Governor Boyd McCleary and Justice Vicki Ann Ellis.
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
Members of the legal fraternity welcomed the Territory's new Resident Judge, Her Ladyship Madame Justice Vicki Ann Ellis, a native of St. Lucia.
At a special sitting of the Supreme Court in Road Town to mark the opening of the 2012/2013 law year, Justice Ellis received a warm welcome from High Court Judge, Albert Redhead; Attorney General, Dr. Christopher Malcolm; Paul Webster QC; Director of Public Prosecutions, Wayne Rajbansie; and President of the Bar Association, Keisha Durham, among others.
The highlight of today's special sitting was the historic address by the first female Acting Chief Justice, Her Ladyship, Janice M. Pereira, a BVIslander.
The address was given from the High Court of Justice in St. Vincent & The Grenadines where the Court of Appeal is holding its first scheduled sitting for the new law year. The address was carried live via simulcast to the other Member States and Territories of the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Meanwhile, Justice Ellis who has been assigned to the Territory from September 10, said she is grateful for the hospitality she has received and expressed love for the beauty of the Territory.
"I can now understand fully why so many judges are willing to be assigned to this jurisdiction. I also want to thank the Government for the accommodation that has been afforded me. In sourcing this accommodation, I have had the opportunity to visit many parts of Tortola and it more than lives up to its beautiful reputation. Unfortunately, from all indications, it may well be my only opportunity to tour the island. It is clear that I will be kept very busy, but I am looking forward to it," she stated.
Justice Ellis said she has already reviewed some of the court files for the upcoming civil cases and has received good words about the legal fraternity.
"My colleagues have also advised me that not only is the quality of advocacy commendable, but you provide a qualified support to the bench and your cordial interaction with each other. I sincerely hope that continues during my tenure in the Territory. I look forward to working with you all. I am known to be a very hard working person, so I have no doubt that we will get along very well together," she stated.
According to the court, Justice Ellis was previously assigned to the island of Grenada as a High Court Judge.
She has served as an Associate at Gordon, Gordon & Company in St. Lucia and from there she joined the public bar, becoming a Senior Crown Counsel in the Attorney General's Chambers in St. Lucia.
Justice Ellis in 2003 took up an appointment in the Cayman Islands and later held posts of Deputy Solicitor General, Government Legal Department and Acting Solicitor General in the portfolio of Legal Affairs, Cayman Islands.
Further, in March 2012 Justice Ellis was appointed as High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
Justice Ellis replaces former Resident Judge, Rita Joseph-Olivetti.