UK-based Guyanese Jurist Dale Simon, Chairperson of the United Kingdom Chapter of the Guyana Law Association (GLA) and Director of Equality and Diversity of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), has been awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 Queen’s New Year Honours List!
Growing up in London’s East End, Dale overcame barriers such as racism and low expectations to excel as a Crown prosecutor. These experiences left her with a desire to make sure people are treated equally regardless of their race, faith and gender. As a result, Dale has spent 20 years shaping policies and programmes that break down barriers and increase diversity and equality.
Dale is a founder member of the GLA (UK) and for the last four years has been the pivotal figure leading the CPS in embracing equality and diversity in its HR policies, and in delivering more sensitive prosecution policies in all areas including those connected with Race, Gender and Domestic Violence. She also has a major influence on the equality and diversity policies of other Government departments and other public sector organisations; and, despite a very busy schedule, she nonetheless finds time to contribute significantly to voluntary organisations like the GLA (UK).
Now the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) director of equality and diversity, Simon told the Voice (UK publication) that she was inspired to enter the field because, “sometimes people had barriers put in their way and for me it was important to be able to try to do my part to reduce those barriers and give people an equal playing field.”
“I am surprised and delighted,” said Dale, who first joined the CPS in 1992. “It is really nice after working in the field of equality and diversity so long to be nominated by your colleagues.” Dale has also helped strengthen the CPS’ recruitment and retention of ethnic minority staff including at senior management level.Under her leadership, there has also been an increase in prosecutions across a range of equality policy areas, including successful prosecutions in rape and other forms of violence against women and girls. She has also worked to help the black public better understand CPS decisions through a network of scrutiny and involvement panels.
GLA (UK) was launched ten years ago after a visit by the then Chancellor, Mme Justice Desiree Bernard OR, CCH, when she addressed the Diaspora lawyers, at a meeting arranged under the auspices of High Commissioner Laleshwar Singh CCH. Justice Bernard asked them to assist the Justice System in Guyana by collecting and transporting donated law books and computers to Guyana. Since then with encouragement and assistance from the High Commission, several shipments of books and computers (worth over £2m) have been sent to Guyana. Chancellor, Justice Carl Singh OR, CCH; former Attorney General, Charles Ramson OR, SC; and the current Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, have all expressed their heartfelt appreciation for the books and computers sent. The books previously sent are available in the Supreme Court’s Library, the Law Library in Berbice, the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the University of Guyana. They are accessible for members of the Judiciary, practitioners and students.