Industrial Court mourns CCJ judge’s passing

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Former CCJ judge Jacob Wit. – Photo courtesy the CCJ

The Industrial Court is mourning the passing of retired Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) judge Jacob Wit. The Netherlands-born judge retired from the bench late last year and the CCJ announced his passing earlier this week.

In a release on Wednesday, the Industrial Court said Justice Wit was an esteemed presence in the legal community, and his passing is a great loss for the Caribbean region.

“In September of 2023, we had the pleasure of Justice Wit’s company at our special sitting for the opening of the 2023-2024 law term. This was not the first time that Justice Wit had been at the Industrial Court,” the release said.

In 2015, it continued, he led a team of trainee judges from the Dutch Caribbean on a courtesy visit where they were able to learn more about our operations and interact with several Industrial Court judges.

“The president, judges, registrar and staff of the Industrial Court extend their deepest condolences to his colleagues at the Caribbean Court of Justice, his loved ones and all those who mourn his passing. We pray that his soul will find eternal rest,” the release said.

Caricom has also noted the judge’s passing.

A release from the Caricom Secretariat, based in Georgetown, Guyana said, it learnt “with deep sadness,” of Wit’s death.

Justice Wit served the community and the wider legal profession in the region, the release said, with distinction and passion for 18 years, before retiring from the CCJ in December.

“His breadth of knowledge and experience in military, constitutional and international human rights law greatly enriched the administration of justice in the region,” Caricom said.

The community recognised Wit’s “invaluable legacy” of promoting best practices in Caribbean jurisprudence, particularly through his involvement with the CCJ Academy for Law.

“Caricom extends heartfelt condolences to his family, the legal fraternity and all who mourn his loss. May his soul rest in peace,” the release ended.