Port of Spain, Trinidad — Justice Maureen Rajnauth-Lee was sworn in by Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona as a judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Friday at a ceremony in Port of Spain.
Carmona praised Rajnauth-Lee for her “selfless sacrifice” in dedicating herself to the service of the public and commended her achievement as “the first woman citizen of Trinidad and Tobago” to be appointed to the CCJ bench.
Rajnauth-Lee was selected from among applicants from the Caribbean, North America and Eastern Europe.
Judges appointed to the CCJ are evaluated on the basis of wide-ranging criteria that include; experience, high moral character, intellectual and analytical ability, sound judgment, integrity and an understanding of people and society.
Rajnauth-Lee is a former justice of appeal of Trinidad and Tobago. She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and of the Hugh Wooding Law School with a Legal Education Certificate. She was admitted to the practice of law in Trinidad and Tobago in 1980. Thereafter, she served as state counsel in the solicitor general’s department in Trinidad and Tobago. In 1985, she embarked on a career in private practice.
She was elected to the Council of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago and served for many years as a member and then Vice-Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the Law Association. She was appointed a member of the Advisory Committee to the Rules Committee which was established to report on the introduction to the Civil Proceedings Rules in Trinidad and Tobago.
With effect from 1st September 2001, Rajnauth-Lee was appointed a judge of the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago. She presided in the civil courts and over the establishment of the Family Court of Trinidad and Tobago. Rajnauth-Lee became the second judge to sit in that jurisdiction.
For several years, she served as a member and then chairman of the Calendaring and Case Management Committee of the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago. She has also served as a member of the Continuity of Operations Planning Committee of the Judiciary. She was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2012.
Rajnauth-Lee is a member of the International Association of Women Judges. She was a member of the Steering Committee and now serves as vice president of the Caribbean Association of Women Judges. She is also a member of the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers. Rajnauth-Lee is a certified mediator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.