Cabinet Office announces Brian Moree, QC, as next chief justice

Cabinet Office announces Brian Moree, QC, as next chief justice

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Prominent attorney Brian Moree, QC, will become The Bahamas’ next chief justice, the Cabinet Office announced today.

In a statement, the Cabinet Office said Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, following consultation with Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis, advised Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, to appoint Moree as chief justice, effective June 12.

Moree will succeed former Chief Justice Stephen Isaacs, who died last August after serving as chief justice for only two weeks.

His predecessor, Sir Hartman Longley left the post to become President of the Court of Appeal in December 2017.

Vera Watkins was sworn in as acting chief justice of the Supreme Court last August.

Minnis has been roundly criticized by the legal fraternity on the delay to appoint a substantive chief justice.

The concerns were magnified prior to Isaacs’ appointment.

At the opening of the legal year in January, Acting Chief Justice Vera Watkins addressed the issue.

She said she was placed in a “tenuous position” and the uncertainty of her post proved to be a “tremendous challenge” for the judiciary and setting an agenda for the legal year.

At the ceremony, Bar Association President Khalil Parker also spoke about the “deleterious effect” of acting judicial appointments.

Moree, a senior partner at McKinney, Bancroft and Hughes, Counsel and Attorneys-at-Law, has served in various capacities since his admission to The Bahamas Bar in 1979.

He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2009.

He served as Acting Stipendiary and Circuit Magistrate between 1983 and 1988, and Acting Justice of the Supreme Court between 1997 and 2015.

Moree has also sat on a number of boards, including chair of the Commercial Law Committee; chair of the Financial Services Consultative Forum; chair of the Public Service Commission; director of the Bahamas Financial Services Board; co-chair of the Bahamas Trade Commission; co-chair of the Arbitration Tribunal, among others.