Archive for May 13th, 2009

Ebanks new Chief Secretary

| 13/05/2009 | 52 Comments

(CNS): Following the announcement in March of the early retirement of Chief Secretary George McCarthy, Governor Stuart Jack has appointed the current Deputy Chief Secretary to fill the post. Donovan Ebanks will take up his new position as Chief Secretary and Head of the Civil Service on the 1 July. According to the Governor’s Office, Ebanks was appointed after an open recruitment process for which three candidates applied and “two excellent candidates” were chosen to be interviewed by a recruitment panel chaired by the governor.

Also on the panel was the current chief secretary, as well as Sharon Roulstone, a prominent lawyer and Colin Ross a retired civil servant and former Deputy Head of the Civil Service.

Ebanks has a long and distinguished public service career, joining the Public Works Department in 1975 rising to Chief Engineer in 1983 and was then promoted to Deputy Chief Secretary in 1994. In the mid nineties he co-lead the reform initiative, which was named “Reinvention of the Public Service”, which transitioned into the financial management initiative and the personnel reforms. During his time as Deputy Chief Secretary he has had a leading role in a number of salary and pension initiatives and been instrumental in the review of immigration laws and procedures.

Ebanks has been a member of the National Hurricane Committee since its inception in the mid eighties and chaired the committee on many occasions. At the time of Hurricane Ivan, he not only chaired the National Hurricane Committee, but was in operational control before during and after this catastrophic event in Cayman’s history.

The governor commented, “I am delighted to have such an able and experienced person to be the next Chief Secretary and Head of the Civil Service to lead the civil service through the difficult economic times ahead.” He also acknowledged the sterling work of McCarthy as Financial Secretary and Chief Secretary in the significant changes he had brought about in the culture of the civil service primarily in the areas of financial and human resource management.

The position of chief secretary was advertised as carrying a salary of between CI$165,144 to CI$182,292.
 

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2nd prison officer suspended

| 13/05/2009 | 7 Comments

(CNS): A second prison officer has been suspended and an internal investigation is underway into the escape of James Orville Ebanks, the Cayman Islands Prison Service has confirmed. The HMP Northward inmate was found to be missing sometime Friday morning 8 May, but was caught and returned to custody Monday evening, 11 May, after being apprehended by prison officers. A full internal prison investigation into the facts surrounding the escape is proceeding as quickly as possible, the Prison Service says.

The aim of the investigation is to determine what the exact circumstances of the escape were, what disciplinary actions may be warranted as a result, and what new security measures may be required to prevent any repetition of this incident.

The RCIPS is conducting an investigation, which is not unusual in these circumstances, into the unlawful escape by the prisoner, including any offences that he might have committed up to and including the time of his recapture. Additionally, the investigating officer will examine if he was aided and abetted during and after his escape, which is a serious criminal offence. The last incident of this kind to occur was in September 2004, when two prisoners escaped shortlyafter Hurricane Ivan.
 

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Slow down in North Sound Estates

| 13/05/2009 | 5 Comments

(CNS): Motorists are reminded to slow down when driving through North Sound Estates which has been described by some as a ‘race track’. The call comes following complaints from residents who are concerned about the safety of those living in the area, particularly children. Officers from the Traffic Management Unit will be targeting the area and drivers are urged to heed the warning or face prosecution. Under the traffic law, where no speed limit sign can be seen the area is deemed to be 25 miles per hour and motorists must stay below that limit.

The RCIPS stresses that speed limits are in place for various reasons including the safety of all road users and pedestrians and that all drivers have a legal requirement to obey them.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should
contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling
Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should
their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.
 

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Stamp Camp on the Brac

| 13/05/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Postal Service’s Philatelic Manager Karen McField visited West End and Creek primary schools on Cayman Brac to demonstrate the different aspects of stamp collecting and provide students with ideas on how to begin stamp collections. The visits were part of the CIPS’ Youth Philatelic Programme, which was launched in April 2008. Under the programme, Stamp Camp was established to provide children with basic knowledge about the art of stamp collecting, including the proper care of stamps and the use of stamp tools.

According to a release from the Postal Service, McField presented 18 students with stamp kits. Each contained a stamp album, over 200 stamps from around the world, tweezers and a magnifying glass.

She also explained the ways in which philatelists could add to their collections. “One way is to sign up for a membership at the Philatelic Bureau to purchase new stamps when they are released, or for a particular subject that interests you. Or you can exchange stamps with each other or with family members and friends,” she stated.

During an interactive Stamp Camp session, the students participated in soaking stamps off envelopes and a question and answer session. The West End Primary group comprised eight students led by Carol Lazzari. Ten students participated at Creek Primary led by Melanie Scott. Students in both groups ranged in age from six to 10 years old.

Scott said the students were pleased with their new tools and were happy that someone from the Postal Service took the time to talk with them about stamp collecting. “My students are very enthusiastic about the programme. They enjoy learning about other countries and cultures, and they’re working on designing their own stamps. Parents are also becoming involved, which is an added dimension to our group,” she said.

The CIPS’ philatelic programme is sponsored by the Bank of Butterfield, LIME and the Water Authority. Savannah Primary initiated the programme, followed by the Girls Brigades of Savannah and -George Town.

 

Creek Primary students with teacher Melanie Scott (right) and Postal Service employees (left) Starrie Scott and Carmen Brown.
 

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Golf for fun and charity

| 13/05/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The RE/MAX Chamber of Commerce Golf Classic, which took place on Friday 1 May at the Britannia Golf Course, was a resounding success and played host to 140 golfers who enjoyed a day of golfing while helping to raise funds for The Pines Retirement Home, Cayman HospiceCare and the Chamber of Commerce. The Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital team (Kirk Duval, Stephen Duval, Robert Tiofilo, Robert Ebanks) won the tournament, which was sponsored for the 9th consecutive year by RE/MAX Cayman Islands. (Left: Yellow Pages team)

CMN (William Peguero, Dr. Greg Hoeksema, Alex Crew, Gordon Smith and team “Put Togethers” (Alvin Sluchinski, Michelle Bouchard, Richard Purdom) were in second and third place respectively. Angie Ellis won Longest Drive Women, Stephen Duval had the Longest Drive Men and Rob Allen won Closest to the Pin.

The RE/MAX Cayman Islands Team consisted of Sales Associates Kerri Kanuga, Paul Aiken, Selling Assistant Dillon Claassens and his brother Devon Claassens. “It was a great tournament with an incredible group of people who raise a lot of funds for a great cause,” Aiken said, adding with a smile, “I am looking forward to winning next year’s.”

Other RE/MAX Sales Associates hosted the “Plug a Duck” game at the RE/MAX tent. Kass Coleman, Edna Ebanks, Susan Boyko, Michael Joseph and Scott Elliott raised CI$450 for Meals on Wheels and the Women Crisis Centre. “It was fantastic to see so many players come together for the good cause. The weather was perfect and there were some amazing prizes to be won,” Kass Coleman explained.

Unfortunately no ‘Hole in One’ was accomplished and therefore the 17ft SeaRay sponsored by Harbour House Marina and the 1 series BMW sponsored by GT Automotive were not claimed.
RE/MAX Cayman Islands would like to thank all participants and sponsors who made the Golf Classic such a great success and especially the Chamber of Commerce and the Britannia Golf Course Team who worked hard to ensure that everything ran smoothly.

RE/MAX Broker/Owner James Bovell & Chamber President Stuart Bostock with the winning Chrissie Tomlinson Team

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Green blog discusses garbage problem

| 13/05/2009 | 10 Comments

(CNS): Following the publicity given in the local media to pictures of the Grand Cayman landfill – Mt Trashmore – that she took from a cruise ship, Kerry Horek has created a blog about how to deal with the islands’ garbage, which asks questions about recycling and other environmental challenges surrounding the islands’ landfills, including illegal dumping and the impact of the dump on the environment. (Left: the dump on Cayman Brac)

“I welcome all comments, because there is no one person that has the single resolution, the more suggestions, advice, etc, we receive freely through this blog could aid us with putting our plans in place to make this happen,” Horek said.“We always get a second and sometimes a third opinion when we are ill. Why can’t we apply the same principal to resolving the issue with the dump?”she asked.

Horek said she created the blog Keep My Island Green & Clean because, she said, “I felt that when you open up a situation to the people in your country where they can voice their opinions openly without feeling victimized and remaining anonymous at the same time, you can certainly gain more of a feel for what the populous wants. We have to listen to the people; they are the ones that are living here and will ultimately feel the effects of what happens with our environment. Therefore they should have a voice.”

Her goal is for all the research that the government has done on the landfill to come to fruition – and very soon. “We must clean up the leaching into the North Sound before it affects our water environment any further to the point of no return. There has to be a clean-up crew implemented to make this happen. I also want to see that we start recycling very shortly as a start to the preventing more garbage being added to the dump. All metal, glass and plastic products should be put up for sale and sold to countries that will buy our metal and I am sure there are some nearby (Central/South or North America) that will be willing to contract with us. If we can sift these same products from the current dump site, then we should also implement this and get started.” (Photo above: Mt Trashmore, taken by Kerry Horek)

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Small banks – dull but safe

| 13/05/2009 | 0 Comments

(New York Times): It’s unlikely that any group of professionals is happier to highlight the dullness of their work than small-town bankers. At a recent conference held here by the Indiana Bankers Association, attendees said it over and over: our business is plodding and boring and we would not have it any other way. “Banking should not be exciting,” said Clay W. Ewing, president of retail financial services at German American Bancorp, a community bank in Jasper. “If banking gets exciting, there is something wrong with it.”

Got to article

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Greater accountability or road to independence?

| 13/05/2009 | 4 Comments

Apprehension has been expressed by some sectors of the public about the 2009 draft Constitution (the product of the negotiation talks between the Cayman delegates and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) based on their belief that it represents a radical shift of power away from the Governor to the locally elected Government.

The source of this concern appears to be two-fold: (i) while ultimate executive authority would remain with Her Majesty it would now be exercised on her behalf by the Government, including both the Governor and the Cabinet; and (ii) the use of the term “Premier”, which many believe represents the final step in constitutional advancement before achieving political independence.

Premier

The term “Premier” itself does not import any particular powers to the office. Instead, one must examine the provisions of the Draft Constitution as they relate to the Premier and make appropriate comparisons with the Constitutions of other British Overseas Territories in order to reach a sound conclusion on the matter.

Under the Draft Constitution, the Premier would be appointed by the Governor on recommendation of either (i) a majority of elected members of the Legislative Assembly of the Premier’s political party where such party gained a majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly or (ii) by a ballot of all elected members of the Legislative Assembly where the Premier’s political party does not have such majority. Cabinet Ministers would then be appointed by the Governor on recommendation of the Premier.

Conversely, the Premier may be removed by the Governor under the Draft Constitution, upon a two-third’s majority vote of no confidence in the Government by the members of the Legislative Assembly. The Premier may also be removed by the Governor upon a general election in which the Premier’s party has not secured the majority of seats.

In a real sense the elected Government is the Premier’s Government since, although formally appointed to and removed from office by the Governor, the other Ministers are selected by the Premier, may be removed upon the Premier’s advice and must vacate office if the Premier vacates office.

Under the Draft Constitution, a vote of no confidence to remove the Premier would require the support of at least twelve out of eighteen elected legislators. This would entail the votes of the entire backbench and also at least one Cabinet Minister (who is appointed upon the advice of the Premier and would be removed from office as well should the Premier be removed). Requiring the support of a Cabinet Minister to pass a no confidence vote would serve to entrench the position of the Premier and the Cabinet, thus impeding the ability of elected legislators to remove the Premier’s Government from office. Not only is this a departure from the current Constitution, which provides for a lower threshold of nine out of fifteen elected members, but it also differs from the Constitutions of other British Overseas Territories including Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands, all of which require only a simple majority in order to remove the Premier.

Governor and Cabinet

Currently, the Governor has the exclusive right to preside over Cabinet, to summon meetings of Cabinet, and to set Cabinet’s agenda. Although there may be informal meetings of the elected Ministers to discuss policy issues, no formal Cabinet decisions may be taken unless the foregoing protocol has been observed. Cabinet currently includes the Chief Secretary, the Financial Secretary and the Attorney General, who are senior civil servants appointed by the Governor and are not accountable to the electorate, as full voting members.

Under the Draft Constitution, the Financial Secretary would be removed as a member of the Cabinet (and the legislature) and replaced by an elected Minister of Finance (whom the Financial Secretary would advise). The current office of Chief Secretary would also be superseded by a Deputy Governor (a senior Caymanian public servant appointed by Her Majesty). The Draft Constitution would also remove the voting rights of the Deputy Governor (formerly the Chief Secretary) and the Attorney General as members of Cabinet (and the legislature). Cabinet decisions would accordingly lie entirely in the hands of the elected Ministers. Together, these new provisions represent a move towards greater democracy and public accountability within Government.

It is important to note that the Draft Constitution does not provide for a high degree of internal self-government since either the Governor or the Premier may summon Cabinet, the Governor and the Premier may jointly set the agenda of Cabinet and the Governor would, so far as practicable, preside over Cabinet meetings. In the Governor’s absence, the Premier (or, in the Premier’s absence, the Deputy Premier) would preside over such meetings. Notwithstanding these express provisions, however, the definition of “Governor” under the Draft Constitution includes the Deputy Governor, duly appointed to carry out the Governor’s functions in the event of his or her illness or absence from the Islands. If so appointed, the Deputy Governor, in his or her role as acting Governor, may have a prior right to the Premier to chair Cabinet meetings.

In comparison to other British Overseas Territories, the office of Premier under the Draft Constitution corresponds to that of the Premier under the BVI Constitution 2007 which
contain similar provisions. Bermuda, and similarly Gibraltar, have almost complete internal self-government whilst retaining their Overseas Territory status with Britain. Under the Bermuda Constitution 1968 (as amended) for example, the Premier (or his appointee) has sole responsibility to summon and preside over meetings of Cabinet. The Bermuda model illustrates the final step in internal self-governance before independence is achieved.

Checks and Balances

Since it is clear that the Premier would possess greater power than the current Leader of Government Business, one must ask what checks are provided for under the Draft Constitution to monitor and regulate the exercise of such power. Whilst not providing a complete answer, the following may be relevant: (i) the Premier would be required to act in the best interests of the Islands. Unlike the Governor, there would be no constitutional provision exempting the functions of the Premier from inquiry in any court; (ii) as explained above, the legislature may remove the Premier from office by a vote of no confidence; (iii) the Premier may not serve for more than two
consecutive parliamentary terms; and (iv) the Premier may only advise on the appointment or
removal of Ministers from office. It is a matter for the Governor to act, or not act, in accordance with such advice.

With respect to checks on the Governor under the Draft Constitution, a relevant provision of at least symbolic importance is that, for the first time, the Governor would be required to endeavour to exercise his or her functions in the best interests of the Islands so far as such interests are consistent with the interests of the United Kingdom.

While the Draft Constitution provides that the courts do not have jurisdiction over the question of whether the Governor has complied with Royal Instructions, there are functions over which the courts may have jurisdiction. These include functions which the Governor is empowered to exercise in his or her own discretion. In both cases, the Governor would not be required to consult with Cabinet.

There are, however, a number of functions on which the Governor would be required under the Draft Constitution to either consult with or act upon the advice of Cabinet. As above, this is subject to the exceptions that the Governor may act against such advice if instructed to do so by the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State, or if in his or her judgment such advice would adversely affect the Governor’s special responsibilities. Where the Governor declines to follow the advice of Cabinet the reasons for so doing must be recorded in the Cabinet Minutes.

Under the Draft Constitution, where the Governor is required to act after consultation with, or on the recommendation or advice of any other person or body, whether the Governor has so exercised such function shall not be inquired into in any court. In other words, in the event that the Governor declines to follow such advice, or that there is a dispute as to whether the Governor has followed such advice, there would be no available redress. Responsibility-sharing with other bodies as a check on the exercise of the Governor’s powers would therefore be limited in that it would depend upon the attitude and approach of the Governor rather than constitutional mechanisms to ensure accountability.

Currently, the Governor also retains special responsibility for external affairs. Under the Draft Constitution, however, certain matters relating to external affairs may be delegated to the elected Ministers. These include tourism-related matters, taxation and the regulation of finance and financial services, European Union matters that directly affect the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean Community.

In addition, the Governor would be required under the Draft Constitution to obtain Cabinet’s agreement before entering into any international agreement or treaty that would affect internal policy or require implementation by legislation in the Cayman Islands.
However, ultimate authority would be reserved to Her Majesty in that the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State may instruct the Governor that he or she does not require Cabinet’s consent on a particular matter.

Conclusion

The Draft Constitution would provide greater scope for sharing of executive responsibilities between the Governor and our locally elected representatives. It would also require greater accountability of the Governor and the elected Government. The Draft Constitution does not appear to provide a fundamental change in the nature of the current relationship between the United Kingdom and the Cayman Islands or require the Islands to contemplate any further constitutional advancement. Ultimate executive authority would remain with Her Majesty. While the exercise of such authority is expressed to be carried out on her behalf by the Government, including both the Governor and the Cabinet, a close examination of the provisions reveals that such authority would still ultimately be exercised on her behalf by the Governor.

 

This is the third in a series of articles prepared by the Caymanian Bar Association to consider the implications of various aspects of the proposed Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 (the 2009 Draft Constitution) that is to be the subject of Cayman’s first referendum vote on 20 May 2009.

See also:

Branches of Government: Existing and Proposed

New offices and commissions

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Magistrate calls judge gossip

| 13/05/2009 | 23 Comments

(CNS): During her evidence to the tribunal Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsey-Hale said that Justice Priya Levers had apparently trashed her in every corner of the courthouse and was engaging in malicious gossip. The tribunal heard that in her statement Ramsey-Hale had said that almost as soon as Justice Levers arrived in the jurisdiction she began talking about people behind their backs and she said that the judge had criticized other judges.

Following the evidence of more court house witnesses on the fifth day of the hearing, further illustrating the differing opinions there regarding Levers behaviour, her authorship of the letters and her opinions of the chief justice, Ramsey-Hale took the stand and told the court that Levers was a frequent visitor to her own chambers, which was not unusual as they had known each other for many years.

Questioned by Timothy Otty, QC on behalf of the tribunal, Ramsey-Hale said that to begin with Levers’ remarks, while not complimentary, were not particularly significant.  “They were slighting glances, nothing in particular and I am hard pressed to recall the specifics,but she was not complimentary…they were merely throw away comments, nothing I would care to retain or recall,” she said, adding that it was not unusual for Levers to express her reservations about people, including her husband.

She told Otty that Levers began “ranting to her” about Chief Justice Anthony Smellie in mid 2007 following the memo he had sent to her regarding the complaints. Ramsey-Hale said Levers was upset by the events and was threatening to resign.

Otty asked Ramsey-Hale to recall a conversation with the CJ’s former secretary, Loraine Hennie, who had revealed to her that Justice Levers had made allegations about the magistrate. Ramsey-Hale said that Hennie came to her upset by what she had heard and that Justice Levers would say such things about her and Catherine Chesnut, the CJ’s Research Analyst. Ramsey-Hale said that this was when the gossip became quite acute. “It is an easy thing to allege against a professional women and to say you achieved your position in this way, and it hurt and I still feel it very keenly,” Ramsey-Hale said, referring to the allegations, the details of which were not revealed.

When Stanley Brodie QC began his cross examination of Ramsey-Hale’s witness statement, he asked her if she had a problem, which he did not specify but had been raised in another witness statement that he asked her to read. She then said that it was not correct. “Did you have a problem as demonstrated here?” he asked. In response Ramsey-Hale told him to stop avoiding the issue.

“Mr Brodie, if the question is about me stopping drinking and domino playing then let us stop dancing around the issue,” she said, admitting that she had played dominoes in Sunset House and she had stopped drinking for a while to help her quit social smoking. She said she was not sick and it was not true that she had had to “straighten out".

Brodie then questioned her about the issue that the gossip was hearsay and not based on anything Levers had said to her directly, which she admitted and explained that her witness statement was based on what people had told her that Levers had said. Ramsey-Hale said she had pressed people further on many occasions to be more specific about what Levers had supposedly said about her but most were reluctant. She said they would not elaborate and no one wanted to remember. “I am stymied because she never said anything to me that was unkind,” she said, adding that she was hearing from others what was reportedly being said.

Brodie then asked her about Levers recommending her for a position heading up a family court in Jamaica which Ramsey-Hale said they had certainly discussed.”Did you not think that a kindthing, that she must have a good estimation of you?" Brodie enquired.

Ramsey-Hale then said that Levers could be extremely charming. “I don’t why she would propose me, having apparently trashed me in every corner of the courthouse,” Ramsey Hale added, and when Brodie suggested it was inconsistent with the reports, Ramsey-Hale pointed out that she did not think it was inconsistent with Levers’ personality.  “She chose her opinions of me when it suited her.”

The magistrate admitted when questioned that she did not feel she had been advanced enough in the jurisdiction, but said it was no secret that she felt ready to move upward. Brodie asked why she was not prepared to give credit when Levers was trying to help her. “I view the offer as an exercise of charm,” she said, adding that while it was genuine she didn’t know quite why, given the disparaging remarks as well as her alleged criticisms of the appeals against Ramsey-Hale’s decisions.

Moving on to other submissions she said she disagreed with recollections of Mr Hamilton QC as cited in his witness statement and denied  creating or spreading gossip herself as suggested by Brodie.

Following Ramsey-Hale, Karin Thompson, an attorney who was named as the person whom Elizabeth Webb, Justice Levers’ former secretary, said she sent a copy of Justice Sanderson’s expenses via e-mail on the instructions of the judge. Thompson categorically denied ever receiving such an email and said there was no reason why she ever would. She also denied being alone in Justice Levers’ chambers’ discussing the chief justice, as Hennie had alleged in her earlier evidence.

She said she had a good relationship with Justice Levers and explained that for a period of time she was in close discussions with the judge as she had agreed to help the Cayman Islands Health Practitioners Board, of which she was member, draft new legislation regarding organ transplants for the country. She said there were very few occasions that she was alone with Levers for any other reason in her chambers. She said she had never engaged in discussions about the Canadian judges and knew nothing about the letters or the court room petition as alleged by another witness. She said while Justice Levers had certainly ruled against her over the years, Thompson said she never had any doubt about her integrity or ability as a judge.

The last witness of the day was Christopher Levers, the judge’s son who confirmed that his mother had never asked him to type anything until recently when he had helped her prepare for this tribunal, contrary to the evidence offered by Webb who had said that the judge had called and asked her son to type the ‘Leticia Barton’ letter.  An attorney himself, due to start work shortly with Walkers Christopher, Levers said he was unaware of the letters until the governor called the tribunal. When Otty presented him with the Webb evidence over the telephone call and the request that he type a letter, he said, “I can only say my mother has never asked me to type anything and I’m surprised that Elizabeth Webb would make such an allegation.”

Concluding the days proceedings, Otty said that the first witness on Wednesday would be Desmond Seales, the owner and Editor of Cayman Net News, which published the now infamous serious of letters criticizing the Cayman Islands judiciary, followed by Barry Randall, also from Net News, before the chief justice is expected to take the stand.

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Sanderson won’t face tribunal

| 13/05/2009 | 5 Comments

(CNS): Although the former visiting judge to Cayman’s Grand Court has submitted a statement to the tribunal hearing the allegations against Justice Priya Levers, Dale Sanderson QC, will not give evidence in person. Following Stanley Brodie QC’s submission yesterday that he would wish to question Sanderson, not least because he forms part of the rumours that Levers is accused of spreading, the tribunal chair has ruled he will not be called. At the start of Tuesday’s proceedings Sir Andrew Leggatt (left) said the content of the rumours was not relevant to the tribunal and it would not be necessary to require oral evidence from Justice Sanderson.

“Justice Sanderson has given a statement and no one disputes it,” Leggatt said on the fifth morning of the tribunal (Tuesday 12 May), adding that all parties involved had agreed that the rumours themselves about other judges were not well founded and therefore there was no need to hear from Sanderson in person.

On Monday afternoon Brodie had said there was evidence before the tribunal that Sanderson may have accused Levers of coming to Cayman when she was ill because of the comprehensive health benefits offered. He said that the chief justice had acknowledged that there was at least some sort of bad feeling between Levers and Sanderson and therefore he had legitimate reason to question him on behalf of Justice Levers. “You will have also seen the letter written by Mr Justice Quin, as he now is, raising various matters of concern, and where one gets to on this is that, whether one likes it or not, the role of Justice Sanderson and his behaviour and whether he is suitable to appear in this jurisdiction were matters of concern, not just to Madam Justice Levers, but to others as well,” Brodie said.

Referring to the comments made at the outset of the tribunal that the Levers’ team would not be making accusations about other judges, Brodie explained that they themselves would not be making allegations but these allegations were the subject matter of the rumours. “What is said against Madam Justice Levers is that she was promulgating and circulating rumours. If one is going to make that kind of allegation, plainly the foundation of the rumours is something that has got some materiality,” Brodie insisted.

However, both Timothy Otty QC and then Kirsten Houghton of Campbells,attorneys acting on behalf of Sanderson, were both keen to ensure that Sanderson did not appear, and if he did they said they would be forced to call other witnesses in turn, such as Justice Charles Quinn.

Otty said that Levers had made it clear that she makes no allegations of misconduct against the other members of the judiciary, including Sanderson, and she has limited herself to seeking to establish provenance and currency of rumours.  “Investigation of provenance and currency of rumours, we would respectfully submit, does not require the presence of Mr Sanderson,” Otty said, adding that no clear case had been made for Sanderson to give evidence.

Houghton also said that if she understood Brodie correctly, what was proposed was to question Sanderson on a wide number of issues about his conduct. “This inquiry is well known not to be about Justice Sanderson, and his conduct is not relevant and, in fairness to Justice Sanderson, if there was to be questioning along those lines, it is likely that many, many other witnesses would have to be called in addition,” she said.  “In the light of the concession made at the beginning of the tribunal that it was not going to be contended that any allegations were well founded, it would be in my respectful submission at this stage wrong, on the grounds of fairness, lateness and late notice, and, in fact, lack of particularity in the document produced, to require Justice Sanderson to answer these questions.”

Although the full details of the rumours were not voiced, as the attorney’s sought to keep the allegations against Sanderson from being read aloud on the grounds that the tribunal has not accepted any of them as well-founded, it became apparent they related to Justice Levers own fear of the Canadian Judge. She had apparently related her fear to the chief justice and had received anonymous calls telling her to watch out for Sanderson as he would  "destroy" anyone who crossed him.

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