Monday, January 22, 2018

‘You had no choice but to admire him’


SHOCKED: Hendrickson Seunath

Mark Fraser

SENIOR COUNSEL Hendrickson Seunath has said the only person Queen’s Counsel Karl Hudson-Phillips could be compared to was famed attorney and former board member at the Express, Tajmool Hosein.

Commenting on Hudson-Phillips’s death, Seunath said on Thursday the news came as a shock to him. 

“I will say that he was a stalwart in the legal profession. I think without a challenge to anyone he was a legal luminary, and in, perhaps, his other spheres of life. He was a true statesman. If I had to compare him with anybody in this era I think the only person that he could have comparison with is Tajmool Hosein,” Seunath said.

Seunath who worked alongside Hudson-Phillips for over ten years in the Law Association, said as he came to know Hudson-Phillips better, his respect and admiration for him increased.

“He was indeed a very tall man ... Even when he was opposing you, you had no choice but to admire him and respect him ... I think it is a loss really the profession, to the country and to the region as a whole,” Seunath said.

 Hosein, who passed away last year March at the age of 92, was  the last surviving member of the delegation that attended the Malborough House conference in England in 1962 to formulate the country’s Independence Constitution.

He was also a member of the board of the Trinidad Express Newspapers and the father of attorney Faarees Hosein, board member of Caribbean Communications Network (CCN), parent company of the Express and TV6.

 Hosein (Tajmool) qualified as a barrister in 1946 and became an expert in constitutional law.

In 1961, he joined the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and stood as a candidate for Chaguanas in the elections that year. He won the seat and served as Member of Parliament for Chaguanas between 1961 and 1966. 

Hosein was awarded Silk in 1964 and the Trinity Cross in 1982. Sources close to him said he had declined the offer to become Chief Justice, and President of the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Hudson-Phillips, 80,  had a 55-year career.

He was called to the bar in 1959 in London, was appointed Queen’s Counsel in Trinidad and Tobago in 1970.

He served as Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs from 1969 to 1970.

He founded the political party the Organisation for National Reconstruction (ONR) in 1980 and the party later joined with others to form the National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) which became the government in 1986.

He was also a former judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and in 2010 he was bestowed with the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Hudson-Phillip was also president of the Law Association after being elected in 1999.