THE year 2008 had come around with a sense among Jamaicans that something spectacular would happen for the country to make up for news that the world economy was plunging rapidly into a nasty recession.
What happened was indeed spectacular. Jamaica ruled the world in the sprint events at the summer Olympics later that year. Less spectacular, but arguably of even greater paramountcy, was the selection of a legal titan as Jamaica's first woman director of public prosecutions (DPP) in Paula Llewellyn, QC.
|United States DEA agents escort Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke|
from Westchester County Airport to a waiting vehicle in
White Plains, New York on June 24, 2010, the day he
was extradited from Jamaica. (PHOTO: AP)
There was another first. The Bruce Golding Administration had decided to dispense with the old way of appointing a DPP by the prime minister making a recommendation to the governor general. This time, candidates would have to apply and go through a rigorous selection process administered by the Public Service Commission.
To get there, Llewellyn had to beat out a handful of people whose curriculum vitae were almost as impressive. Standing between her and the job of DPP were: Marlene Malahoo-Forte, now a senator; Lisa Palmer-Hamilton, currently senior deputy DPP; Vinette Graham Allen, former DPP in Bermuda and presently DPP in The Bahamas; Terrence Williams, former DPP of Tortola and currently head of INDECOM; and Hugh Wildman, former DPP of Grenada.
She said a quiet prayer of thanks that she had done the MIND course. In the past, the DPP was a man who had likely risen through the ranks — talented lawyers but short on management training. That senior public sector management course she had done as deputy DPP — with people like Jean Dixon, Carole Guntley-Brady, the late Grace Allen-Young, Elizabeth Steer, and Oscar Derby — was going to make a world of a difference. After the interviews, presentations and evaluations, she felt she had done her best. more