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othniel sylvester
Lawyer and former politician Othneil Sylvester will have a private burial (Internet photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Former acting High Court Judge, Queen’s Counsel lawyer Othniel R. Sylvester will be buried on Thursday during a private ceremony, the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) reported Tuesday, citing Sylvester’s daughter, lawyer Nicole Sylvester.

Sylvester died on Saturday after a long battle with cancer.

He was a Speaker of the House of Assembly from 1966 to 1968, a Member of Parliament and Minister of Government from 1972 to 1974, and Director of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank from 1984 to 1986.

He is an uncle of South Leeward representative Nigel Stephenson and a former president of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Bar Association.

Ms Sylvester told the NBC that her father was a humble person who tried to assist persons wherever possible.


At the time of his death, Mr. Sylvester had been disbarred from practising law here.

High Court Justices Frederick Bruce-Lyle and Kenneth Benjamin ordered in June 2007 that he be struck off the roll of barristers and solicitors.

He was at the time the most senior lawyer at the local bar.

The judgement resulted from a February 2004 civil lawsuit by Danish foundation, Faelleseje.

The foundation sought to recover EC$5,212,500 reportedly expended for the purchase of a parcel of land at Orange Hill Estates, according to a Searchlight newspaper report on the case.

The foundation also commenced the court action seeking to discipline Sylvester.

The justices also ordered that Sylvester pay Faelleseje the money claimed plus five per cent interest per annum from December 1993 until the money are paid.

Mr. Sylvester was also given six months to pay in full and has also been ordered to pay costs of EC$40 000 to the plaintiffs, Searchlight reported in 2007.

Caribbean Court of Justice Biographical note

After embarking on a career in the teaching profession that spanned the years 1948 to 1956, Mr. Sylvester switched careers when he enrolled with the City of London College, University of London, to read for a degree in law.

In 1958, Mr. Sylvester was awarded First Class Honours with a distinction in Public International Law. That year he graduated from the Inns of Court (Inner Temple) Law School with Second Class Honours.

He was called to the Bar of England in 1958 and to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bar the following year, 1959.

Mr. Sylvester was a former Speaker of the House of Assembly (1966-1968); a former Member of Parliament and Minister of Government from 1972 to 1974; and a former Director of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (1984-1986).

After distinguishing himself at the Bar for a period in excess of 26 years, Mr. Sylvester was appointed one of Her Majesty’s Counsel in 1985.

During the period 2001 to 2002, Mr. Sylvester acted as a High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

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