Chief Justice Anthony Smellie at the beginning of court Friday called for a moment of silence in memory of Mr. Justice Telford Georges, a ‘founding father’ of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal.
Mr. Justice Georges died 13 January, one week after his 82nd birthday.
The Chief Justice referred to him as ‘a pre-eminent jurist… whom we were lucky to have on our Court of Appeal for many years.’
Cayman’s Court of Appeal came into being in November 1984. Before then, matters were heard by the Jamaica Court of Appeals.
Mr. Justice Georges was one of the four judges who comprised the first panel, from which three judges sit at a time. He retired from Cayman’s court at the end of the 2000 session and it was on that occasion that the Chief Justice hailed him as ‘one of the founding fathers’.
In August 2000, Mr. Justice Georges was part of the first Court of Appeal to sit in Cayman Brac.
According to the Trinidad Express, he died in Barbados after a short illness.
Born in Dominica and called to the bar in England, he was Chief Justice in the Bahamas at the time he was invited to join the Cayman Court. He presided over courts in many countries in the Caribbean, as well as Tanzania and Zambia.
On the judge’s last day on the Cayman bench, Ramon Alberga QC commented that one always left Mr. Justice Georges’ court satisfied there had been a full and fair hearing; that his concern was to find the right and just answer for each problem.
Attorney Nigel Clifford, now QC, saluted the judge for his ability to spot argument weaknesses early, asking ‘devastating questions’ that were delivered with an engaging smile and unfailing courtesy.
Mr. Justice Georges said that the great joy of being on the bench was that ‘you get to argue the side you think is right.’