By anguillian February 22, 2016 11:50 Updated




A series of six Law Books, just published by retired High Court Judge, Mr. Don Mitchell, CBE, QC, and prepared as lectures for Anguillian students sitting the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), is seen as one of his most practical, praiseworthy and perpetual contributions to jurisprudence in Anguilla and the rest of the Caribbean. The attractively designed books, written in a light, but academic prose, were officially launched by Governor Christina Scott on Monday evening, February 15, at the Teachers’ Resource Centre, in the presence of a large and appreciative audience.

The text books were described as not only of much learning value and significance to students, but to all and sundry across Anguilla including the law fraternity and groups and individuals in the public and private sectors in general. The volumes, each available at US$25, have crowned a mass of written texts over the years by Mr. Mitchell, a prolific legal writer and historian, whose published papers, blogs, and other works have well informed the people of Anguilla over the many years of his busy, vibrant and multi-faceted career. The books, now a legacy of his once extremely active profession, carry the following titles: Criminal Law, Caribbean Legal Studies, Law of Tort, Principles of Public Law, Law of Conflict and Law of Real Property.

The book-launch ceremony was chaired by Mr. Thomas Astaphan, QC, one of Mr. Mitchell’s long-time colleagues, conversant with his legal prowess and sterling contributions. Mr. Astaphan, who spoke about Mr. Mitchell’s extensive career path and other biographical information, described him, among other things, as “a true Caribbean person who, despite all of the accomplishments he achieved, remains a very humble and modest person”. His career path in Anguilla from 1976, when he moved to the island from St. Kitts, included: Magistrate and Registrar of the Supreme Court, Coroner, Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Registrar of Companies, Trade Marks, Patents, Newspapers, Trade Unions and Archives. His more recent accomplishments included High Court Judge, Appeal Court Judge, Law Teacher at the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School since 2007 and his appointment as Chairman of the Constitutional and Electoral Reform Commission in Anguilla.

Resident Judge, Madam Justice Cheryl Mathurin, congratulated Mr. Mitchell on behalf of Chief Justice, Janice Pereira, and the other Judges of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court including herself. She said the publishing of the books was particularly gratifying when it was considered that the beneficiaries were students and teachers. She noted that, with the author’s extensive experience, knowledge, wisdom and guidance, the books would also be of much assistance to a more harmonised Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in terms of advice in the future. “Congratulations, Mr. Mitchell and thank you very much for sharing yet again your wisdom and your knowledge,” she concluded.

Mrs. Chanelle Petty Barrett, Permanent Secretary, Education, in a more comprehensive address, lauded Mr. Mitchell for his legal work. She said in part: “As a Lawyer, he was always a Teacher. He nurtured and moulded many young Attorneys. As a result of his legal acumen, coupled with warm humility and humour, young Counsels often felt comfortable enough to visit his Chambers – not only to use his extensive library – but also to tap into his vast knowledge and experience of various legal issues, and for guidance and support. Unfailingly he always gave of himself and his resources…Personally, when I chose to pursue a law degree, I spent several summers in his Chambers under his tutelage. I was but one of the several aspiring Attorneys to whom he was a mentor, teacher and a storehouse of legal knowledge.”

Mrs. Petty Barrett said that through Mr. Mitchell’s teaching of law he had “nurtured a generation of citizens with an increased awareness of their rights, responsibilities and operations in the legal system.” She added: “Justice Mitchell, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, I thank you for your years of dedicated service to our students and congratulate you on the launch of this textbook series. Yet again you have found a better way of giving of yourself: this time by providing an invaluable resource for anyone studying or teaching CAPE Law. Not only have you made life easier for students and teachers, but you have ensured that future generations can benefit from your wealth of knowledge on the various subject areas. This is indeed a commendable legacy.”

Ms. Jean Dyer, President of the Anguilla Bar Association, congratulated Mr. Mitchell on behalf of the Association, and herself, for having “singlehandedly researched and produced what has now become essential reference guides…at a very affordable price.” She said the Association was grateful to him “for having undertaken this labour of love for the past eight years”. She urged students in Anguilla to make the most of the Law Books now available to them.

There were three special overviews of Mr. Mitchell’s books. The first, Criminal Law and Contract Law, was presented by Barrister-at-Law, Mr. Kerith Kentish on behalf of his Aunt, Mrs. Joyce Kentish-Egan, QC; the second, Real Property and Caribbean Legal Systems, was by Mr. Stanley Reid OBE, Deputy Governor and a trained Lawyer; and the third, Law of Tort and Principles of Public Law, by Barrister-at-Law, Mrs. Keesha Carty. Ms. Ojeda Vanterpool, a past CAPE Law Student, nurtured by Mr. Mitchell and now a Barrister-at-Law, was also listed to deliver remarks. In her absence, her address was delivered by Mr. Karim Richardson, a former classmate. She noted that through Mr. Mitchell she had not only qualified as a Lawyer, eight years after his tutelage, but had already been called to the Bar in England and Wales. She will be called to the Anguilla Bar in the near future.
Earlier, the proceedings were graced by two poems, one each by Mrs. Patricia Adams and Mrs. Hyacinth Hughes which were both well received.

Responding to the various presentations, Mr. Mitchell said: “I have been honestly overwhelmed by the turnout here tonight and by the kind things so many of you have said about me and the six little books that I have now published.” He was grateful to the Principals and Deputy Principals, other teachers and students (past and current) of the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School, and others, who facilitated his teaching of law – and other persons who were also helpful towards the preparation and publishing of the Law Books. Included in the list was the Senior Magistrate, Ms. Ivenia Benjamin, who assisted in arranging the book launch and who, in the first place, facilitated the publishing of the books by Emanuel Publishing House in Dominica.

Governor Christina Scott observed that while the books were an excellent contribution to education and civil society, they would also be of much value to several areas of the public service including land law, registration and licencing issues. The Governor thought it would be a good idea for Mr. Mitchell to roll out the books right across the region and possibly even wider. “It is a real fantastic achievement and it is an enormous privilege for me to declare these books officially launched,” she added.

The book launch ceremony was followed by refreshments and the signing and purchasing of books.

By anguillian February 22, 2016 11:50 Updated


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