NEWS COMMENTARY PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE LATE JUSTICE V.C.R.A.C. CRABBE
The late Justice Professor Vincent Cyril Richard Arthur Charles Crabbe was a legal luminary whose contribution to the legal system in Ghana cannot be swept under the carpet. He was a brilliant retired Supreme Court Judge whose performance as Justice of the apex Court was greatly admired by many people within and outside the legal fraternity. He was one person who was very frank in discussions on politics and legal matters. His role in the drafting of laws for Ghana and other countries in Africa showed that he was not only a man of exceptional brilliance but was also committed to the profession he chose for himself. One spectacular thing about him was his physical strength even at age 95 when he still served as a Professor of Law at Mountcrest University College in Accra. He was always seen briskly walking round whilst undertaking his duties as a legal luminary. His experience as a great person in the practice of law is undoubtedly unmatched by any other person in this present generation. Two years after being called to the bar in the UK, he became the first African Assistant Crown Counsel responsible for legislation, progressing to become Parliamentary Counsel. He did not end here as a legal expert but also moved on to become senior instructor at the International Law Development Centre (ILDC) in Rome. He also became the advisor to the Ugandan Government on Law and Legislation. As if that was not enough, he rose further to become the Director of the Commonwealth Secretariat Scheme for Legislative Draftsmen, covering the entire area of West Africa. The late V.C.R.A.C Crabbe became the chairman of the 1979 Constituent Assembly and helped to draft the 1979 constitution of Ghana. In addition to all this, he reviewed a number of legislations, not only for Ghana, but for other countries in Africa, including Kenya, Zambia and South Africa.
There is no doubt that many members of the legal fraternity will continue to remember him for his brilliance, commitment to duty, readiness to serve under all circumstances as well as his preparedness to contribute his quota to anything in the world that has a legal touch. The book he wrote, Legislative Drafting, copies of which were presented to Parliament, is a brilliant piece that cannot be forgotten by legal experts in Ghana. His valuable contribution as a legal luminary extended outside Africa including India where his unique performance in legal matters became the envy of many people. The late Justice Crabbe is worthy of emulation as far as his love and commitment to duty are concerned. He was someone who stood for excellence, eschewing mediocrity in all forms in his legal practice. Ghanaians have a lot to learn from him as a man of inspiration, hard work and endless vim due to his unbridled penchant for hard work and scholarly performance. The virtues exhibited by this great man cannot be allowed to go without any emulation since such virtues are needed for the reconstruction of the great nation we are seeking to build. The youth of today as well as the older generation will continue to remember him, not only as a Ghanaian who performed his God-given duty, but as a selfless and humble figure who came to serve the entire world to the satisfaction of mankind.
May the soul of Justice V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe rest in perfect peace.
BY: DR. KOFI AMPONSAH-BEDIAKO, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATION, GHANA STANDARDS AUTHORITY.