Accolades were showered on Justice Albert Matthew from his judicial colleagues at a Special sitting at the High Court in Roseau on Thursday.
Retired Justice of the OECS Supreme Court Justice Matthew died on Thursday May 24 (2012).
During the sitting resident judge Brian Cottle apologized on behalf of Chief Justice Sir Hugh Rawlings who he said “was sorry he was not able to be there because the (OECS Supreme) court was sitting in St. Vincent, and travel arrangement to Dominica was not possible.”
He extended profound sadness to the family of the late Justice Matthew.
The other resident judge, Justice Bernie Stephenson Brooks described the deceased jurist as “an extremely patient person from the Bench… always willing to guide young lawyers.”
“He was also very sound in his decisions. It was a great pleasure knowing him and being associated with him. He also facilitated me in attending his church the Methodist Church to speak to the young minds in those settings,” Justice Brooks recalled.
Attorney General Levi Peter while acknowledging that he had not practiced before Justice Matthew, expressed sadness at his death.
“I did not have the privilege of practicing in a formal setting before him but from what I have heard from others, I have garnered a great deal and he was a very respectful and committed person,” the attorney general told the court.
He also described Justice Matthew as a keen advocate for reform.
“He was also working hard to have amendments made to the Title by Registration Act. And I want to now commit myself to continue the process for his legacy so that hopefully before I leave that office what Justice Matthew desired to have in that area I will push to ensure it becomes a reality,” the Attorney General Peter said.
Also paying tribute was President of the Dominica Bar Association, Wynante Adrian Roberts, who told the court that the late Justice Matthew was “a gentle and patient person who had contributed significantly to the jurist prudence of Dominica and the region.”
“He was a father, husband, family man, sportsman, teacher and jurist par excellence. He touched and impacted lives all over the OECS. He was a deep and profound man who displayed great tenacity, integrity, humility and respect…..he had a keen interest in my career,” she stated.
Among those who attended the special sitting was chairman of the Integrity Commission Julian Johnson, Chief Magistrate Evaline Baptiste, former Attorney General Francine Baron, Director of Public Prosecutions Gene Pestaina and Sir Brian Alleyne, former acting chief justice of the OECS Supreme Court.
Also in attendance was retired Court of Appeal judge Justice Suzie D’vengue from St. Lucia, and other members of Dominica’s legal fraternity.
Justice Matthew’s funeral is scheduled to take place on Friday (June 1) at the Methodist Church in the capital, Roseau.
Burial will be at 10am on Saturday June 2 at the family estate in Shoreford.