Barbados’ newest Justice of the Court of Appeal, Madam Justice Margaret Reifer, taking the Oaths of Office before Governor General Dame Sandra Mason at Government House today. Looking on is the Governor General’s Private Secretary, Sandra Watkins. (B. Hinds/BGIS)

Madam Justice Margaret Reifer is this country’s newest Justice of the Court of Appeal.

She took the Oaths of Office before Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, Chief Justice Sir Patterson Cheltenham, and relatives during a ceremony today at Government House.

Speaking to the media after the ceremony, Madam Justice Reifer, a legal professional for about 38 years, said she was honoured to reach this stage in her professional life.

“It has been a career of hard work and I am looking forward or anticipating more hard work, and I am no stranger to hard work.”

Madam Justice Reifer, who assumes duties from today, reflected on life lessons learnt from her childhood, as she recalled her mother emphasising the importance of education, and working diligently at whatever she intended to do in life. 

She also shared that her father always said that “the better part of scholarship is hard work” and that has been her mantra and her approach to everything.

When asked how she would go about bringing change as it relates to the backlog of cases and other issues, the court official disclosed that a number of proposals had been looked at to address backlogs and all the issues affecting the smooth running of the court system.

“As it relates to the criminal division, first and foremost, we have increased the number of judges, which is a critical and fundamental step.  We have looked at organising the work of the judiciary differently; we will now be functioning in divisions….  That won’t be my position in the Court of Appeal, but generally and across the board, that is what we are doing.

“The Chief Justice has indicated that he will be setting up committees to address the critical areas so that we can determine what we need to do in order to resolve those difficult areas,” she stated.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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