His Excellency, the Governor-General, has, on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, appointed Mrs Claire Hepburn as a Justice of the Supreme Court and has conferred on the Honourable Mr Justice Lyons the title of “Senior Justice”.
Mrs Hepburn, who was born in Nassau, will assume office on 1 October 2008. She was educated at the Government High School, Nassau and at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in History (Special Honours) in August of 1969 and a Diploma in Education the following year. She was awarded a Master of Education from the University of Miami in May, 1977.
She taught history at the Government High School from August, 1970 to June, 1975 and was a history lecturer and Chairman of the Social Science Division of the College of The Bahamas from August, 1975 to August, 1978. She appointed to act as Academic Dean in August, 1978 and was confirmed in that post in August, 1979. Mrs Hepburn served as Academic Dean until she was appointed to act as Vice Principal from August, 1980 to August, 1981. She has also served as an Associate Lecturer at the Eugene Dupuch Law School where she lectured in Civil Procedure and Practice II from September of 2000 to August 2004.
Having served under articles of clerkship, Mrs Hepburn was admitted as Counsel and Attorney of the Supreme Court of The Bahamas on 27 September 1985 and entered the firm of Graham, Thompson & Co. She was admitted to partnership in May 1990.
Mrs Hepburn has served in many public and professional capacities including: Director of The Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX) from 2000 to 2001; Director of The Bank of The Bahamas Limited from July 2001 to October 2002; Director of Doctors Hospital Health Systems Limited from 1999 to 2002; Chairman of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas from 1992 to 1994 and Chairman of the Gaming Board from 1994 to 2002. acting Stipendiary & Circuit Magistrate in 1989 and acting Justice of the Supreme Court, from September, 2004 to February, 2005.
Appointed a Senator on 4 May, 2007, Mrs Hepburn served as Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs from that date until 7 July, 2008.
Mrs. Hepburn is a Director of The Tara Xavier Hepburn Foundation and one of the co-ordinators of the T.A.R.A. Project, which was launched by the Foundation on October 13, 2007 and is designed to enrich the lives of young people between the ages of 9 and 18 years old by helping them to become productive and responsible citizens who are leaders in the community.
Mrs Hepburn, an Anglican, is married to Livingston Hepburn and they are parents of two children, a son, Ian Andre Hepburn and a daughter, Tara Xavier Hepburn (now deceased).
Mr Justice Lyons who became the second Senior Justice on 1 July 2008, the father of five adult children, was born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. After attending Friends’ School (a Quaker College) in Hobart, he spent two years being employed in various capacities and, having saved enough to put himself through University, enrolled at the University of Tasmania Law School, from which he was awarded Ll B degree in 1974.
He left Tasmania in 1975 and spent a year an “overseas working holiday” travelling through Asia, the Middle East and Europe on a motorbike and working at a variety of jobs in Switzerland, France (Cote d’Azur) and England (London).
Upon his return to Australia in 1976, he relocated from Tasmania to Brisbane where he commenced work with a large commercial firm, later moving to a large criminal law firm, but soon returned to his preferred area of practice, becoming a partner in a mid-sized commercial firm.
In 1986, he took a short sabbatical travelling around Australia, doing some legal work, some fruit-picking, working as a deckhand on a tuna trawler and playing guitar in a country and western band.
I987, he returned to Brisbane where he became a partner in the firm of Feather, Walker & Delancey and did mostly civil/commercial trial work. His work for commercial fishing and timber interests included journeying to remote parts of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands where he engaged in pro bono work for Asian and South Pacific immigrant communities.
In 1994 Justice Lyons was appointed a judge of the High Court of Fiji, posted to the Western Division in Lautoka. He left Fiji n late 1999, in advance of a coup, and was appointed to the Supreme Court of The Bahamas that year, initially being assigned to Freeport. He was posted to Nassau in September, 2000.