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Carl Rattray is dead

Published:Thursday | March 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

Former President of the Court of Appeal Carl Rattray died yesterday at his St Andrew home after ailing for the last four years.

Rattray was president from 1993 to 1999 when he retired from the Bench.

He was born in St Elizabeth on September 18, 1929 and began his legal career in England before being called to the Bar in Jamaica in 1958. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1969.

He was a founding partner of the law firm Rattray, Patterson, Rattray.

Rattray was also a founding member and past chairman of the Jamaica Council for Human Rights. He was a member of the People's National Party and was member of parliament for South East St Catherine from 1989 to 1993.

Rattray served in several capacities in government and in Parliament. He was attorney general and minister of justice from 1989 to 1992 and was attorney general and minister of legal affairs from 1992 to 1993. He was leader of government business in the Senate from 1978 to 1980.

Retired President of the Court of Appeal Paul Harrison has described Rattray as a very good president of the Court of Appeal.

"Initially, people were wary of his appointment since he came to the Bench from the political arena, but he turned out to be a very balanced judge," Harrison said.

He said Rattray was totally committed to law and enjoyed a very good relationship with all the judges of the Court of Appeal right up to the time of his retirement. He said Rattray's sense of humour was very refreshing and that he was an individual who had several legal anecdotes.

Harrison said it was sad that he has passed.

Rattray is survived by his wife, Audrey, two sons and two daughters.