PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Mr. Garrick J. Richardson, LL.M, ML, took the oath of office as Secretary-General (Griffier) of the Parliament of Sint Maarten on April 1st, 2021. The swearing-in ceremony took place in the Legislative Hall of Parliament and was officiated by the President of Parliament, the Honorable Rolando Brison. Present at the ceremony were Members of Parliament, the Staff of the Secretariat, Faction staff, and family members of Mr. Richardson.
Garrick J. Richardson is a son of the soil, who was raised on St Maarten. Upon completing Secondary education at Milton Peters College, HAVO stream in 2007, he pursued his education in the Netherlands. Mr. Richardson moved to the Netherlands in 2008, where he attended the Hogeschool Leiden in Leiden from 2008 till 2012. While pursuing his Bachelor of Laws degree, he also interned at a bailiff's office in The Hague and a local law firm here on Sint Maarten. He attained his Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B) in 2012.
After following the pre-Master program at the University of Tilburg from 2013 till 2015, he continued and pursued a Masters in Dutch Law with a concentration in Constitutional Law. During his time at the University of Tilburg, he interned at the Legal Affairs and Legislation Department of the Government of Sint Maarten and also at the Advisory Division of the Council of State of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in The Hague. He was also active in the law study association of the University of Tilburg, Magister JFT, and the Tilburg Debating Association Cicero.
Mr. G.J. Richardson attained his Masters of Laws degree (LL.M), at the University of Tilburg in 2017.In 2016, Mr. Richardson started working for the Parliament of Sint Maarten, stationed (on secondment) at the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands in The Hague. During his time at the Ministry, he followed a post-Masters in Legislation (LL.M leg/ML) at the Academy for Legislation in The Hague. For the completion of this degree and also in preparation for his return to Sint Maarten he also interned at the Second Chamber on numerous occasions and also the First Chamber of the Netherlands.
A cocktail reception was held in the afternoon where Mr. Richardson was officially introduced in his role as Secretary-General of the Parliament of Sint Maarten, to his counterparts and different departments. Present at the ceremony were among others, Members of Parliament, Secretaries General of the High Councils, Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries General of the Ministries as well as the Head of the Department of Legal Affairs.
In his address to the gathering, Mr. G.J. Richardson reminisced on his educational journey and highlighted the fact of his many opportunities for internships and the importance of contacting and keeping in contact with students and young professionals abroad. Cognizant of the challenge that awaits him as a very young Secretary-General of the island’s highest legislative body, he placed the importance of his role in context explaining that the progress of the island calls for continuous improvement of the legislature. Appealing to the African philosophy of “Ubuntu”, he explained that he believes in the philosophy of “I am because of who we all are” and emphasized that collectively we can make Sint Maarten a better place! He used the philosophy of Ubuntu to call for cooperation as well as collaboration amongst all levels of the community in order to realize the very important (legislative) changes that are necessary through innovation, creativity, and solutions to problems within the confinement of the law.
He pledged his own, as well as the Secretariat of Parliament’s, full support in bringing about the changes necessary from the role of the Secretary-General and the Secretariat of Parliament.
Mr. Richardson expressed appreciation to all those who have reached out in support of his appointment. He specifically thanked his family and support staff for their support and expressed his desire to continue a great working relationship with all.
The Secretary-General of Parliament fulfills the role of advising, assisting, and supporting the Presidium, President, Members of Parliament, and Parliament in the execution of their tasks, and manages the Secretariat of Parliament and the overall budget of Parliament.