St. John’s Antigua- Eminent jurist Dame Bernice Lake, QC passed away Saturday afternoon following a brief illness. She was 78 years old.Before making her mark in constitutional law and human rights, Dame Bernice had a budding career in the diplomatic service for the West Indies Federation. After its collapse she pursued studies in law and began a distinguished career spanning more than 40 years.Though she was born in Anguilla, she made Antigua her adopted home where she practiced from her chambers, Lake & Kentish.
Dame Bernice was the first woman in the Eastern Caribbean and the first University of the West Indies graduate to be bestowed the distinguished title of Queens Counsel.
In 1975, she was the chief architect of the Anguilla constitution and was part of the team that framed Antigua and Barbuda’s constitution in 1981.
The Antiguan government bestowed a knighthood on Dame Bernice in 2004, for her contribution to the legal field, her stance on women’s issues, civil and political rights and personal integrity.
Three years later she was awarded an Honourary Doctorate of Law Degree from her alma mater, The University of the West Indies.
More in Monday’s edition of The Daily Observer.