Justice Oswell Legall
At 9:30 a.m., on Monday February 23, the Supreme Court held a special sitting to welcome newly appointed judge to the Supreme Court Guyanese, Justice Oswell Legall, 63.
In taking the Oath of Office, Justice Legall read “I Oswell Legall, do swear that I will bear faith and allegiance to Belize and uphold the constitution and the law and that I will conscientiously, impartially, and to the best of my ability discharge my duties as a Justice of the Supreme Court and do right to all manner of people without fear or favor.”
The official appointment was presided over by Acting Chief Justice Samuel Awich who is sitting in for Chief Justice Dr. Abdulai Conteh. Those in attendance included Magistrates, Senior Counsels, attorneys, the staff of the Judiciary, Commissioners of the Supreme Court and the new justice’s wife, Janet Sandra Legall, 57.
In addressing the gathering, Justice Awich gladly took the opportunity to welcome Justice Legall and his wife, Janet Sandra Legall to Belize. In his opening address and warm welcome of Justice Legall, Acting Chief Justice, Samuel Awich said how happy he was to have been given the honour to welcome Legall to Belize and is glad that within a week he will began serving the country.
In his address Justice Awich stated that, “The level of advocacy in the jurisdiction is reasonably high with a few exceptions. And as you would expect in every jurisdiction, you will have good assistance in court and serious crime, that is murder, robbery, rape, drug trafficking…” he added that these are worrisome, “but otherwise the numbers are not so serious, and crimes are not higher than many jurisdiction,” While Justice Awich stressed that crime is of course the concern, he emphasized that if everybody, including judges and magistrates do their part through the courts their roles can be effective.
In a very brief speech, Justice Legall was thankful to many who have expressed warmth and welcoming arms since his arrival in Belize on February 17. He added that he could not forget those who have made his first week memorable including the acting Chief Justice, Samuel Awich, all the judges, Luis Belisle and his staff (at the Administrative office at the Attorney General’s Ministry) and Charles Humes and the Supreme Court Marshals.
He further added that, he sees his job in Belize, which is a great and beautiful country, as one where he will “serve the people of Belize to my best abilities and spirit in order to carry that job. Justice Legall continued explaining that he wants to assure all legal practitioners that they have his full cooperation and that he is accessible to them any time, for the purpose of getting the work done and for the purpose of serving the people.
In a brief interview, Justice Legall’s wife, Mrs. Janet Sandra Legall, explained that she has been more than overwhelmed during her first visit to Belize. She continued explaining how wonderful her time has been in Belize and how nice and pleasant the people of Belize are.
Justice Legall will take up his office as of next week Monday, March 2, serving within the judiciary system as a criminal and civil judge.
He was born on June 7, 1945 in Georgetown, Guyana. He is married to Janet Sandra Legall, with whom he shares three grown children. Justice Legall’s experience in the legal justice system began when he was first called to the bar in November 1978, where he first served as a Senior Crown Council in the DPP’s office in Guyana until 1982.
He then went on to being the Senior Crown Council in the Chambers of the Attorney General, British Virgin Islands from 1983 until 1987. In 1992 up until 1999, he ventured into private practice and in between 1999 until 2000, he took up legislative drafting in Guyana once again. Between 1999 until 2004, he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Guyana where he served for a five year period. In 2007, he ventured back to private practice.