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    Posted: 08 Mar 2018 at 10:23pm
Donald Trotman is a special personPull Quote: “It’s in my nature to oppose oppression and violations of freedoms and rights”By Nadia Guyadeen The dictionary defines the word “special” as extraordinary or exceptional and also as distinguished or different from what is ordinary or usual.The word special can most definitely be used to describe prominent Guyanese Attorney, Donald Trotman, a father of five, who has been in practice for more than 47 years and dedicated his energies and time towards fighting against human rights violations and trying to ensure that justice is served.Having served as a Magistrate, a Judge, partaking in many special assignments relating to human rights and holding a host of other significant posts, the 71-year-old Trotman, who received his secondary tuition at Queen’s College, says that it is his nature to fight against injustice and violations of freedoms and rights. He said it has always been his desire to see that justice is served, and that made him go into the legal profession.Barrister-at-Law Donald Trotman“I wanted to see justice served regardless of the forces that are opposed to me or the cause,” he asserted.Trotman has gained a wealth of knowledge studying human rights; human rights in the administration of justice and playing key roles in major committees and agencies fighting for this cause.He was able to use the knowledge gathered over the years to service in Guyana, particularly as a judge, a role which he says he considers one of his greatest accomplishments.“I have a strong sense of justice and of course, correspondingly, I am strongly opposed to injustice. I have been and I am quite prepared to oppose injustice once I feel strongly that it is wrong, and to abide by the consequences.”Trotman, who hails from the East Coast Demerara village of Golden Grove, started out in the legal profession after he qualified as a barrister of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in London in 1961.He then returned to Guyana and was called to the Bar. Young and eager, he went into practice.“I hardly really knew what to do until I started getting a few cases with the help of some of my friends and relatives, and what helped me of course in those early days of practice was that I had done my pupilage in England in the Chambers of Dean Pritt who was very well known by then in Guyana and the rest of the Commonwealth for fighting cases against oppression in the Commonwealth countries particularly in Asia, Africa and in Guyana.”According to Trotman, that apprenticeship helped him considerably to get into practice with a sort of confidence and courage to represent causes which seemed to be lost and cases which many other lawyers, young and old, did not want to take up as they thought they were too challenging.Trotman later became a Magistrate in 1966 on the East Demerara District for a short while before leaving to pursue further studies in International Law and Human Rights in the Netherlands.He then returned to Guyana and to the Magistracy for a while before going back into private practice until around 1970 when he went to the United Nations as a special delegate representing Guyana at the United Nations General Assembly,Wholesale NHL Jerseys, with the specific assignment of being the Guyana Delegate on the Human Rights Committee.Trotman taking the Oath of Office to become a JudgeTrotman then went back to private practice, which he says was always his main concern, having spent much time in his early legal career in chambers in England with Dean Pritt and his pupil master, David Turner Samuels, persons who did a lot of work in representing constitutional matters and clients, criminal clients and clients from the Commonwealth who were politicians or being oppressed by their governments.In 1981, he went to the Norman Mandy Law School,Cheap NFL Jerseys Free Shipping, which is part of the Caribbean Council of Legal Education as the Senior Tutor and later Deputy Director of the Caribbean of the Council of Legal Education.“I was there for four years and then I practiced in Jamaica for a short while and from there I went to England where I practiced for two years, during which time I also worked with Amnesty International where I was the Coordinator of the British Lawyers Campaign Against Torture and for African Affairs.”In Jamaica, Trotman was given an assignment to be the legal counsel for five newspapers who were challenging the atrocities of the Bishop Government in Grenada.He represented The Gleaner, The Nation, The Guardian, The Advocate and the Barbados Nation that were challenging various oppressions of freedom of expression and freedom of press before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.Justice Trotman at the opening of criminal assizes during his stint as a judgeFrom there,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, Trotman went to St. Vincent in 1986 where he served as Solicitor General and Director of Public Prosecutions. During that time he also got a UN related assignment to look at Human Rights in Nicaragua.“From there I went to British Virgin Islands and served as Attorney General in 1990 and there I also acted as Governor for some time during my stint as Attorney General and also Chairman of the Law Revision Commission, revising the laws of BVI.”Trotman has also done studies on human rights in the administration of justice in Africa, particularly Nigeria and Ghana, as well as in Canada.Also, he has done several studies on human rights for the Caribbean Institute for the promotion of Human Rights and for the United Nations.When he came back to Guyana, he became a judge in 1995 and stayed in that profession until 1999, then came off and returned to the BVI on a special assignment to revise and update the laws of the offshore and money laundering legislation and to head the legal division of the Financial Services Commission of the BVI, which is a body that monitors all the financial institutions in that jurisdiction.In the period between 2000 and 2006, Trotman did a very intensive and extensive enquiry on truth and reconciliation in Grenada where he was Chairman of the Commission of Truth and Reconciliation Commission,NFL Jerseys From China, and gained a lot of experience there in developing his earlier work and education in human rights with this now more concentrated area of reconciliation after a period of oppression and atrocities and human rights violations.He presented that report to the Grenada Government and much of it was informed by the experience of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission,NFL Jerseys 2018, which is better known as the Bishop Tutu Commission.In addition, Trotman gained further eminence after being featured in a London publication. The book ‘The Inner Temple: A community of Communities’ was published in celebration of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple’s 400th anniversary.The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple is one of the four Inns of Court around the Royal Courts of Justice in London, which may call members to the Bar and so entitle them to practise as barristers. (The other Inns are Middle Temple, Gray’s Inn and Lincoln’s Inn.)Trotman was featured as one of the outstanding members of the Inn during the past 400 years, which included persons like Mahatma Gandhi.Moreover,Cheap Jerseys China, apart from his several legal publications in various legal journals and presentations at legal conferences, particularly international conferences on human rights, he has done a lot of literary writing, primarily poetry.He has two books namely “Waiting for Justice” in 2008 and “Guyana and the World” which was published in 1973.Trotman was also a feature writer for the Jamaica Gleaner, writing on international and human rights topics.Human Rights, Trotman said,Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys, has always been his special interest and his specialist assignments were in the field of human rights as well.According to him, he is very much inclined to oppose oppression and violation of freedoms and violation of rights, and as such,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, working in the field came naturally to him.“I became informed or educated by my association with lawyers and others who were more experienced in human rights law and fighting oppression.”As a lawyer, Trotman did a lot of work in representing clients, in and out of Guyana, whom he thought their human rights and fundamental freedoms were being violated.Trotman added that he has been involved in approximately 200 such cases.He noted that he was able to use much of his experience gained out of Guyana by applying it to certain situations in Guyana, particularly his work with the United Nations Association of Guyana, both as President of the Association and Chairperson for the Association’s Committee on Human Rights and Justice.“In practice I was able to also use much of my knowledge and experience in the interpretation and application of actual cases in which I was involved or which had come to my knowledge in human rights, for instance how the human rights convention in Europe was applicable to the human provisions in our constitution, how you could interpret them or to apply them to similar violations here in Guyana in and out of the court.”According to Trotman, he was also able to use the benefit of his experience in his teaching and administration in the Caribbean law school system in guiding younger lawyers in interpreting cases and court decisions and legislation.“Also with my work as chairman of the human rights section and member of a panel of experts or the World Peace through Law centre which is headquartered in the United States of America.”He also applied his experience and knowledge in human rights by being a member of the Constitution Review Committee here in Guyana, with the particular task being to advise on the new provisions of fundamental rights and freedoms, which were going to be put in the 1980 constitution.Among his most satisfying accomplishments, Trotman said, was being President of the Inns of Court Students’ Union. “It was great, not just in being the first Guyanese to be the president of the union, but great in helping me to work and relate with a team of my fellow students from all over the Commonwealth and being able to sit down and decide and understand various points of view,Wholesale China Jerseys, however much we differed.”“Apart from that I consider my greatest achievement in my professional legal career was to be Judge of the Supreme Court of Guyana and being legal counsel for five newspapers as well as Chairman of Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Grenada.”“I feel that I have had an impact on people both in and out of Guyana with respect to human rights advocacy and representation, and standing against atrocities and oppression and violation of freedoms, by giving people the courage to oppose these violations when they occur and to know that they could have the support and representation of others in their cause.“And of course in my teaching at the law school where I had to tutor and advise hundreds of students. I would like to feel that they must have gained something from my ideas and the way I informed them on how the law works.”Trotman also said that he feels that one of his main contributions in Guyana was to be involved in a process of reconciliation of the different factions in our society, which are detrimental to harmony, progress and development.
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