JUDICIAL APPOINTMENT: Prominent international jurist to head Caribbean Court of Justice

by: - March 16, 2011
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CARIBBEAN-COURT-Prominent international jurist to head Caribbean Court of Justice

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Prominent international jurist Sir Dennis Byron will head the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) replacing Michael De la Bastide who goes on retirement in August. de la Bastride,  who headed the CCJ since it was established in 2001 as a replacement for the London-based Privy Council as the region’s final court, is due to retire on August 18.

But while most of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are signatories to the Original jurisdiction of the CCJ that also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement, only Barbados, Belize and Guyana as members of the Appellate jurisdiction.

Regional governments at their inter-sessional summit in Grenada last month accepted the recommendations of the Regional and Judicial Legal Services Commission (RJLSC) that Sir Dennis successes de la Bastide. Sir Dennis, 68, now functions as President of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and CCJ officials said that the actual date of his assumption of office will be announced in due course.

Sir Dennis, who is born in St. Kitts and Nevis, read law at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University in Britain and after 16 years of private practice in the Eastern Caribbean, became a member of the judiciary in the sub-region, reaching the position of Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

While there, Sir Dennis led the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Judical Reform Programme, which included the establishment of a Code of Ethics for Judges, the implementation of new Civil Procedure Rules and the establishment of a Judicial Education Institute, among other achievements.

His special interest in judicial education activities has led to his appointment as President of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute (CJEI), a position which he has held since the year 2000. In 2000, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and he was appointed a member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council in 2004.

As the President of the ICTR, Sir Dennis is responsible for the overall management of the Court and the implementation of ICTR strategic policies, through liaison with member states and the United Nations Security Council. 

Sir Dennis has written many articles and publications and also holds the first Yogis and Keddy Chair in Human Rights Law at Dalhousie University Nova Scotia, Canada. The ICTR President has written many articles and publications. He will deliver the 9th Annual Ruth Steinkraus‐Cohen International Law Lecture of the United Nations Association in London on Wednesday.

Sir Dennis is married to Lady Norma and has three sons.

Source: Cana News