Professor Rudolph James dies

first_imgLaw Professor Rudolph “Rudy” James died on Monday in the United States where he had travelled to seek medical treatment after falling ill last year.He was 85.Professor James taught Law in both Guyana and Africa. He lived in Papua New Guinea for a number of years before remigrating here and eventually heading the University of Guyana’s (UG’s) Department of Law from 1999 to 2004.Most recently, he served on an advisory committee for the establishment of a local law school. He was also one of the Commissioners on the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) established to examine and make recommendations to resolve issues and uncertainties surrounding the individual, joint or communal ownership of lands.Professor Rudy JamesProfessor James also co-authored a book with fellow Professor Harold Lutchman titled, “Law and the Political Environment in Guyana”. This book includes one of the most incisive critiques of the Constitution unilaterally introduced by Forbes Burnham in 1980, which James and Lutchman pointed out made him a virtual dictator and placed him above censure. They pointed out, for instance, one article empowering the National Assembly to recall the President but a later one which allowed him to dissolve that Assembly.In a tribute to Professor James, Plai-sance Spar-endaam Goedver-wagting Development Association on their Facebook page back in 2014 had zoomed in on the earlier life of the Plaisance Village, East Coast Demerara native.It notes that Professor James was educated in Guyana and the UK and after completing his National Service in the British Royal Air Force (RAF), he went on to study for a career in the legal profession. He was awarded a scholarship by the RAF and studied and completed the LL.B degree and Bar finals, both with honours, and was called to the Bar as a member of Middle Temple Inn in 1961.Upon completion of his Master’s Degree in Law (LLM) at University College, London University, he took up an appointment as an assistant lecturer in Law at the University of Ife, Nigeria, and came under the influence of renowned equity English academics who pioneered Nigerian Legal education: Professor Roy Marshall of Sheffield University, his Dean, Professor Hanbury of Oxford University (Dean of the faculty, University of Nigeria, Nnsuka) and Professor LCB Gower (author of Company Law), who was Dean at the University of Lagos.Professor James specialised in the subjects of Equity and Property Law and taught both courses to law students and developed a course on Customary Land Law of Nigeria, a subject on which he researched and wrote his thesis for the PhD degree which was awarded to him in 1967.It was whilst teaching at the University of Ife that Professor James met and married his wife, Dr Adeola James (nee Omibiyi), in 1965, who was then an assistant lecturer in the Department of English. They went on over the years to raise eight children and recently celebrated their forty?eighth anniversary in wedlock.Professor James authored many books on property law in Africa and the Pacific where he occupied posts of Professor of Law and Dean of the Law Schools. He was a legal adviser of various committees set up to perform the laws of property and his last assignments before returning home to Guyana were to document the processes, legal and illegal, of land grabbing of the traditional lands of the Motu Koitabu people of Papua New Guinea and establishing a new model of land-holding for the protection of such lands.President David Granger joined the list of persons, including Professor Lutchman, who were saddened by Professor James’ death. The Head of State in a statement on Wednesday extended sympathy to Professor James’ wife and children as well as relatives and friends.last_img read more