The last in-person conference that The UWI Faculty of Law (FoL) successfully hosted in collaboration with the Cropper Foundation (Trinidad & Tobago) took place on 27.2.2020. Ably chaired by the then Dean of the Faculty Professor Rose-Marie Antoine, this pre-COVID event was held at the Noor Hassanali Auditorium on the St. Augustine campus, and focused on the timely theme “Mindset, change and crime prevention: How seeing the other can reduce crime and ignite economic growth” (see: https://sta.uwi.edu/news/ecalendar/event.asp?id=3326).
The recently appointed Dean of the FoL, Professor Raphael Heffron and Mr. Terrence Wendell Brathwaite, our Honorary Fellow who was recently re-appointed, were keen to collaborate once again with the Cropper Foundation which is supporting the Faculty’s project entitled “Addressing human rights abuse of remand prisoners with special emphasis on domestic violence murder cases.” They decided to extend this partnership by including it under the umbrella programme of the Lord Learie Constantine Educational Series (LLCES).
The LLCES was pioneered by Mr. Brathwaite in 2018 to honour Baron Constantine Kt, MBE, the legendary West Indian cricketer, lawyer and politician. Baron Constantine not only served as Trinidad and Tobago's first High Commissioner to the UK and became the UK's first black peer, but he also made world history in the realms of Global Justice, Law and Diplomacy, as a relentless campaigner for the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all.
So, after two years of COVID-related delays, the FoL and the Cropper Foundation were proud to launch its first LLCES webinar on 20.5.2022 with the head-lining theme “Digital Justice: What should a Caribbean court system fit for the 21st century look like?” The topic for this inaugural LLCES webinar discussion was deucedly on point, especially as the world is still struggling to consign its pernicious pandemic experience to the past.
Our eminent guest speakers on this maiden voyage were:
· Trinidadian, Dr. Kameel Khan - a Lawyer, who now sits as a Tax Court Judge with the UK’s Ministry of Justice, chairs The Prince Charles Trust Ex Offenders Programme, London, UK and is a DCI Fellow at Stanford University, USA.
· Mr. Alistair Murray - The Deputy CEO at CAPITA, one of the United Kingdom’s largest and fastest growing providers of integrated professional support services. CAPITA specialises in consulting, transformation and digital services.
The webinar proceeded as a “Fireside Chat” - a personal and interactive discussion involving Professor Heffron as moderator and our two special guests Judge Khan and Mr. Alistair Murray. This relaxed format allowed the 80 enthusiastic listeners online to gain insights into our guests’ personal stories and rethinking on the Caribbean justice system, especially within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the region’s legal environment.
Below are some of the constructive comments from our registrants in attendance:
“The information provided was very timely and beneficial to me, since I have a particular interest in the introduction of Digital Infrastructure and Digital Economy in my Caribbean country, Trinidad and Tobago. I must give kudos to Mr. Kameel Khan for his superb presentations throughout the session. Congrats on an excellent webinar session and a most relevant topic.”
Mr. Eric Butler H.B.M.,
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
“First and foremost, as a native Trinidadian living in the UK for years, I’d like to extend my personal praise for bringing home the dire plight of Caribbean’s imprisoned for over 20 years and your thought-provoking; far reaching; justifiable solution to establish ‘Digital Justice’ for ‘cases to be heard and justice to be served’. With much appreciation for bringing ‘Digital Justice’ to LIGHT.”
Ms. Dounne Alexander MBE,
Social Justice Activist,
Creator and Founder of
GRAMMA’S INTERNATIONAL &
The JOINING HANDS IN HEALTH awareness campaign, UK.
“Great event! I learned so much about something I was not aware of from my life experience. Very inspiring.”
Professor Stuart Weinstein JD
The Aston Law School,
Aston University, UK.
“This was a really useful session and there is much that can be built upon. Judge Kameel Khan does really great work and the UK could really do with a high powered legal think tank of progressive judges and barristers and solicitors to work with communities to hold the Ministry of Justice and Government to account, not least in respect of flagrant human rights violations. Thanks for alerting me to this. It’s good to be debating an issue that has major implications for both the Caribbean and the UK.”
Professor Augustine John,
International Consultant & Executive Coach,
Honorary Fellow and Associate Professor,
The UCL Institute of Education - University of London, UK.
“ Very engaging presentation. Practical input by both panellists and attendees.”
Dr. Vindelyn Smith-Hillman,
The Law Commission (England & Wales), UK.
“It is excellent that this webinar series seek to address the critical and timely question about whether our Caribbean court system is fit for purpose in our increasing digital world. The webinar through its marketing also duly reminds us of T&T national hero, Lord Learie Constantine and the Cropper Foundation who honours icon Angela Cropper.”
Dr. Godfrey Martin,
Former Lecturer (Economics) UWI, Republic of Trinidad & Tobago.