Originally Posted: November 28, 2021
|On September 1, 2022, Jacqueline Josiah Graham will be the new High Court Judge in Dominica. Her story started in the village of Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara, where she was born and spent her formative years. |
Golden Grove is one of the pioneering villages in Guyana’s Village Movement. In the immediate post Emancipation period former enslaved Africans bought many plantations on Guyana’s coastline and converted them to villages.
It is a matter of historical record that on January 5, 1848, fifty men pooled their resources and subscribed $100.00 each and bought Plantation Williamsburg for the sum of $5000.00. Charles William Cleeve through his attorney, William Heath, approached Robert Straker Turton, the owner of the Plantation to purchase the land. The plantation, which at the time was named Williamsburg, was bought for and on behalf of 50 men. Soon after purchase the new owners changed the name to Golden Grove.
The history behind the purchase of Golden Grove is as phenomenal as the stories of its many villagers’ contributions to society that have kept this village’s name in vogue. One such person is Jacqueline Louella Josiah Graham. She is presently the Registrar and Chief Marshall of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) having been appointed to the position on July 1, 2014. The CCJ is Guyana’s court of last resort.
Before Jackie, as she is fondly known, transitioned to law in 2004 she worked elsewhere, including at the National Insurance Scheme (NIS). She has a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Management Studies from the University of Guyana (1992), and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), specializing in Finance from the University of Manchester, UK (2004). Jackie taught at the University of Guyana.
At Hugh Wooding Law School, Jackie read for her Legal Education Certificate. There she received top honours and also in the areas of Legal Drafting and Civil Procedure and Practice. In Guyana, she worked in private practice with the firm, Interlaw Consultants and then as a lawyer with the Guyana Revenue Authority before moving to the Judiciary of Guyana. At the Judiciary she held the positions of Legal Assistant to the Chancellor of the Judiciary and Registrar of the Court of Appeal.
In lauding her appointment to the CCJ, then President, Sir Dennis Byron said, “With her distinguished academic career and practical work experience, Ms. Graham brings significant administrative capacity and a sound legal education to her job responsibilities at the CCJ.” As Registrar and Marshall of the CCJ, Jackie has the role of Chief Administrator, Operations, with primary responsibility for the Court’s financial management which has a revenue base of US$100 million.
This is only part of the story of the little girl from Golden Grove village who rose to the administrative pinnacle in the hallowed halls of the CCJ, Port-of- Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
Source: Village Voice News
From the village of Golden Grove to the hallowed halls of the CCJ