Jamaican Senator A.J. Nicholson, recently appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, returns to teach at Stetson Law in March

Jamaican Senator A.J. Nicholson, on campus at Stetson University College of Law in March teaching a class on International Human Rights in the Caribbean, has recently been appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Jamaica, the largest English-speaking Caribbean island.

Senator A.J. Nicholson is teaching at Stetson Law in March.

Senator A.J. Nicholson is teaching at Stetson Law in March.

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of independence in Jamaica,” Nicholson shared before beginning his first lecture of the semester at Stetson Law on March 5.

Senator Nicholson will teach at Stetson Law through the spring of 2012, when he will leave for a worldwide tour beginning in Canada to discuss Jamaica’s role in the global community. He began his class this semester at Stetson with a discussion of the history of and importance of the constitution, the court and government in the Caribbean.

“Stetson is truly blessed to have one of Jamaica’s most highly and historically esteemed political figures take time to share with faculty, staff and students,” said Professor Darryl Wilson, who co-directs the Institute for Caribbean Law and Policy with Professor Dorothea Beane. “Counselor Nicholson’s presence here provides our students and the greater Tampa Bay community with a truly unique opportunity.”

Nicholson has taught a variety of courses at Stetson Law as a Distinguished International Fellow, including human rights in the Caribbean and comparative Caribbean constitutional law. He has annually presented to the Stetson Law community on developments in the area of justice in the Caribbean. Last spring, he discussed the creation and role of the recently formed Caribbean Court of Justice.

“Senator Nicholson’s recent appointment as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is a testament to his reputation as a leader in the Caribbean basin. We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Senator Nicholson’s status share his thoughts on human rights in the Caribbean with our students,” said John Cooper, Associate Dean for International Programs at Stetson Law.

Nicholson told the Jamaica Observerin January that in his new role, he will be focused on restoring Jamaica’s place in the international arena, setting the stage for increased foreign investments, and bringing attention to Jamaica’s leading role in the Caribbean community.

Jamaican Senator A.J. Nicholson is teaching a class on International Human Rights in the Caribbean.

Jamaican Senator A.J. Nicholson is teaching a class on International Human Rights in the Caribbean.

Nicholson traveled from Jamaica to London to pursue his education at London University and to advance in the London Bar before returning to Jamaica to begin a distinguished practice.  Nicholson has been a member of the Jamaican Senate since 1998 and the legal advisor to the People’s National Party since 1996. He was Jamaica’s minister of legal affairs from 1995-1998, minister of justice from 2001-2007, and attorney general for 12 years.

“Senator Nicholson is a champion of struggle for greater rights for the Jamaican people and the greater Caribbean as a whole,” said Professor Luz Nagle, international law expert at Stetson Law. “He has persevered through episodes of adversity in his life that would have made other people falter and give up. His sense of duty to the rule of law and a lawyer’s code of personal conduct are exemplary.”

Stetson’s Institute for Caribbean Law and Policy, co-directed by professors Dorothea Beane and Darryl Wilson, regularly brings distinguished legal scholars from the Caribbean to the Stetson Law campus. The Institute facilitates educational exchanges, training, development and internship opportunities with the Caribbean and grows partnerships between Stetson Law, the law schools of the Caribbean, the Caribbean Council on Legal Education, the various Caribbean bar associations, and other professional legal organizations.

In 2008, the Institute’s co-directors joined a faculty consortium to help draft the U.S. Virgin Islands constitution. Stetson also offers a winter study abroad program for students in the Cayman Islands, with course topics ranging from the death penalty in the Caribbean to offshore tax havens.