Justice Margaret Mohammed Appointed Puisne Judge

His Excellency Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona ORTT, S.C. President of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago administered the oath of office to Justice Margaret Mohammed as a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of the Judicature on December 1, 2014.

President Carmona indicated that this appointment is a defining moment for the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean region and it celebrated since it is the first time in the region that both husband and wife are Puisne Judges of The Supreme Court of the Judicature.  Justice Margret Mohammed is the wife of Justice Vashist Kokaram.

His Excellency made mention of the very humble background from which Justice Margret Mohammed originated and through hard work, dedication and sacrifice, she was able to realise a distinguished legal career demonstrated by her many professional accomplishments.

Justice Margret Yasmin Mohammed attained her legal education at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus and the Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.  She was subsequently admitted to Practice at the Bar in Trinidad and Tobago in 1995 and became an Associated Attorney at Alexander, Jeremie & Company in October 1995.

She was appointed Legal Advisor, Public Utilities Commission in 1997, and acting Registrar of the Tax Appeal Board in 2003 and made her entry to the Supreme Court in 2001 where as Assistant Registrar she adjudicated in summonses for direction, post-trial applications and on applications to extend time for registration or re-registration for Mortgage Bills of Sale.

Justice Mohammed went on to be appointed Deputy Registrar, Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago 2011, and also acted as Master of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago from March 2011 to October 2012 during which time she was able to reduce the waiting period for a trial of an assessment of damages from 3 years to 3 months from the first hearing until the end of the trial and reduce the first hearing of an assessment of damages from a waiting period of 6 months to 6 weeks.

Justice Mohammed was appointed a High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in November 2012 where she convened and chaired a subcommittee of the Bench Committee which deals with the backlog of Civil Matters in Grenada, and has achieved the delivery of decisions for trials and applications within four months from conclusion.

During her career Justice Mohammed has successfully completed training in Caribbean Criminal Asset Recovery, Complex Fraud Trial Management, and International Commercial Arbitration.  She has also been a member of the Judiciary Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, the Court Annexed mediation Pilot Project, the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association and as a Certified Mediator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, was Chairperson of the Court Annexed Mediation Committee, Grenada from 2012 to 2014.

His Excellency stated that Judges are not appointed on the basis of popular support or popular will but must possess certain qualities among them jurisprudential prowess, legal acumen, integrity, equipoise and a deep sense of justice.  With a career that includes such notable accomplishments, Justice Mohammed certainly possesses these qualities and more.

I wish to commend Justice Margret Mohammed for accepting this call to public service in this Republic.  Many persons are not aware of the sacrifices judges endure and the risk to their very lives in their desire and pursuit to ensure justice for all.

Chief Justice Ivor Archie who witnessed the ceremony stated that it came as no surprise to those who know Justice Mohammed that she has achieved this milestone and is making history.  Watching her grow in the legal system and having The Eastern Caribbean Court steal her away, it was with delight to see her application.  All the members of the JLSC are impressed with her credentials as well as her dedicated, proactive nature and disciplined.  Her application is a testament of her own individual qualities and she was a candidate of calibre.  It was indeed the right things when she was recommended to His Excellency for she is an excellent lawyer.

Justice Mohammed swearing in ceremony was also witnessed by her husband Justice Vashiest Kokaram, Justice of Appeal Maureen Rajnauth-Lee and Mr. David Lee and Administrative Secretary to the Chief Justice Ms. Kabiki Cazabon.