NASSAU, The Bahamas – After his nearly 25 years in the public service, the country officially mourned the death of the Hon. Mr. Justice Stephen G. Isaacs, Chief Justice of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. In a sendoff fit for a king, the country showed its gratitude to the statesman in a state funeral held at Christ Church Cathedral on Friday, 7th September 2018.
Speaking to a packed church filled with cabinet ministers, senior government officials and members of the judiciary, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis hailed Chief Justice Isaacs as a man who epitomized ‘a gentleman of the highest standing.’
“Chief Justice Isaacs has been called a judge’s judge,” said the Prime Minister. “A gentleman who personifies that quality even when expressing an opposing view.”
Mr. Minnis said that Mr. Isaacs was a native son who was highly competent, independent, and ‘judicial temperate’ – an attribute that is necessary to be an effective judge.
“Chief Justice Isaacs was a man of integrity,” said Mr. Minnis. “He served his country well, was respectful to his colleagues and all those who worked with him.”
The Honourable Stephen Gerard Isaacs was the youngest child of Gerald and Sarah Isaacs. He was born in Nassau on October 20th 1954. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 1977 from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Two years later, he enrolled at Buckingham University in Buckinghamshire, England, from which he obtained an LL.B Degree in 1981. That same year, he joined Lincoln’s Inn and was called to the Degree of an Utter Barrister on 29th July 1982. He was admitted, sworn and enrolled a Counsel and Attorney of the Supreme Court on 17th September 1982.
Following pupilage and a relatively short period in private practice, he entered public service in l994 as Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court. Thereafter, he held several posts in the Judiciary.
In September 2002, he was appointed an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court and took charge of the Court in Freeport, Grand Bahama. His rise as a Justice of the Supreme Court continued through appointment to the position of Puisne Judge in 2002 until his appointment as Senior Justice on 12th February 2015 when he assumed responsibility as Head of the Criminal Division of the Court.
After service as Acting Chief Justice, Mr. Isaacs was appointed to the substantive post, as Chief Justice, on 9th July 2018 and took the oath of office 10th August 2018. He passed away on 24th August 2018.
In his spare time, Mr. Isaacs pursued sports, especially tennis.
He is survived by his children Stephen, Jr. and Capri.
Royal Bahamas Police Force officers escorted his remains, in a mahogany casket, to Butler’s Funeral Home for cremation.
By Betty Vedrine