A History of Jamaica’s Constitution

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - May 24, 2013

By the Caribbean Journal staff

How did English colonial law develop into the legal system of Jamaica today, and what has that meant for Jamaica’s development?

A new book by attorney and law professor David P Rowe attempts to answer these questions, examining the history of Jamaica’s constitutional jurisprudence and its relation to the country’s maturation over the decades.

“Aspects of Jamaican Constitutional History,” co-authored by Rowe and University of Miami School of Law graduates Niyala Harrison and Jason Frederick Emert, takes a look at the history of Jamaica’s political economy through the lens of the constitution.

It chronicles Jamaica’s development from the adoption of English law through “reception” to Jamaica’s reactions to the Westminster constitutional model, including some of Jamaica’s major political events.

“It is very important for us to preserve our modern history in an authoritative and academic way,” said Rowe, who is a frequent Op-Ed Contributor for Caribbean Journal. “This book is an attempt to chronicle Jamaica’s constitutional development, from Columbus to Portia Simpson Miller.”

Rowe said constitutional history, too often ignored in Jamaica today, has significant bearings on the country’s future.

“The focus on constitutional history allows to understand the struggles that we have encountered in enjoying the political freedoms that we enjoy today,” he said. “Without a focus on constitutional history, we have no constitutional future.”

Rowe is holding a launch of the book at the Four Seasons Hotel in Kingston on Sunday.

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