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Roy Marshall
(21 October 1920 - 2 February 2015)
Sir Roy Marshall, Kt, CBE
Jurist and Academic, Barbados

Sir Roy Marshall was a Barbadian jurist, academic, and former Vice Chancellor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies.

Early life and education

Born 21 October 1920, Sir Roy Marshall was educated at Harrison College, where he won the Barbados Scholarship in 1938.  He further education was delayed through illness and World War II and it was not until 1942 that he entered Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he took a bachelor of arts degree with first class honours in 1945.

He took a master's in 1948 and was awarded a doctorate from University College, London in the same year.  He was called to the Bar of the Inner Temple in 1947.


From 1946 until 1969, Sir Roy taught law full time – from 1946 until 1956 as assistant lecture and then lecturer at University College, London; from 1956 until 1965 and 1965 until 1969 as professor of law at the University of Sheffield; and from 1963 until 1965 as professor of law at the University of Ife in Nigeria.

He was a constitutional advisor to the Government of Barbados at the Independence Talks with the United Kingdom in 1966 and one of the Law Revision commissioners responsible for the edition of laws published in 1974.  In 1979, he drafted a comprehensive package of statutes on property and related matters for the island.  His work on drafting the Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act was instrumental in improving the lives of the thousands of Barbadians who would otherwise have found it extremely difficult to become landowners at the time.

In 1969, Sir Roy resigned his post as Professor of Law at the University of Sheffield to assume duties as Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and served until 1977.  During his tenure, the inter-governmental agreements that paved the way for the establishment of the Faculty of Law at UWI and the establishment of the Council of Legal Education mandated to manage the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica and the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago were put in place.

Shortly after taking up office as Vice Chancellor, Professor Marshall welcomed the opportunity to assist with the preparatory work that had to be done under pressure to build regional support for the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) project.  He had the distinction of being the first Chairman of the CXC, serving for one year from 1973-1974.

Sir Roy was also Secretary General of the Committee of Vice chancellors and Principals of the United Kingdom Universities from 1974 to 1979 and vice-chancellor of the University of Hull from 1979 to 1985.

After retirement, he served as High Commissioner for Barbados in London from 1989 to 1991.

More recently, Sir Roy served as chair of the Commission for Law and Order appointed by the Government.

Honours and awards

In 1968, Sir Roy was awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's New Year Honours.  He was made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen's New Year Honours 1974 for his public service.

Personal life

He was the widower of the late Eirwen, née Lloyd (d. 1998) and the late Mary Elizabeth, née Bourne (d. 2014).  He was the father of Susan Dunk, Elizabet Marshall, Dr. Anthony Marshall, and Sarah McSevich.

Death and legacy

Sir Roy died on 2 February 2015.  His body was cremated after a funeral service at the St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Jemmotts Lane, St. Michael, Barbados on 24 February 2015.

The Roy Marshall Teaching Complex at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados is named in his honour.


Daily Nation, Tuesday, February 3, 2015




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Sir Roy Marshall
Occupation Jurist, Academic
Date of Birth 21 October 1920
Place of Birth Barbados
Date of Death 2 February 2015 (aged 94)
Place of Death Barbados
Notable Accomplishments
Chairman of Carbbean Examinations Council: 1973 - 1974
Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies: 1969 - 1977
Barbados Barbados

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