October 23, 2019

Two Caribbean judges appointed to United Nations Dispute Tribunal

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Monday, July 22, 2019 — The 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly recently elected nationals, Justice Francis Belle of Barbados and Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell of Trinidad and Tobago, to serve 7 year terms of office on the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT) as half-time judges. The appointments took effect on July 10, 2019. UNDT half-time judges serve on rotation in New York, USA; Geneva, Switzerland; and Nairobi, Kenya.

Four judges were elected by secret ballot in total, Justice Rachel Sikwese of Malawi and Justice Margaret Tibulya of Uganda, were also appointed. Judges will serve on one of two entities — the other being the United Nations Appeals Tribunal — that comprise the Organisation’s system of the administration of justice for employment-related disputes.  Half-time judges on the Dispute Tribunal are deployed up to a cumulative period of six months per year, as decided by the President based on the caseload and any judicial absences affecting the work of the Tribunal.

Through resolution 62/228, adopted in 2007, the Assembly decided that it will appoint judges to those tribunals based on the recommendation of the Internal Justice Council.  As such, the judges elected were selected from a circulated list of candidates recommended by the Council (documents A/73/911 andA/73/911/Corr.1).  Also before the Assembly was a related memorandum by the Secretary-General (document A/73/917).

To be eligible for appointment as a judge to the Dispute Tribunal, candidates must be of high moral character and impartial; possess at least 10 years of judicial experience in the field of administrative law or the equivalent within one or more national jurisdictions; and be fluent, both orally and in writing, in English or French.

A total of 325 applications were received globally, 51 of which came from Latin America and the Caribbean. 96 candidates advanced to the written assessment stage and 23 were invited to interview with the Internal Justice Council at the Hague, Netherlands. Finally, 7 candidates received the Council’s recommendation for consideration of an appointment by the General Assembly and 4 were appointed by the General Assembly by way of a secret ballot in an election process.

Results for Vote to Fill Half-Time Vacancies on Dispute Tribunal

Number of ballots:171
Number of invalid ballots:1
Number of valid ballots:170
Number of abstentions:0
Number of Members voting:170
Majority required:86
Number of votes obtained: 
Margaret Tibulya (Uganda):110
Rachel Sikwese (Malawi):109
Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell (Trinidad and Tobago):101
Francis Belle (Barbados):88
Cristiane Souza de Castro Toledo (Brazil):85
Heinrich Glasser (Germany):82
Ole Jan van Leeuwen (Netherlands):75

About Justice Francis Belle:

Justice Francis H.V Belle has served as a High Court Judge for over 15-years. His judicial experience spans adjudication of criminal and civil matters, including Administrative and Employment Law actions. Justice Belle served as resident judge in Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Antigua and the Commonwealth of Dominica; visiting judge in and Montserrat with the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) 2003-present. He periodically serves as acting Court of Appeal Judge with the ECSC and acting judge of the Cayman Islands Grand Court (2015-present). 

Justice Belle holds a Bachelor of Arts, History and Social Science and Bachelor of Laws from the University of the West Indies (UWI), and a Certificate of Legal Education from Norman Manley Law School in (1986). He also holds a Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova South Eastern University in the United States (2002) and served as Chairman of Court Connected Mediation Committees in three (3) ECSC jurisdictions. As a lawyer, Justice Belle taught Criminal Law at UWI (School of Continuing Education – British Virgin Islands) and held various senior positions in both private and public sectors including Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, in St Kitts and Nevis. He is a Fellow of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and Senior Fellow of the Weinstein International Foundation (Fellowship of Mediators). He was appointed UNDT half-time judge on July 10, 2019 for 7 years.

About Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell:

Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell was appointed half time Judge of the UNDT for a seven-year term effective 10 July 2019. Judge Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell currently serves as a Puisne Judge of the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago, presiding in Civil matters since 2015. She has also served as a Judicial Officer at the Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago for several years and has held office as Solicitor General in the Ministry of the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago.

Justice Donaldson-Honeywell has enjoyed an extensive and varied legal practice as an Attorney-at-Law and Judicial Officer in Jamaica; presiding in criminal trials and as a resident Magistrate, playing a pioneering role in emerging fields of securities law regulation and competition law regulation, and serving as Director of Legal Services and Enforcement at the Securities Commission. She also holds an EMBA (Distinction and Top Student) from the Arthur Lock Jack Graduate School of Business and is a certified Mediator. She is the author of” Sailor Dance” the biography of John Stanley Donaldson, her father, and mother of Warren and Kristen. Source: un.org.

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