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Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Tribute to Dana Seetahal
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Dana S. Seetahal, SC was an Independent Senator in the Trinidad and Tobago Senate. She was an attorney at law in private practice and was formerly a lecturer at the Hugh Wooding Law School, Trinidad and Tobago, where she held the position of Course Director in Criminal Practice and Procedure.
Seetahal was born on July 8, 195x in Trinidad and Tobago. She held a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the West Indies. She was first appointed to Parliament in April 2002 as an Independent Senator in the 7th Republican Parliament. She was again appointed an Independent Senator in the 8th and 9th Parliaments (October 2002 and December 2007). She was not re-appointed to the 10th Parliament. In January 2006 she was made Senior Counsel ("took silk"). Her first contribution in the senate was The Appropriation Bill, 2003, which she introduced on October 28, 2002.
In 2008 she opened her own private chambers "El Dorado Chambers" located in Port of Spain, Trinidad.Before being appointed as an Independent Senator, Ms. Seetahal has also served as a State Prosecutor, Assistant Solicitor General and a Magistrate. She wrote a weekly column for the Saturday Express, having previously written for "The Guardian", both local newspaper in Trinidad and Tobago.
Her first book the 'Commonwealth Caribbean on Criminal Procedure' is the first of its kind to be published. Its credibility is supported not only by her theoretical knowledge, but also her practical knowledge earned over twenty years of experience in the field: as a prosecutor for over a dozen years,as a magistrate, as a criminologist, a criminal justice consultant and finally as a law school lecturer. "This book fills a lacuna in Commonwealth Caribbean jurisprudence in that there is currently no local or regional text on criminal practice and procedure. The content of the book includes both the statute law and common law on criminal practice and procedure in most of the relevant jurisdictions, which include Trinidad Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica and Grenada among others."
"Revised throughout, this new edition addresses the recent changes in law in St Lucia and the Bahamas bringing this popular text right up-to-date. Although written for law students, as the only book which deals specifically with criminal practice and procedure in the Caribbean, it is also a useful reference tool for criminal justice professionals." The third edition of this book was released in July 2010, and contains a new chapter on extradition.
Regional Issues of Justice and Governance- Ambassador Colin Granderson and Miss Dana Seetahal.
On the 4th of May 2014 at 12.05am, Seetahal was found murdered in her Volkswagen Touareg SUV in the vicinity of the Woodbrook Youth Club, Port of Spain, Trinidad. The police are currently investigating events, but suspect a link with the Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder case.Crime scene investigators recovered several 5.62 shells at the scene.
Police are currently working on two theories as a result of this killing. The first, and most prominent, is that because of the nature of the incident it was a "hit" arising out of the Senior Counsel's involvement in the Vindra Naipaul-Coolman case. A TT$1 million reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in her murder. Police are continuing investigations.