By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
CHIEF Justice Sir Hartman Longley will replace Court of Appeal President Justice Dame Anita Allen when she retires later this month, The Tribune has learned.
As Sir Hartman’s appointment will then create a vacancy, Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs is slated to be appointed as acting chief justice, a well-placed source in the Minnis administration told The Tribune.
In January, during the annual special sitting of the Court of Appeal, Dame Anita confirmed she was set to retire from the bench on December 21.
Dame Anita said the appellate court had much to be proud of for the work accomplished since her appointment with the help of colleagues and staff.
The appellate president attributed the court’s high level of performance to the work of registrars, judicial research counsel secretaries and staff at the court.
“Today marks the beginning of my long goodbye. Mistress ‘time’ and master ‘constitution’ so mandate and it is almost time to go. Indeed, this is the last opening of the legal year over which I shall preside,” Dame Anita said at the time.
“My retirement on December 21, 2017, after 21 years in the judiciary will be an occasion of some personal sadness for me but I take great comfort in knowing that I did my very best and took advantage of every opportunity to make a difference in the administration of justice,” the appellate president added.
The Cabinet Office confirmed in February that Sir Hartman would continue as the country’s top judge for another two years.
Sir Hartman had previously announced he and Justice Rhonda Bain were set to reach the mandatory retirement age in February and April this year respectively, adding the latter had made an application for an extension to continue as a judge of the Supreme Court.
A statement issued by Cabinet Office in February noted that in accordance with Article 96 (1) of the Constitution, Governor-General Dame Marguerite Pindling, acting on the recommendation of then-Prime Minister Perry Christie, after consultation with then-Leader of the Official Opposition Loretta Butler-Turner, extended Sir Hartman’s appointment.
The announcement made no mention of Justice Bain’s application at that time.