The Council of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) has described the late retired Chief Justice Satnarine Sharma “as a fearless and eminent jurist and distinguished judge.”
In a release LATT gave a short biographical account of Sharma who was born on January, 24 1943 in Curepe, Trinidad, West Indies.
He attended Hillview College and Naparima College where he excelled in his secondary education.
Sharma went on to obtain an LLB Bachelor of Laws Degree in England where he was admitted to practice at the Bar at Inner Temple, London in 1966.
Upon his return to Trinidad he was admitted to practice law in Trinidad and Tobago in 1967 and commenced practising law in 1968 in Chambers in Port of Spain where he developed an esteemed practice in civil law.
In 1983 he was appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission as a Puisne Judge to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago where he sat at the High Court.
He was thereafter elevated to the Court of Appeal in 1987.
On September 28, 2001 Sharma acted as Chief Justice and was sworn in as Chief Justice on July 18, 2002 until his retirement from the bench on the January 25, 2008.
He was a recipient of the prestigious Chaconia Medal (Gold) in 1988 and in 2003 was honoured with Trinidad and Tobago’s then highest award, the Trinity Cross.
The release noted, “During his tenure both at the High Court and Court of Sharma presided over a number of well researched and reasoned landmark cases and proved himself as a fearless and eminent jurist and distinguished judge which saw the robust development of the law.
“He gave effect to the Civil Proceedings Rules 1998 over which he presided as Chairman of the Rules Committee of the Supreme Court and in 2004 he established a Rules Implementation Committee comprising members of the Judiciary and the Bar thereby establishing the foundation of and paving the way for the modern landscape of Civil Practice and Procedure. He was also the first President of the Trinidad and Tobago Judicial Education Institute.
“The Late Retired Chief Justice Sharma was known to possess a remarkable sense of humour and judicial temperament and ensured the fair and just dispensation of justice.
“He was dedicated to guiding young attorneys-at-law. He fostered a healthy relationship between the Bench and the Bar and readily worked with the Law Association towards the development and upliftment of the legal profession.
“The tremendous public outpouring of condolences of his passing both in the mainstream and social media is in large part due to the fact that he was not only compassionate but also a stately gentleman who had not only the administration of justice but the entire country at heart.”
LATT said Sharma will also be remembered for his famous address delivered at the Ceremonial Opening of the Law Term of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago on the September 16, 2003 where he stated:
“The Executive must realise that an independent judiciary, whose duty is to insist on the adherence to the rule of law and to uphold the Constitution and the law, is crucial to the development of the society, without it, investors have no confidence, creditors are not protected, borrowers are exploited, victims of wrong are denied access, and State power in all its manifestations is abused without effective control.”
LATT said the legal profession and by extension TT has lost a great jurist and he will indeed be missed in immeasurable ways amongst the legal fraternity.
It added, “The Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago extends its deepest condolences to the friends and family of the Late Retired Chief Justice Satnarine Sharma and will continue to hold him in the highest regards, and implore present and future jurists to follow in his footsteps.”