REFLECTIONS AND OPINIONSProduct no.: HP226
Désirée Patricia Bernard
This collection of speeches provides an opportunity to benefit from the excellent intellect, research and reasoning that make the author one of the leading contemporary judicial and legal thinkers in the Caribbean.
Désirée Bernard went into practice in Guyana and soon held office in the Guyana Bar Association. It was here that she showed her leadership and interest in the broader legal picture. Through the Organisation of Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Associations, she was engaged in the discussions on the abolition of appeals to the Privy Council and the development of Caribbean jurisprudence, thinking which was the foundation of the Caribbean Court of Justice.
She was elevated to the Bench in Guyana becoming the first woman to be so appointed, and rapidly rose to the post of Chief Justice, becoming the first woman in the British Commonwealth to hold that office. She later became Head of the Judiciary of Guyana when she was appointed to the post of Chancellor. Upon its inauguration, Désirée Bernard was the first and only female judge to sit on the Caribbean Court of Justice.
This collection is replete with case law and legal reasoning, and addresses topics which could guide judicial and legal deliberations on many issues, making them valuable as a research tool, but delightfully written, making reading pleasurable. She also examines the role of women, “the power behind the throne” in the home, the society and in the legal profession, with characteristic and incisive humour as well.
Contained herein are the distilled thoughts and examinations of one of the contemporary Caribbean’s finest legal minds. These writings are of historical significance in that many of them commemorate milestones in the evolution of Guyanese law, in particular, and CARICOM law, in general.
It is important to acknowledge that much of the international legislation to which many of the world’s states are now signatories have benefited from the sterling contributions of Désirée Bernard.
“My admiration for this material is unbounded. I can give no higher recommendation to the reader.” Dennis Byron, President, Caribbean Court of Justice
Désirée Patricia Bernard, OR, CCH, is a former Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice