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Rickie Burnett

Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett. (iWN file photo)

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Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett has been called up again to act as a master of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Burnett, who presides over the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, will act as a High Court master from Sept. 15 to Dec. 21, 2019.

He will be assigned for duty in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla and Grenada.

With this acting assignment, Burnett will have spent more time on the High Court bench than as a magistrate this year. 

He also acted as a master of the High Court from January to May.

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Burnett’s appointment to act as a master comes as the previous masters have been appointed judges. 

During his first stint as an acting master, the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court remained closed as no magistrate was appointed to preside there, resulting in a significant backlog

On his return to the magistrate court, Burnett said that his mind was on the court, especially after learning that no magistrate had been appointed to act in his absence.

Soon after his return to the magistrate’s court, Burnett gave some insight into his approach to matters that come before him.

While presiding over a case in which the prosecution asked for an adjournment because the complainant had not been summoned, Burnett granted the adjournment, saying that he focuses on justice and not statistics.

Burnett said this is why a matter in his court might be granted several adjournments.

He said he has a different approach when the matter involves police officers as the complainant.

He said that in such cases, it is easy to dismiss charges because of the absence of police officers.

The magistrate, however, asked why should cases involving civilians as complainants and defendants be dismissed because police officers are absent.

“Is that fair to the parties? Are the parties responsible for the police being absent?” Burnett reasoned.

The senior magistrate said those are things that he addresses his mind to when presiding.

Burnett was appointed senior magistrate in 2018, after seven years as a magistrate and 34 years as a public servant. 

3 replies on “Magistrate Burnett to act as High Court master — again”

  1. Rawlston Pompey says:


    There is no doubt, he has the experience, the temperament and right approach to matters he has adjudicated.

    Clearly, the designated-Master would make a world of difference, particularly as it relates to ‘…Criminal Jurisdiction and his role as an adjudicator.’

    He has not only lived up to, but has shown consistency in his adjudicating philosophy of ‘…Focusing on Justice.’

    Though his role would be somewhat dissimilar as ‘Master’ he would have taken something to the ‘…Higher Bar.’

    This has contrasted that which is obtained in some ‘OECS’ jurisdictions, particularly here in ‘…Antigua and Barbuda’ where some Judicial decisions continue to boggle the layman’s mind, prompting serious calls for ‘…streamlining of its Judiciary and judicial officers.’

    Without a shadow of doubt, he has shown more interest in the ‘…administration and dispensation of justice’ as fairly and as expeditiously as he could.

    Congratulations ‘…Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett.’ Continue to raise the bar and set standard.

  2. The best chief magistrate we ever had was the dentists wife, a wonderful lawyer and mother. One Phatt Pratt could not wait to get rid of her, she would not toe the line.

    1. Rawlston Pompey says:


      Do agree that across the region some Magistrates, for fear of consequences, have compromised their ‘…Judicial Independence.’

      Do know that some had become ‘…wimpy and docile.’

      Magistrates are not to ‘…Tow Line.’

      They are appointed to the Bench to ‘…adjudicate and dispense justice’ to those appearing before them.

      Nothing else JG.

      What of ‘…Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett?

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