Guyana’s Former Attorney General Passes Away In Toronto

Dr. Mohamed ShahabuddeenDr. Mohamed Shahabuddeen

It is with great and profound sadness that I inform you of the passing of Judge Dr. Mohamed Shahabuddeen.  Judge Shahabuddeen passed away peacefully in Toronto just after midnight on the morning Saturday February 17 2018. He was retired, was living in Toronto since 2009 and has been unwell for some time.  At the time of his death, he was 86 years of age. 

Mohamed Shahabuddeen (born in Vreed en Hoop, Guyana, 7 October 7 1931) was a Guyanese politician and judge. He was judge of the International Court of Justice, judge and twice vice president of the Yugoslavia tribunal and arbitrator and judicial tribunal of the International Criminal Court.

Shahabuddeen studied law at the University of London, where he returned several times in the course of his career. There he completed in 1953 his Bachelor of Laws. After that, he began his law practice in Guyana and studied at some point, which he completed with the title Master of Laws in 1958. In 1959 he passed the title Bachelor of Science in Economics. During his further career, he continued to study, which earned him the title Doctor of Philosophy in 1970, and in 1986 the title of Doctor of Laws.

Since 1959, he worked for the Guyana government and in politics until 1962 as a lawyer of the crown, then until 1973 as Attorney General and thereafter as Attorney General until 1978. From 1978 to 1987 he was Minister of Justice and Acting Minister Of Foreign Affairs, and since 1983 he was Deputy Prime Minister and Vice President of Guyana.

From 1988 to 1997 he was a judge of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Subsequently, he was judge and twice vice president of the Yugoslavia tribunal until 2009. In addition, he has been an arbiter in the International Criminal Court, also in The Hague since 1997, and the Center for International Arbitration in Cairo. In January 2009 he was chosen as a judge of the International Criminal Court, a function that would take place in March of that year. However, in February he served his resignation for personal reasons. He is a member of the Institut de Droit International since 1993.

He was the husband of  the late Sairah Shahabudeen, (formerly Sairah Mazaharally), father of  Faid, Sieyf and Shalisa and brother of  Hassan (d), Azeemudeen (d), Zaheerudeen (d) and Moeenudeen (d).

His janazah (funeral prayer) will be held on Sunday February 18th at Imdadul Islamic Centre, in Toronto with internment at Beechwood Cemetery in Concord, Ontario.