A man who was prepared to challenge the established norms.
This was just one of the accolades bestowed on late former attorney general Karl Hudson-Phillips by the current AG in office, Anand Ramlogan.
In a statement yesterday on Hudson-Phillips’ passing in London yesterday, Ramlogan described the former president of the Law Association as “a larger than life character who dominated the political and legal landscape during his distinguished career”.
“His contribution in both spheres helped shape and transform our young nation and society in the post-independence era,” Ramlogan stated.
“Karl was considered a legal genius by many. He was an advocate par excellence and possessed the unique ability to advocate both civil and criminal cases with equal distinction.”
Ramlogan further described Hudson-Phillips as a “formidable advocate at the criminal bar”.
Most notably, Ramlogan said, Hudson-Phillips, who led many historic cases, was lead counsel in the Grenadian murder trial resulting from the assassination of prime minister Maurice Bishop and his Cabinet in October 1983.
At home, Hudson-Phillips also successfully prosecuted Naresh Boodram, Joey Ramiah and Michael ‘Rat’ Maharaj for the murders of Anthony ‘Tooks’ Greenidge and Stephen ‘Bull’ Sandy.
He also served as a judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) from 2003 to 2007, “paving the way” for future nationals such as President Anthony Carmona SC, who recently resigned from the ICC to assume the Presidential post, and Justice Geoffrey Andrew Henderson, who is at present sitting as a judge of the ICC.
“As a former president of the Land Tenants and Ratepayers Association, Karl represented the poor and downtrodden and was fearless in the pursuit of social justice,” said Ramlogan.
“He had a deep sense of conviction and belief and was not afraid to take on mighty institutions regardless of the consequences. He was prepared to challenge the established norms in our country.”
Ramlogan said it was notable that Hudson-Phillips, whom he described as “a lawyer first”, did not take a ministerial seat in the political party he helped to form, the National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR), the first party to defeat the long-running People’s National Movement (PNM), in 1986.
“To his colleagues, he was a colourful character full of life and energy, whose humour and wit was legendary,” Ramlogan said.
“He was a mentor and inspiration to many young lawyers who will gladly testify to the important role he played in their professional development. The country and legal profession has lost the grandmaster and the intellectual giant to whom we owe an eternal debt of gratitude.”