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The 5th Biennial Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) Conference will be held during the period 28th– 30th September 2017 at the Renaissance Curaçao Resort in Willemstad, Curaçao. The Conference is being held under the theme “Innovative, Independent and Responsive – the Modern Court”. The Chairman of CAJO, and Judge at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders stated, “our distinguished group of speakers, panelists and session chairs will include academics, judicial officers and some of the leading thinkers in their fields”. The Conference, which will feature over 20 sessions, will explore cybercrime, gender issues, the impact of social media, judicial transparency and accountability, performance measurement, in addition to other topical issues.

The Chairman of CAJO, and Judge at the CCJ, the Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders. After a recent visit to Curacao, to attend the installation of the new President of the Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba and to attend his first planning meeting with the local organizing committee, Mr. Justice Saunders was constrained to remark that he “has never seen a judiciary more prepared and enthused about hosting a CAJO Biennial Conference than the judiciary of Curacao”.

Support for CAJO is just one of the ways that the Caribbean Court of Justice encourages judicial education and reform in the Caribbean. The CAJO 5th Biennial Conference brings together the region’s Chief Justices, Judges, Magistrates, Masters, Registrars, Executive Court Administrators and other Judicial Officers for discussions aimed at ventilating best practices and developing new ideas and techniques to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the administration of justice. The Conference will also include meetings of other regional bodies including the Caribbean Association of Women Judges.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles opens the CAJO 5th Biennial Conference as the first keynote speaker. Sir Hilary Beckles is Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, a distinguished administrator and an internationally reputed historian. He has had a stellar career within the UWI becoming, at age 36, its youngest scholar to be promoted to a personal chair.

Dr. Ernst M.H. Hirsch Ballin is the featured keynote speaker on the second day of the Conference. Dr Ballin is a Distinguished University Professor at Tilburg University and President of the Asser Institute and Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Amsterdam. In November 2016, he was appointed Honorary University Professor because of his exceptional track record in the field of teaching and interdisciplinary research. He is the first professor at Tilburg University to receive this title.

Justice Saunders lauded the Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, the gracious hosts of this year’s biennial conference. The current President of the Court, Madame Justice Saleh, heads the local organising committee for the Conference, while the former President, Justice Evert Jan van der Poel, is a long-standing member on CAJO’s Management Committee.

Full details of the Conference, including draft agenda, registration details and other information that will be useful for conference attendees, can be found on the CAJO website, www.thecajo.org.