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Tributes to the Late Professor Emeritus Simeon McIntosh

For Release Upon Receipt - Thursday, March 28, 2013

It is with profound regret that the Cave Hill campus learnt of the passing of our colleague Professor Emeritus Simeon McIntosh.

Simeon McIntosh first joined the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus in October 1990 and served until August 2010.

The University extends its most sincere condolences to Prof. McIntosh's friends and family.

Vice Chancellor

Professor E. Nigel Harris

Professor Simeon McIntosh served ably as Dean of the Faculty of Law bringing with him a record of fine scholarship. His passing will be a loss to the West Indian legal community. 

Pro-Vice Chancellor & Principal, Cave Hill campus

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

This is a very sad moment for the Cave Hill campus, the university family, and the legal community. Simeon was a giant of a man in every sense. Huge in stature and status, and imposing in intellectual capacity. He was an outstanding university man whose vision for his discipline drove him to make excellent contribution. This is a great lost.

Dean, Faculty of Law, Cave Hill Campus

Dr. David Berry

I write to express my heartfelt sadness, and that of all of the staff of the Faculty of Law at Cave Hill, on the passing of Professor Simeon McIntosh.  Simeon taught all of us during his many years as Professor at the Faculty, both his colleagues and his many students. He will be remembered fondly for his incisive writings, his firm commitment to human rights and natural law, his warm humour and tremendous kindness. We have lost a great Caribbean legal luminary and a warm and generous man.

Dean, Faculty of Law, St. Augustine

Dr. Kusha Haraksingh

I am entirely distressed to learn of Simeon’s untimely passing. I have known him as UWI colleague for a very long time, and have had the opportunity to interact with him in a variety of forums. The UWI family always cherished his wise counsel and incisive interventions. I personally have had many long and fruitful sessions with him on jurisprudential thinking in a Caribbean setting, and I know he always had the interests of the UWI uppermost in his thoughts.

On behalf of the Faculty of Law at St. Augustine, and on my own behalf, I express our deepest condolences to his family, and hope that his life of outstanding achievements provides some solace to his loved ones.

Secretary, Faculty of Law, St. Augustine

Marie Maderia

I am deeply saddened on hearing of the passing of Professor Simeon McIntosh. This morning when I heard of his illness yesterday I hoped that he would “pull through” as we say.  However, only the Lord can say what will happen to us.  I wish to express my deep sympathy to the staff of the Faculty and the family of the Professor.  May his soul rest in peace.

Professor of Labour Law & Offshore Financial Law, Cave Hill campus

Rose-Marie Antoine

I am responding late to this on account of being in Washington for the hearings of the Inter Am Commission. However, I wanted to add my voice to say how deeply saddened and shocked I am at hearing of this news. I have been in touch with Simeon since his departure from the Faculty. Indeed, I saw him just a few weeks ago and his article on HIV and the Constitution is part of a new book that I am editing.  I was pleased to see that he was still so deeply engaged in contributing to the region and in particular to Caribbean constitutional jurisprudence, with his continued writing and consultancy work on constitutional reform.  He remained passionate about his chosen subject. I did not agree with Simeon on every issue but I always respected him. On several occasions while we were at conferences together, I felt proud to be his colleague after listening to his contributions, regardless of whether I shared his point of view. While others were timid, even silent, Simeon would speak up, confidently and sometimes not so respectfully, never afraid to be judged or disagreed with. It was usually stimulating stuff and gave much credibility to the faculty and university as a whole.

Simeon was undoubtedly a man of strong convictions and opinions – impulsive, outspoken, one might even say opinionated. He was fiercely independent with his views and never afraid to share them, in other words, a quintessential academic – one of a seemingly dying breed that put intellectual vigour and truth ahead of political expediency and popularity. What is perhaps not so well known is that he was very kind hearted underneath the bold exterior.  For example, he had a keen sense of looking out for the underdog  and championed the cause of several colleagues, young and not so young, whom he felt were not treated well, or needed support. I worked closely with him as Deputy Dean. Indeed, it was the manner of the man that he ‘appointed’ me his Deputy Dean without my knowledge while I was in hospital on sick leave and thereafter called me at home to plead with me not to revoke it. I remember with amusement when he first came to the faculty, how he would shout me out when I was passing by his office to ask me to get him this or that case in the library, until it became a private joke and I got into the habit of offering to find cases for him, on death penalty etc. I suspect that it never occurred to him how odd that was. In his world, all that mattered was being able to think and to pontificate, with all of his books and materials around him. The ‘how and means’ were irrelevant and of course, he would have been used to research assistance in the US.

He understood well that the role of an academic extends far beyond the hallowed walls of the university and I admired his discourses in the newspapers on complex issues of constitutional law. There, as everywhere else, he was not afraid to express controversial and even unpopular views. His irreverence for the British monarchy will be remembered I am sure. His 3 books also had a resonance well beyond the academy and will live on. His approach to lecturing was true to his character – there was no mollycoddling of students, but his tough stance was really an aspect of his greater mission, which was to search for academic excellence and meaningful debate and he valued, as did I, the cut and thrust of that debate.

I offer my condolences to his family and pray that he rests in Peace. Farewell Simeon, you did good . . .

Lecturer, Faculty of Humanities and Education

Margaret Gill

I am personally saddened at the loss of Prof. McIntosh.  I recall his participation in the workshops of the Humanities Festival of the Faculty of Humanities and Education.  In particular, I recall his presentation and discussion one on one with me on the courtroom issues of Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice.  His interest for this discussion was in how useful and often necessary literature was for building a jurisprudence that was culturally sound.

I offer my sympathies to his family and friends.  He will be missed.




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