Tiyani Behanzin, son of former Prime Minister the late
Rosie Douglas sworn in as Magistrate
Roseau, Dominica – April 15, 2009……………… The shortage of Magistrates in Dominica is being addressed by the Government of Dominica with the swearing in of Mr. Tiyani Behanzin as a Magistrate recently.
Tiyani I. Behanzin, formerly Robert Douglas, is a son of Dominica’s 5th Prime Minister, the late Hon. Roosevelt Douglas and Ruffin Nicholas from St. Joseph. He graduated in 1991 from the University of Concordia, formerly the Sir George Williams University in Canada with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, the same university that his father, Hon. Rosie Douglas was involved in the computer centre incident in 1969.
Mr. Behanzin is also a graduate of the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom with a Master’s Degree in International Law. He was called to the Bar in England and Wales in 2006.
Speaking to reporters moments after he took the oath at the Office of the President at Morne Bruce last week, Mr. Behanzin called the achievement the “realisation of a dream and a homecoming as well as akin to an ethos to my duty of a public servant”. He also spoke about his public spiritedness and looked back on members of his family who had been public spirited.
“I think I am public spirited. I have always been public spirited. My family has always been public spirited- from my grandfather, Robert Bernard Douglas who served on the Legislative Council for two terms in the 1950s, to my uncle Michael Douglas who served as Leader of the Opposition and Minister of Government to my father, Rosie Douglas who served as Leader of the Opposition and Prime Minister. So public spirit runs through the family. I am probably just the last of those……. we have always had and there are more behind me I would imagine who will serve the country,” Mr Behanzin stated.
On the issue of the modest remuneration received by Magistrates in Dominica, compared to other countries in the region, Mr Behanzin said the issue of money was not a factor that persuaded him to return home to serve as a Magistrate.
“When you return to an island like Dominica, it cannot be about money. It has to be about public service. It has to be about your heart. It has to be about the quality of life. It has to be about whether you are returning for something bigger than yourself. If it is about salary, you will never come home. So yes the salaries are not extravagant, they are challenging given where you must live, the price of everything here, but I think if you have a good spirit you will find a way to function. …I wanted to make sure I am not going to be remunerated to any level beyond or above those who are now working in the service because it would be unfair, regardless of what my qualifications and experiences are. I think it is important to slot in like everybody else and put my time and serve the country…”
Meanwhile, Michael Bruney, an Attorney-at-Law for many years was also sworn in as a Magistrate until the end of June 2009. Three other local Attorneys have agreed to serve as Magistrates for a limited period to clear the backlog of cases which currently exists.