Judges take oaths of office

Sir Richard Ground and acting Justice Nova Hall are sworn in

Cayman’s newest Court of Appeal judge was sworn in before the start of the spring session earlier this month. Sir Richard Ground took the oaths of office and allegiance before Deputy Governor Franz Manderson on 8 April. 

Mr. Manderson also administered oaths to Chief Magistrate Nova Hall to serve as an acting Grand Court Judge. 

Following the ceremony at the government administration building, Justice Ground joined Court of Appeal President Sir John Chadwick and Justice Abdulai Conteh for a series of civil matters in the relatively new Court 6 in Kirk House. 

He, Justice Conteh and acting President Justice Elliot Mottley then began hearing criminal appeals in the Law Courts Building. 

Meanwhile, Justice Hall’s list that first week included a bail hearing, a defilement case in which the defendant elected trial by judge alone, and the Friday mention list. 

A magistrate in the Summary Courts since 1999, and chief magistrate since 2012, Ms Hall has acted as a Grand Court judge previously. After a trial in which the defendant was found guilty of robbery, he appealed; the conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal.  

Justice Ground’s appointment was announced in August last year, after he retired from his post as chief justice in Bermuda. His public career began in Cayman, when he came here as senior Crown counsel in 1983 from private practice in the UK. He was appointed attorney general in 1987 and served until 1992. 

Following the swearing-in ceremony, Mr. Manderson said it was a privilege to welcome the new justices.  

“I want to thank Sir Richard for taking on an important appointment and to serve once again in the Cayman Islands. We are all well aware of his excellent judicial and legal backgrounds,” the deputy governor said. “I also welcome Ms Hall to her new position. I am certain she will do very well, performing to the high standard she has set for herself as the chief magistrate.” 

He added, “I thank the chief justice for his commitment to succession planning and giving his staff opportunities to develop themselves in other capabilities.” 

Justice Ground replied, “I’m very honoured by the appointment and grateful to have an opportunity to return to the islands where I’ve spent so many productive years of my professional life.”  

Justice Hall said, “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity and I will certainly do my best to fulfil all of my duties.” 

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