Jamaica – COI

Damion Keith Blake

Email: dblake3@elon.edu

Dr. Damion Blake is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Policy Studies at Elon University. Blake holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA.) and a Master of Science (MSc.) from the University of the West Indies (UWI)Mona campus, Jamaica. He has a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Political Theory and Governance Studies. He is a Drugs, Security and Democracy research fellow (2011-2012) with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the Open Society Foundation. Dr. Blake received funding from the SSRC to undertake his dissertation field work research in Kingston, Jamaica for seven months on power and roles of garrison dons. He taught as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Government at UWI (2005-2008) and in the departments of History and Political Science at Virginia Tech (2008-2012). He was an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech (2012 to 2013). Dr. Blake served as a consultant with his home country’s (Jamaica)Ministry of National Security on its violence prevention program; ‘Unite for Change’. Blake is also a guest columnist and political commentator with the Gleaner newspaper and Nationwide News Network radio station in Jamaica, contributing commentary pieces and analysis on Caribbean electoral politics, political economy, violence and organized crime. His teaching areas are: Comparative Politics and Government; National Security, Politics of the Caribbean, Introduction to International Relations, Elon Core Curriculum and his latest interdisciplinary course called The Black man in America . Blake’s research areas are: Organized Crime and urban violence in the Americas; Democracy and Mass participation in the US; Social justice race and education in the US; and Caribbean politics, governance and development.  

Hubert Devonish

Email: hubertsldevonish@gmail.com

Hubert Devonish is a recently retired Professor of Linguistics at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica, where he served for many years as the head of the Department of Language, Linguistics and Philosophy. He is the Coordinator of the Jamaican Language Unit at that same institution. He has a history of research and publication in the areas of language planning, sociolinguistcs, phonology and linguistic description with specific reference to Creole languages and languages of the Caribbean. His best known work,  Language and Liberation:Creole Language Politics in the Caribbean  ( Karia Press 1986, Arawak Publications 2007) makes the case for the granting of official language status to Caribbean Creole languages, the native languages of the vast majority of the populations in many Caribbean states where a language of a former or existing colonising power, French, Dutch or English, is the sole official language. He is well known in Jamaica as a public advocate in favour of enshrining freedom from discrimination on the ground of language in the Charter of Rights to the Jamaican constitution, and the formal use of the Jamaican Language (Jamaican Creole, Patwa) as a language of education. Originally from Guyana, he has been active in making similar arguments and representations in relation to Creolese (Guyanese Creole).

Dr Stacy-Ann Elvy 

Email:  stacy-ann.elvy@nyls.edu
Tel: 212-431-2126

Stacy-Ann Elvy is an Associate Professor of Law at New York Law School where she teaches Comparative Human Rights Systems, International Business Transactions, and Commercial Law. Professor Elvy is the associate director of the Center for Business and Financial Law at New York Law School and she is affiliated with the Center for International Law. Professor Elvy has also taught courses on Commonwealth Caribbean Legal Systems and has conducted extensive research on sexual violence against women in the Commonwealth Caribbean with a focus on Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica. Her most recent article,  A Postcolonial Theory of Spousal Rape: The Commonwealth Caribbean and Beyond  has been published in the University of Michigan’s Journal of Gender and Law. Professor Elvy has served as an expert to the ABA-United Nations Development Program International Legal Resource Center and has provided legal opinions on anti-discrimination legislation proposal for Jamaica. Professor Elvy received her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell University in 2001 and was awarded her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 2004. Professor Elvy’s scholarship has also been published in the Emory International Law Review and the University of Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law. 

Lord Anthony Gifford QC (LGBTI)

Email:  anthony.gifford@btinternet.com

Anthony Gifford is an attorney-at-law who has worked on human rights issues in the United Kingdom and Jamaica.  Since 1991 he has been settled in Jamaica where he is the senior partner in the firm of Gifford Thompson & Bright.  He has been a member of the Council of IJCHR since 2006.  In the UK he was actively involved in support for the African Liberation struggle, and in cases of racial discrimination, Irish prisoners and gay rights.  He was lead counsel in the case of  Dudgeon v UK , in which the European Court of Human Rights declared that anti-gay legislation in Northern Ireland  had to be repealed . In Jamaica he has a wide-ranging legal practice including the representation of trade unions, Rastafarians, prisoners and others whose rights have been violated.  He is lead counsel in a petition pending before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission against the Government of Jamaica seeking the repeal of Jamaica’s anti-gay laws.  He is the author of  The Passionate Advocate , a memoir of his work as a human rights lawyer.


Dr Bernard Headley 

Email: bernard.headley@uwimona.edu.jm 

Dr Bernard Headley lectured in criminology at Atlanta  University and North‐eastern Illinois University. He is a  retired Professor of Criminology at The University of the  West Indies; and Professor Emeritus (Sociology), at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago.  He has studied and authored several books on crime and  criminal justice policy in Jamaica.

Dr Scott Long (LGBTI)

Email:  scottlong1980@gmail.com

Dr Scott Long, Ph.D., Harvard, has led a long career in LGBTI rights activism focusing on Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa. He has taught in Hungary, Romania and the Human Rights Program of Harvard Law School. Dr Scott Long was programme director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) from 1996 to 2002 and led the organisation’s advocacy at the 2001 UN General Assembly’s Special Session on HIV/AIDS. He founded and directed the Human Rights Watch’s LGBT Rights Program until 2010 and has produced reports on the situation of LGBTI persons in Egypt, Iraq and Iran, discrimination against binational same-sex couples in the United States, as well as working with LGBTI activists in Russia. Dr Scott Long blogs on human rights-related issues on  http://paper-bird.net/ .

Dr Brian Meeks

Email:  brian.meeks@uwimona.edu.jm

Dr Meeks is Professor of social and political change, Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies and Director of the Centre for Caribbean Thought in the Department of Government at the University of the West Indies, Mona. He has also taught at Michigan State University, Florida International University and Anton de Kom University of Suriname and served as Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University, Stanford University and Brown University. He has published eight books and edited collections, including Caribbean Revolutions and Revolutionary Theory, 1993 and 2001, Envisioning Caribbean Futures: Jamaican Perspectives, 2007 and The Thought of New World: The Quest for Decolonisation (ed. with Norman Girvan) 2010. His first novel, Paint the Town Red was published in 2003. He is willing to give expertise on Jamaica, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobaga.

Luke de Noronha

Email: luke.denoronha@ucl.ac.uk 

Luke has recently completed his DPhil in Anthropology at the University of Oxford (passed viva in August 2018). His main research interest is in deportation, particularly of ex-offenders from the UK. His doctoral research examines the deportation of ex-offenders from the UK to Jamaica, exploring the lives of deportees in Jamaica as well as their friends and families who remain in the UK. Luke has spent several months in Jamaica over the last few years meeting over 100 deported persons who had been returned by the British government. Luke holds a BSc in Sociology from the University of Bristol and he completed his MSc in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. His Master’s thesis dealt with representations of ‘foreign criminals’ in the media, parliament and NGO documents. More broadly, his research deals with issues of race, gender, and criminality in the construction of deportable subjects. He has written several expert reports for lawyers and the courts, including more general reports, which can be found below. Luke was recently joined by Gracie Mae Bradley, Interim Director of Liberty, in conversation about state response and policing throughout the pandemic and race disproportionality (listen here).  Although he is unable to produce individual reports, he is happy to sign excerpts from this report and to provide oral evidence at the tribunal where necessary. 

Dr Shirley Anne Tate

Email: satate56@gmail.com

Dr. Shirley Anne Tate, Director. Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, School of Sociology and Social Policy,University of Leeds, UK and Visiting Professor in Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, University of the Free State, South Africa. Born and educated in Jamaica, she continues to have regular contact with the island. She has also done fieldwork in Trinidad and Tobago and has a general  knowledge of the rest of the Anglo-Hispano- and Francophone Caribbean. She is unprepared, however, to serve as a COI expert witness for the Dutch-speaking Caribbean.

Dr Huon Wardle 

Email:  hobw@st-andrews@ac.uk

Dr Huon Wardle, Director of the Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies at the University of St Andrews and formerly directed the Centre for Amerindian, Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the same University. He has taught at Cambridge University, Goldsmiths College, LSB College (now Dublin Business School), Queens University, Belfast, and St Andrews University. His monograph:  An Ethnography of Cosmopolitanism  in Kingston, Jamaica was published in 2000. Subsequently he has published numerous volumes and essays with a focus especially on the Caribbean, on Cosmopolitanism and a range of theoretical issues surrounding ethnography. He has particular expertise on family, (trans)migration, religion and interpersonal politics.

Dr Ruth C. White

Email: ruthcwhite@gmail.com

Dr White, Ph.D., MPH, MSW, is Associate Professor of social work at Seattle University in Seattle, WA. Dr White’s expertise has been called on to review work in the area of HIV/AIDS for organizations such as the American Public Health Association, the American Journal of Health Behavior, AIDS Care, and Culture, Health and Sexuality. She has researched and written extensively on Jamaicans living with HIV/AIDS, sexuality-based discrimination in Jamaica, and the stigma in Jamaica around homosexuals and individuals living with HIV/AIDS. She has worked with major law firms such as Sidley Austin, human rights organizations such as The National Immigrant Justice Center (USA) and law schools such as New York University and the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic at Columbia University, to provide oral and written expert testimony on many cases of asylum and withholding of removal petitions of Jamaicans who are homosexual or living with HIV/AIDS.

Reports, Commentaries and relevant Documents.

  • Commentary on the February 2012 Jamaica OGN . Published by Still Human, Still Here with commentaries on the Operational Guidance Notes (OGN) issued by the UK Border Agency on Jamaica. This is intended as a tool to assist legal practitioners identify the relevant country of origin information and to help ensure that all relevant material is considered by decision-makers.
  • Commentary on the May 2011 Jamaica OGN . Published by Still Human, Still Here with commentaries on the Operational Guidance Notes (OGN) issued by the UK Border Agency on Jamaica. This is intended as a tool to assist legal practitioners identify the relevant country of origin information and to help ensure that all relevant material is considered by decision-makers.
  • General Expert Report – Deportees in Jamaica April 2017. Published by Luke de Noronha, this report brings together several expert reports to provide a more general overview regarding the realities for deported persons on the ground in Jamaica. It is not intended to persuade the courts, and only serves to offer more accurate and balanced country information. Luke is happy to sign excerpts from this report for lawyers when needed.
  • General Expert Report – Deportees in Jamaica July 2021. Published by Luke de Noronha, this report is intended to supplement available country information. It is intended to assist the courts in reaching the best decisions based on the available facts. Luke is happy to sign excerpts from this report for lawyers, and to provide oral evidence at the tribunal where necessary.