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CALL FOR PAPERS The Caribbean Law Review (Volume 20: Issue 2, 2022) Theme: Floreat Caribbean Law: Histories, and Trajectories

It has been: over 50 years since the establishment of the Faculty of Law at the Cave Hill Campus of The University of the West Indies; over 60 years of since the first of the Britain’s former colonies in the Commonwealth Caribbean gained independence; and 15 years since the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice. Yet, some still doubt that a distinctive West Indian/Caribbean Law exists. What, then, is Caribbean Law? As a signifier, Caribbean Law evokes a multiplicity of meanings; a regional identity/a shared sense of Caribbean-ness built around, in and through the structure of the law and legal institutions such as the Faculty of Law, UWI, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Writing in 1970s in an unpublished paper, Dorcas White referred to Caribbean Law, in a way that practitioners and theorists may find eerily resonant, if not entirely apt currently.  She wrote: “West Indian law may be bad law, it may be irrelevant law, unsuitable to the peculiar circumstances of the region. It may be imposed law – that is, the law directed to the colonies by the British Parliament; it may be all that or even worse but it is still West Indian law.”  If one were to accept this categorisation, does Caribbean law remain a poorly-fitted suit for the Caribbean body politic, imposed by a globalising world, or transposed by our political directorate with little tailoring to our reality? Alternatively, Tracy Robinson invites us to think of the appellation as an aspirational title, invoking a philosophy and a body to be brought into being, continuously developed, affirmed and challenged in a regional dispensation. In this vein, might we find Caribbean Law as having evolved or even revolted into a revolutionary phase, building laws and legal institutions, practices and mores fit for purpose for the region.

In this special edition of the Caribbean Law Review, we invite authors to think about three dimensions of Caribbean Law:
  • What is Caribbean Law and how is it distinct from our inherited colonial law?
  • How has Caribbean Law been shaped by our shared historical, cultural, social, political and economic experiences?
  • What should Caribbean law be/become?

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