The death of Queen's Counsel Karl Hudson-Phillips on Wednesday brings to an end, an era of legal luminaries in Trinidad and Tobago.
His death was unexpected as he had travelled to London, England, a few days ago for a family reunion.
Mr. Hudson-Phillips leaves a void in the legal profession in Trinidad and Tobago. He was 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. Even in our darkest days following the 1990 attempted coup, Mr Hudson-Phillips was appointed lead counsel for the prosecution against the insurrectionists.
Mr Hudson-Phillips always offered timely advice to the legal profession. He would surely be missed. Mr Hudson-Phillips, at age 80, was still active in the law, and offered advice to many of the young lawyers with whom he was associated in his 53 years at the Bar.
He was called to the English and local Bar in 1959. He was Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago from 1969 to 1973 before he went into private practice. Mr. Hudson-Phillips became a Queen's Counsel after only 11 years in practice.
He was well-known in England and the Caribbean. He became a Judge of the first International Criminal Court (ICC) panel in the Hague.
Mr Hudson-Phillips 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.
He was also the lead counsel for the State in the extradition of former insurance executive, Dennis Davidson, from Orlando, Florida in 1987.
During his career, Mr Hudson-Phillips served as President of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago, and was lead counsel to several high-profile cases in this country.
At one time, he served as a member of the Law Reform Commission, and was a regular advocate in the Privy Council in London.
Mr Hudson-Phillips was awarded the Order of Trinidad and Tobago for his sterling contribution to the law. On behalf of the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago, I offer my sincere condolences to the family of the late Karl Hudson-Phillips, and may his soul rest in peace.