Tributes pour in for Hudson-Phillips
PORT OF SPAIN – Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar led tributes today to prominent attorney Karl Hudson-Phillips who died last night in London at the age of 80.
She said that his death brings to an end, “an era of legal luminaries in Trinidad and Tobago” and that it leaves a “void in the legal profession”.
Persad-Bissessar described Hudson-Phillips, a former judge with the International Criminal Court (ICC) as “a lawyer par excellence, and a legal luminary who brought dignity and honour to his profession.
“He was very articulate and he earned the respect of all ,the Bench, the Bar, and the general public.He served the State well for several years, and although he was part of the coalition of parties which formed the Government in 1986,he never offered himself for political office,” she said of the former attorney general.
She said that even in the country’s darkest days following the 1990 attempted coup by the radical members of the Jamaat al Muslimeen group, Hudson-Phillips was appointed lead counsel for the prosecution against the insurrectionists.
She said that he always offered timely advice to the legal profession and that even at his age was still active in the law, and offered advice to many of the young lawyers.
Hudson-Phillips was called to the English and local Bar in 1959 and served as attorney general from 1969 to 1973 before he went into private practice. Hudson-Phillips became a Queen’s Counsel after only 11 years in practice and was the lead prosecutor against 19 persons charged with the murder of Grenadian Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and members of the People’s Revolutionary Government in 1983 in Grenada.
During his career, Hudson-Phillips served as President of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) that described as “a powerful legal luminary and an outstanding and formidable advocate, whose career spanned over fifty years at the local and regional bars.
“He was a mentor, friend and benefactor to countless junior counsel/attorneys around the region. He will be sorely missed,” the LATT said, noting that the recipient of the Order of Trinidad & Tobago, led many regional trials including the Abdul Malik trial in Trinidad and Tobago. “Mr. Hudson-Phillips, QC represented a unique generation of advocates and he will always be remembered for his eloquence, wit, incisive cross-examination skills and his command of English. His passing leaves a great void but also a rich legacy of legal precedent” the LATT added.
Opposition Leader, Dr. Keith Rowley said Hudson-Phillips was also “ a classy politician who exemplified the highest standards Westminster.
“Mr Hudson-Phillip remained a most sought after legal mind whose opinions invariably reflected his exceptional knowledge of law as well as standards of ethics. Present day attorneys and politicians will do well to follow his sterling example,” he added.
Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar, who is also leader of the Congress of the People (COP) one of the members of the coalition government here, said “our nation has lost a great son of the soil.
“He has left us a legacy of service and dedication to the public good which we will do well to emulate,” Ramadhar added. (CMC)