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Master Sydelle Johnson, IAWJ Rising Leader

Master Sydelle Johnson, IAWJ Rising Leader
By Sydelle Johnson
Posted: 2023-12-11T20:46:00Z

 Master Johnson was born in Trinidad and Tobago, moving between the two islands multiple times during her early school years. Her family moved from Trinidad to Tobago for a short period where she began her education at Scarborough Roman Catholic School in Tobago and on their return to Trinidad she attended Sacred Heart Girls Roman Catholic School. She then studied at Diego Marin Secondary School in Trinidad, where she developed a strong work ethic. After two years, she transferred to Bishop Anstey High School, one of the top all-female schools in Trinidad and Tobago.

At Bishop Anstey High School, she was active in the swim and water polo teams, which played a vital role in her development. She participated in national and international competitions, including CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Jamaica (2003), Caribbean Island Swimming Championship (CISC) in Jamaica (2004), and the Pan-American Juniors Water-polo Tournament in El Salvador (2004).

Later, she attended sixth form at St Francois Girls College, where she focused on Social Sciences, English Literature, Sociology, and History, ultimately solidifying her goal of becoming an attorney at law.

In 2005, Master Johnson began her three-year undergraduate study for her Bachelor of Laws Degree at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus. This program is the first stage of the five-year requirement to practice law in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. The University of the West Indies offers specialized programs across their three campuses, namely St Augustine Trinidad; Mona, Jamaica and Cave Hill Barbados. Prior to 2007, students had to commence their studies in one of the three campuses for one year. Thereafter, they were required to attend the Cave Hill Campus to complete the remainder of their two years of undergraduate study. During her studies, Master Johnson participated in a number of social and sporting activities at UWI Cave Hill Campus, including Hall King and Queen Competition, UWI Inter-Campus games, and YMCA Camp Counsellor exchange program, where she was a lifeguard at a YMCA Camp in Bellefontaine Ohio.

In 2008, Master Johnson graduated from the University of the West Indies. She then matriculated into the Hugh Wooding Law School for the last two years to gain her professional certification as an attorney at law. During her attendance at the Hugh Wooding Law School, Master Johnson appeared on the Morning Edition, TV6 News, a popular television morning program to promote the Hugh Wooding Law School's Human Rights Clinic and the launch of its website. This interview was aired on the morning of Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009. Master Johnson also represented the Hugh Wooding Law School at the American-Caribbean Law Initiatives (ACLI), Law Clinic, in Houston, Texas, November 2009.

In September 2010 she graduated from the Hugh Wooding Law School and was called to the Bar of Trinidad and Tobago in October 2010. Thereafter, Master Johnson secured employment as an associate attorney at law in the law firm of Lynette Seebaran and Company, which specializes in Family Law. Master Johnson was employed at the firm for nine (9) years, homing in on her skills as a Family Law advocate, and expanding her knowledge base in Human Rights Law.

In July 2013, Master Johnson was selected to participate in the United Nations 51st Graduate Study Programme in Geneva, Switzerland, where she obtained a certificate in Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

In August 2015, Master Johnson completed her Master of Laws in Human Rights Law with merit from the University of London, Queen Mary University. During the pursuit of the Master of Laws program, she also completed and attained a Post-Graduate Certificate in Family Law with merit and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Public International Law with merit.

In July 2016, she attained a one-year fellowship with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights at the Organization of American States in Washington D.C.

Master Johnson was also an adult volunteer with the Court Annexed Peer Resolution Programme at the Children Court of Trinidad and Tobago and is a certified Mediator with the Mediation Board of Trinidad and Tobago, certified to mediate in both Family Matters and Civil (Non-Family) Matters.

Master Johnson has also presented on a number of issues pertaining to Human Rights, including child rights, refugee rights, and sexual orientation, and has also written articles on these topics. She presented at the Girls First Initiative of First Citizens Bank, speaking to young girls between the ages of 13 to 18 years on their legal rights, particularly in relation to Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence in May 2019. She also presented on Child Rights at the Faculty of Law's Human Rights Youth Forum, Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus in April 2019. She also presented on "Sexual Orientation vs Trinidad and Tobago" at the International Conference on "Challenging Fundamentalisms? Ideology, Public Policy, Law, and Gender Equality," hosted by the Faculty of Law, UWI Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica; Getulio Vargas Foundation School of Law, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Oxford Human Rights Hub, Oxford University, United Kingdom; School of Law, University of Witswatersand, South Africa, and Universidad de Los Andes Colombia in February 2019. She was also a Youth Panelist at Caribbean Centre for Human Rights: A Youth Debate: Human Rights are No Longer Necessary for Nation Building, held at the Hall of Justice in December 2018.

In 2019, Master Johnson joined the judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago as an Assistant Registrar and Deputy Marshal, and in January 2021, she was promoted to the position of Master of the High Court in the Family and Children Division and is currently the sitting Master at the Family Court on the island of Tobago. Master Johnson was appointed board member of the Judicial Education Institute of Trinidad and Tobago to promote continuous education to Judicial Officers. She participated in the roll out of the Just Connect e-learning platform and has assisted in a number of committees within the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago