|The Right Honourable Mr. Justice Michael de la Bastide, TC
Former President of the Caribbean Court of Justice
The Right Honourable Mr. Justice Michael de la Bastide is a former president of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
Early life and education
The Right Honourable Mr. Justice Michael de la Bastide TC, was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, on 18 July 1937.
He attended St. Mary’s College, Port of Spain , from 1945 to 1955, where he won the Trinidad & Tobago Open Scholarship (Languages) in 1954.
From St. Mary’s, he proceeded to Christ Church College of Oxford University, which he attended from 1956 to 1960, where he read Law. He obtained the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (Jurisprudence) with First Class Honours in 1959 and the Bachelor of Civil Law, also with First Class Honours, in 1960. A member of Gray’s Inn from 1956, Mr. de la Bastide was part-time tutor in Law at Christ Church from 1960 to 1961.
He was called to the Bar on February 7, 1961. In that same year, he was awarded a Stuart Cunningham Macaskie Scholarship and a James Mould Scholarship by Gray’s Inn.
Between November 1961 and April 1963, Mr. de la Bastide was Crown Counsel in the office of the Attorney-General of Trinidad & Tobago; thereafter, he entered private practice. He was a member of the Wooding Constitution Commission from 1971 to 1974, and appointed Queen’s Counsel in January 1975. In the first Republican Parliament of Trinidad & Tobago, Mr. de la Bastide served as an Independent Senator from 1976 to 1981, and as a member of the Hyatali Constitution Commission from 1987 to 1990. Over this same period, he was elected President of the Law Association of Trinidad & Tobago for 3 terms, from 1987 to 1990. From 1992 to May 1995, Mr. de la Bastide was Senior Partner in the firm of de la Bastide & Jacelon. He was appointed Chief Justice of Trinidad & Tobago by the then President of the Republic, Mr. Noor Hassanali, on 31 May 1995.
He was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 27 July 2004 and as President of the Caribbean Court of Justice on 18 August, 2004.
While at Oxford, Mr. de la Bastide served as captain of the university’s Penguins Lawn Tennis team in 1959. He also represented Christ Church as a member of the Oxford University Occasionals Hockey Team. He represented Trinidad & Tobago at hockey at the Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia, in 1971, and at bridge in several international tournaments between 1980 and I995. Mr. de la Bastide was a member of the Board of Management of St. Dominic’s Home from 1968 to 1988, member of the Management Committee of Queen’s Park Cricket Club from 1969 to 1992, and Vice-President of the club from 1982 to 1992.
The Right Honourable Mr. Justice de la Bastide retired from the Caribbean Court of Justice on 18 August 2011.
Honours and awards
Mr. de la Bastide was awarded Trinidad & Tobago’s then highest national honour, the Trinity Cross, in August 1996. He was elected an Honorary Bencher of Gray’s Inn in November 1996, and created Fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies in 2000. Mr. Justice de la Bastide demitted office as Chief Justice on 18 July 2002.
The Honourable President is married to Simone née Morgan. They have 2 children: Chantal and Christian, born in 1988 and 1990 respectively. He was previously married to Marian née Gould. There are 3 adult children from that marriage: Michele, Juliet and Simon.