Statement on The Passing of Former CCJ President The Right Honourable Mr Justice Michael De La Bastide

With deep sorrow, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) wishes to advise that its first President, the Right Honourable Mr Justice Michael de la Bastide TC passed away on 30 March 2024. Mr Justice de la Bastide steered the Court from its inauguration until his retirement in 2011.

Mr. Justice de la Bastide was an exemplary jurist. Having received a sterling education in Trinidad and Tobago and the United Kingdom in his formative years, he served as an Independent Senator in Trinidad and Tobago’s Parliament. He was an exceptionally successful attorney-at-law and also President of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. He was appointed Chief Justice of Trinidad and Tobago directly from private practice in 1995. The following year, he was awarded the country’s then highest national honour, the Trinity Cross. After demitting office as Chief Justice in 2002, he was appointed as a member of the Privy Council by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 and elected as President of the Caribbean Court of Justice on 18 August 2004.

In 2021, he published his book “Within the Law, Memoirs of a Caribbean Jurist” to great acclaim. His words “Be intolerant. Be intolerant of incompetence, of inefficiency, and of inertia. Be as intolerant of these as you are or should be of injustice. If intolerance of this kind would spread, who knows what wonders we might perform” sum up his life’s devotion to the law and humanity.

Former CCJ President The Right Honourable Mr Justice Michael De La Bastide

CCJ President, the Honourable Mr Justice Adrian Saunders, remembers Mr Justice de la Bastide, saying, “It was an extraordinary honour and privilege to have worked alongside President de la Bastide. His razor sharp mind, his prodigious knowledge of the law and his tremendous experience exerted a profound influence on me. I express deepest condolences to his dear wife and family.”

As we pay homage to the great leadership Mr Justice de la Bastide provided our institution, the Court will open a condolence book to the public on Monday, 8th April 2024. We mourn this sad loss to the region and express deepest sympathies to his loved ones. May he rest in peace.

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