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Dr Derek O’Brien specialises in the constitutional law of the Commonwealth Caribbean and of the British Overseas Territories as well as regional integration trade law affecting the member states of CARICOM and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, including relations between national judiciaries and the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal respectively. He has written numerous articles in both these areas of law and is currently working on a monograph on the Constitutional Law Systems of the Commonwealth Caribbean for Hart Publishing.
He taught at the Cayman Islands Law School for three years, during which time he was employed in the Attorney General’s Chambers and in this capacity he was called upon to advise the Attorney General on issues of local Caymanian law. He also carried out a comparative survey of the development of legal aid services in British Overseas Territories and the independent countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean, which was partly funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Inter-American Development Bank. The study provided the first comprehensive survey of legal aid provision in the region, and for the first time allowed policy makers to compare their legal aid provision with that of other, similar, jurisdictions. The study formed the basis of a report for the Annual Conference of Attorney General’s of British Overseas Territories held in the Turks and Caicos in 2003 (which is now available as a free ebook from SJS) and was cited in the Law Reform Commission of the Cayman Island’s review of legal aid service (available at www.caymanjudicial-legalinfo.ky/law-reform/default.aspx). The study also led to a conference aimed at legal aid providers from all independent Commonwealth Caribbean countries held in Florida in 2001, which resulted in the establishment of an electronic database of legal precedents available to legal aid service providers throughout the Commonwealth Caribbean.