Donald Trotman’s Waiting for Justice, which points to weaknesses in Caribbean legal structures was launched at the Carifesta Literary Arts Festival, National Park on Friday, in addition to two other titles.
It was among the last few books to be launched at the five-day festival, which opened on Monday. Close to 20 new titles were launched while other publications were resuscitated such as the Barbados journal, Bim.
Trotman’s book, which is a collection of essays, articles, papers and lectures, covers a range of issues from human rights in the region to conflict and integration in the Arab Gulf. The book also includes a report to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission established in Grenada in the aftermath of the assassination of then Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.
Trotman underscored the need for legal structures in the region that would facilitate speedier trials. He said there are too many people sitting in prison awaiting trials and referred to one individual he knows who provided the inspiration for the title of his book.
The former Appeal Court judge noted that governments across the Caribbean need to recognize the importance of human rights and respect it as well. He added that governments can focus on economic development, infrastructural development and capital investments among other things but if there is no room for peace in the country then progress would be hard to come by.
He stated that some of the material in his book had been written many years ago.
Trotman disclosed that the book almost did not make the launch Friday since copies only came off the press a few hours earlier.
Trotman was a judge of the Supreme Court and later Appeal Court. He also served as Attorney General, Chairman of the Law Revision Commission and acting Governor of the British Virgin Islands, Executive Director and President of the Caribbean Human Rights Institute, among other esteemed positions.
Meanwhile, a Black Studies Primer – Heroes and Heroines of the African Diaspora by Professor Keith Sandiford was also launched Friday. The publication highlights over 1,000 historical and living figures who made significant global contributions. Sandiford was not on hand for the launching.
Poet Elly Niland’s East of Centre was another book launched and she was on hand for the launching.
Since the book festival opened, there have been several complaints about the schedule and writers failing to show up on time for their respective launchings. On Friday one writer scheduled for a launching failed to show and according to Coordinator of the festival, Petamber Persaud, no explanation was communicated to him.