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Professor Rose Marie Bell Antoine, Principal of the New UWI School: Change Agent, Thought Leader, Regional Activist

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The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has announced that Professor Rose Marie-Belle Antoine will be the Director of the St. Augustine Campus effective August 1, 2022.

Professor Rose Marie Bell Antoine

Professor Antoine UWI’s journey began in 1989, at the Faculty of Law, Cave-Hill as an interim lecturer who became the inaugural and initiating director of the successful Master of Laws (LLM) program, UWI’s first multi-campus mixed delivery program, beginning in 2002. It was one of the youngest UWI lecturers appointed to the rank of professor, in 2004, and the first dean of the law school, St. Augustine, who served two terms. In 2021, she was appointed Vice-Chancellor for Graduate Studies and Research. The appointment to the position of Campus Director marks another pivotal milestone in her 32-year journey at the regional institution.

Antoine, a UWI graduate, has served as a principal advisor to all governments of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and numerous international organisations, on a wide range of diverse issues. Her advisory services include writing transformational reports on key issues of legal policy and development, drafting new laws, advocacy, training and capacity building for NGOs and legal professionals in the judiciary.

Notably, this transformative work includes External Financing, CARICOM Report on Harmonization of Labor Law, HIV, Non-discrimination, Employment, Free Movement of Peoples, Inter-American Anti-Corruption Convention, Turks and Caicos Islands Legislative Reform Project, and more. Most recently, as Chair of the CARICOM Regional Committee Report on Marijuana and as experts between the United Nations and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean on the Escazu Agreement on Climate and Environmental Issues.

Professor Antoine established the International Human Rights Clinic, an innovative model of legal education that twins academics with activism and practitioners. He has questioned important reasons such as immigrants/refugees, indigenous peoples, children’s rights, LGBT, transgender and intersex people and gender justice. She is currently focusing on the injustice suffered by prisoners held for excessively long periods, including murder suspects who are victims of domestic violence, under the EU-funded UWI project. Under her leadership, she visited prisons with students, and a historic constitutional proposal was presented challenging the constitutionality of the phenomenon of pretrial detention. Her free representation includes another high-profile case before the Equal Opportunity Court, on mental disability discrimination.

As Dean of Law, she has been instrumental in shaping the curriculum and has introduced the latest additions such as Oil and Gas Law, HIV, Banking, and Discrimination Law. It also introduced the flagship Makandal Daaga Scholarship, which is an equal opportunity scholarship where applicants may be of any age, gender, race or karikum nationality. The scholarship creates greater access to the law program and provides the opportunity for recipients who are agents of change to be equipped in law and further their work in activism and social development.

Antoine is a Cambridge Pegasus Fellow, is a scholar at Oxford and the Commonwealth University, and was named by the Caribbean Court of Justice in 2021 as the recipient of the Outstanding Caribbean Women’s Rights Prize. Professor Antoine holds a Ph.D. from Oxford University in External Financial Law, and in 2011 the OAS office elected him as Commissioner to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Washington; In 2014, she was elected President, the first person from Trinidad and Tobago. She served as the OAS Chair of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Unit and was appointed Rapporteur for People of African Descent, Anti-Discrimination and Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples. Most recently, she served as a temporary judge of the Court of Appeals in the Commercial Division of the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeals.

As an advocate for health, discrimination and gender issues, she is the 66-year-old president of the Planned Parenthood Association, the oldest non-governmental organization in Trinidad and Tobago and the number one provider of sexual and reproductive health services and advocacy. In July 2021, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, London.

The Professor Rose Marie Belle Antoine Campus Director’s Scholarship has been recognized for its quality, depth, diversity, creativity, humanity and breadth. She has worked on selected research teams at some of the most prestigious universities in the world, such as Oxford and McGill. In addition, she has been appointed an honorary member of the International Association of Credit and Real Estate Practitioners, UK, a status awarded to “those who have made a unique and exceptional contribution” to the field. She also chaired the UWI Standing Committee on University Regulations.

Among the 52 awards and honors she received, the Vice President’s Award for Excellence.

In 2006, she became the first person from the law school to win the Regional Award for Excellence in Research, after being nominated by her peers. In 2013, she made history as the only individual to have won the Vice President’s Award for Excellence twice, this time for public service. In 2008, she was honored as one of the university’s “60 Under 60 Academics”, during the regional institution’s 60th anniversary celebrations; Then again, in 2018, she was named among the “70 Outstanding Alumni of Cave Hill.”

Professor Antoine has an impressive publishing output with over 17 published books, texts and manuscripts, over 18 book chapters, 45 selected articles, published speeches and numerous conference papers. She has authored two groundbreaking texts, published by Oxford University Press, that mark the regional and first law school academic community.

Professor Rose Marie Bell Antoine honored the spirit of UWI by using her scholarship to support NGOs, fuel activism, and promote social change, justice and development.

Offering a personal congratulations to the appointed Campus Director, Professor Sir Hilary Pickles, Vice Chancellor of the University of British Columbia, stated, “Professor Antoine has had an amazing career journey. A history-maker and modern-day freedom fighter, her work has been transformative regionally and internationally. As the University embarks on And as her campus is in great upheaval, we are confident in the thought and respect she brings to leadership at St. Augustine. As a community, we join her in celebrating this moment of personal and professional achievement for her, and we welcome her with the utmost support.”

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