BELIZE CITY, Mon. Jan. 4, 2016–Justice Cecil Dennis Morrison, who served on the Belize Court of Appeal for roughly 11 years, from 2004 to 2015, was this week Monday, January 4, formally sworn in at the King’s House in Jamaica, to head the Court of Appeal in his native country.
Information published by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) announced that Morrison had been sworn in by Jamaica’s Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who simultaneously presented Morrison with the fifth highest national honor, the Order of Jamaica.
“Although Justice, you would have seen, studied and admired the work of your predecessors, you are standing alone in the limelight now, starting January 4, 2016… to make your mark on that dash, and that will be largely defined by your qualities, character and scholarship,” Allen told Morrison.
“The wonderful thing about that is that you have a supporting team of very sharp judges who are not just ‘reflectors of others thoughts’ but are original, passionate thinkers who will make your journey a rich and rewarding one,” he added.
“For your achievement, today I will also confer on you Jamaica’s 5th highest honor – the Order of Jamaica, in accordance with your elevation,” Allen said.
Morrison joined the Jamaica Court of Appeal on May 1, 2008, while he was still serving as Court of Appeal justice in Belize.
In July 2015, four months after his departure from Belize, Morrison was also appointed to serve as Justice of Appeal in the Cayman Islands.
In August 2015, Morrison was sworn in as Acting President of Jamaica’s Court of Appeal, to succeed the Honourable Mr. Justice Seymour Panton, who went off on pre-retirement leave. Morrison’s temporary appointment took effect on September 21. At the start of 2016, he now assumes the position of president on a permanent basis.
Morrison has been in the legal profession for more than 25 years. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1994. Apart from serving in Belize and other Caribbean jurisdictions as appeals justice, Morrison also taught law full-time at the Norman Manley Law School in Kingston, and he continues to serve as an associate tutor.
As an attorney with the Dunn Cox Jamaican law firm for many years, and head of its litigation department, Justice Morrison gained expertise in arbitration matters, including industrial relations.
Before leaving Belize, he sat on the panel of Court of Appeal judges which heard major cases of national interest, such as the challenges to the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited and Belize Electricity Limited and the Maya land rights case.
On leaving Belize last year, Justice Morrison had said that he considers himself as much a Belizean as a Jamaican after serving more than ten years in the country.