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Oct 22, 2021

Caribbean Publication on Women Jurists Includes Belizean Pioneer Lois Young

The Caribbean Court of Justice Academy for Law has published a new book, “Pioneering Caribbean Women Jurists.” It features thirty-four outstanding legal women from across the region, including Belize’s own Ambassador Lois Young. This morning, Justice Winston Anderson of the CCJ Academy for Law was a guest on Channel Five’s Open Your Eyes. He noted that in Belize the posts of Chief Justice, Chief Magistrate and Attorney General are all filled by women. He also outlined the history of women in Caribbean law beginning with the first female lawyer in Guyana in 1929. Before then, he says, women were completely locked out of the profession, but that has changed significantly, and in fact, spectacularly.

 

Honorable Justice Winston Anderson

Honorable Justice Winston Anderson, CCJ Academy for Law

“Since then, there has been a very steep elevation of the presence and visibility and status of women in legal profession. So now, if you look around the jurisdictions, you will be pleased to hear that in many places, the women are leading in many aspects of legal life. So that in the judiciary for example, in the case of Guyana once more the women who head the judiciary, both as Chief Justice and as Chancellor are in fact, very strong women in their own rights. And before them, we had Desiree Bernard who is a very well known regional figure, who also led the judiciary in Guyana. And was the very first woman judge in the Caribbean Court of Justice. But we have had, and are having women who are leading in almost every jurisdiction that you can mention in the region. And of course, in Belize, the Chief Justice is Justice Arana, so we have women now in every conceivable position in the legal system and I think we are all the better for it. We are very, very honoured, to have been able to include Her Excellency Ambassador Lois Young, in the book as a pioneering Caribbean women jurist. I believe she is very, very well known in Belize. Of course, she was the representative of Belize and Ambassador of Belize to the United Nations. But the book is a compilation of the biographies of all the women that we have honoured and her biography, Her Excellency’s biography was written by her brother, Harold. Dr. Harold Young, and he wrote a beautiful essay about his big sister and tells the story of their early life in Belize City. To look at the contribution women have made to the legal infrastructure of our region. We thought that it would be fitting, on this occasion we would look at the tremendous contribution that women have made to the various aspects of how legal arrangements. So we looked for example at the contributions made as heads of state, as head of government, as judges, as teachers, legal activists, as diplomats. And we were just amazed to realize that the contribution is really nothing short of spectacular.”


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