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The Judiciary would like to express our heartiest congratulations to two of our Justices on their recent recognition and state decorations bestowed upon them on Sunday, July 15, 2018. His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to bestow state decorations or 'bintang kebesaran' to two senior members of the Judiciary at the Investiture Ceremony in conjunction with His Majesty's 72nd birthday celebration.
Justice John Barry Mortimer, President of the Court of Appeal was conferred the Darjah Seri Mahkota Brunei Yang Amat Mulia, First Class, S.P.M.B which carries the title Dato Seri Paduka; and Justice James Kerr Findlay, Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court 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 Dato Seri Paduka (DSP) John Barry Mortimer has been a member of the Brunei Judiciary for over 30 years. He was born in the United Kingdom in 1931. He obtained a BA and MA from Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge in 1955. He was called to the English Bar by the Middle Temple in 1956 and was a Harmsworth Law Scholar in the Middle Temple in 1957. He was appointed Queens Counsel in 1971 and was elected a Bencher of the Middle Temple in 1980. He served as a Recorder of the Crown Court from 1971 to 1985.
In 1985, the Honourable Justice DSP Mortimer joined the Hong Kong Judiciary as a Judge of the High Court. He was appointed a Justice of Appeal in 1993. He became a non-permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal in 1997 and served until 1999.
From 20th July 1987 to 19th July 1990, Justice DSP Mortimer was appointed to become a member of the Brunei Judiciary to preside over High Court cases. He was appointed as a Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court to hear Court of Appeal cases from 27th April 2005 and was later appointed as President of the Court of Appeal Brunei Darussalam from the 1st May 2010 until date.
The Honourable Justice DSP Mortimer was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star in 1999.
The Honourable Justice Dato Seri Laila Jasa (DSLJ) James Kerr Findlay has been with the Brunei Judiciary since his first appointment as Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court on 30th August 2001. He has conducted cases in the High Court as a visiting judge since 2001 until date.
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.
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