Hon. Justice James Sewell Kerr OJ. P.C. Q.C.
The Hon. Justice James Sewell Kerr was a Past Student of Manning’s School a former Head Boy (1938) and Public Servant par excellence.
He sat the Civil Service Examination in 1941 and was assigned to the Resident Magistrate Court as an Assistant Clerk. James Kerr took the Deputy Clerk of the Courts Examination, was successful and was appointed to that post. He served in several parishes, always giving excellent service.
In 1955 he went to England to study Law at Lincoln’s Inn and in the final examination was placed second in the world.
Justice James Kerr’s career continued as Clerk of the Courts, Resident Magistrate, Crown Council, Legal Attaché to the Jamaican High Commission in London England; Director of Prosecutions (1968). His legal prowess included 17 consecutive victories in the Privy Council. He was considered to be the “only true authority on the Jamaican Constitution”. He became Judge of the Court Appeal where he served for eleven years until his retirement. Justice Kerr also served as a judge on the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal from its inception in 1984 until 1999 and Judge of the Court of Appeal of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
He was an Associate Tutor at the Norman Manley Law School in Criminal Practice and Procedures from 1975-1998. He was awarded the Order of Jamaica (O.J) for his outstanding contributions to the justice system.
He was appointed the first Political Ombudsman of Jamaica in October 1988 and the second Parliamentary Ombudsman of Jamaica in May 1991 succeeding Mr Errington George Green.
The Hon. Justice James Kerr died on February 19, 2005.
The Hon. Justice James S. Kerr Award for Service Excellence
This award, named in honour of a distinguished former Head Boy of Manning’s School, who rose to the office of Director of Public Prosecutions and became the first Political Ombudsman of Jamaica is awarded annually by the Manning’s School Past Student’s Association, to the past student who epitomises excellence in public service at the national or international level. To be eligible for nomination the past student should, in addition to possessing an excellent record of service
Have attended Manning’s School for at least three(3) years
Have made some contribution to the School community or the Past Student’s Association
Have demonstrated humanitarian and charitable qualities
Have significant personal or public accomplishments.
The Hon. Justice James S. Kerr Award for Service Excellence was inaugurated in November 23, 2007.
The following persons have been the recipients of the Award
2007*** Mrs Gloria Salmon
2008***Mrs Hazel Monteith
2009*** Mr Carl Brown (posthumous)
2010*** Mr Victor Lowe
2011***Mr Brian Goldson
2012***Mr Clarence Clarke
2014***Mr Anton Tomlinson
2015***The Very Reverend Canon The Honourable Hartley Perrin