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Moree will be next CJ

Prominent attorney Brian Moree, QC, will become the country’s next chief justice, the Cabinet Office announced yesterday.

In a statement, the Cabinet Office said Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, after consultation with the leader of the opposition, advised Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling to appoint Moree to the top post with effect from June 12.

The prime minister has faced significant criticism over the delay in appointing a chief justice following the death of former Chief Justice Stephen Isaacs last August. Isaacs died after serving in the position for only two weeks.

Acting Chief Justice Vera Watkins was among those who voiced criticism.

At the opening of the Legal Year in January, she said the uncertainty of her post made it difficult to set an agenda for the year.

“The indisputable fact is that while it may be so that I am sitting in this chair at this moment, I am not certain as to whether I will be sitting in this chair later on today,” Watkins said.

She said this left her in a “tenuous position”.

In January, opposition leader Philip Brave Davis said the lack of an appointment demonstrated that Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis “doesn’t appreciate [and] he doesn’t understand what his role is as the prime minister of this country”.

Members of the judiciary have criticized Minnis’ failure to appoint a substantive chief justice.

Moree is a senior partner at McKinney, Bancroft and Hughes, Counsel and Attorneys-at-Law. He was called to The Bahamas Bar in 1979.

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