New magistrate appointed to Summary Court

Vanessa Allard is the latest magistrate to be appointed to the Summary Court.

Governor Martyn Roper announced the appointment Monday in a statement from his office.

Allard, who is serving as an acting magistrate, was chosen from a shortlist of five candidates, following an open recruitment process during which the Judicial and Legal Services Commission advertised the post locally and overseas.

She will take up her role on 12 July.

“Magistrates in the Summary Court preside over a wide range of civil and criminal matters, including in extremely specialist courts such as the Drug Rehabilitation Court,” Roper said. “I am pleased to appoint Ms. Allard as a full-time Magistrate, given the generalist experience she has gained during her legal and acting judicial career to date.”

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Chief Justice Anthony Smellie said in the statement, “Ms. Allard has contributed significantly to the Summary Courts since she was appointed as an Acting Magistrate in June 2020. We look forward to formally welcoming Ms. Allard as a full-time member of the judiciary in due course and to her role in the positive growth of the Summary Court under the leadership of Chief Magistrate [Valdis] Foldats.”

In her role as acting magistrate over the past year, Allard has served in the criminal, civil, traffic, specialist domestic violence, and family and maintenance courts in Cayman.

A brief biography of Allard included in the statement from the Governor’s Office noted that she has more than 20 years’ experience as a litigator.

After practising in Jamaica for five years, she spent the past 15 years practising in the Cayman Islands, most notably as an active member of the Family Law Bar.

She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and the Norman Manley Law School, and earned an MBA from the University of Liverpool. She obtained her LLB in 1997, an MBA in 2009 and was called to the Bar in 1999.

Allard served as a member of the FIFA Ethics Committee for four years from 2013-2017 and has served in voluntary roles on various civic groups, including Big Brothers Big Sisters and Legal Befrienders.

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