JIS News

I am indeed saddened to learn of the recent passing of retired Court of Appeal Judge, The Honourable Justice Edwin Horatio Watkins, Q.C., Ph.D. who died on February 1st in Miami Florida. Justice Watkins was in his ninetieth year.
Mr. Justice Watkins was an eminent jurist who attended St. Simons College and after attaining Higher Schools Certificate he attained the LLB AND LLM from the University of London. Thereafter he gained the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield with his Thesis “A History of the Legal System in Jamaica 1661-1901)”
His professional life was a long and distinguished career in law. Initially he served in the Resident Magistrate’s Courts at Sutton Street and thereafter he served in the Attorney General’s Chambers and was the Solicitor General during the period after independence until 1974. The Honourable Victor Grant L.L.M. Q.C., Attorney General and Edwin Watkins as Solicitor General were a formidable team as Law Officers of the Crown both in the several Courts of the Island and in the important constitutional function as “principal legal advisor to the Government”. Thereafter, he was the first Director of the then Legal Reform Division of the Ministry of Justice and then he served with distinction as a Judge of the Court of Appeal.
When he retired from the Court of Appeal he went firstly to Trinidad where he worked with the Law Reform Commission and subsequently to the Bahamas as Director of Legal Reform. Mr. Justice Watkins was a Christian, a scholar and a gentleman and will be remembered as one who stood for excellence and decorum throughout his professional career. He insisted on exemplary conduct in and out of Court. He is survived by his wife Kathleen and four children.
May he rest in peace and light perpetual shine upon him.