Born in St. Kitts, Mr J. Emile Ferdinand is a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis and also of the Commonwealth of Dominica. In 1981 he graduated from the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Laws degree, with honours. He graduated from the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica in 1983 with the Legal Education Certificate and was admitted to the Bar in St. Kitts and Nevis. He also holds a Master of Laws degree (LL.M., 1986) from the University of Cambridge (Trinity College).
During the course of his education Mr. Ferdinand received a number of academic awards, including:
- the 1977 St. Kitts and Nevis State Scholarship;
- a Mark of Merit at the Faculty of Law, UWI, Cave Hill, Barbados;
- the 1981-83 Most Outstanding Student Award at the Norman Manley Law School in
- a 1985 Commonwealth Scholarship (United Kingdom); and
- the Lizette Bentwich Prize for good performance in the Master of Laws examinations at Trinity College, Cambridge University, England in 1986.
Mr. Ferdinand is admitted to practice law in St. Kitts & Nevis, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada and Montserrat. He has worked as a university law tutor, a Crown Counsel in the Chambers of the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions and an Acting Judge of the Eastern Caribbean High Court. He has been in private legal practice since 1986 and joined the St. Kitts and Nevis firm of Kelsick, Wilkin and Ferdinand as a partner in 1988.
Mr. Ferdinand has served as President of the St. Kitts & Nevis Bar Association, Vice-President of the St. Kitts & Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, President of the Rotary Club of St. Kitts, and Chairman of the Caribbean’s Council of Legal Education which operates law schools in Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and The Bahamas.
He has authored articles on “The Supremacy of the Constitution” in The West Indian Law Journal (May 2002) and on “The Enforcement of Foreign Judgments” in Kimes International Law Directory 2000.
Mr. J Emile Ferdinand was appointed a member of the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission on 29 October 2010, nominated by the Bar or Law Associations of the Contracting Parties.