December 2015

Issue Home >>


Citation Justice Jean Angela Permanand, Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD)

Chancellor, Justice Jean Angela Permanand was born and spent her early years in Laventille, east of Port of Spain, where she recalls climbing her grandmother’s fence to witness the Solo Harmonites Steel Orchestra. Today she credits her grandmother with inadvertently nurturing the discipline, the language proficiency and the razor sharp attention to detail that would prove invaluable to excel at Law. Along the way, she added an enduring curiosity, powers of synthesis and human compassion to complete the framework for a distinguished and fulfilling career.

Admitted as a barrister-at-law in Trinidad and Tobago in 1962, she pursued private practice in the fields of Civil and Criminal Law including appearing on behalf of children in the Juvenile Courts.

From 1965 to 1979, she worked in the Attorney-General’s Chambers as State Counsel prosecuting criminal matters in the High Court as well as civil matters in the Industrial Court, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. She acted as Treasury Solicitor from 1979 to 1980. Here she served on negotiating teams as legal advisor and interpreted laws under which the Ministry of Finance operates.

She served as Solicitor-General from 1980-1982. On behalf of the State, she appeared in constitutional cases and other matters of high public importance. The post included responsibility for planning and coordinating the work of the legal staff of the Civil Law Department and advising Ministries of Government on matters of Civil Liability. In 1981 she was appointed Senior Counsel.

From 1983-1993 she would serve as Puisne Judge exercising jurisdiction in both criminal and civil matters.

From 1993-2004 Justice Permanand served as the first female judge of the Appeal Court of Trinidad & Tobago and would twice act as Chief Justice of the Republic. From 2004-2010 she was a member of the Law Revision Committee. During that time she was also appointed Chairman of the Law Reform Commission.

While building a career characterised by meticulous research and delivery, Justice Permanand also served the national community by participating in the work of several critical committees and commissions, including:

2003-2012 – As a Member of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission

2003 – Chair of the Committee to prepare a Domestic Violence Investigative and Procedural Manual for Police Officers

2003-2004 – Member of the Integrity Commission

2005 – Chair of the Committee to Review the Appointment Process of Senior Counsel

2005-2010 – Chair of the Committee to Review Mediation in Criminal Matters

2005-2010 – Executive Member of the Commonwealth Law Reform Agencies

2006-2010 – Member of the Committee to enhance the Delivery of Legal Services to the People of Trinidad & Tobago

2006 – Member of the HIV/AIDS Committee

2006-2010 – Member of the National Committee established to develop, monitor and promote a counter-money laundering and -terrorist financing framework.

Justice Permanand also conducted considerable pro bono work on behalf of juveniles. This much dedication does not go unnoticed. In 2003, she was awarded the Chaconia Medal Gold and in 2010, she was appointed a Member of the Board of Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny.

Justice Jean Angela Permanand also maintained academic interests in presenting papers at international conferences, including presentations on:

-“Imposing responsibility for HIV/AIDS Transmission”
-“Overview of Trinidad and Tobago’s Multi-Sectoral Response to HIV/AIDS”
-“Law Reform Challenges and Opportunities for Smaller Law Reform Agencies”

Justice Permanand continues to serve even today - over the past three years she has been a Communion Minister at the Church of the Assumption. She maintains a keen interest in current events and basks in the glow cast by her loving husband.

Chancellor, for impactful and genuine commitment to nation building, for long and distinguished service to the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, I present Justice Jean Angela Permanand, and ask that by the authority vested in you by the Council and Senate of The University of the West Indies, you confer on her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

St Augustine Campus
October 2015

“For the Law graduates, it is likely that you will be entering the practice of the profession as some of you have already done so, therefore, I must remind you of the provisions of the Legal Profession Act, Chap.90:03 and to request you to ensure due observance and also to keep in mind your annual subscriptions and contribution to the Compensation Fund.

The Graduates of the Engineering Faculty, I wish to express the tremendous admiration I have for engineers. I know that I could never perform the feats of an engineer! Not only because of my size but the efforts that are to be put in and expected as a successful engineer, the building of roads for example, Wrightson Road; bridges throughout Trinidad and Tobago, ring roads and overpasses, the proposed causeway, perhaps I should not mention the St. Joseph Bridge here! Would engineers be able to harness the humidity in the atmosphere in order to cool buildings more efficiently? I feel our country owes a debt ofgratitude to the petroleum engineers and to know that they are sought after worldwide!”

Click here for full speech (PDF)