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It was with great sadness that Judiciary learned of the passing of The Honourable Justice Dato Seri Laila Jasa (DSLJ) James Kerr Findlay.
The Honourable Justice DSLJ Findlay was first appointed as Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court on 30th August 2001 and conducted cases in the High Court as a visiting judge since 2001.
He was born in Scotland on 25th January 1936. He started his career as a stipendiary magistrate in Rhodesia (1961 - 1964) at the age of 25. He did some criminal work, but mostly exercised civil jurisdiction in interlocutory matters and trials.
After several career moves, from 1978 to 1981, he was appointed as a Parliamentary Counsel in the Lords Advocate's Chambers in London and was responsible for drafting a considerable amount of important legislation including the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act.
He joined the Hong Kong Attorney General's Chambers in 1981 as Deputy Principal Crown Counsel and was promoted Principal Crown Counsel and appointed as Deputy Law Draftsman within a year. He was also responsible for drafting a considerable amount of heavy legislation, including tax, landlord and tenant legislations and the Conveyancing and Property Ordinance. From 1984 to 1986, he was appointed to the post of Solicitor General.
In March 1989 to April 1990 he joined the Hong Kong Judiciary as Deputy High Court Judge involved in commercial, construction and equity cases.
By 1994 to 2000, he was appointed as a permanent Hong Kong High Court Judge in charge of Commercial, Construction and Arbitration list. In March 2000, he retired and took up appointments as a Chartered Arbitrator and from 2001 until present, was appointed to sit as a visiting Judge in the Supreme Court of Brunei Darussalam.
The Honourable Justice DSLJ Findlay was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1991 and Gold Bauhinia Star in 2001. In 2018, he was conferred the Darjah Seri Laila Jasa Yang Amat Berjasa, Second Class, D.S.L.J that carries the title Dato Seri Laila Jasa.
The Honourable Justice DSLJ Findlay will be remembered fondly by the legal fraternity for his contribution to Brunei Darussalam’s jurisprudence. He served with great distinction during his time with the Supreme Court and will be dearly missed.
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