Newly sworn-in resident judge Her Ladyship, Hon. Justice Marlene Carter is set to continue the strong traditions of law and justice in the Federation. Outgoing Hon. Justice Darshan Ramdhani described her as tremendously experienced and that her expansive career in public and private practice, in civil and criminal matters, in administration and legislative initiatives, and her Caribbean wide career experience would serve the nation well. Justice Carter was sworn-in June 30, at Government House, by His Excellency Governor General Sir Edmund Lawrence. On July 1, members of the Bar Association welcomed the new resident judge in a special sitting of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in Basseterre. For the first time, there are two female judges presiding over civil and criminal cases in St. Kitts and Nevis at the same time, which several attorneys attributed to the continuing progress and development in the legal systems of the Caribbean. Also present and sitting on the Bench was the sitting judge of the Nevis circuit, Her Ladyship, Hon. Justice Lorraine Williams. In welcoming the new resident judge, members of the St. Kitts and Nevis Bar Association expressed the view that she was entering a jurisdiction that was challenging, interesting and supportive of the administration of justice and the rule of law. Justice Carter expressed appreciation for the warm welcome. She indicated that she believes that the jurisdiction has many committed lawyers, and pledged her impartiality and objectivity. She said, “It’s a humble privilege to serve the people of St. Kitts.”Among the attorneys addressing the occasion were Mr. Charles Wilkin, Q.C., president of the St. Kitts-Nevis Bar Association and Mr. Tapley Seaton, Q.C., the immediate past president of the OECS Bar Association. Representing the Governments Legal Affairs Office were Solicitor General Mrs. Simone Bullen-Thompson and Director of Public Prosecutions Mr. Travers Sinanan. Members of the Bar also thanked Justice Ramdhani for what many described as his excellent discharge of his duties and wished him well. Justice Carter’s legal career began in 1989, when she embarked upon a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the West Indies. Having completed the first year of her studies in her native Trinidad and Tobago, Justice Carter went on to finish her degree at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados, from which she graduated with Honours in 1992. Returning to Trinidad, Justice Carter attended the Hugh Wooding School of Law and was awarded her Legal Education Certificate in 1994. Shortly thereafter, Justice Carter was called to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago. As a new Attorney, Justice Carter’s first appointment was as State Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Trinidad and Tobago, where she was part of a distinguished legal team including the now President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency, Anthony Carmona; High Court Judges, Justice Mark Mohammed, Justice Geoffrey Henderson, Justice Carla Brown-Antoine, and the serving Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. Roger Gaspard S.C. Justice Carter learnt her trade in the Magistrates’ Courts throughout Trinidad and Tobago. Having proved her worth, Justice Carter was promoted to State Counsel II in 1996 and assumed duties in the High Court. During this period she was assigned to Assizes in Port of Spain, San Fernando and Tobago and had sole responsibility for the prosecution of the most serious of offences at that level. Two years later, Justice Carter made the first what was to prove to be several moves across the Caribbean. As Criminal Crown Counsel in the Chambers of the Attorney General of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Justice Carter appeared regularly in the High Court and before the visiting Court of Appeal; and, in addition to her caseload, Justice Carter also assumed responsibility for the establishment and management of the criminal department of the Chambers in Providenciales. Upon completion of her assignment in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Justice Carter returned to Trinidad and Tobago, initially in the role of Senior Legal Officer in the Ministry of National Security. As the principal legal advisor to the Minister of National Security, she advised the Minister upon complex legal issues relating to the Police, the Army, Immigration and Customs. At this stage of her career, Justice Carter was also involved in legislative initiatives, supporting the Minister of National Security in the presentation of Bills before Parliament. In 2000, Justice Carter stepped away from public service and became Legal Counsel for Petrotrin, the Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago. However, when she was approached to join the Attorney General’s Chambers in the Cayman Islands, Justice Carter welcomed the opportunity to explore another Caribbean jurisdiction and, at the same time, to once again be actively at work in a courtroom. As Counsel for the Crown, she appeared in the Summary Court, which in the Cayman Islands has jurisdiction to deal with matters that carry a maximum sentence of twenty years; the Grand Court, which is both the first point of appeal from the Summary Court and where the prosecution of more serious offences are commenced; and also before the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal. During her tenure in the Attorney General’s Chambers in the Cayman Islands, Justice Carter was promoted through the ranks. She served as Senior Crown Counsel on many occasions, was made responsible for the administration and general purview of all criminal matters and, at times, assumed the duties of Solicitor General. Justice Carter also played a formative role in the creation of the Department’s International Cooperation Unit, which was established to deal exclusively with mutual legal assistance, money laundering and the proceeds of crime, and, in this role, served as case controller for what became the first successful prosecution for money laundering in the Cayman Islands. In 2005, Justice Carter moved into private practice in the Cayman Islands. As a Senior Associate in a local firm, Justice Carter gained experience in a range of civil and commercial matters to add to her criminal credentials. Her diverse civil practice encompassed contentious employment, immigration and matrimonial matters, while her commercial work included serving as the legal representative for a major regional insurance company. In addition, Justice Carter continued to assist the Crown by appearing as special prosecuting counsel and she also acted as standing counsel for the Honourary Jamaican Consulate in the Cayman Islands, as well as Duty Counsel to the Cayman Islands Drug Treatment Court. Having sat as the Attorney General’s representative on the Committee tasked with proposing draft legislation for a Drug Treatment Court, when such a Court was introduced into the Cayman Islands court system in 2007, Justice Carter was invited to serve as Duty Counsel to that Court, a position she was pleased to accept and which she held until October 2010. In 2011, Justice Carter returned to public service to take up a senior management position within the Ministry for Financial Services of the Cayman Islands Government. As Deputy Director of the Cayman Islands Tax Information Authority, she was part of a multi-agency team responsible for ensuring that the Cayman Islands meets its obligations under numerous international tax exchange agreements for the provision of information in line with the OECD standards. Justice Carter also qualified as an OECD country assessor and represented the OECD in the assessment of other jurisdictions, evaluating and reporting to the OECD on the extent to which the legal, regulatory, banking and operational frameworks of jurisdictions such as Lebanon and Singapore, for example, comply with international tax transparency standards. In this capacity, Justice Carter also represented the Cayman Islands Government at the OECD Global Forum and at various related international conferences. In September 2013, Justice Carter was appointed as an acting Judg
e of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and assigned to St. Lucia where she presided in the civil jurisdiction until December 2013.