Former CJ de la Bastide has Died

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By Prior Beharry

FORMER Chief Justice Michael de la Bastide has died. He was 86.

Born on July 18, 1937 in Port of Spain, he was the Chief Justice of Trinidad and Tobago from 1995 to 2002.

According to Wikipedia, he attended St Mary’s College from 1945 to 1955 and moved on to read law at Christ Church, Oxford from 1956 to 1960. He received a Bachelor of Arts (Jurisprudence) in 1959 with First Class Honours and a Bachelor of Civil Law, also with First Class Honours in 1960.

He was Crown Counsel in the office of the Attorney General from 1961 till 1963. In 1975, he became a Queen’s Counsel at the young age of 38.

He went on to serve as an Independent Senator from 1976 to 1981. He was president of the Law Association from 1987 until 1990 prior to his appointment as Chief Justice in 1995. In 2005, he was sworn in as the first president of the Caribbean Court of Justice until his retirement in 2011.

According to the CCJ, at Oxford, de la Bastide served as captain of the university’s Penguins Lawn Tennis team in 1959. He also represented Christ Church as a member of the Oxford University Occasionals Hockey Team.

He represented Trinidad & Tobago at hockey at the Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia, in 1971, and at bridge in several international tournaments between 1980 and I995. De la Bastide was a member of the Board of Management of St. Dominic’s Home from 1968 to 1988, member of the Management Committee of Queen’s Park Cricket Club from 1969 to 1992, and Vice-President of the club from 1982 to 1992.

De la Bastide was married to Simone née Morgan. They have two children Chantal and Christian, born in 1988 and 1990 respectively. He was previously married to Marian née Gould. There were three adult children from that marriage- Michele, Juliet and Simon.

He retired from the Caribbean Court of Justice on 18 August 2011.

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