His Lordship, the Hon. Justice Mario Michel
His Lordship, the Hon. Justice Mario Michel was born in St. Lucia on 19th January, 1960. He received his early education at the RC Boys’ Infant and Primary Schools, St. Mary’s College and the St. Lucia ‘A’ Level College. In 1978 he entered the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados where he studied History and Economics for one year before entering the Faculty of Law of the University in 1979. He graduated from the University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (with honours) and then moved to the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad, from where he graduated in 1984 with a Legal Education Certificate (L.E.C.).
Upon graduation from Law School in 1984, Mr. Michel returned to St. Lucia and commenced private practice as a lawyer. In 1990 he established the law firm of Michel & Company, which he headed until 1997 when he discontinued his legal practice to serve in government. In January 2007, upon his retirement from active politics after a promised decade of service in that arena, he resumed private practice as a lawyer.
As a student – whether in St. Lucia, Barbados or Trinidad – Mr. Michel had been an active student leader and participated in numerous regional and international youth and student meetings in the Caribbean and in Europe. Upon his return to St. Lucia after completing his legal education, Mr. Michel became engaged in the local youth movement. He was instrumental in the formation in April 1985 of the St. Lucia National Youth Council and became its first president. He served as president of the Council from its inception, through its struggle for governmental recognition, to its full establishment as a reputable non-governmental organisation in St. Lucia. He exited the leadership of the National Youth Council in April 1989 after serving two terms as president.
In 1991 Mr. Michel joined with other university graduates in St. Lucia to revive the St. Lucia Guild of Graduates (now transformed into the UWI Alumni Association of St. Lucia) and served as president of the Guild from 1992 to 1994. He exited the leadership of the Guild of Graduates in 1994 after serving two terms as president.
In August 1995, Mr. Michel was elected as the youngest-ever president of the St. Lucia Bar Association and had commenced a process of revitalizing this long–established organisation. After an active year as Bar Association President, he demitted the presidency of the Association in August 1996 upon his nomination and endorsement as an election candidate of the St. Lucia Labour Party and his election as its deputy leader.
In May 1997, Mr. Michel was elected as the Parliamentary Representative of Gros Islet and was appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports of St. Luca. In December 2001 he was re-elected as the Parliamentary Representative of Gros Islet and re-appointed Minister for Education, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports and served in these capacities until his retirement from active politics. Indeed, it was near historic in the politics of the Caribbean when, having announced at his launching as a candidate for elective office in August 1996 that he would render a decade of service in the political arena, he declined to contest the general election of December 2006 and formally retired from political office at the height of his personal popularity, after having accomplished his signature projects of the National Football and Track and Field Stadium, the Beausejour Cricket Ground, Universal Secondary Education and the abolition of the shift system which had been in place for over 25 years at the largest primary school in St Lucia at the time.
In January 2007, Mr. Michel re-entered private practice as a lawyer and re-established the law firm of Michel & Company. In February 2009, however, he responded to a call to service in the judicial sphere and served as an acting judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court from 1st February to 31st August, 2009 assigned first to Anguilla and then to Grenada.
On 1st September, 2009 Mr. Michel was appointed as a judge of the High Court of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and assigned to the territory of Antigua and Barbuda, where he served until September 2012 when he was elevated to the Court of Appeal.
Despite his exit from public life outside of his judicial office, Mr Michel has delivered feature addresses at school graduations and other such functions and has also been called upon to share his experience and expertise regionally and internationally. In October 2015 he was the keynote speaker at a Caribbean Youth Development Conference hosted by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies at the Mona Camps of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. In December 2015 he was a member of a UN Advisory Panel which met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to discuss and approve the Regnal Human Development Report for Latin America and the Caribbean for inclusion in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) for 2015 to 2030. In August 2017 he was a feature speaker at the 9th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in Uganda.
His Lordship the Honourable Mario Michel is married and is the father of two children, Marie-Grace and Fidel Michel.