Bertha Cooper Rousseau

The Bahamas At Large

I have been the Managing Partner of Rousseau & Cooper Law Firm in The Bahamas and a Door Tenant of 3 Hare Court London for almost 3 decades.  I am the founding Chair of The Bahamas Branch of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Co-Convenor of the Mid-Atlantic Caribbean Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute, an international ADR forum for professionals in designated African and Caribbean countries.  I am a Committee Member of the British Virgin Islands  International Arbitration Centre and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Botswana Institute of Arbitrators and the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators. I now serve as Vice President of The Bahamas Chapter of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association.  In 2009, I was appointed Bencher of The Honourable Society of Middle Temple.

For almost 15 years, I have pioneered the enactment of the international arbitration legal infrastructure of The Bahamas in line with the UNCITRAL Model Law that was adopted on 5 June 2023.   I have a keen interest in promoting the enactment of the Model law throughout Commonwealth jurisdictions.

Based on my experience as an arbitrator/mediator, I strongly believe that one of the most valuable contributions one can make as a CLA Council Member is to ensure that practical structures are in place to equip young ADR practitioners. My vision of promoting ADR and related initiatives amongst young practitioners is further reinstated through my non-profit initiative by the name of Mid-Atlantic Caribbean Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute (MACRDRI), a platform that facilitates continuous development for Young Practitioners. Therefore, during my tenure as a Council Member, I will devote my focus to initiatives for our young members to build their much-needed “practical experience capacity.”   I will also move to strengthen the relationship between the Americas Hub and others within the CLA.