Justice Monica Barnes dies

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

RETIRED High Court judge Monica Barnes. Photo courtesy Arts Company of Trinidad and Tobago.

RETIRED High Court judge Monica Barnes has died.

The Bishop Anstey High School sent condolences to Barnes’s family and friends, saying the school’s community was mourning the loss of one of its legends. Barnes was an alumna of the school.

Also sending condolences was the National Theatre Arts Company (NTAC), of which Barnes’s sister, Belinda, is the artistic director.

“Madam Justice Monica Barnes, SC, blazed a trail, hallmarking an outstanding legal career with stellar milestones,” the NTAC said.

“An alumna of Bishop Anstey, Justice Barnes was instrumental in the development and chartering of Soroptimists International St. Augustine, holding the position of charter president 1986.

“Before becoming a sitting judge, Justice Barnes, with the Soroptimists International, initiated the Golden Grove Women’s Prison project, preparing and empowering female prisoners for productive lives, on their release,” the message read.

The group said one of her “most compassionate initiatives,” the prison’s Mother’s Day programme, allowed children of inmates to visit on Mother’s Day – an initiative that became the catalyst for the Father’s Day programme, it noted.

It said she brought “her grace, compassion, generosity and intelligence to bear in all areas of her life, profoundly elevating the lives of those she touched, both professionally and personally.

“The NTAC joins with the nation in expressing sincere condolences to its artistic director Belinda Barnes and her loved ones on the loss of our ‘Auntie Monica.’ Her honourable legacy lives on and will never be forgotten.”

Barnes was also a former chairman of the Tax Appeal Board and a deputy chairman of the Integrity Commission.

She was also chief parliamentary counsel and had been a member of the Law Reform Commission, the Law Revision Commission, the Constitution Commission and the Caricom Company Law Task Force.