Appeals Court judge Sir Anthony Campbell retires

Judge is regarded as one of the Commonwealth’s most eminent jurists

 Judges, magistrates, members of the legal profession and court staff gathered earlier this month to honor retiring Appeals Court Judge Sir Anthony Campbell, who has retired after four years’ service on the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal. 

Among those paying tribute during a brief ceremony in Grand Court were Chief Justice Anthony Smellie; President of the Court of Appeal, Sir John Chadwick; and barrister Nigel Meeson on behalf of the Bar Association. 

The Chief Justice noted some of Sir Anthony’s lead judgments in the Cayman jurisdiction, including those dealing with witness protection in murder cases, the enforceability of conditional fee agreements, and the standards of safety in the field of civil aviation regulation.  

“I have found these judgments to be most instructive and can only regret that we are not to be provided many more flowing from his erudite pen,” Chief Justice Smellie said.  

The Chief Justice commented that “all within the judiciary, court staff and, indeed, the legal profession as a whole have come to appreciate Sir Anthony for the fine gentleman and legal scholar that he most certainly is.” 

Prior to assuming his judgeship on the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, Sir Anthony had a distinguished career at the public Bar of Northern Ireland, where he was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1974. Sir Anthony served as a judge of the High Court of Northern Ireland, and, from 1998, as Justice of Appeal for Northern Ireland. During those 10 years, Chief Justice Smellie said, “Sir Anthony had come to be regarded as one of the Commonwealth’s most eminent jurists.” He was appointed a Privy Councillor in 1999. 

“His contributions to the administration of justice reached well beyond the bench,” the Chief Justice said.  

Highlights include a review of the civil justice system of Northern Ireland and chairing of the Chhokar Enquiry into the prosecutions following the death of Surjit Singh Chhokar, a report on which was published in 2001. 

Chief Justice Smellie said the “landmark document” produced by Sir Anthony following his enquiry into the case of HM Advocate v Mckie “should be read by anyone having an interest in forensic science and the evidential value of fingerprints.” 

In his tribute, Mr. Meeson reflected on the “gravitas and wisdom” that Sir Anthony brought to the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, adding that the law profession in the Cayman Islands was very grateful for his contributions. 

In response, Sir Anthony spoke of the privilege it was sitting on the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal. He paid tribute to the skill of the advocates that appeared before him and to the amiability of his colleagues on the Court of Appeal. “It was not an experience I would have wanted to miss.” 

He ended with tributes to the Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Audrey Bodden; Court Marshal Cloden Douglas Jr., and friends made while here in Cayman. 


Retiring Court of Appeal Judge Sir Anthony Campbell, fourth from left, with, from left, Justice John Martin, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, President John Chadwick and Justice Elliot Mottley.

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