News Releases

Motion Filed on Inhumane Treatment of Remand Prisoners

For Release Upon Receipt - November 30, 2020

St. Augustine

UWI Faculty of Law Human Rights Clinic seeks constitutional redress for prisoners languishing on remand

On November 20, the International Human Rights Clinic in The UWI St. Augustine’s Faculty of Law initiated landmark litigation by filing an originating motion for constitutional redress for prisoners delayed on remand. The motion was filed as part of its EU-funded project, Addressing Human Rights Abuses of Remand Prisoners with Special Emphasis on Domestic Violence Murder Cases.

The case, Anthony Albert et al v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, seeks to effect change in the alleged inhumane treatment of persons detained on remand. Such persons are still innocent in the eyes of the law and kept waiting on remand for inordinate periods (in some cases over 18 years) for their trials to be heard.

The Faculty invited the firm Trinity Chambers to partner with it on this historic litigation. Senior Advocates Gregory Delzin and Dean of the Faculty and Project Lead, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, will present the case. The advocates will seek declarations that the claimants’ rights (i) not to be deprived of liberty except by due process of law, (ii) to protection of the law and (iii) right to trial within a reasonable time under sections 4(a) and 4(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, have been and continue to be violated.

It will also be contended that this extreme delay on remand constitutes arbitrary detention or imprisonment; and/or the imposition of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment; and/or breach of the right to private and family life contrary to the rights and freedoms enshrined under sections 4(c), 5(2)(a) and 5(2)(b) of the Constitution. The Claimants Anthony Albert, Bruce Henry, Ramdaye Ramlal, Kareem Ramlal, Hyacinth Loubon, Sasha Seepersad and Malaika St. Louis, are all presently incarcerated at the Golden Grove Prison, Arouca.

Professor Antoine highlighted the need for awareness of this case. “This is an ongoing travesty in our democracy, where persons are charged and left to languish in jail, in harsh, sometimes inhumane conditions, particularly now with this COVID-19 environment, without getting an opportunity to be heard and defend themselves in court,” she said. She added that there have been several instances in the country where persons who remained on remand in prison for many years were subsequently found to be innocent.

As was revealed in a hearing presented by the Faculty at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR), Washington in 2019, Trinidad and Tobago has the highest number of persons on remand in the region, as well as for the longest periods. “The system needs to change. State, private attorneys and the courts, all have a part to play in finding workable mechanisms to correct this injustice,” said Professor Antoine. At that hearing, former Commissioner of Prisons Mr. Gerard Wilson also lamented the situation, stating that it made the job of prison officers more difficult.

The Anthony Albert et al case and the project also highlight the heartrending plight of women and girl victims of domestic violence awaiting trial on remand, without bail. These persons were charged for the murder of their partners, which suggests serious issues of gender inequity in the criminal justice system.

The project will also undertake public education and advocacy initiatives to raise awareness of the inhumane conditions of remand, and bolster public and institutional support for remandees. This will be done through an ongoing public education campaign, and direct intervention via remedial work in the prisons and with persons freed from prison, in partnership with the Cropper Foundation.

Furthermore, the project facilitates the aim of the Faculty’s International Human Rights Clinic to address human rights issues in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider region through a dynamic legal education and outreach model which prioritises empirical research, activist lawyering and collaboration with practicing attorneys and NGOs.

Instructing attorneys Melissa Mano, Rafiya Karim, Joseph Cowles, and junior advocate Dianne Mano are joined in the case. UWI Law graduates Ayanna Norville, Terry-Ann Roy and Omari Thompson are researchers from the Faculty’s Human Rights Clinic are assisting with research in the matter.

For more information on the Faculty’s EU-funded project, Addressing Human Rights Abuses of Remand Prisoners with Special Emphasis on Domestic Violence Murder Cases, email or the Faculty of Law at



About The UWI

For more than 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students across five campuses: Cave Hill in Barbados; Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda; Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago; and an Open Campus. Times Higher Education has ranked The UWI among the top 1,258 universities in world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in its Latin America Rankings for 2018 and 2019. The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.

As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. For more, visit


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