Chairman of the Law Reform Commission, Samraj Harripaul holds an honours law degree from the University of the West Indies which he obtained in 1991. He was admitted to the Bar in October 1993. He also holds a Masters in Law from UWI, 1997, majoring in legislative drafting.
The Law Reform Commission is an independent statutory body, charged with keeping all the laws under review and ensuring the laws are revised and updated, and before his appointment as chairman, he was senior parliamentary counsel and then law reform officer at the commission, for 15 years.
His expertise is in the field of public law, especially in the field of legislative drafting. He has drafted a number of important pieces of legislation including the Judicial Review Act, the package to reform the Police Service which was enacted in 2006, and the Working Document on Constitutional Reform, 2009. He also served as the legal draftsman to former president Sir Ellis Clarke in the preparation of the Draft Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago, 2006.
Harripaul has also served in numerous Ministerial and Cabinet appointed Committees over the years, to address issues such as information communication technology, private bailiffs, pension reform, and serious crimes.
CHRISTO GERARD GIFT
Born Christmas Day 1953, Christo Gift, the only Tobago-based attorney to achieve the title of silk, won a partial scholarship through the Bowles Scholarship to University, upon graduation from Bishop’s High School, Tobago.
He graduated from the University of the West Indies and the Hugh Wooding Law School. He was admitted to the Bar in 1980 together with his wife.
Gift has had a wide and varied practice that straddles both the criminal and civil arena. He has provided yeoman service to the people of Tobago.
During his now 31 years of practice at the Bar, Gift has contributed some 25 years to assisting in Legal Aid work, was involved in the establishment of the Tobago based, “Tobago Lawyers Association” in which he served for several years as its president and influenced many advancements in both the Magistracy and the Supreme Court in Tobago. He also coordinates “The Tobago forum for the consensus on the constitution”, a mixed group of concerned Tobagonians keenly concerned with constitutional matters and Tobago, in the context of Trinidad and Tobago.
MARILYN STEPHANIE DALY
Stephanie Daly has been in private practice since 1972, and a certified mediator, with a family and commercial law practice and a background in civil litigation.
She chaired the Family Court Committee which set up the Family Court Pilot Project that opened in 2004 and she continues to serve on the Court’s Monitoring Committee. She was also involved in the development of the Mediation Act and the package of children’s legislation. In the commercial area, she has published regularly on awards of damages for personal injuries since 1976, which has been a resource for the insurance industry, legal profession and the Judiciary.
She has a special interest in issues affecting families, women and children and over the past 30 years has published several works on the status of women and child and family law.
Daly is the Deputy Chairman of the Children’s Authority, and serves on the Public Service Appeal Board and the Statutory Authorities Appeal Board. She is also a Director of the Dispute Resolution Centre and was a mediator in the 2010 High Court Mediation Project.
She is a former President of the Law Association, a former chairman of WASA and served on the Law Reform Commission for some 20 years. She was a member of the first Boards of the Mediation Board and the Equal Opportunity Commission, as well as having been a member of the National Commission on the Status of Women. This year, she was awarded the Chaconia Medal (Gold) in the sphere of law.
Barendra Sinanan entered the College of Law of London in 1969. In 1971, he did his articleship at J.D. Kelshall and Co. in San Fernando. He qualified as a Solicitor and Conveyancer in June 1974 and was enrolled as a Solicitor and Conveyancer of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago in October 1974.
From 1974-1975, Sinanan practiced with the firm Hobson and Chatoor in San Fernando. In 1979 he joined the firm of Laurence and Narinesingh as a partner. In 1985, the firms of Hobson and Chatoor and Laurence and Narinesingh merged into Hobsons – Attorneys at Law and Notaries Public, and Sinanan has been a partner with this firm until the present time.
Sinanan has served as a director of the Southern Medical Clinic Limited, Land Securities Limited, First Citizens Bank Limited, First Citizens Holdings Limited, National Petroleum Marketing Company Limited and the La Brea Industrial Development Company Limited. He was also a director at the South Chamber of Industry and Commerce. He also was a member of the Rotary Club of San Fernando. Sinanan was first elected to Parliament in 1995, representing the constituency of San Fernando West. He was elected Speaker of the House of the 8th Parliament on October 17, 2002. On December 17, 2007,Sinanan was re-elected Speaker of the House of the 9th Parliament.
Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell is currently Solicitor General and head of the Civil Law Department in the Ministry of the Attorney General. She has dual TT and Jamaican citizenship and spent her formative years in the US, England, Belgium and Nigeria before attending Bishop Anstey High School and later on the University of the West Indies. Her qualifications are in law and management having graduated from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business in 2010 with an EMBA (Distinction and Top Student). She was called to the Bar in Trinidad and Tobago in 1989 and in Jamaica in 1990.
From 2003 to 2010, Donaldson-Honeywell held the post of Judge at the Industrial Court and in 2006 as chairman, Essential Services at the Court. As a judge she chaired panels of Members of the Court in hearing and determining Trade Disputes. Prior to returning to Trinidad and Tobago in 2003, Donaldson-Honeywell enjoyed an extensive and varied legal practice as an attorney and judicial officer in Jamaica. This included presiding in criminal trials and preliminary inquiries as a resident magistrate at the Kingston Corporate Area Criminal Division as well as intermittently in the Civil and Family Courts from 1999 to 2003. In Jamaica, Donaldson- Honeywell also played a pioneering role in emerging regulatory fields of securities law regulation and competition law regulation. From 1995 to 1999 she was Director of Legal Services and Enforcement, Securities Commission, Jamaica. From 1990 to 1995 Donaldson-Honeywell was engaged in Civil Litigation practice including a three year period as an associate attorney at Clinton Hart & Co. in Jamaica. This practice included instructing and advocacy work up to the appellate level with commendation and covered diverse areas of law including banking, insurance, personal injuries, employment, landlord and tenant and land law. She has also tutored Business Law at the University of Technology in Jamaica.
JUSTICE OF APPEAL WENDELL KANGALOO
Justice of Appeal Wendell Kangaloo obtained his LLB degree with first class honours from the University of the West Indies in 1982. Prior to that he graduated with honours in Economics from the University of Toronto, Canada. He was called to the Bar in October 1984 and went into private practice for 12 years. At age 39, he was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court on February 1, 1996.
At the time of his appointment he was the youngest Judge to have ever been appointed to the Supreme Court. Approximately two years later he was entrusted by the then Chief Justice Michael de la Bastide with the largest civil litigation in the history of the Supreme Court when he presided over the billion-dollar claims arising out of the attempted coup in 1990. His judgment in that landmark case was upheld by the Court of Appeal and was also published in the Law Reports, a rarity for judgments of the High Court.
In 1998 Justice Kangaloo was also the first judge of the Supreme Court to attend the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He is now a fellow of that institute which has invited him on several occasions to participate as a member of the faculty. Upon his return, he was entrusted with the programme for judicial education of the bench and played a key role in the establishment of the Judicial Education Institute of Trinidad and Tobago which has the mandate for continuing judicial education of all judicial officers.
In December 2001, after spending only five years in the High Court, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal. He was the first graduate of the Hugh Wooding Law School to be appointed a Court of Appeal judge in Trinidad and Tobago. As such, he has been a member of the Court of Appeal for ten years and is now, not only the longest serving member of the judiciary, but is also the Senior Court of Appeal Judge and has acted as Chief Justice on several occasions.
Dennis Gurley attended the St. Mary’s University in Canada, at age 16 where he completed a four-year under-graduate programme leading to a Bachelor of Commerce Degree with a major in Business administration in 1970.
The following year, he enrolled as a student member of the Law Society of England and Wales and completed the Solicitor’s examinations at the College of Law in 1976. He also enrolled as a student at the College of Law in Lancaster Gate leading to the completion of the Solicitors’ examinations in 1976. He was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in Trinidad and Tobago in October 1977 and immediately took up employment as an Associate Solicitor with the firm of Solicitors and Conveyancers, J D Sellier & Co in its Litigation Department. In 1981, Dennis was made a partner.
He was elected as a Senior Ordinary Member of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago before being elected as vice-president of the Law Association. Dennis was also appointed and served for two terms as the Honorary Secretary of the Law Association.
He was appointed by Cabinet to chair a Task Force to report and advise on ways and means of addressing the problem of delays in the Administration of Justice. The Findings and Recommendations of the Task Force, known as the “Gurley Report “ was a precursor to the new Civil Proceedings Rules of Court.
He has been involved in several high-profile cases, representing former Chief Justice Michael De La Bastide and former Chief Justice Satnarine Sharma in High Court proceedings.
He is and has been managing partner of JD Sellier and Co for the past 18 years, is a notary public and certified mediator.
He is chairman of the Guardian Media Group, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Guardian Neediest Cases Fund and is also a director of the Unit Trust Corporation, and First Caribbean International Bank.
He is also the chairman of the President’s Awards Foundation and vice-chairman of the Dispute Resolution Centre.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (Hons), a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of the West Indies, Diploma in Education and pursued studies in the Master of Education. She has been a high school teacher, both in Trinidad and Tobago (at Lakshmi Girls’ College) and Jamaica, and at age 25, she became one of the youngest university lecturers at UWI, Mona Campus, Jamaica.
Persad-Bissessar later pursued a career in law and was named the top student at her graduation from the Hugh Wooding Law School, winning prizes for the Most Outstanding Student and the Best Overall Performance. She was admitted to the Bar in 1987. She subsequently attained an Executive Masters in Business Administration with distinction in 2006. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to read for her PhD at New York’s Columbia University but declined in favour of a legal career.
She was the first female to be appointed Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs. She is the first female political leader of any political party represented in Parliament and was the first female Leader of the Opposition. She is now the first female Prime Minister in TT’s political history.
Only recently, the High Court ruled against the Land Settlement Agency in favour of dozens of landless persons represented by Persad- Bissessar. She also appeared in many constitutional matters including vacancy and election petitions and human rights cases.
Ian MacIntyre, a national scholar from Queen’s Royal College, received his Bachelor of Laws from the University of the West Indies in 1985. He graduated from the Hugh Wooding Law School and was called to the Bar in Trinidad and Tobago in 1987.
MacIntyre joined the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel in January 1988 and has specialised in legislative drafting over the last 24 years.
In the 90s, as a relatively junior member of the Legislative Drafting Department, he was assigned several major pieces of legislation, including the Companies Act, the Security Industry Act and the Tobago House of Assembly Act.
His services in the Patents Act, the Copyright Act and other pieces of Intellectual Property legislation contributed to Trinidad and Tobago being the first developing country to implement the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and resulted in his being specially invited by the World Intellectual Property Organisation to serve on its panel at the 1997 WIPO Asian Regional Seminar on the Implementation of the TRIPS Agreement in Manila, Philippines.
In 2000, MacIntyre joined the Attorney General’s Chambers in the British Virgin Islands as Assistant Parliamentary Counsel and was promoted to Parliamentary Counsel and Head of the Legislative Drafting Unit in 2003. Occasionally, he acted as Attorney General of the British Virgin Islands. During his service in the British Virgin Islands, he gained much experience in drafting financial services legislation.
In 2006, MacIntyre left the public service to become a legislative drafting consultant, in which capacity he drafted legislation mainly for the British Virgin Islands and Trinidad and Tobago.
He also prepared for the National Children’s Home, a British children’s charity, draft Welfare of Children Bills for the remote British territories of St. Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.
Macintyre is the Chief Parliamentary Counsel in the Ministry of the Attorney General, having been appointed to that post in February, 2010.
CHIEF JUSTICE IVOR ARCHIE
Chief Justice Ivor Archie was admitted to practice as an attorney in 1986. After a short stint in private practice, he enjoyed a varied career in public service at the bar first at the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago then as State Counsel in the Solicitor General’s Chambers before emigrating in 1989.
He served as Senior Crown Counsel first in the Turks and Caicos Islands and then the Cayman Islands where he eventually became the Solicitor General and Acted as the Attorney General on several occasions. He was also the legal advisor to the Cayman Islands Mutual Legal Assistance Authority and was instrumental in developing the regulatory framework for the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF). During his tenure in the Cayman Islands, he was responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the Government Legal Department including the conduct of all civil and criminal litigation and general legal advice to government departments and the Supervisor of Elections.
He returned to Trinidad and Tobago in 1998 to be appointed to the Bench, but has continued to contribute to the development of the legal profession, apart from his judicial duties, through his involvement in judicial education as a fellow and current member of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute.
He continues to present papers at international conferences and fora and is a contributing Editor to the West Indian Law Reports and the Caribbean Civil Court Practice.
Chief Justice Archie is the second Chief Justice to be awarded the rank of Senior Counsel after having been appointed to the office of Chief Justice.
ATTORNEY GENERAL ANAND RAMLOGAN
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales as a member of the Middle Temple in 1995 and the local Bar in 1996. He pursued his LLB at the University of the West Indies and his Masters in Cooperate and Commercial Law at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. He was awarded several scholarships, including the British Chevening Scholarship and the Commonwealth Scholarship. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards for academic excellence including the Most Outstanding Law Student (1992) at the Cavehill Campus and the Mark of Merit for Outstanding Academic Performance at the St Augustine Campus.
He has practised in all fields of commercial and civil litigation at the High Court, Court of Appeal, Privy Council and Caribbean Court of Justice with special emphasis on constitutional law, judicial review and human rights. Many of the cases argued in these courts have lead to land mark and historic judgments that transformed, shaped and developed the law.
He is one of the youngest lawyers from the Commonwealth to appear before the Privy Council where he has done over 45 appeals.
The wide variety of cases he has argued in the local and foreign courts include the Maha Sabha Radio License case, the Trinity Cross case, constitutional veto cases, election petitions, rights for Rastafarians, rights for disable people, police brutality, medical negligence and discrimination.
He has served on several Boards and Commissions including Petrotrin, the Law Reform Commission of Trinidad and Tobago and the Air Transport Licensing Authority of Trinidad and Tobago.
At age 39, he is one of the youngest Attorneys General in the Commonwealth.
Sophia Chote was admitted to the Bar of Trinidad and Tobago in 1989. She served as a prosecutor at Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. She was appointed a temporary judge in 2001. She then left to enter private practice in the Chambers of Kenneth Lalla, SC. She then returned to private practice in 2000 and started her own Chambers. She however, continues to do criminal defence and worked as a special prosecutor for the DPP’s office.
She was a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the Law Association for five years and has held an executive position in the Criminal Bar Association for over ten years and serves as the current vice-president. She is a current Commissioner appointed on the Law Reform Commission.
She was one of the youngest persons, at 35, appointed to sit as a Judge of the Supreme Court and as an advocate has argued and prepared numerous cases over the course of her 22 years of practice.
She is also a Course Director of Criminal Practice and Procedure at the Hugh Wooding Law School for two years.
She has also served as an executive of the Law Association.
Norma Maynard-Marshall was born in Barbados and was articled to Winston Griffith, Solicitor of the firm of Haynes and Griffith from December 1955 to 1961. On December 28, 1961, she obtained a final certificate from the Law Society of England and was admitted to practice as the first female Solicitor in Barbados. Norma embarked on her law practice in the firm of Haynes and Griffith, Solicitors & Conveyancers until June 1964.
She moved to Trinidad after her marriage and from 1965 to 1974 worked at the law firm of Laurence Narinesingh and Co, as a legal assistant since the local Law Society felt unable to admit her to practice as a Solicitor having regard to the then legislation. She was eventually admitted to practice in 1973.
In 1975 she opened her law practice and in 1996 she practised as a partner with Lynette Maharaj, SC, in the law firm Daltons.
Roger Gaspard obtained a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill in 1987. He was admitted to the Bar in 1990 and has practiced in both the Civil Courts and Criminal Courts of Trinidad and Tobago.
In August 1994, he joined the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions where he practiced in the Magistrate’s Court, Assizes and Court of Appeal. At the Office of the DPP, he was the officer in charge of the San Fernando Office for eight years. In September 2001, he was appointed the Director of Public Prosecutions for St Vincent and the Grenadines where he prosecuted in the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean, High Court, Magistrates’ Court and Coroner’s Court.
He returned to Trinidad in 2003, after having come off no pay leave and rejoined the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and began to act as the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions.
Upon the elevation to the bench of his predecessor in office, Justices Geoffrey Henderson and Carla Brown-Antoine he began to act as the Director of Public Prosecutions in September 2009 and was appointed the Director of Public Prosecution of Trinidad and Tobago in March 2010.
He is also a member of the National Drug Council.
Surendranath Capildeo is co-founder with Simbhoonath Capildeo of the law firm, Capildeo and Capildeo, of 51 Edward Street, Port-of-Spain. He was admitted to practice in 1968, and has been in active practice in Civil Law in the Supreme Court of Justice for more than 40 years.
Capildeo is a member of the Law and formerly occupied position of Treasurer of the Law Association for an unbroken 20 year period.
He is also a former Member of Parliament, who was actively engaged in politics with the Democratic Labor Party and the United Labour Front.