Friday, December 15, 2017

Dana was one of my favourite guests

It was partly because of her skill, her propensity for calling a spade a spade and her pervasive intelligence that I persisted time and again in having Dana Seetahal sit as one of my prime guests on the set of the Issues Live, TTT’s weekly current affairs programme.

What made me even more determined to have her on the set was that she impressed me as one of those rare legal lights who did not have to impress everyone how much they knew about the law. In fact, in her discussions with me, she did not even sound like a lawyer. She had the facility of breaking down the most complex legal processes into easily understood language. She was quintessentially down to earth.

She may have deliberately and very consciously reserved her “legalese” for the court environment or for her classrooms at the Sir Hugh Wooding Law School where I discovered her to be a highly respected lecturer. But on Issues Live, Ms Seetahal appeared always cognizant of the fact that she was addressing her thoughts, comments and opinions to an audience that largely consisted of ordinary people. This accommodating aspect of Ms Seetahal’s character endeared her to me and deepened the professional respect I had for this remarkable person.

All the legal positions she took in and out of the courtroom, Ms Seetahal appeared focused on two objectives: a drastically needed improvement to the criminal justice system and a respect for the rule of law. Whether or not her brutal and untimely death could help to move our country any closer to those objectives, I feel the very least we can do to honour her memory is by posthumously granting her the nation’s highest award.

My deepest condolences to Ms Seetahal’s relatives, friends and colleagues. May she rest in peace.

Errol Pilgrim

Former TTT head of News & Current Affairs