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HomeBreaking NewsUPDATE-Magistrate Bernard Pacquette is without a contract

UPDATE-Magistrate Bernard Pacquette is without a contract

The Portsmouth district is now without a sitting Magistrate after the contract of Magistrate Bernard Pacquette who has been the Magistrate in that district was not renewed.

Magistrate Pacquette replaced Grenadian Arley Gill in 2018 who decided against renewing his contract after spending five years on the Bench in Dominica.

Since then, Magistrate Pacquette has been handling court matters in Portsmouth, Vieille Case, and environs and adjudicates in Roseau once a month.

Nature Isle News (NIN) can confirm that Magistrate Pacquette did write to the relevant authorities as per his contract indicating his interest in continuing on the Bench but has received no response.

Many lawyers familiar with the matter view this development as “crippling the justice system” since Magistrate Pacquette would have had a number of “part heard matters” before him.

“It now means that all the part-heard matters will have to commence “de novo” meaning “from the beginning” and given this latest decision in the murder case of Yannick Lander that does not smell good for the justice system in Dominica,” a lawyer who did not want to be named told NIN.

Other lawyers also spoke to NIN and did not want their names mentioned saying they are “puzzled and dumbfounded” at the decision.

“His Honour Mr. Pacquette is an okay person and has done very well on the Bench…it is very surprising that his contract was not renewed.”

In 2022, Pacquette who holds an Associate of Arts- Business Management, from the University of the Virgin Islands (St Thomas) and a Bachelor of Arts- Accounting, from the University of the Virgin Islands (St Thomas) and is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) was admitted to the Dominica Bar after he completed his LLB (Hons.) from the University of London and his Legal Education Certificate (LEC) he is also a member of the New York Bar.

He has been a sitting Magistrate in Dominica since 2013 and at the function, Chief Magistrate Candia Carette-George described him as “very passionate and knowledgeable about his work.” “He is diligent, not intimidated, caring, generous and ambitious and always does his research, hence his sound knowledge about the law.”

His other colleagues on the Bench, Magistrate Gloria Augustus, and Pearl Williams also described him as “a fit and proper person to be admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the ECSC and an asset to the Magistracy.”

Magistrate Williams said although her colleague (Pacquette) is “stern and a no-nonsense person on the Bench” he “has a heart and is a very humble person.”

NIN has reached out to Attorney General Levi Peters for comments and or clarification on the matter and he stated, “This is not within my area and responsibility it is the Ministry of Legal Affairs who deals with that.”