THE internationally recognised work of the late Karl Hudson-Phillips QC was yesterday described as a source of joy and pride by President Anthony Carmona, who joined the tributes pouring in for the former attorney general and International Criminal Court (ICC) judge.
Carmona, in a media statement, said news of Hudson-Phillips’ passing was received with “shock and heartfelt sorrow”.
“He was an excellent judge at the ICC and played a principal role in formulating procedural ground rules for the effective implementation of court proceedings and, by extension, the Rome Statute,” said Carmona, who also sat on the ICC before resigning to take up the presidential office in Trinidad and Tobago.
Carmona recalled that as “dean of the judges”, Hudson-Phillips chaired the first meetings of the judicial bench of the International Criminal Court.
In the pretrial chamber of the ICC, he played a pivotal role for subsequent and ongoing prose-cutions and his “fiercely independent and incisive intellect” was rivalled by few, Carmona said.
“I recall the great joy I felt whilst working at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on his election to the ICC and the even greater joy and pride it gave me as a national of Trinidad and Tobago when he took his oath of office in Den Haag, Holland,” Carmona said.
“I remember clearly then that hearty, joyous laugh of his which never left him.”
As an expert in human rights, Hudson-Phillips was appointed by the president of the United Nations Human Rights Council to head the panel of experts to investigate and determine whether Israel’s Gaza flotilla raid in May 2010 breached international law.
In September 2010, he addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council, stating the findings of the mission determined “the action was disproportionate and excessive and represents levels of totally unnecessary violence”.
“Those findings received a stamp of approval by all his learned peers and the international community,” Carmona said.
“I wish to take this opportunity to express to his family and dear friends my deep-felt condolence. A great loss it is to this Republic and we are left the poorer by his untimely death.