Tributes are pouring in for former Appeal Court Judge, Andre Des Vignes, who passed away on Monday morning.
Des Vignes’ family, friends and numerous social justice NGOs, with which he was involved throughout his life, took to social media late yesterday and early this morning to mourn his passing.
Chair of the Catholic Commission for Social Justice (CCSJ) Leela Ramdeen said she and the organisation, of which Des Vignes was a founding member, were deeply saddened by the news.
She said that he always exuded kind qualities since she knew him.
“Firstly, he was a man of deep abiding faith; a compassionate man who was committed to the promotion of justice; a man of integrity; a humble, gentle and righteous man whose amazing intellect and lofty positions did not lead him to forget the needs of the less fortunate,” Ramdeen said.
She noted that over the past year, Des Vignes had assisted the organisation in developing and implementing its virtual legal aid clinic.
“In spite of his busy schedule, he committed to work with us on a monthly basis to provide pro bono advice to those who accessed the clinic,” Ramdeen said.
The Companions of the Transfigured Christ (CTC) Community thanked Des Vignes for the impact he made on the organisation and its members.
“We have been immeasurably blessed to have you as a mentor and good counsel in our Ministry. Our lives and our Ministry have been completely changed by your friendship and your presence. We will miss you, Andre!” the CTC said.
The Foundation for Human Development also mourned his passing.
“We will share more about Andre’s tremendous dedication and contribution to the Foundation in a letter but for now, we ask you to join us in holding Andre and his family in our love and prayers,” it said.
Des Vignes, a father of three, retired in 2019 after a decade-long stint in the Judiciary.
After almost three decades in private practice, Des Vignes was appointed a puisne judge in 2009 and elevated to the Court of Appeal eight years later.
Des Vignes served as Chairman of the Judiciary’s alternative dispute resolution pilot project monitoring committee between 2012 and 2014 and later served on the implementation committee.