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UPDATE: Chief Justice Janice Pereira gets Damehood!

Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Janice Pereira, has been conferred with the title of Dame Commander In The Order Of The British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: supplied
Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Her Ladyship, the Honourable Madam Janice Mesadis Pereira is expected to be knighted (female-Damehood) in keeping with Supreme Courts tradition in the British system. If this happens, it well be another proud moment for the Virgin Islands. Madam Chief Justice has made history by becoming the first woman CJ and will be one of the few women in the region to be referred to once knighted as
Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Her Ladyship, the Honourable Madam Janice Mesadis Pereira is expected to be knighted (female-Damehood) in keeping with Supreme Courts tradition in the British system. If this happens, it well be another proud moment for the Virgin Islands. Madam Chief Justice has made history by becoming the first woman CJ and will be one of the few women in the region to be referred to once knighted as "Dame". She arrived in the Territory on November 18, 2012 for an official 4-day visit. [L-R Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith, Chief Justice Her Ladyship the Hon. Madam Janice M. Pereira, her husband Mr Pereira, Mrs Lorna Smith, Dr Joseph S. Archibald]. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - As first reported by Virgin Islands News Online on November 19, 2012, His Excellency the Governor Boyd McCleary is delighted to announce that the honour of Dame Commander in the Order of the British Empire (DBE) has been conferred upon Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Eastern Caribbean Honourable Mrs. Justice Janice Pereira by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to the administration of justice. The DBE is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King Geor

An announcement in the London Gazette said  ‘THE QUEEN has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following appointment to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: Order of the British Empire (Civil Division) DBE to The Honourable Mrs Justice (Janice Mesadis) PEREIRA, Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

“My warmest congratulations go to Honourable Mrs. Justice Janice Pereira on receiving the DBE. I think I can speak for all in the Territory when I say that the BVI feels a great sense of pride in her tremendous achievements. We can be proud not only that she is from the BVI but also that she is the first ever female Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme court. She serves as a source of inspiration for all Virgin Islanders.” Governor McCleary said. 

See previous story posted Novembe 19, 2012:

Chief Justice Janice Mesadis Pereira to be knighted!

-No date set for event; no announcement made yet by Buckingham Palace

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- While many of us are rather excited and deservedly so that local daughter of the soil Virgin Gordian Her Ladyship the Honourable Madam Janice Mesadis Pereira is now Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, it gets even more historic.

After research and information reaching this news site from London’s Buckingham Palace, St. Lucia-the Headquarters of the Supreme Court and a local legal historian, it is our understanding that Chief Justice Madam Pereira is expected to be knighted (female damehood) by Queen Elizabeth the II in keeping with tradition of the office.

Background to Knighthood/Damehood

The rank of Knight Bachelor (Kt) or Damehood for female is a part of the British honours system. It is important to note that women deserving an honour of this rank are appointed Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) instead.

It is generally awarded for public service; amongst its recipients are judges of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Males are referred to as “Sir” and females as “Dame.” A woman appointed to the grades of Dame Commander or Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, Order of St Michael and St George, Royal Victorian Order, or the Order of the British Empire becomes a Dame.

It remains unclear when the appointment of Damehood will be bestowed by the Queen on CJ Madam Pereira.

Other Chief Justices of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court over the years from its inception in 1967, who have been knighted (male), were Sir Allen Montgomery Lewis who served as Chief Justice from 1967 to 1972.

Subsequent Chief Justices in chronological order who were knighted  in keeping with high court tradition, were; Sir Maurice Davis (1975 – 1980) Sir Neville Peterkin (1981-1983), Sir Lascelles Robotham (1984 - 1991); Sir Vincent Floissac, QC, OBE, CMG (1991 – 1996); Sir Dennis Byron (1996 – 2004), and Sir Brian George Keith Alleyne, SC, KCN [Ag.] (2005 – 2008). 

Justice Pereira arrives for four-day visit

Regarded as one of the Virgin Islands’ greatest contemporary achievers, Madam Pereira landed on home soil yesterday, November 18, 2012.

Justice Pereira, the first female Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court since the institution’s establishment in 1967, made her first return to the Virgin Islands since being appointed to the position in October 2012.

The indigenous Virgin Islander is on a four-day whirlwind invitation to visit her home country and now has the opportunity to catch up with family, friends, dignitaries and well-wishers in the Territory.                                      

The Hon. Justice Pereira is scheduled to meet with students of the Robinson O’Neal and Bregado Flax Educational primary schools and also to attend a service in her honour at the North Sound Methodist Church in Virgin Gorda today.

On Tuesday, November 20, Madam Chief Justice Pereira will make courtesy calls on Premier Smith at 9:00 a.m., His Excellency the Governor Mr. Boyd McCleary at 10:00 a.m. and Deputy Governor Mrs. Inez V. Archibald at 11:00 a.m.

On Wednesday morning she is scheduled to meet with a group of students of the Elmore Stoutt High School at the Court House for a pep talk and autograph session. She will also make a courtesy call on Chairman of the Bar Association Ms. Keisha Durham before departing the Territory later in the day.

Premier Dr the Hon. D. Orlando Smith said previously that Government extended an invitation to Madam Pereira to visit the Territory, in her official capacity, so that Virgin Islanders can get the opportunity to share in the historic occasion of her appointment. 

He also said, “I was there to witness Her Ladyship take the Oath of Allegiance and Oath for Due Execution of Office in St. Lucia and it was indeed a gratifying moment to do so. In fact, this historic achievement brings pride to the British Virgin Islands and the rest of the Caribbean.”

In reiterating the pride he feels, Premier Smith said, “Her Ladyship has been recognised by Caribbean leaders and in turn Her Majesty the Queen for her extraordinary qualities as a lawyer. [She]…is a shining example of how commitment and dedication to service could result in great accomplishments. She is indeed an inspiration to us all.”

During the swearing-in ceremony in St. Lucia, Honourable Pereira said she felt a great sense of pride to be a daughter of the Virgin Islands and that her accomplishment signals a great achievement for the Territory. “I feel truly honoured and special that a delegation from the BVI is here to share in this occasion; a moment I will never forget.”

In the Virgin Islands, she has served as acting Registrar General, acting Registrar of the Supreme Court and Registrar of Companies, and acted and served as Magistrate. She was an Associate Attorney at Law with J.S. Archibald and Co.; Associate Attorney with Harney Westwood & Riegels; Attorney at Law with McW Todman & Co, and a law partner in Farara George-Creque & Kerrins. Regionally, she served as a High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court from 2003 to 2008 and Court of Appeal from 2009 to 2012. 

26 Responses to “UPDATE: Chief Justice Janice Pereira gets Damehood!”

  • ausar (19/11/2012, 08:22) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Congrats Justice Pereira!
    • Nadisha Baptiste (20/04/2013, 10:10) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Her Ladyship Honourable Madam Justice Janice Pereira should be knighted of the British Virgin Isalnds. She should be knighted,after all that hard work she have done to put forward this day to be Chief Juctice of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. She studied very hard and never stop, no matter if it was recess time or lunch time. She is a great and a humble woman today. She had always wanted to be a teacher,but it seems like her teacher dreams turns out to to bigger than what she thought it wuold be! I am a child of grade six Robinson O'Neal Memorial Primary School and I would like to be like the woman of Her Ladyship Honourable Madam Justice Janice Pereira.
      • Oh dear (07/05/2013, 16:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Damehood is the feminine version of Knighthood. Knights are for males
  • one eye (19/11/2012, 08:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    this is outstanding news yall
  • Dem Say (19/11/2012, 08:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    She is also a regional legal heavyweight
  • BVI lawyer (19/11/2012, 09:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    All Chief Justices are knighted by convention. The knighthood really is just a reflection of the greater honour: being named Chief Justice. Congratulations again, Janice.
  • Virgin Gorda (19/11/2012, 09:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    A most deserving appointment. Definitely pleased to see this lady (who I have had the pleasure of meeting) will be given this big honor go DAME JANICE!

  • small head (19/11/2012, 09:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Two thumbs up
  • Armour (19/11/2012, 10:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So how when it comes to 'Knighthood' nobody talks about the 'Lodge' etc.? People are so brainwashed lol. You will praise this but then cut down the local brotherhoods when the principle is the same thing.
  • North Sounder (19/11/2012, 11:27) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I'm so happy to see my VI people and one of our very own doing great things. The people North Sound are very proud of you, much love.
    • jack be still (19/11/2012, 12:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      This is a good example of B VIslanders supporting their own
  • ring (19/11/2012, 15:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Honourable Dame Janice Mesadis Pereir I love the ring to that!!
  • NYC (19/11/2012, 18:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    vino hats off again for some reason you are always out front from the rest…Jan I am deliciously proud!
  • fan (19/11/2012, 23:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lorna you look lovely like a spring lady!! I also love that ad they had on VINO for your birthday!!
  • nibbs (20/11/2012, 07:34) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is the Lord's work being carried out here go Dame
  • .... (29/04/2013, 12:03) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply

    P.....in the real life, she cannot control her temper, how she could be consider with a position as such?

  • mother hen (07/05/2013, 17:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The jealousy in your tone of voice is loud.
  • xxxxxxxx (07/05/2013, 18:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sweet BVI
  • born here (07/05/2013, 23:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    so happy and proud of jan
  • ooooo (08/05/2013, 09:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    she graduated from the same BVI high school myron always calling down
  • tola born (08/05/2013, 13:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    that person who said how P.... cannot control her tempert,. how she could be considered with a position as such.. why don't you stop hating cause you yourself can't even walk in her shadow mayless her shoes so shut the hell up HATER.. Congratualations to you D...P...., you are more than deserving of this post. And as for you Lawyer girl, you just jealous as well...

  • GOOD ONE (08/05/2013, 20:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I must say a big congratulations to the Chief Justice Pereira. Its well deserved. I also believe that the Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal OBE the first Premier of the Virgin Islands is also well deserving of Knighthood. Governor please recommend our great leader and Man of Power. He has contributed tremendously to his country and ppl. I'm of proud Dame Justice Pereira.
  • Monmouth Jct., NJ (08/05/2013, 22:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Onward and upward Honorable Mrs. Justice Janice Pereira, and congratulations on receiving the DBE. Reaching this new milestone serves as inspiration and motivation for all of us to continue striving for excellence in our work and occupation. You make us all proud; keep up the good work!
  • @@@@@ (09/05/2013, 00:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dame Pereira sweet ring to it boss


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