JIS News

I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of another illustrious member of the judicial/legal fraternity, Retired Chief Justice, the Hon. KENNETH GEORGE SMITH, OJ, who died on Monday December 21, 2009, after a long illness.
Chief Justice Smith entered the Government Service in 1940 at the level of Assistant Clerk in the Resident Magistrates’ Court. In 1948 he was promoted to Deputy Clerk of Courts and in 1953, was appointed a Clerk of Courts. He then left for England to pursue legal studies and qualified as a Barrister-at-Law at Lincoln’s Inn before returning to Jamaica in 1956. On his return, he re-entered the Government Service and was appointed a Crown Counsel in the Attorney General’s Chambers. In 1962 he was promoted to the post of Assistant Attorney General.
In October 1965, he was appointed a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court and in September 1970, was elevated to the position of Judge of the Court of Appeal. In June 1973, Justice Smith was appointed Chief Justice, a position he held until he retired in July 1985. After his retirement, Chief Justice Smith was appointed an appellate Judge in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and served in that capacity until 1990. He was also a member of the local Privy Council.
During his tenure on the Bench, the former Chief Justice displayed a thorough knowledge of the principles and practice of law and applied them with objectivity, impartiality and wisdom. He was fair-minded in his treatment of legal issues, incisive and sound in his judgment and exhibited a remarkable deference to his colleagues on the Bench and practitioners at both the Private and Public Bars. Chief Justice Smith was a gentleman in every sense of the word. His legacy will live on.
On behalf of the Government of Jamaica, in particular the Ministry of Justice and its Legal Departments, I extend to his two daughters and the rest of his family our sincere condolences on his passing.
May his soul rest in peace and light perpetual shine upon him.

Skip to content