Judge helps reduce Grand Court case load

The woman who became Britain’s first black female High Court judge will serve as an acting judge for Cayman’s Grand Court.

The governor swore in Dame Linda Dobbs this month, according to a press release. Ms. Dobbs served on the U.K. High Court from 2004 to 2013, and since then has been working with legal and justice systems in Africa and the Caribbean. She recently became the training director for the Cape Town-based Judicial Institute of Africa.

Acting Chief Justice Charles Quin, quoting from the swearing-in ceremony, said “It is a distinct pleasure to have Dame Linda with us, as she brings with her not only a reservoir of knowledge gained as a member of the U.K. judiciary at the highest levels, but also her clear passion for the law.”

Reflecting on her time in Cayman so far, Ms. Dobbs said in the release that she was “struck by the warmth and friendliness of the people, the lush greenery and the beautiful beaches. I can understand why there is great pride in these Islands.”

Ms. Dobbs conducted the Stuart Hall Inquiry into the culture and practices at the BBC after broadcaster Hall pleaded guilty to 14 counts of sexually assaulting girls ages 9 to 17.

She also helped the Bahamas with its Swift Justice program to reform the judicial system and speed up how criminal complaints are treated in the court system.

Cayman’s chief justice has the power to appoint acting judges to help the judiciary when full-time judges are unable to keep up with the case load. The chief justice is currently hearing a complicated case involving several Saudi businesses that is expected to take months. The Saudi case left Judge Quin to handle most of the criminal cases before the Grand Court.

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