Sir Dennis Byron started by saying that he was at a loss for words, after having heard all the wonderful things said about him, with such eloquence. He therefore hoped that whatever he went on to say would leave a good impression.
He thanked St. Kitts & Nevis Governor General Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, for swearing him in as president, and for the kind philosophical and inspiring words that were said. He assured the Governor General that he will honour the law of God and hoped that in his behaviour it will be obvious.
The new president, ‘singled out’ Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas as Chairman of Caricom and extended to him and his colleagues sincere appreciation for appointing him to head the court.
The CCJ’s President thanked Mr. de la Bastide, for not only what he said about him, but from ever since his appointment was known over the past 3 months, for the care taken to brief him on the work of the court, the challenges the court is meeting and to assist him in being able to get everything up and running.
“I would like to say a word of appreciation to the standards you have set, and your leadership, which I hope everyone will see and appreciate as I have,” said Sir Dennis.
“To the Chief Executive Officer and the Department of Court Administration of the CCJ, I say thanks to you, you have done a lot of work to put this program together as well as assisting me in getting ready and prepared for assuming duty. People have travelled from all over the world, and as I sat here, and I looked around, it is very touching, and I want to say thank you, to all of you who came here to support me and the Caribbean Court of Justice at this time”.
He noted with appreciation, the groups and special individuals who were present to share the memory with him as well as to support him.
“I note with appreciation the presence of the local and Eastern Caribbean Judiciary, a special appreciation to the Registrar of the High Court of St. Kitts and Nevis, Ms. Harris. I note as I look around, representation from the regional bar associations, regional lawyers, OECS bar and the Organisation of Caribbean Bar Associations. I note that the Council of Legal Education, one of the very important pillars of legal and judicial development of the region decided to have their annual meeting here today, and I would like to thank them for adjusting their schedule to coincide with the swearing in ceremony today, and that has enabled the regional chief Justices, Attorneys General and senior lawyers who attended that meeting, to be able to share and support me today.” said the new CCJ President.
“Why would the ambassador of war crimes of the United states come to support me today, but I see him sitting there quite humbly, I would like to say thank you so much for coming to support me “, Byron said.
“There is one person who I cannot fail to pay tribute to, because to a large extent, she has been an inspiration in my judicial development, and that’s Judge Sandra Oxner from Canada. I notice a number of people who don’t have any connection in nothing that’s happening; we are just old colleagues and friends, thank you to you all. Of course my family, my dear wife, my children my grandchildren and all my siblings, extended family and friends thank you all”, said President Byron.
Before leaving the stage he said that over the last couple of days, he could not help, but feel the joy and pride of many fellow citizens, as he walked through the streets of Basseterre.
He assured the crowed that he will do everything in his power to live up to the high expectations that they have of him.
Sir Dennis delivered his speech after his Inauguration as President of CCJ, at the Government House, Basseterre.