Small Jurisdictions Service

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  • Professor Peter Edge grew up on the Isle of Man, and his academic interest in Manx law began as an undergraduate. In the second and third year of his LLB degree at Lancaster University he undertook research into novel points of Manx law, in between vacation placements with Manx advocate’s on Atholl Street. After graduating with first class honours from Lancaster University, he received a PhD scholarship from the Manx Government, and carried out doctoral research at Cambridge University. He received a PhD for his dissertation on the making of Manx public law in 1994. In the same year he began to publish on Manx law, and Commonwealth meta-law, in academic journals such as the Journal of Legal History, the Anglo-American Law Review, and the Northern Ireland Law Quarterly. In 1997, commissioned by the Isle of Man Law Society, he published his acclaimed textbook on Manx law, Manx Public Law (which is now available from SJS as a free ebook). His work on the Manx Tynwald was funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council in 2001-2003. His consultancy experience includes work for third sector organisations, as well as in the public sector.

    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 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.

    Dr Simon Cooper specialises in property law of the Commonwealth Caribbean. He worked for 14 years at the Cayman Islands Law School and was coordinator for the American-Caribbean Law Initiative and Visiting Professor at Stetson University Florida. After being awarded a master’s degree and a doctorate for his works on property in the Cayman Islands, his territorial range has extended with published papers examining and resolving property law problems encountered in other Caribbean countries, including all the British overseas territories, as well as Belize, the Bahamas and Antigua. He is a frequent contributor to the West Indies Law Journal and has written on Caribbean matters in the Common Law World Review and Oxford Journal of Commonwealth Law. His book on Cayman Islands property transfer is the first such work for lawyers in that jurisdiction and was described by a head of the local Law Society as ‘excellent’ and ‘truly comprehensive’. He has prepared law briefings for the Cayman Islands government on various matters, including land and constitutional questions, and has acted as technical adviser to the ombudsman. He speaks regularly on local matters at Caribbean conferences. Dr Cooper maintains his interest in Caribbean scholarship through his continued research and writing as well as his position on the editorial board of the Caribbean Law Review.
    Dr Mariya Ali’s interests lie with interactions between human rights and Islamic law, particularly in relation to women’s and children’s rights. Her doctoral thesis concentrated on developing an Islamic framework to protect the rights of child victims of sexual abuse in the small island nation, the Maldives. The thesis brought out the social and legal discourse on issues relating to child sexual abuse through comparative analysis of practices among Islamic States with a particular focus on how international human rights were understood and implemented within the justice system of the Maldives which is based on common law and Islamic law.
    Vaughan Carter has made the Caribbean his home since 1997. During this time, he has worked in a number of capacities in the Cayman Islands and, in the course of this work, has been fortunate to visit and gain experience in many of the other small jurisdictions across the region. Vaughan is still located primarily in the Cayman Islands, although with a base in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, he is well-placed to access the entire region.