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Mar 1, 2023

Is the Chief Magistrate Not Going Out Quietly?

As has been reported, Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser is retiring this month, after thirty-four and a half years of service in the judiciary. But her transition has been a rocky one, to say the least. Fraser believes that there should be an opportunity for upward mobility for one of the senior magistrates who was being groomed to succeed her. But the Attorney General has confirmed that a Sri Lankan national will replace Fraser as Chief Magistrate. Today, Fraser responded to criticism that she is inciting magistrates to rebel against the decision. She says that it is far from the truth.


Sharon Fraser

Sharon Fraser, Chief Magistrate

“It’s really unfortunate that that is out there because that is far from the truth. In fact, I have been saying to my colleagues that in fact we need to continue with what it is that we are doing; we need to continue serving the public, meeting the timelines, doing what we need to do. I have in fact been encouraging them that yes they are not comfortable with a number of things. I know they would have had a meeting with the Chief Justice who in fact informed me that the meeting went well. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there, but she informed me that the meeting went well, giving them a room to express whatever disquiet, whatever concerns that they have. I clearly cannot speak to any more concerns because I am out. But at no point, at no time have I ever inciting. In fact, when I spoke to them, my exact words to them was I cannot tell you all what to do, I cannot incite you, I will not. I know that part of their concern would have been some of the terms and conditions of their service, but they’ve been given an avenue to address it and I am hoping that they can very well address their concerns. I cannot say that I have been afforded that opportunity to express that concern, but it is not about me. It is not about me anymore. I’ve served my time and I am at peace with that and that is how I intend to leave. We have started a number of initiatives. If it is that a replacement comes who have not been a part of the process, it means that that person has to start first by acquainting themselves with the culture, with the place, with the setting before they can even get into what initiatives would have been set. It would then mean that, as far as continuity is concerned, there would be a break. I am not saying it can’t work, I am not saying that new blood cannot be infused. I am just saying that it helps if it is that you are able to have continuity, if it is you have things in place where people can look forward to upward mobility.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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