Doughty Street Chambers mourns the loss of Sir Fenton Ramsahoye SC

Doughty Street Chambers is saddened to learn of the death of Sir Fenton Ramsahoye SC, our friend, colleague and Associate Tenant, who did much to pioneer the development of constitutional law in the Caribbean. His commitment to the Rule of Law, the rights of marginalised members of society, and to young lawyers, was an inspiration for all those who worked with him. Our condolences go to his family and his colleagues and friends.

Whilst it would be difficult to sum up his many achievements, a short summary which hints at the esteem in which he was held can be found in a piece written by Shaliza Hassanali of the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, which can be found by clicking here; the text also appears below.


Shaliza Hassanali of the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian

The sud­den pass­ing of Sir Fen­ton Ram­sa­hoye, QC, who pi­o­neered con­sti­tu­tion­al de­vel­op­ments in the Caribbean through le­gal vic­to­ries at the Privy Coun­cil, has sent shock waves through­out the le­gal fra­ter­ni­ty in the re­gion.

Guyana-born Ram­sa­hoye, 89, died at Queen’s Eliz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal in Bar­ba­dos.

Ram­sa­hoye, who was at the fore­front of the in­de­pen­dence move­ment, stud­ied at Lon­don Uni­ver­si­ty where he was award­ed a BA. in 1949 and LL.B., LLM in 1953 and 1956 and was called to the bar at Lin­coln’s Inn in Feb­ru­ary 1953. He was award­ed a PhD in Com­par­a­tive Land Law from Lon­don School of Eco­nom­ics and Po­lit­i­cal Sci­ence in 1959.

In 1961, he was elect­ed a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment of Guyana and re­mained in par­lia­ment un­til 1973.He was At­tor­ney Gen­er­al of Guyana from 1961 to 1964 and a mem­ber of Board of Gov­er­nors of Uni­ver­si­ty of Guyana from 1962 to 1964.

Ram­sa­hoye was ap­point­ed Se­nior Coun­sel in Guyana in 1971. From 1972 to 1975 he was Deputy Di­rec­tor of Le­gal Ed­u­ca­tion for the Coun­cil of Le­gal Ed­u­ca­tion in the West In­dies and head of Hugh Wood­ing Law School as a pro­fes­sor.

Hav­ing served the Bars of Eng­land and Wales, Guyana, Bar­ba­dos, T&T, Ja­maica, Montser­rat and the British Vir­gin Is­lands, he held the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing the le­gal lu­mi­nary that made the most ap­pear­ances be­fore the Ju­di­cial Com­mit­tee of the Privy Coun­cil.

In 2006, he was knight­ed by Gov­er­nor Gen­er­al of An­tigua Sir James Carlisle.

Among those pay­ing trib­ute yes­ter­day was for­mer at­tor­ney gen­er­al Anand Ram­lo­gan, SC, who said in a state­ment that Ram­sa­hoye’s death was a per­son­al loss to him.

Ram­lo­gan de­scribed Ram­sa­hoye as the quin­tes­sen­tial ad­vo­cate who would be re­mem­bered for rep­re­sent­ing the poor and vul­ner­a­ble.

Ram­lo­gan said Ram­sa­hoye was suc­cess­ful in cas­es in per­son­al in­jury, dis­crim­i­na­tion and hu­man rights cas­es and was in­volved in the mat­ter of com­pen­sa­tion for breach of hu­man rights and pay­ment of salaries for MPs dur­ing the 18/18 tie brought by for­mer MP Chan­dresh Shar­ma.

Pamela El­der, SC, who was un­aware of Ram­sa­hoye’s pass­ing, was lost for words. Is­rael Khan, SC, said Ram­sa­hoye, the first prin­ci­pal of the Hugh Wood­ing Law School, be­lieved in Caribbean in­te­gra­tion and “did a lot for the young lawyers.”

Al­so ex­press­ing deep sor­row at Ram­sa­hoye’s pass­ing were for­mer Guyana House Speak­er Ralph Ramkar­ran and An­tigua Prime Min­is­ter Gas­ton Browne.