Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Lack of women within CCJ a concern

“IT WOULD be a shame if in 2014, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) becomes a court made up only of men.”

This was the view of Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies Tracy Robinson as she spoke on the impending retirement of the Honourable Madam Justice Désirée Bernard from the CCJ.

Madam Justice Bernard is the first female Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice and is set to leave the bench on March 2, 2014.

Paying tribute to the Madam Justice for her outstanding contribution to the legal field, Robinson suggested that it was necessary for more women to be placed on the region’s highest court of final appeal.

Addressing the topic of representation, Robinson said that in seeking gender equality, there was a need to look at where women were positioned in 2014.

Admitting that there had been some progress over the years, she nevertheless spoke on a “noticeable short fall” in the representation of women in the Caribbean in the highest level of governance and public life.

Robinson used a 2001 study conducted by social scientist Professor Mark Figaro who showed that the number of female professors at the UWI should have been three times higher than what had been there at that time, if women were truly catching up in the academic field.

“I ask this question because UWI has trained more female lawyers than men for probably over 30 years, I suspect. Those lawyers can now be found now at the very top of the legal profession and the judiciary every where  in the Caribbean, yet there is only one woman to be found on the CCJ and she is due to retire very soon,” she stressed, while addressing the opening Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers Third Biennial Conference at Accra Beach Hotel and Spa. (JMB)

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