News Releases

Caribbean Court of Justice Symposium Onward to indigenous justice

For Release Upon Receipt - January 12, 2015

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago – The "Caribbean Court of Justice Symposium - Advancing the Case for Regionalism and Indigenous Jurisprudence" (hosted by the Faculty of Law, in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission) will take place on Wednesday January 21, 2015 from 2-6pm at the Noor Hassanali Auditorium, Faculty of Law at the St. Augustine campus of The University of the West Indies.   

The objective of the symposium is to foster positive debate on the possible accession of Trinidad and Tobago to the Caribbean Court of Justice. The symposium will involve a panel discussion that will explore the important role that the CCJ plays in developing regional jurisprudence, debate the possible accession of Trinidad and Tobago to the CCJ and examine the experience of other Commonwealth countries that have abolished the Privy Council as their final court of appeal. This event is free and open to the public. 

Featured speakers include:


Benoît Pelletier, Professor

Admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1982, Benoît Pelletier initially practised law in the Civil Litigation and Real Estate Department of Justice Canada (1983 to 1989) and Legal Services, Correctional Service of Canada (1989 and 1990) in Ottawa. In 1990, he joined the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa, where he currently works in the capacity of professor. Benoît Pelletier also served as Assistant Dean of function to this law school from 1996 to 1998.

For ten years, Benoît Pelletier represented the riding of Chapleau in the National Assembly of Quebec. He was minister of the Quebec government for nearly six years. In this capacity, he was specifically responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, Francophones within Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Reform of Democratic Institutions.

He holds a law degree from Laval University, and also holds a Master of Laws from the University of Ottawa and two doctorates in law, one of the University of Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and the other from the University of Aix-Marseille III. He also holds an honorary doctorate in law from the University of Moncton.


The Hon. Justice John Alexander Logan RFD: Judge, Federal Court of Australia

Justice Logan is an Administrative Appeals Tribunal Presidential Member, Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal Member and Supreme and National Courts of Justice of Papua New Guinea.  Judge John Alexander Logan was appointed to the Federal Court in September 2007. He graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws. Justice Logan was admitted to the Queensland Bar in 1980. He was then working in the Commonwealth Crown Solicitor’s office in Brisbane. He commenced private practice at the Queensland Bar in 1984 and was appointed senior counsel in 1999.

Justice Logan was commissioned into the Australian Intelligence Corps in the Army Reserve in 1976 and held the rank of Major in that corps before transferring to the Standby Reserve. He was awarded the Reserve Force Decoration in 1993 in respect of his military service. 


Mark Guthrie, Commonwealth Secretariat, London

Mark Guthrie has been a legal adviser in the Rule of Law Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London since 2009. He is responsible for the implementation of a project entitled "Promoting judicial independence in the Commonwealth". Much of the work under this project is concentrated upon assisting Commonwealth jurisdictions with judicial education.

Mark was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1984 by the Middle Temple. He practised at the Bar in London at the Chambers of Michael Mansfield QC in the field of criminal law and civil actions against the police.

Between 2001 and 2008 he was seconded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In this capacity his first appointment was a rule of law legal adviser in the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thereafter he served as Deputy Head of Human Rights at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights based in Warsaw, Poland.


Dante Mauricio Negro Alvarado, Director of the Department of International Law at the Organization of American States (OAS), Washington, D.C.

He graduated as an attorney from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú where he also followed post-graduate studies on International Economic Law. He got his Master’s Degree in International Law and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. He is currently the Director of the Department of International Law at the Organization of American States (OAS), Washington, D.C., and professor in the Master’s Program on International Protection of Human Rights at the University of Alcalá, Spain.

He is currently a member of the Instituto Hispano-Luso-Americano-Filipino de Derecho Internacional (IHLADI), of the Instituto de Estudios Internacional of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (IDEI-PUCP), of the American Society of International Law and of the Asociación Americana de Derecho Internacional Privado (ASADIP). He has written numerous articles and essays on international law and the Inter-American system.


Denys Barrow CBE, SC     

Mr. Denys Arthur Barrow received his Certificate of Legal Education and an award for Most Outstanding final year student in 1977 from the Norman Manley Law School in Kingston, Jamaica.  In his earliest years he quickly acquired a solid reputation for skillful advocacy, both at the criminal and civil bar, and his successes as a trial lawyer are legion.  He became known in his preparation for trial, for his diligence, thoroughness, capacity for hard work and dedication, coupled with respect and reverence for the law and its conventions, and recognition of their importance as instruments of social and political stability and cohesiveness at a critical time in Belize’s development.  His learning and knowledge of the law, his continued scholarship and interest in its development, his scintillating and refreshing wit and the intellectual vigour and agility which he brought to his practice earned him a pre-eminent position of leadership at the bar.  These qualities elicited the regard and respect of not only his fellow practitioners with whom or against whom he worked, but also the regard and respect of the judges before whom he appeared.


For further information, contact Zennille Swann | 662-2002 ext 84019 | 


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website: 

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)