Tributes flow for retired Appeal Court Judge, Justice Henderson Downer Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Tributes are flowing for retired Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Henderson Downer, who died on Thursday evening.

The cause of the retired jurist’s death has not been disclosed.

Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, addressing a swearing-in ceremony for judges of the Supreme Court on Friday, confirmed Downer’s passing.

“The present engagement does not permit a full recount of his contribution to Jamaica, and a more fulsome expression will be made by the judiciary later on today (Friday),” Sykes stated.

According to his biography on the Office of the Children’s Advocate website, Downer was called to the Bar in England at Lincoln’s Inn in 1969.

He later commenced working in the public service in Jamaica, where he first served in the Attorney General’s Department as an assistant crown counsel in February 1971.

Downer was then transferred to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) later that year. He rose to became Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions in 1977.

His next legal appointment was to the bench as a Supreme Court judge in 1981, and eight years later, he was appointed a Court of Appeal judge.

Downer retired in 2004, and was later appointed Deputy Children’s Advocate in 2006, serving the office for some 15 years.

Sykes said Downer’s work characterised “a life of service and commitment to the people of Jamaica”.

In its tribute to Downer, the Diahann Gordon Harrison-led Office of the Children’s Advocate expressed sadness at the passing of the former deputy children’s advocate.

“We take this time also to express deep and heartfelt condolences to his entire family,” a post on the office’s Facebook page said.

It added that, “Justice Downer served the commission for over 15 years and gave nothing less than stellar service since his commencement in 2006.”

For her own part, Gordon Harrison, a former Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions herself, described Downer as “a giant of a man who willingly gave of his time, his fertile mind and wisdom to the areas of Jamaican life to which he contributed.”

She noted that her office recognised Downer last week for his long and distinguished service there.

Other members of the legal community and persons from other fields expressed condolences to Downer’s family.

“My condolences,” wrote attorney Kevon Johnson on Facebook.

Evangelist Paulette Stephenson commented: “Deepest sympathies to his family”.

On Instagram, former Children’s Registrar at the Office of the Children’s Registry in Jamaica and now the Director of Disability Services in the city of Edmonton, Canada, Grieg Smith, wrote: “RIP Deputy Children’s Advocate of Jam(aica). Rest well sir.”

Attorney Peter Champagnie also wrote on Instagram: “Condolences to his family”.