The Honourable Sir Justice Marston Gibson, KA
Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal of Barbados
Sir Marston Gibson is the current Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal of Barbados.
Early life and education
Marston Creighton Dacosta Gibson was born on 3 March 1954 and was educated at St. Matthias School, Boys’ Foundation and Harrison College. He pursued legal studies at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies from 1972 and obtained the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1975. In 1977, he was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship and read for the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) at Keble College, Oxford University in England, which he obtained in 1979. From 1979 to 1981, he attended the Hugh Wooding Law School, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, where he was awarded the Chairman’s Special Prize for Evidence and Procedure in 1981.
While attending the Hugh Wooding Law School, he lectured in Criminal Law at the Faculty of Law, St. Augustine Campus, University of the West Indies (UWI). From 1981 to 1987, he was a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Cave Hill Campus, UWI, where he taught Criminal Law, the Law of Real Property, Law in Society (Jurisprudence), as well as Equity, Doctrines and Remedies.
Marston Gibson emigrated to the United States in 1987. He was admitted to practice law in the State of New York in 1989 and served for 22 years in the New York State Court system. He began in March 1989 as an Appellate Court Attorney from 1989 to 1992, ultimately attaining the position of Principal Appellate Court Attorney. In 1992, he was appointed a Judicial Referee in the Surrogate’s Court, New York County (Manhattan), where he heard cases involving estates and trusts, particularly where there was a need to establish kinship between petitioners and the deceased persons whose estates they were claiming. He served in that Court until 1998, when he transferred to the Supreme Court of New York, Nassau County (Long Island). At the Supreme Court in Nassau County, whose jurisdiction is similar to that of the High Court of Barbados, the Chief Justice heard civil cases, and was assigned to the Supreme Court, Matrimonial Centre, from 2001 to 2008. He remained there until his appointment as the 13th Chief Justice of Barbados on September 1, 2011.
Sir Marston holds Bar membership in several jurisdictions including Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and Trinidad and Tobago. He is also a member of the New York State Bar and is admitted to practise before the United States Supreme Court, as well as the United States Federal Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. He is also a musician and plays the guitar. From 1981 until 1987, he was a member of the National Crop-Over Festival Orchestra which provided accompaniment to the competitors in the Pic-o-de-Crop Calypso competition. He also sings bass in the choir at St. Ambrose Anglican Church, and has been a member of the choir of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Hempstead, New York.
His interests do not end there. While at the Surrogate’s Court of New York County and Supreme Court, Nassau County, he was a union delegate (shop steward). He was also Vice President of the Foundation School Alumni Association of New York and is a current member of the Foundation Old Scholars Association of Barbados. He is a member of the Barbados Cancer Association of New York and the Caribbean-America Medical and Scientific Association. From 1984 to 1987, he was the moderator of “Guttaperk”, a call-in radio programme on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and for over 15 years, he was a member of the St. Matthias’ Scout Troop where he attained his Queen’s Scout Badge.
Honours and awards
Sir Marston was awarded Barbados' highest national honour, Knight of St. Andrew on 30 November 2012 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the legal profession in Barbados and at the international level.