Appointment of University Counsel

The University of the West Indies is pleased to announce the appointment, with effect from March 1, 2013, of Mrs Laleta Davis-Mattis as University Counsel and Head of the Legal Unit, succeeding Dr Beverley Pereira, who has retired.

A Jamaican, Mrs Davis-Mattis first joined the academic staff at the UWI Mona Campus as an Adjunct Lecturer in 2002 in the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences and more recently, the Faculty of Law.

Mrs Davis-Mattis has also had a distinguished career in the public service of Jamaica, having held substantive posts at the management level and as legal advisor to various government entities. Most recently she was the Executive Director of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust after serving for over eleven years in varying legal capacities at Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). Mrs Davis-Mattis has been described as an outstanding lawyer, shrewd administrator, a dedicated teacher and a sound academic. She has managed to balance these with professionalism and fearless determination in addition to being a wife and a mother of three sons. She has offered legal advice to the Government of Jamaica on issues of environmental law and sustainable development and represented the NRCA in court under a fiat from the Director of Public Prosecution in enforcing the provisions of the NRCA Act. During her eleven year stint at the NRCA, she amassed considerable experience in preparing drafting instructions for a myriad of environmental legislation including those for the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements to which Jamaica is a signatory. She has been integral in the development of a number of policies including being a part of a committee reviewing Jamaica’s intellectual property policy framework. She also serves as member of Jamaica’s delegation to the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention and is the Jamaican representative to the Legal and Technical Commission, a legal and technical advisory body to the International Seabed Authority. In her capacity of Executive Director of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, Mrs. Davis Mattis was instrumental in Jamaica’s ratification of the UNESCO Convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage.

As a lecturer Mrs Davis-Mattis has been outstanding in her delivery of undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Law as well as in Environmental Law and Policy in the Natural Resources Management MSc graduate programme in the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences.

The University Administration is confident that the cumulative experience of Mrs Davis- Mattis in academia, the legal profession and in public service provides a perfect fit for the Legal Unit and welcomes her to the Vice-Chancellery team.

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