Sanderson won’t face tribunal

| 13/05/2009

(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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Comments (5)

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  1. Annoymous says:

    What !!!!Sanderson aint coming!!!!  Man o man i was hoping he got to come so he could get in line for his million dollar cheque too for slander….LMAO!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Actually you can use hearsay in court subject to certain requirements and proper advance notice, etc, but there’s still lots of things that you can’t take to court, like firearms for example – those you need to leave back at your room.  There are still some rules after all.

  3. Anonymous says:

    there is an old saying: you can’t take hear say to court but I guess it’s differnt in this case…

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was looking forward to hearing this testimony… shoot.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Reading this-and particularly the Compass court transcripts-one is forced to realise what a dysfunctional situation existed at the Judiciary. This is something many of us have worried about for some time but they have always made us feel they are untouchable by us mere mortals and not necessarily bound by the normal civil servant rules and regulations.