Queen’s Counsel Dancia Penn OBE was sworn-in on Monday in Barbados as Judge of the new Caribbean Community Administrative Tribunal (CCAT).
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has established a Caribbean Community Administrative Tribunal (CCAT). The CCAT was launched at a ceremony held on Monday, 17 February 2020, at the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Headquarters.
CARICOM Heads of Government approved the establishment of the Tribunal at their Thirtieth Inter-Sessional Meeting in St. Kitts and Nevis in February 2019.
The CCAT is an impartial and independent judicial body that will provide staff members of the CARICOM Secretariat and Regional Institutions, subject to the CCAT’s jurisdiction, with a forum for the final settlement of employment disputes. The Community and its Institutions, as international organisations, enjoy immunity from lawsuits brought in national courts.
The Members are required to be of high moral character, intellectual and analytical ability, sound judgment and integrity and must:
• have held, hold or be qualified to hold high judicial office in a CARICOM State; or
• be jurisconsults of recognised competence with experience as such for a period of not less than ten years; or
• be jurisconsults of recognised competence with particular experience in the field of labour relations for a period of not less than ten years.
The Members were sworn in by the President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the Hon. Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders.
The posts of Members of the CCAT were advertised by the RJLSC which, following a competitive process, selected Mr. Patterson Cheltenham, QC, President of the Tribunal; Ms. Lisa M. Shoman, SC; Mr. Westmin James; Ms. Dancia Penn, QC and Mr. J. Emile Ferdinand, QC.
Mrs. Penn’s appointment is an ad hoc one, as “she will be assigned to hear cases from time to time” – it will not occupy a significant portion of her time, and she will continue with her full-time practice as a lawyer, arbitrator and mediator, and her other professional activities.