… The independence of the legal profession constitutes an essential guarantee for the promotion and protection of human rights and is necessary for effective and adequate access to legal services… (IBA Standards for the Independence of the Legal Profession, 1990).
The Jamaican Bar Association (JAMBAR) was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee on Tuesday, January 16th 1973. JAMBAR is a voluntary organisation for attorneys-at-law in Jamaica. For forty years the important mandates and objectives of JAMBAR have been undertaken with the intent of remaining relevant and impactful.
The objectives of the Jamaican Bar Association are to:
- Strive for the maintenance and strengthening of the Rule of Law and Human Rights;
- Protect the independence of Judges and Attorneys-at-Law;
- Work towards law reform and the improvement of our legal system;
- Offer service to our system of justice and to those in need or our aid and protection;
- Foster basic and continuing legal education; and
- Promote the integrity and good name of the legal profession in Jamaica.
The Association is administered by a Council comprising a President, Vice- President, Immediate Past President (where appropriate) and twenty (20) Council members. The Executive of Council comprises the President, The Vice-President, The Hon. Treasurer, The Hon. Secretary, The Assistant Treasurer and the Assistant Secretary. The three (3) Regional Bar Associations may have one observer each on Council.
THE FORMATIVE YEARS
With the fusion of the legal profession there was no longer a need for separate representative bodies for barristers and solicitors. Accordingly, the respective affairs of the Law Society of Jamaica and the Bar Association were wound up, and JAMBAR was incorporated to represent the affairs of both branches of the profession. The first registered office of JAMBAR was situated at 11 Duke Street, and since 25th January, 2001 was re-located to its present location at 78-80 Harbour Street.
In 1973, the first directors of JAMBAR were Ramon Alberga, Bruce Barker, The Hon Dr Lloyd Barnett, OJ, Cedric Barton, Gefrard Bourke, James Bovell, Douglas Brandon, Keith Burke, Dennis Daly, George Desnoes, Adolph Edwards, Horace Edwards, Noel Edwards, Ewart Forrest, Norman Hill, QC, Douglas Judah, Hon Shirley Miller, OJ, QC, Hon David Muirhead, OJ, Frank Myers, Hon Carl Rattray, OJ, Hon Leacroft Robinson, OJ; and Lt. Col H. St. Whitehorne, OD, MBE, JP.