Margaret Ramsay-Hale takes up new post on 1 November
Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale is leaving the Summary Court of the Cayman Islands for the Supreme Court of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Following the announcement from the Governor’s office on Friday about her new appointment, Ms Ramsay-Hale acknowledged being delighted by the elevation to Puisne Judge and the opportunity to work in another Caribbean jurisdiction. “However, I am sorry to be leaving Cayman, which has in every way become my home,” she said.
Her last day on the bench here is expected to be Wednesday, 26 October. She takes up her new post on Tuesday, 1 November.
The Chief Magistrate has recently been rearranging her court calendar in order to complete part-heard cases. On Friday, for example, she sat until after 5.30pm to hear closing arguments in a civil matter and promised a decision within two weeks. She has also scheduled a part-heard criminal trial for continuation on a Saturday.
Ms Ramsay-Hale came to Cayman from Jamaica as a magistrate in September, 1998. She was appointed chief magistrate in 2008.
Some of her innovations include an informal mental health court, a domestic violence intervention court and weekly sessions with drug offenders who need monitoring, but are not in the formal Drug Rehabilitation Court.
She began what she called a “virtual drug court” years before the requisite legislation was passed to establish the Drug Rehab Court and then worked with Magistrate Nova Hall to bring the programme to its current level of success.
The Governor, Duncan Taylor, said the Judicial and Legal Services Commission will begin recruitment for a new magistrate.
“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale on her appointment,” he said. “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank her for the commitment and dedication she has shown, and for the outstanding work she has done in the Cayman Islands as Magistrate and Chief Magistrate over the past 13 years. I wish her all the best for the future.”