The Honourable Mr. Justice Jacob Wit

The Honourable Mr Justice Jacob Wit

The Honourable Mr Justice Wit was born on 24 December 1952 in Haarlemmermeer, The Netherlands. He studied law from 1971 to 1977 at the Vrije Universiteit (Free University) of Amsterdam, from which he took the degree of Meester in de Rechten (Master of Laws) with honours. After completing his military service (1976-1978) as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Dutch Navy, he was admitted in March 1978 as a Judicial Trainee at the Studiecentrum Rechtspleging (Training and Study Centre for the Judiciary) in Zutphen, the Netherlands, where he remained enrolled until 1984. During this period, he held the posts of Griffier (Law Clerk) in the Rotterdam District Court, Rotterdam, (1978-1980) and plaatsvervangend Officier van Justitie (Deputy Prosecutor) at the Amsterdam District Court (1980-1982) and worked as an advocaat (attorney-at-law) with the Law Firm of Van Doorne & Sjollema in Rotterdam (1982-1984).

Mr Justice Wit was appointed by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands as Deputy Judge of the Rotterdam District Court in January 1984, Judge of the Rotterdam District Court in March 1985 and Judge of the Joint Court of Justice of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba on 1 October 1986. This Court consists of several Courts of First Instance (Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and the so-called BES islands) and a Court of Appeal.

Resident in Curaçao since 1986, from then to 2005, Mr Justice Wit presided over or sat in the Court of Appeal, but mainly presided in the Courts of First Instance over a wide range of cases, involving: private law (contract, tort, property, succession), commercial and admiralty law, insurance, bankruptcy and (cross border) insolvency, company law and intellectual property, criminal law (serious crime, government corruption, international fraud, money laundering), military law, administrative law, constitutional law and international human rights law.

Over this period, he has acquired significant expertise in various posts within the Joint Court of Justice system: as Coordinating Judge, Court of First Instance, Curaçao (1993-1996); Coordinator Judge of Instruction, Netherlands Antilles (1994-1997); Coordinating Judge for the Dutch Windward Islands of Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba (1997-2001) and from 2001 to 2005 as Senior Judge and Acting President of the Court.

Mr Justice Jacob Wit took the Oath of Office as a Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) at The President’s House, Port of Spain, on Wednesday 1 June 2005. In November 2010, Mr Justice Wit was appointed and sworn in as the President of the Constitutional Court of St. Maarten, a part-time function. He is the lone Civil Law Judge on the CCJ Bench.