Trinidadian judge to get honorary Canadian doctorate

Justice Peter Jamadar - Caribbean Court of Justice
Justice Peter Jamadar - Caribbean Court of Justice

CARIBBEAN Court of Justice judge Peter Jamadar will receive an honorary doctorate from a Canadian university, in May.

Victoria University, part of the University of Toronto, said its chancellor, Nick Saul, a renowned food and social justice activist, will confer the degree on May 11. The conferral is part of Victoria University Convocation and Emmanuel College Graduation.

Jamadar graduated from Emmanuel College, one of two colleges in Victoria University in the University of Toronto, in 1997.

Commenting on the honour, Jamadar said he was humbled and grateful to receive this honour.

"During my time studying at Emmanuel College, my belief in humanity’s interconnectedness and desire to impact a better world through conscious reflection, learning, adaptation and change really took shape.

“My legal work has always been informed by my theological formation, and I am very pleased to be joining another generation of graduates during convocation as they pursue their professional and spiritual journeys.”

In its announcement, the university said, “Throughout his accomplished career, he has anchored his work in his insights from law and theology, and his desire to build equitable communities and societies.

“He has focused on human rights issues such as gender-sensitive adjudication and human trafficking, as well as strengthening the justice system for historically marginalised groups such as persons with disabilities. He is currently engaged with research on Indigenous and tribal peoples of the Caribbean, and on strengthening their rights and access to justice.”

It also quoted Dr Rhonda N McEwen, president and vice-chancellor of Victoria University, who said, “I had the pleasure to speak to Justice Jamadar for the first time when I delivered the committee’s good news on his selection. I left that call even more impressed with the ways that he has translated his learning at Emmanuel College into his work to transform the criminal justice systems in the Caribbean and in Africa.

“Justice Jamadar is pushing longstanding biases and bringing needed changes to how systems have positioned issues affecting women and LGBT2S+ people. Justice Jamadar exemplifies the values and skills that Emmanuel College graduates contribute to a better world.”

He received his master of divinity from Emmanuel College, which prepared him for his roles as a lay preacher and educator with the Presbyterian Church in TT, his biography says.

He has served as chair of the board of directors at St Andrew’s Theological College, the primary theological institution of the Presbyterian Church, which has had a long partnership with the United Church of Canada.

He was also a faculty member at St Andrew’s, teaching at the undergraduate level.

Jamadar’s theological studies and values led him to join the Foundation for Human Development in 1999, a charitable organisation whose mission is to facilitate authentic personal growth, social development and spiritual transformation. He currently serves as a Vision Circle leader and on its faculty as a course director, his biography says.

Jamadar comes from a family of lawyers stretching back three generations.

Aretired Appeal Court judge of the Supreme Court of TT, he graduated from the Faculty of Law Cave Hill, Barbados and the Hugh Wooding Law School.

In 1984, he was admitted to the Bar. In 1997, he was appointed a puisne judge of the High Court, and in 2008, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal. In 2019, he was sworn in as a judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the apex court for several Caribbean states and an international court of original jurisdiction for Caricom treaty rights.

Jamadar is also deeply involved in judicial education and training nationally, regionally and internationally. In 2004, he completed the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute’s (CJEI) intensive study programme for judicial educators and serves as a Fellow and faculty.

He also holds a certificate in training judicial trainers from the University College London Judicial Institute.

As a researcher, he has spearheaded Caribbean-based research in procedural fairness in the courts, exploring the wellbeing of Caribbean judicial officers, and mindfulness as an aid to judicial integrity and performance.

He was also an adviser for Hope Centre, a home for abused and battered children.

He is involved with the UN Global Integrity Network and assisted in the development of a global social media protocol for judicial officers. He works with other international organisations such as Global Affairs Canada and UN Women in Caribbean justice sector reform initiatives.

Jamadar has written two books on democratic reform: The Mechanics of Democracy (1989), and Democracy & Constitution Reform in Trinidad and Tobago (with Dr Kirk Meighoo) (2008).

For the Foundation for Human Development, he has written Glimpses (2016), and “Insights (2023). He has also written extensive articles and various publications relating to law.

Jamadar is a certified transpersonal psychologist and a certified mediator.

He is also a certified PADI open-water diver, qualified reiki practitioner, and a certified swim coach.


"Trinidadian judge to get honorary Canadian doctorate"

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