Governor-General Sir Arthur Foulkes presides over the swearing in ceremony of Senior Justice of the Supreme Court, Anita Allen, as President of the Court of Appeal. The ceremony was held at Government House on Friday, November 26. Pictured: President Anita Allen and Sir Arthur. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith).
Nassau, The Bahamas –
The third Bahamian female to be appointed to one of the highest office
in the judiciary was sworn in during an official ceremony at Government
House on Friday, November 26. The Governor General, His Excellency,
Sir Arthur Foulkes, swore in Senior Justice Anita Allen as President
of the Court of Appeal. President Allen replaces Dame Joan Sawyer.
In the presence of a large
cross-section of members of the Judiciary, Cabinet Ministers, Members
of the Opposition and Senior Government Officials, President Allen was
congratulated by the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham,
who said that it was his pleasure to ‘cause’ this appointment to
“On behalf of the Government
and the people of The Bahamas, let me be the first to publicly congratulate
you on your appointment as President of the Court of Appeal in The Commonwealth
of The Bahamas,” Mr. Ingraham said.
Mr. Ingraham added that she
is the third president of the Court of Appeal whom he has had the pleasure
of causing to be appointed, along with the leader of the opposition.
Pointing out that females appear
to be taking the lead in the judiciary of the country, Mr. Ingraham
said that increasingly, Bahamian women are by far, amongst the
“greatest legal stars” in the judiciary.
(BIS Photo/Derek Smith)
“I had the pleasure to facilitate
the appointment of the first Bahamian Director of Legal Affairs. Her
successor in office is another accomplished female and the first Bahamian
civil servant to be appointed to that post.”
President Allen said that this
was ‘certainly a defining moment in her life; one for which she was
most grateful. “First and foremost, I give thanks to Almighty God
for sustaining me by His grace and for the courage to believe in the
beauty of my dreams, “ said President Allen. “I thank the Prime
Minister who, in exercise of his constitutional function and after consultation
with the Leader of the Opposition, appointed me to this most high judicial
She assured the Prime Minister
and the Bahamian people that she and her colleagues would ‘dispense
justice in accordance with the highest judicial standards.’
She also expressed the need
for more judicial education and mentoring programmes for new judges.
“We already have a cadre of judges, retired judges, registrars and
magistrates who were trained at the Commonwealth Judicial Education
Institute in Halifax, Canada and who can assist in the development and
implementation of judicial programmes.”
President Allen has served
as a Justice of the Supreme Court for over 14 years and has presided
over matters in all sections of the court including civil, probate matrimonial
and criminal cases.
The new president of the Court of Appeal, Anita Allen poses with Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham, Governor-General Sir Arthur Foulkes and Leader of the Opposition, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith).
Born in New Providence on December
21, 1947, President Allen attended Government High School. She is a
graduate of the College of Law in London, England and received her Certificate
of Legal Drafting at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill.
During her expansive career,
President Allen has served as Justice of the Supreme Court; Acting Chief
Justice and Senior Justice of the Supreme Court, a post she has held
since 2005 to the present time. She has written and published several
judicial opinions including Financial Clearing Corporation v The Attorney
General of The Bahamas et al; Pleasant Bridgewater v Zhivago Laing (Election
Court – Marco City Constituency; Ryan Pinder v Duane Sands et al and
Lady Henrietta St. George et al v Sir Jack Hayward et al (Ownership
of the Grand Bahama Port Authority). Her extra judicial positions
have included being a founding member of Zonta Club; Member of the Cathedral
Chorale (1981-2005) and Editor of The West Indies Law Reports (2008
She is married to former Cabinet
Minister, the Hon. Algernon Allen and the couple has five children:
Algernon Jr; Antoine, Aliya, Amil and Phylicia.
The newly appointed president of the Court of Appeal, Anita Allen, is flanked by left to right: Hon. Algernon Allen (spouse); the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham; Governor-General, His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes, Lady Foulkes and Leader of the Opposition, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith).