St Vincent jurist to head Caribbean Court of Justice

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St Vincent jurist to head Caribbean Court of Justice

Monday, March 12, 2018

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Prominent St Vincent and the Grenadines jurist, Justice Adrian Saunders will become the third person to head the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) that was established in 2001 to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region's final court.

Outgoing CCJ President, Sir Dennis Byron, who is due to leave office in July, made the announcement at the 10th Annual CCJ International Law Moot Competition in Trinidad over the weekend,

Earlier this month, Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley confirmed that the issue had been discussed at the CARICOM Inter-Sessional summit in Haiti and that the regional leaders had agreed to the nomination of Justice Saunders.

Trinidad and Tobago jurist, Michael de La Bastide was the first person to head the CCJ, which also functions as an international court interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the 15-member regional integration movement, CARICOM.

Justice Saunders, who has been a judge with the CCJ since its inception, is a graduate of the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill) and was called to the Bar of St Vincent and the Grenadines in 1977.

He remained in private practice as a barrister and solicitor until 1996 becoming also the senior partner in the firm of Saunders & Huggins.

In 1996, Saunders was appointed as a judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) and in 2003, he was confirmed as a Justice of Appeal of the ECSC. One year later, he was appointed to act as Chief Justice of that Court. In 2005, Saunders was sworn in as a judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice.

During the period of his tenure as a judge in the Eastern Caribbean, Saunders was deeply involved in judicial education and judicial reform issues. He chaired the committee established to introduce court connected mediation in the Eastern Caribbean.

As chairman of the Ethics Committee of the ECSC, he presided over the production of a code of ethics for judges of the Eastern Caribbean.

He also served as chairman of the Judicial Education Institute of the ECSC from 2001 to 2004.

He regularly participates in judicial education programmes for judges from throughout the Commonwealth as a faculty member of the Halifax-based Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute.

Justice Saunders has written and published several legal articles and he is a Consulting Editor of The Caribbean Civil Court Practice. He is married and is father to two boys.

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