Join the American and Caribbean Law Initiative
The American and Caribbean Law Initiative (ACLI) is a membership organization whose mission is to advance the common interest of its members in the growth and development of the Caribbean Basin by facilitating collaborative relationships and by strengthening its legal development and institutions.
History & Membership
The ACLI was founded on August 29, 2000 when the Principals and Deans from Norman Manley Law School (NMLS), Florida Coastal School of Law (FCSL), Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center (NSU), and Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law (TMSL) along with the Senior Assistant Attorney General of Jamaica, representatives from the City of Jacksonville, and the former Dean of Howard University School of Law participated in a Convocation at FCSL. A memorandum of understanding was signed creating the American and Caribbean Law Initiative.
In 2001 the Council of Legal Education, which oversees legal education in the Commonwealth Caribbean, approved the ACLI Memorandum of Understanding to support the relationship the ACLI established with the Norman Manley Law School and to anticipate the involvement of its other two law schools. Also in 2001, the ACLI affiliated with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In 2002 the Eugene Dupuch Law School (EDLS) in Nassau, Bahamas joined the ACLI and began participating in the Caribbean Law Clinic and in 2003, the Hugh Wooding Law School (HWLS) in Trinidad & Tobago joined. In 2004 Stetson University School of Law joined and in 2006 the Cayman Islands Law School joined the ACLI.
Although started by law schools, the ACLI now has the following four classes of members: law schools and law faculties (called educational institution members), law firms and businesses, non-governmental organizations, and individuals.
I. Caribbean Law Clinic (CLC)
Each semester the attorney general of Jamaica, Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Cayman Islands, Barbados, U.S., Florida or Texas refers current legal problems to the Caribbean Law Clinic for students from the participating law schools to research under faculty supervision. The CLC serves as a legal resource the requesting government agency can turn to for timely research and analysis. The research typically involves the law of the host country, international law, or the law of a specified country and the memoranda address the possible ways to resolve the legal problems according to that law. Areas addressed so far in the CLC include criminal law, constitutional law, privatization, foreign investment, environmental law, maritime law, contracts, and international law. The clinic includes traveling to the office of the attorney general from which the legal work originates to present completed work to the staff of the attorney general’s office, as well as any ministry participating in the CLC.
II. ACLI Law Conference
The ACLI organizes law conferences on topics of imminent concern in the Caribbean. The ACLI held its first law conference, “Caribbean Market Forces; Emerging Trends in International and Comparative Law,” from July 23 – 24, 2004 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica at the Renaissance Jamaica Grande Resort. There were six panels and over 90 conference participants who gave the conference excellent reviews. Media coverage was thorough and CLE credit was given to registered participants.
The ACLI held its second ACLI Law Conference, “Trade & Legal Aid: Tools for Economic Development and Independence,” in Nassau, Bahamas from July 6 - 8, 2006. Over 100 participants listened to presentations by private practitioners, judges, law professors, and government lawyers who were on eight panels or who were keynote speakers. Speakers included the Honorable Sir Burton Hall, Chief Justice of the Bahamian Supreme Court, the Honorable Allyson Maynard Gibson, Attorney General of the Bahamas, and the Honorable Vashiest Kokaram, member of Trinidad & Tobago’s High Court of Justice.
The Third ACLI Law Conference will be July 10 – 12, 2009 in Trinidad & Tobago and the topic will be Alternative Dispute Resolution and Restorative Justice.
- The ACLI publishes a newsletter called The American & Caribbean Law News, which keeps its membership abreast of ACLI programs as well as legal developments in the Caribbean.
- The law reviews of the ACLI member law schools have published speeches and articles written by attorney generals, deans and professors of the member law schools. Papers presented at the 2004 and 2006 ACLI Law Conferences were published in both U.S. and Caribbean law journals.
IV. Institute on Caribbean Law
The ACLI and Stetson Law School co-sponsor an intersession program called the Institute on Caribbean Law at the Cayman Islands Law School in Georgetown, Grand Cayman every January. In 2009 the Institute will offer the following courses: Comparative Caribbean Constitutional Law, Off-Shore Financial Centers and Tax Havens, Comparative Caribbean Legal Systems and Select Topics in U.S./Caribbean Environmental Law. For more information go to www.law.stetson.edu/international/cayman
V. Faculty Exchange
The ACLI facilitates faculty exchanges among its member law schools to enrich the teaching and educational experience. These take the form of visitorships, guest lecturers, or speakers at special events at the member schools.
VI. Information - To learn more about the programs of the ACLI, see this website at www.FCSL.edu/acli/ or contact one of its officers:
President – Principal Tonya Bastian Galanis, Eugene Dupuch Law School, TBastianGalanis@edls.edu.bs
Vice President – Professor Jane Cross, Nova Southeastern Shepherd Law Center, firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary – Professor Darryl Wilson, Stetson Law School, WILSON@Law.Stetson.edu
Treasurer – Professor John Knechtle, Florida Coastal School of Law, JKnechtle@FCSL.edu
Principal Mitchell Davies, Cayman Islands Law School, Mitchelldavies4@hotmail.com
Senior Tutor George Belnavis, Norman Manley Law School, email@example.com
Senior Tutor, Emerson John-Charles, Hugh Wooding Law School, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Martina Cartwright, Thurgood Marshal School of Law, email@example.com
VII. 2008 Membership - The ACLI has the following four classes of membership:
1. Educational Institution Members - Annual Membership Fee:
U.S. Educational Institutions - $1,500 Caribbean & Central American Educational Institutions - $800
- Law Firm and Business Members
Law firms and businesses that desire to support the mission and receive the benefits of the ACLI can chose from among four classes of membership which include the following benefits:
Bronze – Receive ACLI newsletter, The American and Caribbean Law News and a discount for two persons to the ACLI Law Conference.
Silver - Receive ACLI newsletter, The American and Caribbean Law News, a discount for four persons to the ACLI Law Conference, and an invitation to present at the ACLI Law Conference.
Gold - Receive ACLI publications; Opportunity to sponsor ACLI Law Conference panels and events at reduced rates; Advertise in ACLI publications at reduced rates; Unlimited discounts on meeting registrations, and an invitation to present at the ACLI Law Conference.
Platinum – Receives ACLI publications; eligible to present papers at ACLI Law Conferences and Seminars; Opportunity to serve on select ACLI Committees; Sponsor Conference panels and events at reduced rates; Advertise in ACLI publications at reduced rates; Featured recognition at non-conference events; Advance tickets to local ACLI events; Unlimited discounts on meeting registrations, and an invitation to present at the ACLI Law Conference.
Annual Membership Fee:
U.S. Law Firms and Businesses:
Bronze - $1,000
Silver - $1,500
Gold - $2,000
Platinum - $3,000
Caribbean Law Firms and Businesses:
Bronze – $200
Silver - $300
Gold - $400
Platinum - $500
3. Non-Governmental Organization (not-for-profit) Members
Non-governmental or not-for-profit organizations (NGOs) that wish to support the mission and receive the benefits of the ACLI may join the ACLI. NGOs receive the biannual ACLI newsletter, The American and Caribbean Law News and a discount for two persons to the ACLI Law Conference.
Annual Membership Fee: $250
4. Individual Members
Individual members are individuals who desire to support the mission and receive the benefits of the ACLI. Individual members receive the biannual ACLI newsletter, The American and Caribbean Law News and an invitation to attend the ACLI Law Conference.
Annual Membership Fee: $50