Justice Edward Zacca recognized for services to justice in the Overseas Territories
Justice Edward Zacca, the first president of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, is to be known as Sir Edward following the announcement of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honours over the weekend.
Justice Zacca was awarded the rank of Knight Commander in the Order of St. Michael and St. George for services to justice in the Overseas Territories. In addition to Cayman, he has presided over the Court of Appeal in Jamaica, Turks and Caicos and Bermuda.
Cayman’s high court came into being in 1984 and Justice Zacca presided at every session until his forced retirement in August 2008. Before 1984, Cayman’s appeals were heard by Jamaica’s high court, of which he was also a member and then president.
His association with this jurisdiction’s appeals therefore covered 33 years.
At a function marking his retirement, then-Solicitor General Cheryll Richards said that under the guidance of Justice Zacca, the foundations had been set for a body of jurisprudence and precedents unique to the circumstances of these islands on a wide range of legal issues, including the important area of commercial law, which would serve these islands in the years ahead.
Justice Zacca made no secret of the fact that he was not retiring willingly. He explained that then-Governor Stuart Jack had set 75 as the retirement age for judges. Justice Zacca was 77 at the time. He expressed fondness for these islands and said he would return as a visitor.
In fact, his services were requested again in 2010. He was named to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, which was newly formed under the 2009 Constitution.
Justice Zacca was born in Jamaica in 1931. He was called to the Bar in 1954 and became a magistrate in 1960 and a judge in 1968. His appointment to the Jamaican Court of Appeal came in 1975, followed by his presidency there in 1981.
A report in the Jamaica Gleaner included the comment: “Sir Edward is said to have made an exceptional contribution in guiding Bermuda and the Cayman Islands in particular, with their large financial service industries whose growth and reputation have depended heavily on their internationally respected courts and maintaining the confidence of the business and wider community in the legal institutions.”