October 27, 2020

Cayman: Statements by Acting Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal on passing of Sir Edward Zacca

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The Right Honourable Sir Edward ZaccaKCMGOJPC – Wikipedia
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Flags at the Courts Offices are flying at half-mast today (12 November 2019), to mourn the passing of the former President of the Court of Appeal Sir Edward Zacca.

The has published a statement and the current President of the Court of Appeal made remarks at the opening of today’s sitting.

Sir Edward’s passing is also being marked at the outset of sittings in the courts today, by a minute of silence.

From Acting Hon. Chief Justice Richard Williams made on behalf of the Hon. Chief Justice, Anthony Smellie QC:

“In my capacity as Acting Chief Justice and on behalf of the Honourable Chief Justice  and Judiciary of the Cayman Islands I wish to express our great sadness at the passing of Sir Edward Zacca on Monday.

Sir Edward played a significant role in the development of the law in the Caribbean, he being one of the most respected jurists in the region.

He was Chief Justice of the Jamaican Supreme Court from 1985 to 1996 and he was President of the Courts of Appeal in Bermuda, in the Turks and Caicos Islands and in the Cayman Islands. He also sat in the Court of Appeal in the Bahamas. Sir Edward was only the fourth Caribbean Chief Justice to be appointed to the Privy Council, and the first from Jamaica.

I had the pleasure of first meeting Sir Edward when I appeared before him as an attorney in the Turks and Caicos Islands. I found him to be a wise and fair tribunal. On a personal level, I owe a great deal to Sir Edward as he was always very willing to give up his valuable time to provide me with sound and sage advice as I progressed from Resident Magistrate to Chief Magistrate  to Supreme Court Judge in the Turks and then on to the Grand Court in Cayman.

Chief Justice Smellie knew Lord and Lady Zacca very well going back to Jamaica and when he became the founding President of our Court of Appeal in 1984. Sir Edward was President for 10 years during the tenure of the Chief Justice.

Sir Edward served the Cayman Islands with great distinction over many years. In 1967 he presided in the Grand Court over one of the rare murder trials. Prior to the establishment of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, Sir Edward was a member of the Jamaican Court of Appeal which heard appeals from Cayman.  He served as President of our Court of Appeal from 1984 to 2008, Sir Edward also served on our Judicial and Legal Services Commission from 1 August 2010 until 31 October 2014.

Sir Edward was knighted by the Queen in her 2015 Birthday Honours List “for services to the Courts of Appeal in Bermuda, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Cayman Islands”

At this time our thoughts and prayers are with Lady Zacca and Sir Edward’s children Christopher, Edward Jr and Karen.”

Tribute to Sir Edward Zacca from current President of the Court of Appeal, , made this morning at the opening of the Court of Appeal.

“It is with great sadness that I speak of the passing of Sir Edward Zacca. Sir Edward was a leading jurist in the Caribbean, playing a significant role in the development of its law. He was Chief Justice of the Jamaican Supreme Court from 1985 to 1996 and he was President of the Courts of Appeal in Bermuda, in the Turks and Caicos Islands and in the Cayman Islands. He was too a judge of the Court of Appeal in the Bahamas. Sir Edward was only the fourth Caribbean Chief Justice to be appointed to the Privy Council, and the first from Jamaica.

Sir Edward served the Cayman Islands with great distinction over many years. In 1967 he presided in the Grand Court over one of the rare murder trials. Prior to the establishment of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, Sir Edward was a member of the Jamaican Court of Appeal which heard appeals from Cayman.  He served as President of our Court of Appeal from 1984 to 2008. Sir Edward also served on our Judicial and Legal Services Commission from 1 August 2010 until 31 October 2014.

Sir Edward was knighted by the Queen in her 2015 Birthday Honours List “for services to the Courts of Appeal in Bermuda, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Cayman Islands”.

As well as his leading role as a jurist, Sir Edward was highly respected as a most courteous person from whom public service was uppermost. He will be missed by all who knew him.”

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