source: Republic of Botswana TAUTONA TIMES of 8/8/2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
“Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery”
B2) 30/7/10: REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT ON THE OCASSION OF BESTOWING AN AWARD OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ORDER OF HONOUR ON THE JUDGE PRESIDENT OF THE COURT OF APPEAL, THE HON. MR JUSTICE PATRICK H. TEBBUTT
[Salutations]…Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
1. It is my pleasure to be hosting this event to recognize and honour our outgoing Judge President, Mr Justice Patrick Henry Tebbutt. Judge President Tebbutt retires this month after 16 years of dedicated service on the Court of Appeal of Botswana, nine of them as President of the Court. He has, without a shadow of doubt, played an important role in the development of our jurisprudence, and leaves an indelible mark on the Botswana legal system.
2. I am informed that when Justice Tebbutt came to Botswana, he had already retired from an illustrious career in the Judiciary in South Africa, where he had also ventured into other areas of work outside the law.
3. Judge Tebbutt joined the Botswana Court of Appeal in July 1994, when the Judge President of that court was then the late Mr. Justice Austin Amissah. He was succeeded for one term in January 2001 by the late Mr. Justice Akinola Aguda who died in October 2001.
4. Judge Tebbutt was appointed as Judge President in July 2001, a position which he holds until the end of his tour tomorrow. As Judge President of the Court he has held the mantle of that court high and ensured that the standard remained high.
5. Judge Tebbutt has presided over a number of watershed decisions in the Court of Appeal, many of which are reported in the Botswana Law Reports. Thus he leaves a rich legacy which will be used by generations of lawyers, law students and other judicial officers in the many years to come.
6. I am reliably informed that Judge Tebbutt was also very concerned with the state of the High Court Library. He noticed its inadequacies and set about working on how it could be improved. He therefore took it upon himself to oversee the reorganisation of the library of the High Court and of the Court of Appeal with the assistance from the Librarian from the University of Cape Town. I am told that today, the library is fully equipped with most of the necessary tools of trade, which are well catalogued and packaged, as well as up to date.
7. As a member of the Judicial Service Commission, the Judge President has been intimately involved in the appointment of members of the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the Magistracy.
8. As a judge he was undoubtedly skilful, hardworking and utterly dedicated to the cause of justice. He was passionate about developing judges in the High Court. For that reason he encouraged the participation of judges of the High Court in the Court of Appeal Sessions to expose them to the operations of that court and its culture.
9. We are indeed proud to have such a Court with leadership that is sensitive to the development of judicial officers, and the welfare of litigants. Our Judiciary is well respected in legal circles in Botswana and abroad because of the integrity of its judges, and the quality of its judgments. Let me therefore take advantage of this opportunity where all judges of the Court of Appeal, High Court and Industrial Court are gathered under one roof, to pay a special tribute to the Judiciary for ensuring that this country delivers real justice to its citizens.
10. As the Executive arm of Government, we have always played our part in respecting the independence of the judiciary and facilitating the work of the courts. In this country, this is a principle we strongly believe in and will continue to preserve.
11. Justice Tebbutt has worked tirelessly for this Country even at a time when his health was threatening to fail him. It is for this reason that I have found it fitting to honour him for the selfless and excellent service he has rendered to Botswana. He has without doubt also contributed in no small measure to the good governance of this Country, and to its peace and stability.
12. It is in recognition of his contribution that I, on behalf of the Nation of Botswana, and in exercise of the powers vested upon me bestow upon you, Mr Justice Patrick Henry Tebbutt the Presidential Order of Honour.
13. As this coincides with the end of your tour of duty in our Court of Appeal, let me take this opportunity to bid you farewell, and wish you a restful and well deserved retirement.
14. In conclusion, I wish to announce that I have, in exercise of the powers vested upon me by the Botswana Constitution, appointed Justice Ian Kirby as President of the Court of Appeal with effect from 1 October 2010 to allow him to complete part heard cases and other outstanding assignments in his current post. PULA!
Please also find below a further PROFILE OF JUDGE TEBBUTT:
Judge Tebbutt has had a distinguished career both in law and business. He was born in Fort Victoria, S Rhodesia (now Masvingo, Zimbabwe) on 26 January 1924. He was educated on Mafikeng High school, where he matriculated, and the University of Cape Town, where he graduated with BA and LLB degrees.
After serving in minesweepers in S.A. Navy in the latter part of the World War II, he joined the Cape Argus newspaper in Cape Town as a court, parliamentary and sports reporter. He started practice at the Cape Bar in 1951, taking sick in 1962. He was appointed an Acting Judge in February 1965 on the Cape High Court. He continued to act until October 1971 when he temporarily forsook the law for business, becoming the Managing Director of Syfreto Trust Company, a large national South African Financial Investment and Asset Management. While there, he attended the Harvard Graduate School of Business in Boston, USA, completing the Advanced Management Programme of that University in 1974.
Judge Tebbutt returned to practice at the Cape Bar in 1978 and was appointed a permanent judge of the Cape High Court in June 1981.
Judge Tebbutt was a freelance radio and a television commentator from 1946 until his permanent appointment as a judge in 1981, specializing in cricket and rugby commentaries.
Judge Tebbutt is married to Gill, a Springbok Golfer who has won the South African ladies golf championship nine times and the Hong Kong Open Champion on three successive occasions. He has two sons, Nigel, aged 54, and Jonathan, aged 44, who lives in Aberdeen in Scotland. He has one granddaughter.
Judge Tebbutt is also a golfer and is President of the Rondebosch Golf Club. A keen rugby follower, he is the Patron of the University of Cape Town Rugby Club and the Western Province Rugby Union. He is also the President of the Western Cape Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities and of the Chris Burger/Petro Jackson Players fund which assists seriously injured players.