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Michael Anthony de la Bastide

The Right Honourable Mr. Justice Michael Anthony de la Bastide T.C., P.C., Q.C., M.A (Oxon), B.C.L

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, Oxford University, where he read Law from 1956-1960.

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 a 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. 

Upon his return to Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. de la Bastide held the post of Crown Counsel in the office of the Attorney-General of Trinidad & Tobago between November 1961 and March 1963. Thereafter, he entered private practice and in 1992 together with Mr. Charles Jacelon S.C, founded and established the law chambers of de la Bastide & Jacelon. He was the Senior Partner in these Chambers until May 1995 when Mr. de la Bastide left the Chambers to take up his appointment as Chief Justice of Trinidad & Tobago on the 31st May 1995.  The law chambers of de la Bastide & Jacelon, later merged with the law firm of Pollonais & Blanc on 1st July, 1998 forming the firm Pollonais, Blanc, de la Bastide & Jacelon. 

During his years in private practice, Mr. de la Bastide served on various boards and acted in various capacities.  He was a member of the Wooding Constitution Commission from 1971 to 1974, and was 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. During this period, he was elected President of the Law Association of Trinidad & Tobago for 3 terms, from 1987 to 1990 Mr. de la Bastide was awarded Trinidad & Tobago's 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. He is an Honorary Student(fellow) of Christ Church. Mr. Justice of Appeal de la Bastide demitted office as Chief Justice on 18 July 2002. He was sworn in as a member of the Her Majesty’s Council by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 27 July 2004 and as President of the Caribbean Court of Justice on 18 August, 2004.

In addition to excelling academically, Mr. de la Bastide was an active and talented sportsman. While at Oxford, Mr. de la Bastide was captain of the University's Penguins Lawn Tennis team in 1959 and was elected 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.

Mr. de la Bastide has been the author of many papers and publications such as the Anthony J. Bland Memorial Lecture, Barbados, Inaugural Telford Georges Memorial Lecture, Barbados – “Judicial Supervision of Executive Action in the Commonwealth Caribbean” published in the Commonwealth Law Bulletin Vol. 33 (2) of 2007 and The Seventh William G. Demas Memorial Lecture, Jamaica – “Putting things Right and the Caribbean Court of Justice”.