Human Rights Litigation in the Caribbean
We have represented prisoners under sentence of death in the Caribbean in a number of landmark criminal and constitutional cases. The jurisprudence created has resulted in large sections of the domestic law being brought into conformity with international human rights standards on the death penalty.
For a full list of all cases that we have handled since 1991, please click here. To see a selection of notable cases and issues determined, click on the specific countries listed on the right.
To read about our Caribbean monitoring system, click here.
CONSULTATION AND TRAINING
Meeting of British High Commissioners, Barbados, 2009
In 2009, the Executive Directors were invited to lead discussions on the death penalty at a seminar held at the Residence of the British High Commissioner of Barbados. The seminar was designed for members of the local diplomatic corps and colleagues from other British High Commissions in the Caribbean were also invited to participate. The seminar was organised in order to provide an overview of global trends and developments in relation to the abolition of the death penalty; provide an overview of the law and key rulings regarding the death penalty in the Caribbean; and to provide an overview of discretionary sentencing systems operating in the Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica, Bahamas and Belize since the abolition of the mandatory death penalty and the implications and issues for Barbados.
Caribbean Regional Strategy Meeting, Barbados, September 2010
In September 2010, a regional strategy meeting on the death penalty was held in Bridgetown, Barbados at the Residence of the British High Commisioner. Our partners and legal experts from the Caribbean region, including participants from Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Guyana, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Jamaica, as well as international experts attended the meeting. British Diplomats in the Caribbean Region were also in attendance. The current status of the death penalty in the region was reviewed and current challenges considered.
Forensic Psychiatry Training Seminar for Mental Health Professionals, St Kitts and Nevis, July 2011 and Barbados, February 2013
In July 2011, a forensic psychiatry training seminar was held in St Kitts and Nevis for mental health professionals involved in capital cases in the Caribbean. The seminar was attended by over 60 participants from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, USA, and UK.
The training was conducted by Professor Nigel Eastman, a forensic psychiatrist and Dr. Timothy Green, a clinical psychologist, who have vast experience in undertaking assessments in capital cases. Dr. Sharon Halliday, a psychiatrist based in St. Kitts, assisted in the coordination of the seminar.
Based on the positive feedback received, we held a larger 2-day seminar for mental health professionals in the Caribbean in February 2013. As of the earlier seminar, training was conducted by Professor Nigel Eastman and Dr. Tim Green, and they were joined by forensic psychiatrists from Forensic Psychiatry Chambers, Dr. Richard Latham and Dr. Marc Lyall. Our Handbook of Forensic Psychiatric Practice in Capital Cases was launched and used as the main training material at the seminar. Photos of the event can be viewed here.
In addition, as a result of the seminar, an email helpline has been set up by Forensic Psychiatry Chambers to assist and respond to queries raised by mental health professionals in the Caribbean.
Meeting with British High Commissioners in the Caribbean and the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Death Penalty, May 2012
In May 2012, a meeting on the death penalty in the Caribbean was held with British High Commissioners and Baroness Vivien Stern, the Chair of the APPG in London. Professor Roger Hood opened the meeting with a presentation on the “The Death Penalty: The Caribbean in World Perspective”. Key regional strategies were defined in order to strengthen diplomatic efforts being made to promote restriction and abolition of the death penalty in the region. As an outcome of this meeting, in 2013, we plan to bring together UK Parliamentarians, international organisations (such as the International Commission against the Death Penalty) and Parliamentarians in the Caribbean. We hope these meetings will provide much needed exchange and support to those in favour of abolition of the death penalty.
Read more about our other activities in the Caribbean, such as related research here.