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Former Guyana Attorney General Dr. Fenton Ramsahoye dies

Dr. Fenton Ramsahoye

Attorney General of Guyana, Dr. Fenton Ramsahoye died in Barbados, Thursday morning, sending shock waves throughout the legal fraternity across the Caribbean.

He was 89 years old.

Former Guyana House Speaker, Senior Counsel Ralph Ramkarran said he was saddened at the passing of Ramsahoye who pioneered “a great deal” of constitutional developments in the Caribbean through legal victories at the British Privy Council.

In Guyana, Ramkarran credited Ramsahoye with “transforming our land tenure system” for lands held under Certificate of Title. Ramsahoye served as Guyana’s first native Attorney General in 1961 under the then Cheddi Jagan-led People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration from 1961 to 1964.

“He is a historic figure, both in politics but more particularly in law, and he has made a contribution to the legal development of Guyana and the region that will remain a permanent landmark to his great intellectual stature,” Ramkarran, a former PPP executive member said.

Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall called Ramsahoye a “legal giant” and he was “privileged to have been the recipient of his sagacious counsel on many occasions.”

“He was one of the most distinguished lawyers produced by this nation and indeed ever to have emerged from the West Indies,” he said.

The Attorney General’s Chambers and the Guyana Bar Association did not immediately offer a reaction to Ramsahoye’s passing.

The British-trained lawyer was part of Guyana’s independence movement and went on to remain as a Member of Parliament until 1973 when the PPP was in opposition.

He was also a member of Board of Governors of the University of Guyana from 1962 to 1964 and also served the Caribbean Council of Legal Education and its Hugh Wooding Law School.