Dame Janice Pereira DBE, Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court with members of the Sentencing Guidelines Advisory Committee.

The governments of the United States of America and the United Kingdom continue to collaborate with Eastern Caribbean justice sector stakeholders to bolster the region’s criminal justice systems.  Last week, the Sentencing Guidelines Advisory Committee (SGAC) of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) met in Saint Lucia to advance their work on new and revised Sentencing Guidelines. Since the introduction of the first set of Guidelines in 2019, the ECSC Sentencing Guidelines Project has continually evolved, and now consists of 22 Guidelines across five major offence categories in nine countries. These Guidelines provide guidance on sentencing approaches used by judges and magistrates for offences such as sexual crimes, corruption, money laundering, and drug and firearm offences.  

Supported by the US-UK Criminal Justice Reform Project and the UK-funded Serious Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Programme (SOCAP), the March 4-5 meeting aimed to enhance the effectiveness of key institutions in the criminal justice sector across the Caribbean.  The US-UK Criminal Justice Project has been instrumental in supporting the ECSC throughout the development, publication, and sensitization activities related to these Guidelines.

Sirah Abraham, Criminal Justice Advisor for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, praised the ECSC’s commitment to the Sentencing Guidelines Project.  She highlighted the Guidelines’ role in streamlining sentencing processes and increasing understanding among victims, witnesses, offenders, and the public, ultimately enhancing the effectiveness of the criminal justice system and bolstering public trust in the judiciary. Sirah Abraham remarked: 

“I am heartened to see the dedication of The Honourable Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, The Honourable Dame Janice Pereira, and the Sentencing  Guidelines Advisory Committee in developing and keeping under review the ECSC  Sentencing Guidelines over these past few years. The Guidelines have gone a long  way in streamlining the approach taken by


judges and magistrates to sentencing offenders, which is a critical aspect of their work. Further, the consultative, and evidence-based approach taken to the development and revision of the Sentencing Guidelines has made the sentencing process in relation to serious offences much more readily understood by victims/survivors, witnesses, offenders and the public.”

The SGAC was established by the Chief Justice of the ECSC, The Honourable Dame Janice M. Pereira, who also sits on the Committee and is chaired by ECSC Judges, The Honourable Justices Trevor Ward and Iain Morley.  The Committee draws on multi-country and multi-stakeholder expertise across the criminal justice system including the courts, the social sciences, prosecuting authorities, lawyers, social welfare, and the public with members hailing from the Eastern Caribbean, the wider Caribbean region, and the United Kingdom.


Dame Janice Pereira DBE, Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court with members of the Sentencing Guidelines Advisory Committee.


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