News Releases

UWI Law Dean heads human rights commission

For Release Upon Receipt - June 11, 2015

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. June 11, 2015 – Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, Dean of the Faculty of Law at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, has been elected President/Chair of the board of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Professor Antoine’s election was announced in a statement by the IACHR in March which included the full result of elections to the board. This marked the Commission’s 154th Period of Sessions.

A highly respected institution of the Organisation of American States (OAS), the IACHR is a central plank in the inter-American system of justice and human rights. The Commission is currently at the forefront of international media for its act of recommending an intervention on a decision by the government of Paraguay to ensure the health of a 10-year-old girl who is pregnant after allegedly being raped by her stepfather.

The IACHR consists of seven board members/commissioners in total from the Caribbean, Latin America, Canada and the United States. Professor Antoine was elected to the Commission by the OAS General Assembly in 2011. She also serves as the Rapporteur for the Rights of Persons of African Descent and Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples on the Commission and was selected as the inaugural Head of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Unit in 2012. Her portfolio also includes special country responsibilities for Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Jamaica.

Created in 1959 by the OAS, the IACHR is responsible for the monitoring and promotion of human rights throughout the Americas. The Commission hears petitions, holds public hearings, prepares human rights reports, issues press releases and even carries out “precautionary measures” which is the equivalent of an injunction against a state. The IACHR rose to prominence primarily through its direct involvement in the dismantling of dictatorial regimes in Latin America such as that of Augusto Pinochet in Chile. However, the Commission tackles a host of human rights related issues such as the death penalty, LGBTI rights, torture, juvenile justice, exploitation of natural resources and criminal justice and race.

Apart from her posts as IACHR President and St Augustine Dean – Law, Professor Antoine is also the University Dean at The UWI, with responsibility to oversee the three UWI Faculties of Law. She has served as a senior legal advisor to Caribbean governments as well as several international agencies. Professor Antoine is also an award-winning author.



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.)