The President-Designate of the Caribbean Court of Justice
At its meeting in St. Georges, Grenada, in February 2011, the Caribbean Community Heads of Government agreed to the recommendation of the Regional and Judicial Legal Services Commission (RJLSC) that the Right Honourable Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron be appointed President of the Caribbean Court of Justice to succeed the Right Honourable Mr. Justice Michael de la Bastide T.C., who is due to retire on August 18, 2011. Sir Dennis Byron assumes duty at the CCJ upon completion of his assignment as President of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
Born in Basseterre, St Kitts & Nevis, in 1943, Sir Dennis won the Leeward Islands Scholarship in 1960 and went on to read law at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University, from which he graduated with an M.A. and LL.B. After 16 years of private practice in the Eastern Caribbean, he went on to serve as High Court Judge, Justice of Appeal and then Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. During his tenure as Chief Justice, Sir Dennis led the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Judicial Reform Programme, which included the establishment of a Code of Ethics for Judges, the implementation of new Civil Procedure Rules and the establishment of a Judicial Education Institute, among other innovations. His special interest in judicial education activities has led to his appointment as President of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute (CJEI), a position which he has held since the year 2000.
In 2004, Sir Dennis Byron was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and he was appointed a member of the Privy Council.
As the current President of the ICTR, Sir Dennis Byron is responsible for the overall management of the Court and the implementation of ICTR strategic policies, through liaison with member states and the United Nations Security Council. While at the ICTR, Sir Dennis has sat on seven trial benches and served on a number of pre-trial benches.
Sir Dennis Byron has written many articles and publications and also holds the first Yogis and Keddy Chair in Human Rights Law at Dalhousie University Nova Scotia, Canada.