Members of the Senate paid tribute to the late Hon. Justice Carl Rattray, OJ, QC, on Friday who passed away Wednesday (March 14).
Senator K.D. Knight, who is a QC, remembered Justice Rattray as an advocate of the highest quality, noting that it was a pleasure to hear him addressing the court.
“He was meticulous in the way he did it and his language was impeccable. It was a joy to hear him analyze some of the nicest points of law and made them so simple that even a beginner at the Bar could understand exactly where he was going," he said.
Senator Knight said it was that quality that made Justice Rattray so successful in his advocacy both at the level of the Supreme Court and at the Appellate Court.
"Those who heard him had to learn something from him as he presented his case and it is well known that he went out of his way as one of the senior members of the profession to help those who were just entering,” he added.
Opposition Senator Thomas Tavares Finson, who is also a lawyer, agreed that Justice Rattray had a calm eloquence when presenting the law and arriving at decisions.
He said that having made the transition from politician to President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Rattray is as much remembered for his contribution to the courts and to the jurisprudence of Jamaica, as he is remembered for his role in the building of the democratic process through the People’s National Party (PNP), or as a member of the executive.
He added that Justice Rattray will also be remembered as a gentleman and as a family man.
In 1994, the Hon. Rattray was admitted into the Society of the Order of Jamaica for distinguished service in the field of Jurisprudence and Legal Reform.
His national political life included service as a government senator for the PNP from 1975 to 1980, at which time he was also the Minister of Justice and Attorney General (1976-1980).
He ran for the PNP in the 1989 General Elections in the South East St. Catherine constituency and was elected as the representative, serving in the Lower House until 1993.
He again served as Attorney General and Minister of Justice from 1989 to 1992 and as Attorney General and Minster of Legal Affairs from 1992 to 1993. Justice Rattray was President of the Court of Appeal from 1993 to 1999.
He leaves behind his widow Audrey and children Robin, Charmaine, Carla and Supreme Justice of the Commercial Court, the Hon Justice Andrew Rattray.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter