[UPDATED] Prime Minister mourns former chief justice

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Former president of the Caribbean Court of Justice and former chief justice of TT Michael de la Bastide. –

“The nation has lost a good citizen. One who dedicated his life to making this nation better,” the  Prime Minister said on March 30.

In a Facebook post, Dr Rowley said he awoke to the “sad news of the passing of former chief justice Michael de la Bastide.

“It is my hope that as we celebrate his life of accomplishment, other citizens will step into the footprints that he made and that many more good citizens are born every day.

“On behalf of the Government, myself, my wife Sharon and our family, I extend my sincerest condolences to Simone and her family who were entrusted with the responsibility of providing the love and care that he so richly deserved.”

De La Bastide, a former president of the Caribbean Court of Justice and former chief justice of Trinidad and Tobago, died at 86.

A close relative confirmed his death on March 30.

De la Bastide was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago from 1995-2002. He was awarded the Trinity Cross in 1996.

He attended St Mary’s College, Port of Spain, where he won an open scholarship (Languages) and went to Christ Church, Oxford University, where he read jurisprudence (law).

He became a member of Gray’s Inn in the UK from 1956 and was a part-time tutor at Christ Church from 1960-1961. He was called to the bar in 1961 and received two scholarships from Gray’s Inn, one of the four Inns of Court in London, the only body legally allowed to call a barrister to the bar in England and Wales.

De la Bastide served as crown counsel in the Office of the Attorney General between November 1961 and April 1963, after which he entered private practice.

He was appointed Queen’s Counsel (now King’s Counsel) in January 1975. He was also elected president of the Law Association, serving for three terms.

De la Bastide was a senior partner in the law firm de la Bastide and Jacelon.

He was also an independent senator from 1976-1981.

He was appointed Chief Justice by President Noor Hassanali, on May 31, 1995. He was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council by the queen on July 27, 2004, and appointed the first president of the CCJ on 18 August, 2004.

He was elected an Honorary Bencher of Gray’s Inn and created a Fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies.

De la Bastide captained Oxford University’s tennis team and represented TT in hockey at the PanAm games and in bridge at various international tournaments. He was a member of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club management committee and became vice-president of the club in 1982 and served for a decade.

He was a member of the board of the St Dominic’s Home and a director of the Children’s Ark, an NGO run by his wife Simone.

In 2021, de la Bastide published his autobiography, Within the Law: Memoirs of a Caribbean Jurist.

This story has been updated to include additional details. See original story below with the headline ‘Former chief justice Michael de la Bastide has died‘.

FORMER president of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Michael de la Bastide, KC, has died.

He was 86.

A close relative confirmed his death on March 30.

De la Bastide was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago from 1995-2002. He was awarded the Trinity Cross in 1996.

He attended St Mary’s College, Port of Spain, where he won an open scholarship (Languages) and went to Christ Church, Oxford University, where he read jurisprudence (law).

He became a member of Gray’s Inn in the UK from 1956 and was a part-time tutor at Christ Church from 1960-1961. He was called to the bar in 1961 and received two scholarships from Gray’s Inn, one of the four Inns of Court in London, the only body legally allowed to call a barrister to the bar in England and Wales.

De la Bastide served as crown counsel in the Office of the Attorney General between November 1961 and April 1963, after which he entered private practice.

He was appointed Queen’s Counsel (now King’s Counsel) in January 1975. He was also elected president of the Law Association, serving for three terms.

De la Bastide was a senior partner in the law firm de la Bastide and Jacelon.

He was also an independent senator from 1976-1981.

He was appointed Chief Justice by President Noor Hassanali, on May 31, 1995. He was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council by the queen on July 27, 2004, and appointed the first president of the CCJ on 18 August, 2004.

He was elected an Honorary Bencher of Gray’s Inn and created a Fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies.

De la Bastide captained Oxford University’s tennis team and represented TT in hockey at the PanAm games and in bridge at various international tournaments. He was a member of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club management committee and became vice-president of the club in 1982 and served for a decade.

He was a member of the board of the St Dominic’s Home and a director of the Children’s Ark, an NGO run by his wife Simone.

In 2021, de la Bastide published his autobiography, Within the Law: Memoirs of a Caribbean Jurist.