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Jamaica was better for Carl Rattray

Published:Monday | March 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Last Wednesday's death of Carl Rattray, 82, marked the passing of another of the heroic figures who made a significant contribution to Jamaica and the passing of whom leaves our country poorer.

Sharp of intellect but quiet of demeanour, Mr Rattray was a politician and jurist. More important, he was a man of deep integrity; a decent human being, who was never pompous or encumbered by status. He was, whatever his office, accessible.

Perhaps the most eloquent testimony to Justice Rattray's sense of self, fairness and integrity was how he handled his 1993 elevation directly from the Cabinet to the Bench and the presidency of the Court of Appeal.

Some expected that he would fail; many hoped he would. He must have felt the great pressure. Politics did not follow him.

Carl Rattray was never a politician in that overburdened, partisan sense. On the Bench, his jurisprudence was sound and expansive. He proved himself worthy of the leadership of the court.

Our politics and jurisprudence are better for his participation.

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