Dame Janice Pereira retires after ‘exceptional’ leadership of Supreme Court; Justice Mitchell’s selection as temporary head raises eyebrows

After serving 12 “exceptional” years at the helm of the Eastern Caribbean
Supreme Court (ECSC), Dame Janice Pereira, DBE, LLD is retiring.
The regional Court says it is honoured to announce this significant event, as
Dame Janice has had a distinguished and highly respected career. Her
leadership has left an indelible mark on the Court, it adds, making Dame
Janice’s departure an important moment.

Her retirement, which took effect on May 5, “marks the culmination of an era
of exceptional service, but her legacy will continue to inspire us all,” the ECSC
It notes that, throughout her illustrious career, Dame Janice has been a
trailblazing leader who has broken barriers and shattered glass ceilings; and
her unwavering determination and commitment to excellence have inspired
many, encouraging them to pursue greatness and strive for success.
“Her distinguished career is a testament to the fact that we, too, can achieve
our dreams with perseverance and dedication” and her “tenure as the Court’s
first female Chief Justice has been a pioneering journey in the field of law,” the
regional Court declares.
Dame Janice is commended for her grasp of the law and exceptional ability to
balance the rights of all parties. She is further lauded for her many
technological advancements; legislative developments; adept pandemic-
adaptation strategies; and her commendable efforts in enhancing
“Her leadership has steered us towards comprehensive progress and
development, ensuring accessible justice for all litigants,” the Court says.
Reportedly, Appeal Court Justice Mario Mitchell has been assigned to replace
Dame Janice until sometime later this year.
However, some persons reportedly are questioning this temporary
appointment – concerned that Justice Mitchell, a former St. Lucia politician,
might not be the best choice, because of his previous association with many
political heads across the region.
In a landmark case in Antigua and Barbuda, Justice Mitchell admitted that he
was acquainted with a former government minister, Hilroy Humphreys,
through attendance at regional events.

Humphreys was charged in relation to the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS)
scandal and was fined for his part in the offence, while the Scheme’s former
accountant received a jail sentence.

Critics deemed the disparity in penalties to be unfair, since, they said, the
ultimate responsibility for the offenses rested with the minister.