Justice Michelle Arana attended the University of Birmingham as a British Chevening Scholar in 2003 and was awarded the Masters of Law Degree in Commercial Law(Merit) in 2004. In 2006 she was the recipient of the Alumna of the Year Award in recognition of her achievement as the first female appointed to the Supreme Court of Belize.
Her role, as one of 10 judges on the court, exists to ensure fairness and equal treatment for all in Belize, upholding fairness, integrity and inspiring public confidence.
Michelle is a second generation Birmingham alumna. Her late father Gregorio Arana Sr. was also an alumnus of the University, having received his Masters degree in English in 1977 and his fond memories of Birmingham were a main reason for her taking up a place at the University.
“The Alumna of the Year Award (International) from the University of Birmingham is a singular honor of which I am very proud. It is an accolade which represents the profound recognition and respect with which this institution rewards the academic and professional achievements of its graduates, and it serves as a continuous source of inspiration and encouragement for me, my family, my country Belize, and for graduates of Birmingham University all over the world. I am very grateful.”
Before her appointment to the Supreme Court, Michelle was Registrar General and Registrar of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Belize. She has served on the National Women’s Commission in Belize and has also acted as legal representative of the Belize Youth Enhancement Service. She became a Fellow of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute in 2008 and was appointed by the Chief Justice in 2013 as the Chairperson of the Belize Judicial Education Institute. She presently also serves as the Supreme Court of Belize Representative on the National Committee for Families and Children.