Sir Dennis to take oath as President of CCJ at Government House in St. Kitts

Sir Dennis Byron (Photo is courtesy of the ICTRC)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, AUGUST 25TH 2011 (CUOPM) – Legal luminaries from across the region and beyond will descend on St. Kitts and Nevis next week to witness the historic swearing-in of Kittitian-born the Right Honourable Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron as the President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

Sir Dennis will be sworn in during a ceremony at Government House, Springfield, on Thursday 1st September in the presence of His Excellency the Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian; Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis and Current Chairman of the Caribbean Community, the Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas; the Chief Justices of the OECS, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago and the Barbados; the Chancellor of the Judiciary in Guyana, Attorneys General from across Caribbean, scores of judges, barristers, friends and family members.

Sir Dennis succeeds the Right Honourable Mr. Justice Michael de la Bastide T.C., who retired on August 18, 2011.

Born in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis, in 1943, Sir Dennis won the Leeward Islands Scholarship in 1960 and went on to read law at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University, from which he graduated with an M.A. and LL.B.

After 16 years of private practice in the Eastern Caribbean, he went on to serve as High Court Judge, Justice of Appeal and then Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

During his tenure as Chief Justice, Sir Dennis led the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Judicial Reform Programme, which included the establishment of a Code of Ethics for Judges, the implementation of new Civil Procedure Rules and the establishment of a Judicial Education Institute, among other innovations.

His special interest in judicial education activities has led to his appointment as President of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute (CJEI), a position which he has held since the year 2000.

In 2004, Sir Dennis Byron was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and he was appointed a member of the Privy Council.

As President of the ICTR, Sir Dennis Byron was responsible for the overall management of the Court and the implementation of ICTR strategic policies, through liaison with member states and the United Nations Security Council.

While at the ICTR, Sir Dennis has sat on seven trial benches and served on a number of pre-trial benches.

Sir Dennis Byron has written many articles and publications and also holds the first Yogis and Keddy Chair in Human Rights Law at Dalhousie University Nova Scotia, Canada.

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