Justice Carol Lawrence-Beswick Tipped for Chief Justice Job

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Nationwide News understands that Justice Carol Lawrence-Beswick is the front-runner to be appointed as the country’s new Chief Justice.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is set to shortly announce the successor to outgoing Chief Justice, Zaila McCalla.

Justice McCalla’s retirement becomes effective on her birthday – next week Wednesday, January 31 when she’ll become 70 years old.

Sources say Justice Beswick is currently considered in eminent legal and government circles as the front-runner for the job. It’s understood that she’s likely to be appointed to act in the post.

Justice Beswick began practising law in 1977 and later became an Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions. She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2001 and in 2014 was appointed to the Court of Appeal.

A number of candidates were considered for the most powerful office in the country’s judiciary, that of Chief Justice.

The options are said to have included, Senator and former Attorney General, Ransford Braham. But Senator Braham declined the appointment.

INDECOM Commissioner, Terrence Williams and Justice Almarie Sinclair Haynes were also considered. But sources say Justice Lawrence Beswick is likely to be appointed on an interim basis to succeed Justice McCalla.

Chief Justice McCalla has been a member of the Jamaican judicial system for more than 40 years. She was appointed Chief Justice of Jamaica on June 27, 2007. She’s the island’s first female Chief Justice. She’s credited with assisting the fast-tracking of various case management initiatives.

However, some of her critics say she was indecisive and has not tackled some of the major issues which have been affecting the timely delivery of justice in Jamaica.

In the meantime, Senator Braham was among members of the Parliament’s Upper House who today paid tribute to the retiring Chief Justice, Zaila McCalla.

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Opposition Senate Leader, Donna Scott Mottley and Senate President, Tom Tavares Finson, also commended Chief Justice McCalla for her contribution.

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Abka Fitz-Henley is a multiple award-winning journalist who is currently the Senior Reporter at Nationwide News Network (NNN). His primary areas of focus are Court, Crime and Parliamentary proceedings. Fitz-Henley was recently recognized in the regional celebrity magazine publication Panache as “The Breaking News Boss”. At 21 years of age, following his 1st year in media, Fitz-Henley was recognized with the Young Journalist of the year award from The Press Association of Jamaica and went on to cop one of the country’s highest recognized journalism prizes, the Journalist of the Year Award. He’s also been awarded the prestigious Corporate Jamaica Broilers Fairplay 1st place Award for investigative journalism and is the recipient of the Caribbean Blog Award for coverage of the infamous Kartel murder trial. Fitz-Henley is also the recipient of the PM Youth Award for Excellence. Over the years, he has appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service and BBC London.