The legal fraternity in Bermuda and the Caribbean plunged into mourning with word of the passing of Sir Edward Zacca, the former President of the Court of Appeal and a former Chief Justice of Jamaica.

Sir Edward died in Jamaica on Monday after a short illness. He was 88.

As President, he served on Bermuda’s Court of Appeal for 18 years until his retirement in 2014.

The Gleaner reported that a minute of silence was observed in his honour on Monday in Jamaica’s Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Paula Llewellyn, the Director of Public Prosecutions in Jamaica, said: “He will be remembered as one of the great judicial officers.”

Sir Edward joined Bermuda’s Court of Appeal panel in 1996 and served as President from 2004 to 2014.

A Kingston College graduate, he served as a Magistrate, Judge and Chief Justice in Jamaica, and in the Courts of Appeal in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas.

Appointed to Britain’s Privy Council in September 1992, he was the fourth Caribbean Chief Justice to be appointed and the first from Jamaica.

He also served as Acting Governor General of Jamaica during his judicial career, that saw him knighted in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his service to the Overseas Territories.

He is survived by his wife Hope Margaret and his children Christopher, Edward Jr and Karen.

“Prior to the establishment of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal in 1984 he was a member of the Jamaica Court of Appeal which heard appeal cases from Cayman. He served as President of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal from 1984 to 2008 and also served on the Bahamas Court of Appeal from March 2000 to July 2001.

“Sir Edward served as a member of the JLSC from 1 August 2010 to 31 July 2013 at which time he was reappointed to serve from August 1, 2013 to July 31, 2014 and again from August 1, 2014 to October 31, 2014.”