Ramsay-Hale returning as Grand Court judge

Former Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale is returning to the Cayman Islands after being appointed a judge of the Grand Court.

Governor Martyn Roper announced the appointment, effective 13 Jan., in a statement on Tuesday.

Ramsay-Hale is currently serving as chief justice of the Turks and Caicos Islands, a post she has held since July 2014.

According to the statement, the Judicial and Legal Services Commission recently carried out an open recruitment process advertising the post locally and overseas.

“Following a short-listing process, an interview panel interviewed five persons for this post, ultimately recommending Justice Ramsay-Hale as the successful candidate. His Excellency subsequently accepted the recommendation,” the statement noted.

Roper said in the statement, “Justice Ramsay-Hale’s skills and experiences, as well as her commitment and passion to the legal and judicial services will serve to continue to enhance our judiciary. I look forward to formally welcoming her back home in the New Year.”

In the statement, Chief Justice Smellie said, “Justice Ramsay-Hale’s wide breadth of knowledge in the criminal, civil, and commercial courts will be well utilised in her new role.”

As well as being chief justice in Turks and Caicos, she is also the sole presiding judge in the civil and commercial divisions of the Turks and Caicos Court and presides in the criminal and matrimonial/family divisions.

Prior to being appointed chief justice, she was a puisne judge in the Turks and Caicos Islands from 2011-2014.

She served as chief magistrate in Cayman for three years and as a magistrate for 10 years.

She also sat in Jamaica as a resident magistrate and a family court judge, both for two years.

The statement pointed out that Ramsay-Hale served ad hoc as a judge in the Cayman Islands in 2006 and was appointed to the Cayman Islands Panel of Acting Grand Court Judges in 2013. Before beginning her judicial career, she practised privately and was appointed Crown counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Jamaica in 1994.

She is a certified mediator and was called to the Bar in 1991.