News Releases

Funeral for Professor Emeritus A. Ralph Carnegie

For Release Upon Receipt - January 11, 2011

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies regretfully announces the passing of our Professor Emeritus A. Ralph Carnegie at the age of 74. Professor Carnegie was one of two Professors of Law when the Cave Hill Campus established its Law Faculty in 1970 and remained affiliated to this Faculty in several capacities until his death on January 7, 2011.

Professor Carnegie’s monumental contributions were not confined to the Faculty or the Campus or the University, they extended to regional and international jurisprudence, where he was well known for his work in contract, constitutional and international law. “The University of the West Indies is devastated by the loss of one of the Caribbean’s greatest legal minds,” said Vice Chancellor of The UWI, Prof. E. Nigel Harris, “our sympathies go out to his family, to his widow Jeniphier and their children, Martin and David.”

Although he retired in 2006, Prof. Carnegie returned to Cave Hill to teach courses in the LL.M Public Law and the Master’s in International Trade Policy. Colleagues and students throughout The UWI community lamented that because his institutional knowledge was so phenomenal, and his personality so affable and accommodating, he would be terribly missed.

“A Caribbean trail was blazed by this mind which found extension to all parts of the world. Ralph was a global scholar from the Caribbean. Everywhere where law is respected they wanted to hear and read him, and he did not relent in presenting his expertise. As a world traveler he took The UWI wherever he went,” said Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal, UWI, Cave Hill.

“Professor Carnegie was an institution builder par excellence, a reservoir of knowledge on the University and a brilliant legal mind. He will be extremely hard to replace,” said the University Registrar, William Iton.

“As we enter the A. Ralph Carnegie Lecture Theatre, the former Law Lecture Theatre which was so renamed on May 24, 2007, we will always be reminded of his contribution to the Faculty of Law which was his second home for so many years,” said Velma Newton, Dean, Faculty of Law, UWI, Cave Hill, as she noted that, “Outpourings of sympathy are being received from his former students and colleagues located in every corner of the Commonwealth Caribbean. Many of them, like us who would have seen him more frequently, cannot believe that we will no longer hear of the projects on which this brilliant and multi-talented scholar is working and marveling at his tremendous energy, hear his balanced contributions at University meetings or hear his hearty laugh over a good joke.”

Paying tribute as well to the keenness of his mind with regard to the internal workings of the University, the St. Augustine Campus Principal, Prof. Clement Sankat said, “Professor Carnegie was unmatchable when it came to governance issues as it relates to the University, he was one of the Caribbean’s leading legal minds and a willing resource up to his very last days. He will be greatly missed.”

Even as the University community mourns the loss of one of its members who served it so long and well – he often acted as Principal at Cave Hill, and was Deputy Principal for six years, and served as Dean of the Law Faculty for five terms, as well as being Executive Director of one of its units, the Caribbean Law Institute Centre (an Associate Institution of CARICOM) – it acknowledges with gratitude the enormous contributions he made to the wider jurisprudence of the region.

He was a member of the Constitution Review Commissions of Grenada, and of Antigua and Barbuda. He was also similarly consulted by Barbados and St Kitts/Nevis. He served on the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission, a CARICOM Technical Working Group reporting on CARICOM Governance and a Task Force on Economic Union for the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States.

Professor Carnegie was born in Jamaica in 1936, and graduated in History from the University College of the West Indies (UCWI), the forerunner of The UWI. As a Rhodes Scholar, he studied at Jesus College at Oxford, earning first class honours in Jurisprudence before joining the Cave Hill Campus as one of the founding professors at its Law Faculty, where he remained for 40 prolific years. Prof Carnegie’s funeral takes place on January 18, 2011 in Barbados.

For tributes to Prof Carnegie, please visit

About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.