MEDIA RELEASE: Her Honour Mrs. Deborah Thomas-Felix to serve as Judge of the IMFAT

March 1, 2020

For Immediate Release

TO: All Editors





Port of Spain: Her Honour Mrs. Deborah Thomas-Felix, President of the Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago, has been appointed a Member of the International Monetary Fund Administrative Tribunal (IMFAT) effective March 1, 2020. She serves as a Judge of the Tribunal along with four other judges namely, the President, Catherine O’Regan of South Africa, Andrés Rigo Sureda of Spain, Edith Brown Weiss of the United States of America (USA) and Nassib Zaidé of Chile and Lebanon.

IMFAT, which was established on January 13, 1994, serves as an independent judicial forum for the resolution of employment disputes arising between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its staff members. The Tribunal’s jurisdiction also extends to enrollees in and beneficiaries under IMF staff benefit plans who challenge administrative acts arising under such plans. The judgments of the Tribunal are final and without appeal.

Members of IMFAT are appointed for a term of four years and are eligible for reappointment for an additional two four-year terms. Her Honour Mrs. Thomas-Felix will complete her predecessor’s term from March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021, after which she will be eligible for reappointment for up to three full terms. As a Judge of the Tribunal, she is required to travel twice a year, in the spring and fall, to the IMF’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. USA, to adjudicate on disputes at the Tribunal.

Currently, she serves as a Member of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, having been appointed by the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation in 2015. The Committee of Experts is an independent body of twenty eminent jurists responsible for monitoring the application of international labour standards of Member States. She was appointed a Judge of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT) from 2014 - 2019 during which time she served as the eight President and as Second Vice-President of UNAT. She is also a former Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Securities Exchange Commission and a former President of the Family Court of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Her Honour Mrs. Thomas-Felix served as a Magistrate, Senior Magistrate and Deputy Chief Magistrate of the Judiciary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

She has chaired the first high-level seminar on International Administrative Tribunals at the European Public Law Organisation in Greece and has provided technical assistance and advice to governments in the Caribbean region on employment related matters, including the government of the British Virgin Islands for the establishment of a Labour Dispute Tribunal, and the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the establishment of the first Family Court in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.

Her Honour Mrs. Thomas-Felix, who is the holder of a Bachelor of Laws degree, holds a Masters of Law degree in International Legal Studies and an Executive Masters in Business Administration. She is also certified in international arbitration in oil and gas cases. She is among seventy of the most distinguished alumni to be honoured for outstanding leadership in the Caribbean by the University of the West Indies and she is also a published author.

The IMF has a membership of 189 countries and its day-to-day work is supported by approximately 2,700 staff members from 150 countries.


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