GEORGETOWN, Guyana, September 15, 2022 - Former Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Judge, and one of the architects of the Regional institution, Guyanese Mr. Justice Duke E.E. Pollard died this week in New York at the age of 87.
CARICOM Secretary General, Dr Carla Barnett, said she was extremely saddened by the passing of Pollard. “His immense contribution to the jurisprudence of our community and his work towards the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice and as a member of the Court assures his legacy,” she said in her statement.
"Justice Pollard has a well-earned reputation as one of the Region’s foremost legal luminaries. His agile legal mind and practical approach was instrumental in assisting to draft the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy in his role as Legal Adviser to the CARICOM Secretary-General. He also served the Secretariat as the Director of the CARICOM Legislative Drafting Facility.
"Justice Pollard was deeply involved in drafting many of the agreements and protocols relating to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). He was elevated to the Bench of the CCJ and served in that role for five years. After retirement from the CCJ, Justice Pollard devoted his experience and skills to the Law Faculty of the University of Guyana.
A prolific author, he has left behind a significant body of studies, articles, monographs, and texts on a variety of legal topics from which generations of legal scholars and practitioners have benefitted,"the CARICOM SG pointed out.
President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ, Justice Adrian Saunders, in a statement said “ This distinguished son of the Caribbean soil was an eminent jurist with expertise in international economic law, the Law of the Sea, international institutional law, the law of treaties, general integration law and economic integration law.
Prior to joining the CCJ, he participated in both the development of the original and Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and many of the agreements and protocols that pertain specifically to the Caribbean Court of Justice.
As an academic and educator, he also guided, mentored, and inspired many students when he wore the hat of Professor in the Law Department of the University of Guyana and even after.
We at the CCJ recognise his contribution to the architecture and administration of justice at the Court, in the field of education and foreign affairs. His deep commitment to Caribbean excellence and integration will be sorely missed.”
Guyana’s Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall said “Mr. Justice Pollard was part of an elite team that worked towards the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice.
No doubt he would have played a lead role in drafting the agreements, instruments and legislation that created the Court, including the rules of that Court,” Nandlall said.
He noted that soon after the Court was established, Pollard was appointed a Judge of the Court. This is because he was considered suitably qualified to sit in its original treaty jurisdiction. However, Pollard also sat as a Judge in the Appellate jurisdiction of that Court.
Mr. Justice Pollard served as Minister-Counsellor in the Guyana Permanent Mission to the United Nations as well as Legal Advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guyana and acted as Permanent Secretary in that ministry.
He was also Legal Advisor to the International Bauxite Association and consultant on diverse international law projects for the United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Caribbean Law Institute and the Caribbean Community Secretariat.
His career within the CARICOM Secretariat included the post of Officer-in-Charge, Legal & Institutional Development Division, as well as Director of the CARICOM Legislative Drafting Facility before his elevation to the Bench of the Caribbean Court of Justice on the 15th of February 2005.
Pollard was a much sought after expert jurist in international law, specialising in international economic law, the Law of the Sea, international institutional law, the Law of Treaties, general integration law and economic integration law.”
He also taught and mentored many of the country’s future legal minds as a professor at the University of Guyana.
Apart from holding representational posts in numerous and varied international conferences, Mr. Justice Pollard has written extensively on a multiplicity of aspects of international law and has participated in the drafting of many important Caricom instruments, including the original and revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and many of the agreements and protocols that pertain specifically to the Caribbean Court of Justice.
He has authored a significant body of studies, articles, monographs, and draft treaties and legislation, constituting an impressive opus of reference material.
This includes the definitive body of work on the laws governing CARICOM entitled “The CARICOM System - Basic Instruments.