the bar last week, Attorney General Sam Bulgin moved the application for her admission and Solicitor General Cheryll Richards helped her don her robe and wig.
Mr. Bulgin confirmed that Ms Bhoorasingh had spent 18 months as an articled clerk in his chambers after completing her academic work. He said the Solicitor General and staff of the Legal Department were all confident that she possessed the necessary attributes to be a welcome addition to the noble profession.
That was Thursday, 22 March. On Monday, 26 March Ms Bhoorasingh was officially appointed as Crown Counsel with the Legal Department.
Ms Bhoorasingh, who possesses Caymanian status, was born in Jamaica, but received much of her schooling in Cayman. As a child she attended Creek and West End Primary Schools in Cayman Brac before going back to Jamaica.
She returned to Grand Cayman when she was 10, attending George Hicks and John Gray High Schools, graduating in 1997. Ms Bhoorasingh did her ‘A’ Levels at Knox College in Jamaica and then returned to attend the Cayman Islands Law School.
She was awarded her Bachelor of Law degree in 2004. She completed her post-graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the Inns of Court School of Law in England and went on to earn a Master of Law degree in international criminal law from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
In granting the application for Ms Bhoorasingh’s admission to practise law in the Cayman Islands, Justice Seymour Panton reflected on her qualifications.
He said quite often people in the Caribbean forget or ignore their history. However, he felt it was important to note that when he worked at the Attorney General’s office in the 1970s there were only three Caymanians who had been through a course of learning at a recognised institution and then admitted to practise law here.
There were other persons who by virtue of their hard work and commitment to the welfare of the individuals of these islands served as law agents. They were admitted as attorneys-at-law and did a sterling job. Among them, he said, were the late Mr. Ormond Panton and the late Miss Annie Huldah Bodden.
The only three natives of the Cayman Islands actually trained at that time, he later named as Mr. Arthur Hunter, Mr. Truman Bodden and Ms Adriannie Webb.
So, the judge continued, it was nice to see that in recent years there has been a steady increase in the number of persons with firm Cayman roots, whether through birth or longevity and having been made Caymanians, who have been admitted to practise in the courts. It was a very good sign, he said.
He told Ms Bhoorasingh it was very important that she conduct herself within the ethics of the professions so that she would be a good example to the many younger persons who aspired to be attorneys-at-law. He said she had had good examples to follow in the Attorney General, Solicitor General and others in the department, ‘so you have absolutely no excuse for not doing well.’
The new attorney thanked Justice Panton for his comments. She also expressed gratitude to everyone who had helped her reach this milestone, including Mr. Bulgin and Ms Richards, who, she said, had played a significant role in her professional development.
She expressed appreciation for the variety of jurisdictional backgrounds of the Crown Counsels, whose influence had enabled her to broaden the scope of her legal reasoning.
Those who assisted financially were also acknowledged: British Caymanian Insurance, Walkers, Stuarts, the Cayman Islands Government and the Chevening Scholarship programme.
Ms Bhoorasingh thanked friends and family, especially her mother, Olive, whom she singled out for financial and emotional support along with encouragement through the years.
At this point in her life, she said, there was no greater accomplishment than being able to address the court. She recognised the responsibility that comes with being an officer of the court and she accepted the honour with humility and gratitude.
Justice Panton said he hoped all of her speeches in court would be like her first, delivered with no sign of nervousness.
Ms Bhoorasingh is among several Crown Counsel in recent times to be appointed after serving articles in the Legal Department. Others in the past year include Mrs. Jody Powery-Gilbert and Mr. Richard Barton Jr.