Members of the Bermuda Bar gathered at a special sitting on Friday morning to thank the Rt Hon Justice Zacca, President of the Court of Appeal and Sir Anthony Evans, both of whom have retired from the Court of Appeal Circuit.
Sir Scott Baker has been appointed as its new president.
President of the Bermuda Bar Association Justin Williams pointed to the retiring justices’ “many years of service to the people of Bermuda”, and said: “The special hearing was arranged to express gratitude to both justices, who have had very long and accomplished careers.”
In his address to the court Mr Williams highlighted the appeal judges’ contributions to the maintenance and development of Bermuda’s criminal and public law, including issues of fundamental rights and international cooperation in extradition and tax information exchange, their contributions to the maintenance and development of Bermuda’s civil, commercial and trust law including on international issues relating to the enforcement of foreign judgments, support of international arbitration, and assistance to foreign liquidators.
He also said there had been a relatively low volume of successful appeals from Bermuda to the Privy Council, and noted the “substantial amount of time and effort that they must spend on resolving Bermuda disputes”, and their “patience and diplomatic approach to the wide variety of lawyers and litigants that have appeared before them”.
Mr Williams said: “A search on the Bermuda Law Reports suggests that Justice Zacca’s name had been mentioned in, or he has been involved in, at least 181 reported judgments of the Bermuda Court of Appeal since his appointment in 1996. The number of cases in which Sir Anthony Evans has been involved appears to be in the region of 120 reported judgments since 2003.”
President Zacca was first appointed to the Court of Appeal for Bermuda in 1996, has been president of the court since January 2004. Sir Anthony was appointed in January 2003.
During another gathering of the members and judiciary on Thursday evening, Mr Williams presented the justices with engraved gifts, and at that event he stated that the members of the Bermuda Bar have been “ … served well, and have the upmost respect for the Court of Appeal Justices. Their knowledge of the law has seen quality judgments handed down over the years and they leave Bermuda with a legacy as always having been seen to be fair”.