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Article

Bridget Brereton

was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on 30 September 1860, into a light-skinned, mixed-race family of the upper middle class. His parents’ names were John and Pauline (née Durand de Beauval). He was educated at the Roman Catholic high school, St. Mary’s College, in Port of Spain, and qualified as a barrister at Gray’s Inn, London, being called to the Bar in Trinidad in 1882.

As a barrister engaged in private practice in Trinidad from 1882 to his death in 1930, he enjoyed the largest such practice in Trinidad in the first decades of the twentieth century, with important companies among his clients. He was appointed Queen’s (later King’s) Counsel—that is, he was recognized as a senior member of the Trinidad Bar—at the unusually young age of 37 (1897).

Alcazar entered the public life of colonial Trinidad as a young man He was elected ...

Article

was born in Panama City, Panama, on 24 February 1952, to Barbadian descendants. He attended the Instituto Fermin Naudeau in Panama City and in 1973 went on to the University of Panama, graduating in 1980 with a degree in law and political science and certification to practice before the Supreme Court of Panama.

Barrow began his career as a practicing labor attorney and later went on to work at several nongovernmental organizations including the World University Service SUM Panama Workshop of Labor and Social Studies the Latin American Regional Office of the International Federation of Building and Wood Workers based in Geneva Switzerland and the regional offices of the Union Network International He served in various capacities in the Ministry of Education as a legal assistance attorney and as the director of copyrights for the Republic of Panama He also served in the Office of Equal Opportunity for the ...

Article

Hassoum Ceesay

lawyer, politician, and Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, was born Fatou Bom Nyang in Banjul, Gambia. Her father, Omar Gaye Nyang, was a government driver and Banjul’s most renowned wrestling promoter; a sports arena in the city was named after him. She attended the Gambia High School, and then studied law at the University of Ife, Nigeria, from 1982 to 1986, and the Nigeria Law School in 1986 and 1987. She was called to the bar in Nigeria and the Gambia in 1987. She obtained an MA in Maritime Law from the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) Institute.

Bensouda is an experienced prosecutor, having served as a public prosecutor, state counsel, and senior state counsel before her appointment as Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions of the Gambia. She was also Solicitor General and Legal Secretary of the Gambia from 1996 ...

Article

Arturo Victoriano

was born on 5 April 1961 in Río San Juan, Dominican Republic. She graduated cum laude in 1988 with a doctorate in law from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), after which she pursued post-graduate studies in political science at UASD (its Santiago campus), graduating with a Post-Grado en Ciencias Políticas (equivalent to a one-year master’s degree) in 1994. She became a specialist in alternative conflict resolution. She is a former practicing attorney with an extended practice in the firms of Bonilla-Hernández (1989–1990), Centro Bonilla-Estrella (1990–1995), and Oficina Jurídica Díaz-Bonilla (1992–2002), serving various areas of the law, as is customary in the Dominican Republic. A longstanding member of the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD), she entered politics, becoming elected to the lower house of Congress (Chamber of Deputies) for the province of Santiago during the periods 1994–1998, 1998–2002 and ...

Article

Wigmoore Francis

is known primarily for his advocacy on behalf of the black and colored population of Jamaica, for his resistance to Crown rule, and for his impact on constitutional reform in the late nineteenth century. Samuel was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to William Burke, a wealthy watchmaker, and Elizabeth Staines Burke, a housewife. William owned four residences in Kingston’s upscale districts, and together, he and Elizabeth produced ten children, all of whom were colored.

Burke who may have been born on Harbour Street near the Kingston waterfront grew up on Church Street in downtown Kingston at a transitional time when the residential areas there were being overrun by business operations Here the absence of clear lines of demarcation between business and residence and the physical proximity of poorer black families resulted in a motley demographic arrangement of class color and race From a young age Samuel would therefore have been exposed ...

Article

Russell Hopley

jurist, was born in al-Qayrawan in southern Tunisia to a family that originated among the Banu Birzal tribe of Zenata Berbers. His full name was Abu ʾl-Qasim b. Ah.mad b. Muh.ammad al-Balawi al-Qayrawani al-Burzuli.

Burzuli received his early education in al Qayrawan where he pursued a traditional course of study in the Islamic sciences and showed considerable promise in the field of Islamic law Central to his training in jurisprudence was the eminent theologian Ibn ʿArafa d 1401 who played a significant role in the elaboration of the Maliki school of Islamic law in North Africa in the fourteenth century Burzuli likewise received a firm grounding in the various fields of Islamic learning at the hand of several influential scholars from al Qayrawan among them Abu Muh ammad al Shabibi d 1380 an important jurist with whom Burzuli served a lengthy apprenticeship and from whom he learned the skill of ...

Article

Kit Candlin

freewoman of color and the star witness in the trial of Thomas Picton, the governor of British Trinidad, for torture. Calderón was born in Trinidad in 1786 to Maria del Rosario Calderón, a freewoman of color, originally from Venezuela. She had two half-sisters, Catalina and Benancia, who were 10 years older than she. Both Calderón and her mother were employed at the house of a Spanish trader, Pedro Ruiz, as domestics.

In December 1801, when she was 14, she was arrested for complicity in a robbery at the house of her employer. It was alleged that her boyfriend—a man in his thirties known as Carlos Gonzales—was given access to the house by Calderón to rob 2,000 Spanish dollars that her employer kept in a strongbox in the kitchen.

Looking for evidence to convict Gonzales Ruiz took Calderón into custody for questioning The governor became interested in the case because ...

Article

Graeme Reid

South African human rights lawyer, Rhodes Scholar, and a Justice of South Africa’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on 15 February 1953, to Kenneth Hughson Cameron, an electrician, and Salome Schoeman Cameron. He completed his schooling at Pretoria Boys’ High School and obtained a BA Law and an Honors degree in Latin, both cum laude, at Stellenbosch University. He lectured in Latin and Classical Studies before studying at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. At Oxford he obtained a BA in Jurisprudence and the Bachelor of Civil Law, earning first-class honors and the top law prizes. Cameron received his LLB from the University of South Africa, and won the medal for the best law graduate.

Cameron practiced at the Johannesburg Bar from 1983 to 1994. From 1986 he was a human rights lawyer based at the University of the Witwatersrand s Centre ...

Article

Estelle Appiah and Margaret D. Rouse-Jones

was born in Dominica on 23 February 1869. He was one of a small group of West Indian professionals who migrated to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) early in the twentieth century. Few details are known about Christian’s formative years, except that he was influenced by his Antiguan-born father, after whom he was named. Both trained as teachers at the Mico Training School in Antigua and practiced the profession in Dominica. Christian’s father was also an outspoken activist who sent multiple petitions about grievances with Dominica’s chief justice to the Colonial Office during the 1860s and 1870s. As a young man, Christian was aware of the atrocities experienced by enslaved Africans, and he considered it his duty to return to Africa to give back to his homeland.

Despite financial constraints Christian fulfilled his desire to make Africa his home He began his legal training at Gray s Inn London ...

Article

David Dabydeen

West Indiancarpenter murdered in Notting Hill by white youths. Britain was particularly racially tense in the late 1950s, when the white working classes felt culturally and economically threatened by the presence of Blacks. Two active political groups in the Notting Hill area were the White Defence League and the National Labour Party, one claiming to be a Nazi group, the other a racial nationalist one. The culmination of the situation were the ‘race’ riots in 1958 in Notting Hill. One of the tragic results of these events was the murder of Cochrane, an Antiguan who was on his way back from the hospital after having had his broken thumb bandaged. He was stabbed with a knife in May 1958 by six white youths who were never caught. Following Cochrane's murder, the black activist Claudia Jones campaigned for the black community and helped to organize strategies for approaching the ...

Article

was born on 13 March 1969 in Kingston, Jamaica, allegedly to Lester Coke, the leader of the violent drug gang known as the “Shower Posse,” and his wife, Patricia Halliburton. Some journalists believe that Christopher Michael Coke was an adopted child, though Patricia Halliburton denied this shortly before her death. He was referred to as “Michael” in school, but the fact that Christopher Michael had a brother with the same first name may also speak to the idea that the parent who christened him may not have been either Lester Coke or Patricia Halliburton. According to court transcripts, Christopher Michael Coke also had another sister, Pamela, who lived in Tivoli Gardens and stored drugs in her apartment for him. She is otherwise unacknowledged as a member of the family in any published form, and her parentage thus remains uncertain, too.

Michael Coke began his life in the Tivoli Gardens neighborhood ...

Article

has not had his birth details published. He grew up on Milk Lane in Denham Town, a poor part of West Kingston in Jamaica. To residents, he was known as “Ba-Bye,” a friendly youth who held apprenticeships at various times as a welder, a cabinetmaker and a locksmith. Sometime around the age of 20, he married Patricia Halliburton, with whom he would have at least five children.

In Lester Coke s teens the homes in the nearby slum of Back O Wall were torn down to make way for a concrete housing project called Tivoli Gardens providing a vast material improvement in the circumstances of the residents in the area The project was led by Edward Seaga the Jamaican government s minister of development and welfare and the member of Parliament for West Kingston Seaga represented the Jamaican Labour Party JLP and his government stocked the rebuilt neighborhood with JLP ...

Article

Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones

a central figure in the twentieth-century Puerto Rican independence movement, was born into a modest family of mixed racial descent on 9 July 1909 in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. He was the fourth of nine children of Carmen de Gracia and Ceferino Concepción. After graduating from Central High School in Santurce in 1926, Concepción de Gracia attended the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus, earning degrees in law and business administration in 1932. During his early years in legal practice, he distinguished himself as the counsel for Pedro Albizu Campos (1891–1965 and other leaders of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party who had been charged with conspiring to overthrow the government of the United States Albizu Campos was imprisoned in Puerto Rico and later in Atlanta Georgia Concepción de Gracia moved to New York City in order to work on the appeal of the case He ...

Article

jurist and judge of the International Criminal Court, was born in Mali. She attended primary and secondary school in Mali, and received her undergraduate degree in human rights from the University of Dakar in 1971. Diarra returned home to Mali in order to begin a graduate program in law from the École Nationale d’Administration in the Malian capital of Bamako. Diarra then went to France, where she received a law degree from the École Nationale de la Magistrature in Paris. Despite the despotic regime of Moussa Traoré, Diarra made a legal career of defending victims of political violence. In the early 1990s she was one of the leading members of the grassroots movement that challenged the Traoré dictatorship. Diarra served as a legal adviser at the Sovereign National Convention in 1991 where she helped draft a new constitution. She also served in the 1990s as the vice ...

Article

Giovanni R. Ruffini

Egyptian lawyer and poet, was the son of Apollos, son of Psimanobet. Flavius Dioscorus is the best-documented figure from Byzantine Aphrodito (modern Egypt’s Kom Ishqaw) and consequently one of the best-documented representatives of village life in Egypt in the entire Greco-Roman period. The Aphrodito papyri—largely the business and personal papers of Dioskoros and his extended family—comprise an archive of hundreds of texts detailing the economic and social connections between thousands of Aphrodito villagers in the sixth century CE. Dioscorus, an Aphrodito village headman and in turn the son of another village headman, was one of the leading figures in the politics of his village in that period, and was involved in the political and economic affairs of the landowning and officeholding Roman imperial elite at the higher provincial level.

The bulk of the evidence for Dioscorus concerns either his private economic transactions or his career in village politics In the ...

Article

Mary S. Lederer and Elizabeth Macharia-Mokobi

Botswana lawyer, judge, and women’s and human rights activist, was born on 23 April 1959, in Mochudi in the Kgatleng District of Botswana, 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the capital Gaborone, to Phiri and Malefshane. One of six children, Dow received her early education in Mochudi and attended law school at the University of Botswana and Swaziland and later at Edinburgh University, qualifying as an attorney in 1983. She immediately took employment as a criminal prosecutor with the Attorney General’s Chambers in Gaborone. On 7 March 1984, she married Peter Nathan Dow, an American national. They set up home in Mochudi with her daughter Cheshe Maitumelo (born in 1979) and welcomed two more children: a son, Tumisang Tad, in 1985 and another daughter, Natasha Selemo, two years later.

In 1986 Dow left the employ of the government and entered into private practice as a partner ...

Article

Alfonso Arrivillaga Cortés

was born on 8 September 1969 in Livingston, a municipality in the department of Izabal on the Caribbean coast of Guatemala. His parents were Otilia Lambe Arriola and Gerardo Ellington Ávila. He dedicated himself to social activism at an early age; as a child, he enthusiastically participated in various activities in the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary in Livingston. After his mother immigrated to the United States, Mario Gerardo was left to the care of his grandmother Dorotea Arriola, her husband, Calixto Lambe, and his aunt María Lambe Arriola.

In 1986 Ellington was sent to Guatemala City to continue his studies He made a name for himself within the academic community and beyond for his enthusiastic participation in debates on interethnic relationships and for his precocious maturity As part of Despertar Garífuna Marcos Sánchez Díaz Ibimeni an activist group named for the founder of the Garífuna community ...

Article

James Jankowski

Egyptian lawyer, judge, and nationalist leader, was born in the delta village of Kafr al-Musayliha in Minufiyya Province on 23 December 1870. Son of a prominent landowning family, Fahmi was educated at first in the traditional educational system of his village primary school (kuttab), the Ahmadi Mosque in Tanta, and al-Azhar, but later entered the secular school system, attending the Khedival Secondary School in Cairo, and graduating from the School of Administration in 1890.

After working in the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Administration of Waqfs through the 1890s, in 1903 Fahmi opened a private law practice. He was elected to the new Legislative Assembly in 1913. One of Egypt’s most distinguished lawyers, in 1914 Fahmi became president of the Egyptian Bar Association for the first time he would hold this position twice more in later years He also served as president of the ...

Article

Stephen Clingman

, South African lawyer and antiapartheid figure, was born Abram Fischer in Bloemfontein on 23 April 1908 to a distinguished Afrikaner family. His grandfather, Abraham Fischer, was a negotiator and delegate for the Orange Free State during the Anglo-Boer War, prime minister of the Orange River Colony after the war, and a member of the first Union cabinet of South Africa in 1910. His father, Percy, was judge-president of the Supreme Court of the Orange Free State; his mother, Ada, came from a prominent family of her own. In this context Bram Fischer realigned the anti-imperialism and Afrikaner nationalism he inherited, turning it toward a wider and more inclusive form of South African identity.

In Bloemfontein Fischer attended school at Grey College where he came under the tutelage of Leo Marquard founder of the National Union of South African Students NUSAS After a year at the University of Cape ...

Article

Edward Greene

was born on 5 January 1923, the son of Milutine Cox and John Henry Duport Georges, in Dominica. He obtained his formative education at Roseau Boys School on that island, where his father was the headmaster. From an early age, he distinguished himself as an outstanding student, winning one of the few scholarships to the Dominica Grammar School at age 9, and attributing to a teacher there named N. K. Jeffers his keen interests in and lifelong passions for English and history. These proved to be assets in his armory as professor, jurist, and raconteur. His academic and professional career was a superlative example of how brilliance combined with wise nurturing and diligence can produce the highest excellence despite circumstances of limited social and material privilege.

After winning the Dominican Island Scholarship at the unprecedented age of 17 years he proceeded to McGill University in Montreal to pursue a ...