Eight years after he was appointed as Bermuda’s Senior Magistrate, Governor Rena Lalgie announced today (Mar 4) that Juan Wolffe has been promoted to Supreme Court status as a Pusine Judge.
Mr Wolffe will replace Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons, who is scheduled to retire next month.
Mr Wolffe, who became a magistrate in 2005, said: “I wish to convey my sincere gratitude to Her Excellency the Governor Ms Rena Lalgie, the Judicial and Legal Services Committee, and the Honourable Chief Justice Narinder Hargun for my appointment as Puisne Judge.
“I am profoundly humbled by the trust and faith that they have put in me to contribute to the stellar efforts of the judges of the Supreme Court of Bermuda who routinely and effectively ensure that the proper administration of justice is carried out.”
He also noted that it would be “remiss”if he did not thank magistrates and the staff of the lower courts for their “phenomenal work”.
“The valuable experience that I acquired by collaborating with them and witnessing them exhibiting fairness and compassion for all persons who interface with the Magistrates’ Court, will no doubt put me in good stead when carrying out my duties in the Supreme Court,” he added.
Governor Lalgie said: “I am very pleased to appoint Mr Wolffe to this important role. In particular, he brings valuable knowledge and insight from his extensive experience as a dedicated judicial officer in both the Magistrates’ Court and the Supreme Court over the last 16 years.
“The judiciary holds an important place in Bermuda as a separate and independent branch of Government which hears charges of criminal conduct, resolves disputes, upholds the rights and freedoms of individuals and preserves the rule of law.”
She also thanked Justice Simmons for her “many years of service” on the bench, particularly in the criminal division.
“She has the well-deserved respect of her colleagues both on and off the Bench and I wish her well in her future endeavours.
“Mr Wolffe was appointed to the position of Puisne Judge after a competitive recruitment process and a recommendation from the Judicial and Legal Services Committee,” she added.
He was Called to the Bar of England and Wales in July 1994 to the Bermuda Bar in October that same year, and went on to become a magistrate in 2005.
Mr Wolffe officially takes up the position on the Supreme Court bench next month, on April 11.