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Professionals attend Forensics, Law Symposium

Professionals  attend Forensics, Law Symposium


Members of the medical profession, the legal profession, law enforcement, nursing, judges, magistrates and forensic scientists concluded two days of presentations by leading experts in the field of forensics and law from United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.

The symposium convened on Friday, November 17, at the National Insurance Services conference room on Bay Street, Kingstown, with an attendance of 90 participants, including sponsor representatives from insurance companies and the National Insurance Services, as well as the Chief Magistrate, District Magistrate and President of the Family Court.

The Opening Ceremony featured remarks by Saboto Caesar, substituting for the Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who is Minister of Legal Affairs and National Security.

Caesar, who is also a lawyer, expressed his delight with the topics to be discussed, and welcomed Professor Velma Newton, the regional director of the IMPACT FOR JUSTICE project, who specially attended the opening.

The day’s session was chaired by Dr Rosmond Adams, epidemiologist. Subjects ranged from ‘Prisoner death in a cell by fire’ and ‘Body recovered from water,’ by Dr Alfredo Walker of Ontario, Canada; ‘Whiskey guns and ammo,’ by Dr Stephen De Roux of New York, USA; ‘An Acquired Chiari Malformation with Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea,’ by Dr Raenette David, (winner of the Sir Arnott Cato Foundation Prize – Barbados); ‘Medical Negligence Litigation,’ by Martin George of Trinidad – of Martin Anthony George & Co Law Firm; ‘The Diagnostic, Utility of Mortem Imaging,’ by Dr Michael Pickup, Toronto, Canada; Dr Anthony Falsetti from the US on ‘Mass Casualties;’ ‘Compressions of the neck,’ by Dr Alfedo Walker; and ‘Lovebites and Loopholes – What you don’t know could hurt you,’ by Justice Kathy-Ann Waterman-Latchoo.

Day two convened at the lecture theater of Trinity School of Medicine at Ratho Mill and was chaired by Collin Williams, this country’s Director of Public Prosecutions, where Justice Cottle joined the symposium participants.

It was the turn of the United Kingdom presenters – Professor Martin Evison of Newcastle, UK, who spoke on ‘Forensic Science’ and ‘The Criminal Justice System’ and Professor Ms Gillian Leak of Leeds, who spoke on ‘Blood Pattern Analysis: The Science of the Art and the Utility of a National DNA Data Base – The UK Experience.’

Those were followed by Professor Evison on ‘The Body in a Bag and the Lady in the Skip’ and Martin George – ‘A Common Caribbean Cause – A Caribbean Medical Complaints Council and Advisory Board.’

The afternoon session was dominated by two presentations from Dr EW Matshes from the USA – ‘The Pathology of Fatal Child Abuse’ and ‘Non – Impact Fatal Head Injury in Infants: The Controversy of the Shaken Baby’. He delivered his presentations via Skype from California.

The two-day event ended with a lively panel discussion on the ‘Death Penalty vs Life Imprisonment,’ with panelists Professors Evison and Leak of the United Kingdom, Martin George of Trinidad and Samantha Robertson of St Vincent and the Grenadines – President of the Human Rights Association.

Certificates of Attendance were presented to the participants. Ninety persons attended on the first day and 85 on the second day.

The symposium ended with a brief closing ceremony and reception at the official residence of the Prime Minister.

Top sponsors of the events were IMPACT FOR JUSTICE project, Rose Hall International – a new Vincentian developer, Sir Arnott Cato Foundation and KPMG. Both telecommunication companies also made contributions and Trinity School of Medicine.

The Forensics and Law Symposium was the brainchild of Justice Kathy-Ann Waterman-Latchoo, who proposed it to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Bar Association, which in turned pitched it to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Medical Association. Professional credits were granted by the CEFP to the Medical Practitioners.

Both associations express their thanks to Randy’s Supermarket, Coreas Distributions, SOL Ltd, MASA, Sentry Insurance, Metrocinct Insurance, Sagicor, GECCU, BMC Agencies/ Beacon Insurance, Caribbean Medical Imaging Centre, Baptiste & Co Law Firm Inc, Irie Travel and National Insurance Services.