The UWI mourns Nicholas Liverpool: visionary, pioneer, builder of people and institutions
The University of the West Indies, Vice-Chancellery:
The collective Faculty of Law, The University of the West-Indies (The UWI), mourns the passing of one of its stalwarts, Dr. the Hon Nicholas Liverpool, a founding Dean of the Faculty of Law, then at Cave Hill, former President of the Commonwealth of Dominica and judge on the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
Dr. Liverpool was honoured at an exhibition at the Faculty of Law for The UWI's 60th Anniversary in recognition of his immeasurable contribution to the Faculty, The UWI and the Commonwealth Caribbean. One of his daughters is also a graduate of The UWI’s Faculty of Law.
In a tribute by Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, University Dean of Law, she notes that ‘he was a true visionary – a pioneer and builder, of both people and of institutions’. One of The UWI’s early scholars in Law Reform, Legal Systems and Real Property, it was perhaps in public and institutional service that Dr. Liverpool made his greatest contributions. It was Dr. Liverpool who started the Caribbean Law Institute Clinic, the USAID project at The UWI, facilitated the Faculty’s entry into international mooting and so much more.
According to Professor Antoine, Dr. ‘Nick’ Liverpool’s quiet, but firm hand was often the real mover and shaker behind the scenes, giving life to the development aspirations of generations of students, staff and other Caribbean peoples through the numerous projects, institutions and activities with which he was involved. A soft spoken, understated, down to earth, but strong, influential leader with a dry sense of humour, he was very much loved and revered.Professor Antoine also noted that ‘Dr. Liverpool was my own Dean and one of my mentors, so although speaking today as University Dean on behalf of colleague Law Deans, the sense of loss is immense. He lived a good life and left a wonderful legacy. He will be remembered’.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles described his former colleague as an old friend and trusted confidante who was deeply admired and respected. “Not only was he a solid University man, and a stalwart of the legal profession, he was a man who demonstrated persistent care for the affairs of the people of Dominica and the wider Caribbean. He did his very best on many fronts to represent and secure their interests and well-being. He will be missed. As we celebrate his life and its many contributions we offer solace to his family who shared him generously with us within the region and beyond.”
The University of the West-Indies, Cave Hill Campus, especially its Faculty of Law, mourns the passing of one of its founding fathers, Dr. the Hon Nicholas Liverpool. Dr Liverpool served as a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law from 1974, and as its third Dean of Law, from 1976-1978.
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Cave Hill, Professor Eudine Barriteau, remembers Dr Liverpool as “a dedicated, committed member of the UWI Cave Hill Community a thorough scholar and a pleasant, genial colleague with a ready smile. He was always willing to offer advice to younger colleagues.”
Current and former colleagues also recall Dr. Liverpool’s “congenial disposition, as someone who always had a smile on his face” and that he was an excellent colleague as well as an efficient and practical dean. He is remembered by his students as being an excellent teacher, one who was firm but fair.
Dr Liverpool’s contribution to West Indian legal development is profound. He was honoured at an exhibition at the Faculty of Law for the UWI's 60th Anniversary in recognition of his immeasurable contribution to the Faculty, The UWI and the Commonwealth Caribbean. He was one of UWI’s early scholars in Law Reform, Trusts, Legal Systems and Real Property, and served on a large number of Law Reform Commissions throughout the region. He also served as a Judge of the High Court in Antigua and Montserrat from 1973-1974, as a Justice of Appeal in the Court of Appeal in Grenada from 1979-1991, in the Court of Appeal in Belize from 1990-1992 and 1996-2000, and in the Bahamas Court of Appeal from 1996-1997. He published a number of influential law journal articles and other publications, as well as made numerous public lectures, on a wide range of topics. While at Cave Hill Dr. Liverpool served as Project Director, UWI-USAID Caribbean Justice Improvement Project from 1986-1992 and Director of the Caribbean Law Institute from 1987-1992.
He was honoured with LLD degrees from the University of the West Indies (2007), Sheffield University (2009), and the University of Hull (2011), as well as received the Dominica Award of Honour (2003), the highest award conferred by the State, and the Order of the Caribbean Community (2008).
Dr Liverpool served as Ambassador of the Commonwealth of Dominica to the United States of America from 1998-2001. He served as President of the Commonwealth of Dominica from 2003-2012.
To his beloved wife and five children, in particular, his daughter Nicole who graduated from the Faculty of Law, UWI, and indeed, the many Dominicans and Caribbean citizens who will deeply grieve at the passing of this fine Caribbean son, we express our deepest condolences.
Rest in peace, Dr Liverpool, you will long be cherished.
THE JAMAICAN BAR ASSOCIATION
TRIBUTE TO DR. THE HONOURABLE NICHOLAS LIVERPOOL OF DOMINICA
The Jamaican Bar Association (“JAMBAR”)
joins with the rest of the region in celebrating the life of Dr. The Honourable Nicholas Liverpool who made his transition on the 1st
day of June, 2015 at the age of eighty years. Dr. Liverpool, a proud son of the Commonwealth of Dominica, was the consummate Caribbean man in addition to being an eminent Jurist. He contributed significantly to his country and the region in a number of capacities including, inter alia, being the President of Dominica; Dominican Ambassador to the United States of America; High Court Judge; Judge of Appeal; and as Chairman of the Grenada Constitution Reform Commission.
As a Senior lecturer, and later Dean, at the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies, Dr. Liverpool contributed immensely to the development and nurturing of countless legal minds in the region, including many members of JAMBAR.
He was a passionate proponent of the Caribbean Court of Justice (“CCJ”)
being the final Court of Appeal for all the countries in the region, believing that this was an institution with the potential to improve, significantly, the lives of Caribbean people. He lived long enough to see his native country accept the CCJ as its final appellate Court.
Although the region has lost a veritable titan we have just cause to celebrate the life of a West Indian whose legacy and sterling contributions will be remembered forever.
The Jamaican Bar Association extends condolences to Dr. Liverpool’s family, friends and the people of Dominica. May his soul rest in peace and light perpetual shine on him.
At the Swearing in of His Excellency Dr. the Hon. Nicholas Liverpool as President of the Commonwealth of Dominica on Thursday, October 02, 2003, in a celebratory mood I concluded my remarks with the exhortation:
“To the President of the Commonwealth of Dominica! May God Bless Him, Protect him and Guide him and this wonderful Garden of Eden, this earthly paradise that is under his care as its new Head of State and President.”
Today as I express my condolences at the end of the remarkable journey of his life I pray for God’s continued blessings for him, his dear and devoted wife, his two daughters and their extended families. I pray that God gives you strength to cope with the sadness of his passing. But after a life of service to so many sectors of community, both within the Commonwealth of Dominica and throughout the Caribbean, and even with a global reach his passing will be mourned extensively. In that context, as a bencher, I am required to extend condolences on behalf of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple where we both did our professional studies and were called to the Bar in England. He remained an honoured and distinguished member.
I am sure however that the mourning will be lightened by fond remembrances, for even in death we can celebrate his wonderful life. There are many who must recall his contribution to the development of Caribbean Jurisprudence, through his distinguished academic career, fashioning the highest academic standards in his pioneering work as a leading member, teacher and administrator of the faculty of Law at the Cave Hill campus of UWI, from the early 1970s, guiding the careers of brilliant legal minds and facilitating the development of legal and judicial education for the Caribbean region and people. He was one of the pioneers and indeed advocates for the Caribbean Court of Justice. I am so happy that Dominica abolished appeals to the Privy Council and acceded to the final appellate jurisdiction of the CCJ during his lifetime. His legal writings were excellent and prolific. Although he did not specialize in advocacy, there was hardly any leading advocate in the Eastern Caribbean region whose court room presentations were not aided by the learned research and analytical opinions for which he became famous during the two and a half decades of his practice. It was not surprising that he also had had an outstanding career as a judge serving at both the trial and appellate levels, in several jurisdictions in Caribbean. I myself recall both the pleasure and intellectual challenges of working with him on the appeal court of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. He was a leading consultant, involved pioneering and setting the standards for International Donor activity to support the administration of justice in the Caribbean, and in legislative reforms and modernization, and in constitutional reforms throughout the region. He was devoted to his native country and served in many capacities including being an Ambassador and rising to the heights of leadership being its Head of State and President.
He did all this and remained a famous and well-loved Dominican and Caribbean man.
I am honoured that we have been friends for many years and have shared many laudable experiences that have left pleasant memories.
I express sincere condolences on my personal behalf and on behalf of my family and close friends, and on behalf of the Caribbean Court of Justice to you, your dear wife, and your lovely daughters. I hope that your sadness will be relieved by the pride and pleasure that memories of his life must bring.
MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.
Rt. Hon. Sir Dennis Byron
June 12, 2015
Tribute to Dr. NICHOLAS J. O LIVERPOOL
No doubt, a great deal will be said and written about the loss of a truly great legal giant, an accomplished academic and teacher, an erudite lawyer and an eminent jurist. I say a little about his productive stint in Ghana from 1965 to 1968.
My association with Dr. Liverpool started as far back as 1966 when he, upon graduating with a doctorate degree from the University of Sheffield in 1965, accepted an appointment as Lecturer with the University of Ghana, Legon in Accra. I was privileged to be one of the numerous students that he taught at that University. He had to his credit a huge number of former students who turned out brilliantly and successfully in their legal careers. Among these can be counted the former President of the Republic of Ghana, Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills, retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, Samuel Date-Bah, Dr. Kwesi Botchway, former Minister of Finance of Ghana, the late Dr. Richard Turkson, Africa Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the late Justice K. Modibo Ocran, also of the Supreme Court of Ghana.
Dr. Liverpool worked at the Faculty of Law with an international faculty drawn from the USA, the United Kingdom, the West Indies and Ghana. He fitted in admirably and adapted well to local circumstances. I believe that it was there that he formed a firm opinion about the undisputed advantages of a University stretching out to more than its own nationals. He learnt this lesson well because he was to apply a similar philosophy to the UWI when he became Dean there. I was a beneficiary of that policy. I was recruited to the UWI during his Deanship of the Faculty of Law. He was an astute and shrewd manager of people. I learnt a great deal from his management style.
Though I also rose through the ranks and became Head of Teaching, Deputy Dean and Dean, to Dr. Liverpool I was always his student. In that role, while in Barbados, I was called upon to perform numerous tasks for him pro bono
, including harvesting peanuts for him, with my entire family, on Saturdays! On his recent visit to Ghana as the special guest of the President John Atta-Mills, my wife and I were delighted to be asked by His Excellency, President Mills, to act as protocol officers to Dr. Liverpool and to showcase the new Ghana to him. It was our pleasure to be of service to our teacher and mentor.
As fate would have it, it became my turn as Dean of the Faculty of Law at the Cave Hill Campus of the UWI to do him honor upon his retirement. The remarks I made of him on February 17, 1993 remain true, then as of now, and so, I crave your indulgence to repeat a little of it:
“Reading through the economist magazine recently, I came across this fascinating piece of national stereotypes. It said:
‘Jumble up a few national stereotypes and you have the old joke about the nightmare European. He has French moral courage, Indian fighting spirit, the British work ethic and a German sense of humor. In short, he is Belgian’.
No matter how much I jumble national Caribbean stereotypical traits, such as driving energy, placid charm, festive spirit etc. they all yield one answer with our special guest of honor - a truly regional and international man. …
His contribution to the Region and especially the Faculty of Law has been legendary:-
Years of unbroken service to the Faculty of Law
Head of Teaching
Judge in Antigua, the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada and Montserrat, and
Project Director of the Caribbean Justice Improvement Project (CJIP), among others
In all these capacities and more, Dr. Liverpool rose to the challenge robustly and in style. He has left the indelible stamp of his personality, style and charm with us all. I understand that in his present role where inevitably the majority of attorneys who appear before him are his own former students, he has remained guided by the qualities of a judge which Socrates considered essential: to hear courteously, answer wisely, to consider soberly and to decide impartially.Dr. Liverpool was a legendary tower of humility, a wise judge, a tireless worker but most of all a humane and kindly individual”.
To his wife, Verna, and his children, my family offers its condolences and sympathies.
May the earth lie lightly on his mortal remains!
Albert K. Fiadjoe
Professor Emeritus of Public Law
June 13, 2015