Secretary and Treasurer Hon. Joan Charles
Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Justice Charles is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and the Sir Hugh Wooding Law School having attained her Bachelor of Laws degree in 1983 and her Legal Education Certificate in 1985. Following her admission to the Trinidad and Tobago Bar in 1985, Justice Charles began her career in private practice which culminated in December 2003. During her years of practice Justice Charles specialized in the areas of Criminal Law, Civil Law and Family Law. From 2001 to 2003 Justice Charles was appointed Special Prosecutor having conduct of criminal appeals on behalf of the State. In January 2004, Justice Charles was appointed a Pusine Judge of the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago where she served as a Judge in the Criminal Division until September 2009, when she was appointed to the Civil Division.
Justice Charles was appointed a Board Member of the International Association of Women Judges and a Co-Director for the Latin-American and Caribbean region from 2014 to 2016. She is presently President of the Caribbean Association of Women Judges as well as the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Women Judges. Justice Charles is also the Chair of the charitable organization APEX which is involved in the mentorship and training of a wide cross section of professionals in Trinidad and Tobago, providing professionals with the tools to hone their skills and talents and improve their output.
In 2014 Justice Charles was a moderator at the International Association of Women Judges’ 12th Biennial Conference in Arusha, Tanzania. In that parallel session the topic was ‘Justice For Vulnerable Witnesses: Child Witnesses and the “best interest” standard.’ In 2015 Justice Charles presented a paper on ‘Child Abduction – Cross Border Child Custody’ at the Asia Pacific Regional Conference of the International Association of Women Judges in the Philippines.