Guyanese named to Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court

Dear Editor,

Another Guyanese is moving to the top of the judiciary in the Caribbean. She is Gertel Thom who hails from Essequibo. In fact she was the first attorney to be admitted to practice in the Cinderella County. Justice Loris Ganpatsingh who is now in the Bahamas, was the presiding judge.

She has been appointed to the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), joining Louise Blenman of Georgetown. Another Guyanese, Kenneth Benjamin, is the Chief Justice of the Central American state of Belize. Incidentally CJ Benjamin is now in Georgetown for the funeral of a family member who passed away a few days ago.

Incidentally Justice Thom’s husband, Justice Keith Thom, son of former Chief Marshal, Donald Thom, is also a judge of the ECSC. He is based in Antigua and Barbuda. There are two other Guyanese judges in the ECSC and besides Benjamin there are three other Guyanese-born judges in Belize.

The ECSC is packed with female judges; 12 of the 18 judges are females headed by Chief Justice Janice Pereira. The CJs of the Bahamas and Jamaica are also of the fairer sex. Trinidad and Tobago also has a large number of female judges prompting Chief Justice Ivor Archie to suggest the need for a Caribbean Association of Women Judges.

Guyana does not have many female judges, but most of the attorneys are women and as a result through the instrumentality of the first female judge/Chief Justice/Chancellor of Guyana Desiree Bernard, an Association of Women Lawyers was formed in Georgetown.

The OECS has nine circuits in the Eastern Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Grenada, Dominica, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Kitts/Nevis.

Yours faithfully,

Oscar Ramjeet

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