Castries, Saint Lucia, 31 st October 2022.
From 27 th – 29 th October, over 150 judicial officers, including Chief Justices, Judges, Magistrates,
Registrars, and Court Administrators, from across the Caribbean, met at the Royalton Saint
Lucia for the 7 th Biennial Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) Conference under
the theme ‘Caribbean Judiciaries in a Changing World’. The host judiciary for this year’s
Conference was the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
The Conference commenced with an opening ceremony which was attended by His Excellency
Cyril Errol Melchiades Charles, Acting Governor-General of Saint Lucia and featured thought-
provoking remarks by the Honourable Dr Ernest Hilaire, Acting Prime Minister of Saint Lucia,
the Honourable Dame Janice M. Pereira, DBE, LL.D, Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean
Supreme Court, Her Excellency Lilian Chatterjee, High Commissioner of Canada to Barbados
and the Eastern Caribbean and the Honourable Mr Justice Peter Jamadar, Chairman of CAJO
and Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The Opening Ceremony’s keynote address
was delivered by the Honourable Mia Mottley, SC, Prime Minister of Barbados.
In his remarks, the Acting Prime Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire expressed his appreciation for the
judiciaries in the region and affirmed the Government of Saint Lucia’s plan to have Saint Lucia
accede to the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice in the short term. Dr.
Hilaire also shared his hope that this Conference would better equip judges to navigate their
roles during what he characterized as ‘this post-truth era’.
Her Ladyship the Hon. Dame Janice Pereira, DBE, Chief Justice, in her remarks, implored
attendees to do everything possible to keep pace with the changes in the judicial landscape and
be ever engaged with an acute awareness of the challenges those changes bring. Her
Ladyship further emphasized the importance of developing new ways and means by which
judiciaries respond to those changes in ensuring that “the quality of justice delivered is fit for
purpose and meets the desired objective of upholding and maintaining the Rule of Law”.
Prime Minister Mottley, in her address, focused on the role of judiciaries across the region in
setting the standards/benchmark on how justice is administered. The Prime Minister
acknowledged and praised the judiciaries’ response to technology and leading the charge
concerning standardized sentencing. Further, she called for regional unity in removing antiquity
from our laws, as they result in more incarceration and less efficiency.
The Conference’s second keynote address was delivered by Professor Trevor Munroe,
Executive Director, National Integrity Action, Jamaica. In his presentation, Professor Munroe
focused on the public’s lack of trust and confidence in the justice system and governments in
the Caribbean community and why it is worrisome. Professor Munroe also explored various
measures which courts could implement to reverse this low level of public confidence, including
having a judicial appointments commission. Ms. Tonni Brodber of UN Women also presented on
the UN Women’s Caribbean Spotlight Initiative, their work in territories and collaborations with
judiciaries concerning gender-based violence.
Over three days, through plenaries and breakout sessions, these judicial officers were able to
deepen their understanding of areas like digital and artificial intelligence interventions for
enhancing the work of judiciaries, judicial wellness, emerging laws and cases in data privacy
and data protection and the need for the Caribbean to catch up to sustain our tourism-based
In his brief remarks, the Hon. Justice Adrian Saunders, CCJ President, formally announced
Bermuda as the host country for the next Biennial Conference. The CCJ President also
introduced the new CAJO executive, presented resolutions from the CAJO’s AGM, and
announced the conferment of CAJO Honorary Member to retired Justice of Appeal Mr. Justice
Christopher Blackman, a native of Barbados and founding member of the CAJO. CCJ Judge,
the Hon. Mme. Justice Maureen Rajnauth-Lee and ECSC Chief Registrar, Michelle John-
Theobalds, delivered the Vote of Thanks, recognizing all of the Conference’s players and
CAJO 2022 not only focused on thematic discussions and plenary sessions. The opening and
closing ceremonies for the Conference featured a vibrant display of Saint Lucian culture in
productions directed and produced by Ms. Drenia Frederick.
Since the Conference coincided with the island’s celebration of ‘Jounen Kweyol’, attendees
were able to experience the island’s cuisine and were treated to social events such as “The
Chief Justice’s Welcome Cocktail” at the Sandals Golf and Country Club, “The Governor
General’s Reception” at Government House, a soiree at the Pigeon Island Landmark under the
theme “Sauce, Stars and Jazz and a boat cruise showcasing the “Helen of the West by Sea”.
The CAJO Management Committee intends to maximise the enthusiasm and interest and looks
forward to the CAJO 8 th Biennial Conference in Bermuda in 2024.