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Jamaica’s Governor-General appoints new Chief Justice

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Acting on the recommendation of the Most Hon. Prime Minister, following consultation with the Leader of the Opposition, His Excellency the Governor-General has appointed the Hon. Mrs. Justice Zaila McCalla as Chief Justice of Jamaica with effect from June 27, 2007, succeeding the Hon. Mr. Justice Lensley Wolfe, OJ, who had previously indicated his intention to retire as at that date.

A graduate of the University of the West Indies and the Norman Manley Law School, Mrs. Justice McCalla, the first woman to be appointed Chief Justice of Jamaica, has had a long and distinguished career in law since her admission to the Bar in 1976.

She served as a Clerk of Courts and then as a Crown Counsel and an Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions until 1985 when she was appointed a Resident Magistrate.

In 1993 Mrs. Justice McCalla was appointed to act as Master in Chambers of the Supreme Court and was subsequently appointed to the position on August 1, 1996. On July 7, 1997, she was appointed a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court, a post she held until April 2004 when she was appointed to act as a Judge with the Court of Appeal. Her appointment as a Judge of Appeal was confirmed in April 2006.

Hon. Mrs. Justice Zaila McCalla, who assumes the office of Chief Justice of Jamaica on June 27, 2007, is being sworn in as a Judge of Appeal in April 2006 by the Governor General, His Excellency the Most Honourable Professor Kenneth Hall.
JIS File Photo

A past student of Montego Bay High School, Mrs. Justice McCalla once served as President of the Resident Magistrates’ Association and has attended and participated in various legal seminars and conferences both local and international, including an Intensive Study Programme for Judicial Educators at the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute, Dalhouse University Law School in Halifax, Canada.

She is married to William, an Attorney-at-Law and has three children – Mark, Leslie Ann and Martin.

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