Mathilda Twomey is a native of Seychelles. She speaks and writes in three languages: English, French and Creole. She holds a BA in English and French Law from the University of Kent at Canterbury and a Diplôme de Droit Français from the Université de Paris-Sud at Sceaux. She was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in 1987 and practised in Seychelles as a barrister. She is a bencher of the Middle Temple. She later graduated with an LLM in Public Law and subsequently a PhD in comparative law from the National University of Ireland, Galway. She has tutored and lectured in tort law at the National University Ireland, Galway.
She was a member of the Seychelles Constitutional Commission in 1993, which was charged with drafting the third constitution of Seychelles. She was appointed justice at the Seychelles Court of Appeal in 2011 and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Seychelles in 2015. She ended her tenure as Chief Justice in 2020 to pursue her academic interests but continues to serve in the Seychelles’ apex court as a sessional justice of appeal.
She was Chair of both the Civil Code Revision Commission and of the Child Law Reform Committee in Seychelles. In these roles, she was tasked with proposing a draft Civil Code that was passed by the National Assembly in 2020; and a Sexual Offences Bill, which was presented to the President in June 2021. She is a member of the advisory board of the Global Judicial Integrity Network of the UNODC. She also chairs the Seychelles Legal Information Institute, which reports judgments of courts in Seychelles and laws based on the principle of free access to law (See www.seylii.org).
She is the Academic Director of the Judicial Institute for Africa based at the University of Cape Town and Adjunct Professor of the School of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Seychelles and is member of its Council.
She has devised and taught courses for the continuous professional development of judicial officers, lawyers and prosecutors in Seychelles, the Maldives, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Namibia, South Africa, E-Swatini, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. The training modules she has engaged in include court procedures, court and case management, evidence, judgment writing, maritime crime, sexual offences, money laundering, proceeds of crime and asset confiscation, and rule of law implications for judicial officers including ethics.
She has published widely including her monograph, “Legal métissage in a micro jurisdiction: the mixing of Common Law and Civil Law in Seychelles.”