CJ queries legal aid plans

| 13/01/2010

(CNS): Concerns over government plans to alter the way that the legal aid system is funded and administered was at the heart of the chief justice’s report this morning at the opening of the Grand Court. Anthony Smellie said that the provision of legal aid to those who needed it was fundamental to the administration of justice and that professional legal representation for those facing the full power of the state was a basic human right. The CJ also noted that he was pleased to see that the premier was present in the court to hear the concerns of the profession.

Following addresses by the Cayman Bar Association and the Law Society supporting the attorney general’s motion to open the 2010 Grand Court session, which also raised concerns about the government’s decision to change the Legal Aid system, Smellie made it clear he beleived there was a danger that the current system could be replaced by something that was inferior and drive away the already limited pool of criminal defense attorneys.

Although the CJ discussed a number of other issues concerning the judiciary at present, from the pressure on the court system, the need for a new building to his own concerns about the rise in crime and the calls for more judge alone trials that risked disconnecting the public from the justice system, he focused a considerable part of his report on the plans to change legal aid.

He acknowledged the long held concerns of Finance Committee about the rising cost of legal aid but pointed to the 2008 Law Reform Commission’s report that had found that the current system represented good value for money and provided a high-calibre of representation. However, Smellie went on to say that the government’s decision to move towards a private system was of concern to everyone. He observed that Premier Mckeeva Bush had made a commitment to conduct an objective review but the judiciary and the attorneys involved in legal aid work were guaranteed payment on legal work under an ad hoc system and until the government changed the law, there was no guarantee for their future.

“In the face of the uncertainties now confronting the system, we are once again in danger of losing this small cadre of lawyers and so of having once more to contemplate the risks of injustice to defendants from lack of representation and delay – concerns which we thought had become a thing of the past,” Smellie added.

He urged the wider public as well as the judiciary to put forward their comments to the committee as he said failure to offer comment could result in the system being replaced by something that failed to meet the public’s basic justice needs or end up costing even more.

“We cannot afford to lose sight of what is at risk,” he said. “It is nothing less than the ability of the courts to ensure justice is done and done in a timely and efficient manner.”

He suggested that the drive to change the system did not come from the wider public or the legal community, and that while there can always be ways of improving how the system is managed, he said questions about equality and fairness of how legal aid was administered or who was given the work had never been raised.

"While there was always room for improvement in the administration of legal aid and, in an ideal world desirable that we had the ability to fund every deserving case, there certainly was no sense of general public dissatisfaction about the system.  Specifically, no complaint was ever made with the courts that the people most in need were being denied legal aid,” he said.

The CJ added that all who were in need had received help, as well as those facing the full force of the state charged with serious crime.

While he admitted there was room to encourage more pro-bono work it could not replace a properly state funded legal aid system.

Speaking to CNS after the Grand Court opening ceremony, the premier told CNS that while the Law Reform Commission may have said many things about legal aid over the years, so had the Legislative Assembly, which had raised its concerns over the increasing costs, and there was a need for change.

“When the chief justice said that the public was satisfied with the system, I think he needs to do some research about the vast expenditures that the people have questioned,” he added. He also noted the irony that he was under pressure to find the money to fund the court system when we now had more than 400 lawyers practicing in the jurisdiction that were able to retire early after earning millions of dollars but they were not prepared to give back.

Noting his own fundamental belief that the provision of legal aid must be separated from the courts, Bush said we must now wait and see what the committee finds.

Category: Headline News

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    CNS: Is the full text of the CJ’s speech at the Grand Court opening publicly available?

    CNS: We will post it at some point.

  2. The Mulatto says:

    All,

     The concept of an independent legal aid clinic is a good one. As I understand it is supposed to be independent and will have an independent body to supervise it. I have not seen the proposal but then again I have not seen any proposal that was put out to deal with the legal aid system that the politician has been complaining about for decades.

     Where is the proposal from the Bar Association or the Law Society? More and more Caymanians are saying that the only reason why there is all of this drama is because the idea is Mr Bush’s and there are two black Caymanians wanting to do something about it. Let’s be honest. The people who are complaining are the PPM posters and the lawyers who benefit and the CJ who won’t have anything more to do with it. With all of the outrage I started to inquire more about it.

     Legal aid clinics works well in other countries; legal aid is rarely the responsibility of the courts and as I understand it the courts had the responsibility here because there were no other groups to do it; the same Bar Association and the Law Society certainly never volunteered to be responsible or assist the poor man. No one was interested in poor people and whether they rec’d legal representation until now yet Mr McField has been advocating for this for years and so were the politicians. Maybe this is what the party system does: divides people so that when one leader comes up with a great idea and wants to see it through then they downgrade the idea.

     The Premier set up a commission to investigate the legal aid because the chief justice and the bar Association and Law Society objected; but people feel that Mr. Bush was pressured to do this as I say because only Mr. McField came up with the idea. But Mr. McField has always wanted to deal with legal aid and do something about it. Not the Bar Association nor the Law Society.

     I have not heard about any commission to assess the chief justice’s performance; and in fact, who checks to see that the chief justice runs an efficient and cost saving court system? Since this debate is now out there maybe in the interest of justice now is as good a time as ever to evaluate his performance. Fair is fair.

     The lawyers who benefit the most and obviously hate Mr. McField and Ms. Pitcairn and the PPM supporters who hate the Premier are turning what it a good idea into a bad one. If you ask the average person on the street they will say they are interested and want to see how this will work out. Someone put a post up sometime ago saying that if the idea to set up the legal aid was from two white foreigners no one would say anything. Caymanians complaining would just assume they were competent simply because they are white. No one would say or suggest that the services would be inferior. I am now hearing that people go to court have legal aid but with no lawyer turning up and this happened long before Mr. Mcfield put in a plan to the government.

     As Mr. Ezzard Miller (Rep from North Side) has been saying this is probably about two Caymanians wanting to do something good for Caymanians. People are saying that foreigners think that they are the only intelligent people in Cayman and Caymanians are happy to bash their own people. This time it is the professional Caymanians that want to bash their own and then they complain about too many foreign lawyers who make all the money in Cayman build apartments in Cayman but build mansions in England and France and vineyards in Spain. When I read the blogs on CNS you see all of the hate that the expats have for Caymanians, that we are dumb and stupid and down cry how we Caymanians feel about religion and God. Now we have the expats and the Caymanians saying that professional Caymanians are dumb and stupid.

     Personally want to give the legal aid clinic a go; I would feel the same way if it was Mr. Kurt Tibbett’s idea. There was another post where saying this is something that will be about Mr. McField and Ms. Pitcairn’s colour of their skin.

     Mr. Dr. Frank just wrote about the colour of our skin and politics the other day in the local media. Maybe this legal aid thing is going to bring out how the foreigners and Caymanian professionals feel about people who are black.

     

    Regards,

     – The Mulatto for Caymanians & its people.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should be ashamed of yourself – trying to turn an issue about what is obviously an ill-conceived proposal into an issue of race and colour prejudice, partisan politics and greed by the self-interested. It has nothing to do with PPM or those who provide legal aid services losing out. The political angle only occurs to you because the proposal only came about because both Mr. McField and Mrs. Pitcairn are political allies of the Premier. You have defeated your own charge by pointing out that the Law Society and the CBA (which have both objected) as bodies have not been interested in providing legal aid. Why should they have put forward proposals? Were they invited to do so by the govt. as apparently Mr. McFiled and Mrs. Pitcairn were? Wasn’t a study done on this by the Law Reform Commission which advised against what is being proposed and the conclusions of which the CILS and the CBA found satisfying?

      Fortunately, the public can see through your rhetoric. This is simply trying to deflect legitimate criticism by playing the victim – the politics of grievance. It is reprehensible because by crying "wolf!" it will undermine the credibility of legitimate claims of race and colour discrimination.    

  3. Twyla Vargas says:

    WHAT A TANGLE WEB WE WEAVE,  every day we are preaching that we are children of God, but look at all the anonymous Nasty things being said about the Premier and Mr. Steve McField. 

    I can understand,  that some foreigners do not respect the Christian heritage we so boast about,  but I cannot understand the Cayanians following in pursuit.  Many people in Cayman want to give the legal aid clinic an opportunity to get off its feet, but there are also some who want to kill it even before it take root.

    Think about this.  If we had engagd in the LinfordPearson Highway Programme, we we would not have ended up having to spend all that money, that Mr Arden McLean needed to upgrade our roads.

    It is so sad that a few people are suggesting that Ms. Pitcarin and Mr. Steve McField, cannot do the job.   The inferenes that is comming from senior people employed with the government is deplorable.  Where are the facts, that Ms Pitcarin and M McField cannot handle this job.   No one knows what their proposal is, (I dont) yet  I am willing to see what they have to put on the table. 

    I would like to hear what is the proposal of the Law Society and the Bar Association?:   I am inclined to think it is a personal thing, and these people just dont like Thersa and Steve. (We do very good at spiting venom at those we  dont  like)   I have never in all of my life living in the Cayman Islands, heard anyone speak about upgrading the Legal Aid System for the people of Cayman; only Steve MField.   "So why is it that every puss and dog whann get ina de race fe tun up de food cart?" 

    I would like to know what it is that the Premier,  or Mr. McField,  or Theresa Pitcarin  has done to to offend the Bar Assciation, The Law Societ, and the Chief Justice?   "It Gaw be someting dey no whaan say".   Stick a pin in ye side.   The Bar assoiation and the Law Society is mostly made up of Expat Lawyers.  As I am recollecting,Mr Ormond, Mr Orren and Mr Steve, wanted to preserve Caymanin Lawyers interest, and the inerest of the Caymanian people; but so sadthat has changed today.

    Caymanian Lawyers have been  complaining to this Government and the government before them and the ones before them that not enough Caymanins benefit from doing law.(Deny it)   Complaints have been made that only Epat. Lawyers make money, and after they make their millions, they brush off their behinds and leave the Island( Deny it naw). 

    This thing is a big "HELLO", and I know it is the little man on the street praying for the sucess of the Legal Aid Clinic, and just waiting to see if this whole drama  is not about the Blackness of Theresa and Steve.  We live in democracy, and by the way,who is checking on the judical Arm to see that they are so bent on efficiency?  Since there is an enquiry to look into Mr McField and  Ms.Pitcarins proposal, there should be a enquiry to see how legal aid has operated all of these years, and public request too, for comments.  What is good for he geese is good for the Gander.

    Intelligent people will respond and critize or agree with my comments, Anonymoys cowards will critize me the writer.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Ms Twyla is making sense. Caymanians say that they have a christian heritage but we don’t treat each other in a christian like way. I know that the legal aid clinic will work if we give it a chance and I congratulate Mr. Bush for trying to do something about it. Caymanians has been complaning about this for years and simply threw their hands up in the air because they feel that this issue like so many others will be ignored by the politicians. I congratulate Mr, Bush even more so for choosing Mr. Steve Mcfeild. The sad part of this whole thing; is that the very same Caymanian lawyers who are complaining about Mr. Mcfeild are the very same ones who always go to him when they have problems with the system.

      In regards to people writing to the commission Mr. Bush set up…The average Caymanian will not be writting to any commission to tell you what they think. Caymanians talk about their problems among themselves but will not step up and fend for thenselves. But if you go and ask any Caymanian how they feel about legal aid and explain what people are saying to the media you will hear them tell you they are praying for Mr. Mcfeild to be successful because he grew up with us and know us, and he knows the law and how the system works. They will also tell you that the foreigners don’t want to see any Caymanians run anything. This whole legal aid issue is showing us once again how divided this society is.

  4. Joe Bananas says:

    Welcome to Banana republic.

    Its not just the leaders that make it so its mostly the people.  Can’t  fight the peoples wishes.  Just cool out and watch how Cayman trys to go back to the good old days but with a much larger population and much smaller income.  Be carefull out there.

  5. McK is a joke says:

    "we now had more than 400 lawyers practicing in the jurisdiction that were able to retire early after earning millions of dollars but they were not prepared to give back."   Really?  How many attorneys in Cayman earn over $1m a year? 20 or so is probably the answer.  The vast majority earn around $100k or so, give or take $20k either way. 

    If McK is setting out to sound like a arrogant angry ill informed hick then he is acheiving his target.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow, some of you really have it out for the Premier. It is a great idea to have legal aid stand on its own. XXXXXXXX It is ridiculous that some of you are trying to delute progress. This is a great idea for Cayman and will save the country money and time.  I guess some of you would not like to see certain people succeed at any cost. Even when there is a great plan on the table.

    • Anonymous says:

      Legal Aid cannot stand on its own, and it was not the Premier’s idea for it to stand on its own. He wants it under HIM. Most sane people who recognize the need for the separation of powers believe that the most logical place for it is under the control of an independent Judiciary.

      Perhaps a little light reading might help you to understand.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_powers

      If you can find a country where Legal Aid is run more effectively and efficiently by a Steve and Theresa duo then please be sure to report back to us with that information.

      The Premier already has enough on his plate with Tourism, Finance, and everything else under his Portfolio. If you want to believe that his interest is in Legal Aid and not the $3 million (or whatever the amount is) that is budgeted under that line item then by all means please do, but I don’t think you’re going to convince many others to believe it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Judges set the standards to decide whether effective legal representation has been provided. They do not ordinarily get to compel the people or the government to pay for it or dictate how it is to be provided.

      • anonymous says:

        That’s what the Jamaicans get. they have no business bringing Jamaican politics to the Cayman Islands. You are getting a piece of your own political corrupt pie. There were other candidates you could have voted for that are more humble and capable of running the country.. McKeeva owes you ‘NOTHING" He has already paid you all off with your STATUS" as far as he’s concerned you have been paid. Therefore leave the office or he’ll call Security to you! Did God come down and tell  you that Big Mac had changed? People do not change they only change their clothes. If god really changes someone, they don’t tell you, they show you. And everyone can see the change ! Big Mac not only played you Jamaicans, but he played his own Caymanians. In case you wern’t paying attention Big Mac wines and dines the rich and white elite,  he’s been doing this for decades where are you all been living? if Caymanians are mostly high yellow, and mixed breed, most of them brown skinned like Big Mac, all negroes of course and he’s taking them for a ride, where do you think Black Jamaicans get off at? You really think you’re somthing special in big Mac’s Eyes?  Think again  and Wake UP! You forget Big Mac is a Westbayer, 35 years ago they were still attacking and throwing conch shells at black GeorgeTowner boys for courting their brown skin West Bay girls !  How quickly people forget history.

        • Anonymous says:

          Dear Anonymous 10:02

          I am seeing little intelligence on your part…

          What you should single out is the "Jamaicans who voted for McKeeva Bush"

          Not refer to "Jamaicans" meaning ALL of them.

          You call such use of false logic, a SWEEPING GENERALIZATION. It is like saying ALL CAYMANIANS ARE LAZY

          It is only non-intelligent people who conclude easily for everyone

    • Anonymous says:

      Written like a true ditto head.

      What does "delute" mean? Is this a new term you are coining?

    • Anonymous says:

      Where is written that Mckeeva Bush should decide who is guilty & who is not guilty? Where is it written that Mckeeva Bush should decide who gets legal aid & who should not?

      Did you all hear his comments in the news on tv last night? He was pretty much saying that foreigners who come here & commit crimes should not have legal aid if we cannot afford it. It is a fact that a person is innocent until proven guilty, so why does Mckeeva Bush feel he has the power to decide which foreigners should get legal aid & which ones should not! And to think he fooled all those Jamaican nationals to follow him around the campaign trail supporting him. It is no wonder that so many of them are now cursing the day & days that they fell for all the lies! Mckeeva Bush is certainly showing them his true colors now, because as we all know, besides Caymanians, the nationality that most requires legal aid is Jamaicans, & Mckeeva Bush is saying that they do not deserve legal aid if we are not in a financial position to help them. My GOD, who does Mckeeva Bush think he is? 

    • Anonymous says:

      McChavez is setting himself up for when all is exposed! He is putting all the blocks in place for when the day comes that everything will be brought to light!

  7. Columbo says:

    he was under pressure to find the money to fund the court system when we now had more than 400 lawyers practicing in the jurisdiction that were able to retire early after earning millions of dollars but they were not prepared to give back.

    So now we are going to have corporate lawyers defending criminal cases. How many verdicts will get thrown out after the fact for unfair trials?

    That will certainly cost the counrty more in monetary and social effects than the current system

    • Anonymous says:

      It is reassuring to know that we live in a society in which independent views can be expressed, particularly when it comes to the Judiciary.  The hallmark of a democratic society is an independent judiciary. 

      Observing events over the past few years, we can drawn some comfort from the fact that our judiciary is determined to rule on the basis of law and not on favour.

      On the matter of the rebuttal comments by the Premier, I noted that he tried to draw a parallel between the findings of the Law Commission in its review of legal aid and concerns raised in the LA.  These are obviously apples and oranges.  One was a study and the other was complaints. 

      At one point we had heard that the Auditor General intended to conduct a value for money review.  I hope that that proceeds, and that the committee now chaired by the Law Reform Commissioner takes those views into consideration.  Otherwise, the committee won’t have a proper basis for its review, particulalry if it disregards the Law Commission’s review, which did indicate that legal aid services was providing value for money, although there were issues that needed to be addressed.  No one is claiming that the existing system is perfect — certainly we should always be seeking to improve practices. 

      I do tend to agree with the Premier, however, that more pro bono work should be done — or so it appears.  I did learn just recently in a casual conversation with a female lawyer that she does do quite a bit of pro bono work. I was surprised at that — and it may be that we are simply not hearing about it.  After all, lawyers may not want to advertise that. At the same time, it could very well be that the public’s impression is right, and that not enough is being done.

      Perhaps the law associations could put out general releases giving the public a general report of this type of service by lawyers. If not being done, law associations should be trying to find ways to encourage their members to consider greater community service in this respect.

      But as one poster said, if the Premier is complaining now about the 400+lawyers being focused on profits, how is that going to change with his plan?  The lawyers are likely to be even more alienated and not likely to be motivated to do more.

      The Premier’s plan, it seems, is to set up an office that does all of the legal aid work on a paying basis. 

      And I really don’t think that "corporate" lawyers (a reference, in particular, to one of the two persons who were named to head the new legal aid office) will be going into court.  Hardly likely.  They will be administering and earning big bucks for that, I am sure.

      Another issue in this change which raises questions is whether this new proposal is likely to work.  I had heard at one stage that Scotland had tried this and had to abandon it. 

      One thing for sure, this is no time for experimentation.  We don’t want this to be yet another failed experient that we have to reverse, with the huge costs of rebuilding physical and professional infrastructure in the not-too-distant future. 

      It is painful to see these reversals, knowing how much it cost initially to abandon the tried and true and to establish something from scratch (such as the Financial Management Initiative in Government, whole portions of which are no longer being practised, either by default or by recent decisions).

      When we want to change a system, we really have to be sure about where we are going — and to take aboard the concerns of people.  Unfortunately, as in the case of FMI, warnings are rarely observed when decisionmakers are hell bent on doing something — which has so far been plainly the case.

       

       

  8. Lobsta Hunta says:

    I think the question should be-: What does Bush know about the Law?…… XXXXX

    • logic says:

      Bush knows nothing about the law particularly corporate law as noted in the First Cayman Bank fiasco where so many Caymanians and residents lost their money. How we forget.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Folks you all need to understand what McChavez is trying to orchestrate here……..he is undermining the judiciary and causing the world to question the independence of our Judiciary.

    We cannot have a successful Financial Services Industry or country if we don’t have an independent judiciary.

    You all better stop him or you can say goodbye to financial services, tourism and our economy and hello to substantial poverty and social unrest.

    Dictatorship and Banana Republic status here we come !!!

    A sophisticated country such as ours cannot be led by one of its least educated citizens……..how could this have happened again ????

    Chuckie warned you all in 2004/5 and subsequently but you fell like fools for the "I have changed……..I have learned from the past………I am born again" argument.

    Is this what you voted for Cayman……..is this what you want ????????

    • Anonymous says:

      Only 3% of CAYMANIANS outside of West Bay support Mr. Bush and only 31% of West Bayers support Mr. Bush. Mr. Bushs big support is from all the Status Grants and Permanent Residencies he has given out to gain votes and that is why I agree with you that "Dictatorship and Banana Republic status here we come"

    • Anonymous says:

      Just a little correction, Chuckie did warn them in 2004/5 and the people listen to him and move McChavez out of power. And again Chuckie warn them in 2009, but they believe McChavez change and how wrong they are for not listening to Chuckie and saying that PPM spend to much money. Now who is spending plenty in the past 7 Months? McChavez!!! And no one know’s where some of the money is going to that he is spending out of control.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh goodness, 17:42, leave Chuckie out of it. He was nothing more than a self serving ex civil servant looking a new and easier job. He got it and lost it. Ah so it go.

    • anonymous says:

      let’ss face it, you’re missing a very important point here. Neither the judiciary, te legislator nor the governor should have independent power. They all should be accountable to one another.

      The judiciary had toomuch power and you complained

      The governor had too much power and you complained

      the LOGB had too much power and you complained

      You have nothing to worry about;, there’s the privy counsel  where you can Appeal your cases if not satisfied.

      Have you forgotten that you now have a constitution? You need to start pushing for the implementation of the bill of rights. This is any judiciary, governor, or Premiere or elected cabinet’s biggest nightmere.

      Don’t think for one minute that your elected highest official want you to have the rights granted to you in the bill of rights, so be very careful and not allow them to make a decision to delay or deter the Bill of Rights. that’s their biggest nightmere. The constitution and bill of rights provides rights for the people that elected governments have no intention of empowering their constitutients with. You should be proud to have a constitution and bill of rights.You need to push for the iimplementation of the BIll of rights with no further delay. Three years is too long to wait.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone hear the ignorance and stupidity that emanated from McDinejad’s mouth about this matter on TV yesterday evening. The UDP supporters must have all crawled into a hole by now. Careful how you peep out guys…….there’s more stupidity to come !!!!

    I can actually promise you that šŸ™‚

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am convinced that if we advertise our the seats in the LA we will get better post holders! And they would have to have qualifications… The Elections law really needs to be revised and put some standards in there can our members be required to at least have a college education…. Don’t listen to Mac it is very necessary to have an education when u attempt to serve your country…

    Did any1 listen to Mac on news 27 talking about human rights? Pls log on to their web site and watch it… And this whole idea of changing legal aid was supposedly dum dum’s idea ( dwayne) why isn’t he speaking out on the issue

    I applaud the Chief Justice for taking a stance on this issue, it is his job! Just as Dan did when he spoke about Mac bypassing the CTC!

  12. Anonymous says:

    One might note that the chief justice has cost the public considerable money lately, in amounts that could be viewed as rather large in comparisonwith the claimed injury to his reputation. While he is certainly entitled to an opinion, the events of the last few years could lead one to the opinion that the courts have not been so finely managed that they are immune to scrutiny by the officials who directly represent the public that funds these operations.

    • Anonymous says:

      One might also note that if we compare the amount of public money wasted by our illustrious leader and his cronies over the last 10 years compared to money which has been wasted by the judiciary, the politicians win the wastefulness contest by a factor of at least a hundred.

      Rather than merely giving the legal aid system over to the party faithful, perhaps our great leader should just do away with the courts entirely and administer punishments directly based on the size of contributions to the party or the closeness of blood relations or maybe just his whim of the day. That would seem entirely reasonable given that none of our politicians has ever been tainted by the suspicion of corruption or the appearance of incompetence.

    • NOFavours says:

      20:36 you are a sneaky little devil aren’t you? Raising a point, which is untrue, to say the least, and that has absolutely nothing to do with the article.

      Another case of mischief trying to divert people from the issue at hand.

      I am sure you know full well that the current matters involving the CJ have nothing to do with him "claiming injury to his reputation" – it has to do with protecting the people of this country from shocking treatment by a reckless and irresponsible judge within the courtroom. If it were a simple matter of reputation, it would have been ignored as the CJ has clearly demostrated that he has no time for rumour and speculation.

      Stop trying to mislead people… I see right through you and based on the other comments on this post- no one here is stupid enough to buy into your foolish statements.

      The funds that the court is seeking has to do with maintaining the enviable standards that the Cayman courts have upheld for years. People of Cayman- we should be grateful to have a judicial systems of such high calibre and we must DEMAND that the Premier recognise this and give his support to the judiciary.

      Why is it that in this so called "developed" nation- we have a Judicial Administration that has had to beg for funding for a SINGLE building for over 3 years? How do we have a Premier that can somehow try to link the salary of PRIVATE attorneys to the funding of the Judiciary? How ridiculous is that?! Get real!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CJ Mr. Smellie. I hope Mr. Bush will listen to you but I doubt it, going on his track record. You should also have a word with Steve Mcfield, he is blindly following Mckeeva Bush, for financial gain as well as ploitical gain (not much hope for him there though)

  14. Anonymous says:

    My belief is that proper legal representation is a right to be afforded to all charged but I would also like to see those responsible for the justice system in the Cayman Islands to examine the crown counsel as the prosecution rate in the Cayman Islands seems close to nonexistent. Clearly there is a problem in the justice system here and that is a factor in the surge in crime.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The CJ better be careful or he will soon be out of a job!

    • Anonymous says:

      This is so funny. The CJ is neutral, he is not on any side politically, & he is saying this idea by Bush is a BAAAAAAD idea, & he says that "all Caymanians should be concerned." This is what the CJ said, not a political opponent of Mckeeva Bush. "Caymanians should be concerned"!!!!!! While I totally agree with the CJ, he better start looking for a new job, & probably in another jurisdiction!

  16. Anonymous says:

     Hah.  What does the CJ know about the law?  He should listen to Mr. Bush!!

    • Joe Average says:

      Excuse me?  Becoming Premier does not automatically bestow on the recipient some otherwordly knowledge.  It’s a job.  Like a bricklayer you put the bricks (policy) together with the thought of building a house.  Not your house….someone else’s house and they have to live in it when you’re finished.  And if they don’t like it.  They’ll let you know.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are so sad.  The new legal aid department is only be bashed by those that will NO LONGER benefit from the old system.  This is a great idea for Cayman. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Unfortunately, it appears that the major group who will "no longer benefit" are those needing access to proper and independent legal advice. And you would think they might be quite an important consideration in a system intended to provide, erm, legal aid.

        • Justice is blind not stupid says:

          13:35:   My friend, you’re under the same mistaken and frightening notion the premier is.  That is if someone is in court they must be guilty.  He more or less stated this in his befuddled explanation of why he was messing with the legal system. His idea is to dispense with niceities and politicize the system.  If he could act as judge and jury he’d like that too and tell us it was saving us money. 

          "Guilty!!!"

          "But sir I’m the court stenographer."

          "Oh."  "Next case!!!!!"

    • Anonymous says:

      I sure hope that is sarcasm my friend!

       

      As for those who say the CJ has cost the country you obviously are ignorant of the law and the procedures that are in place to protect YOU! 

      There are safety measures in place to avoid people of power from running amok.  These steps were taken by the CJ but that is his duty with the position he holds.  He did not make the rules but bless him for following them knowing the seriousness of the political backlash, open hostility by some of the public, etc.

      Investigations may come up empty handed (although if the people to give evidence hadn’t taken the cowards way out becuase Cayman is too small and they were afraid of the backlash or worse) but think about this – people in power will for a while think before they act.  There will for a time be no more "I can do what I want, no one can touch me" attitutude because Cayman is now aware that everything and everyone can be exposed in some way at some time.

      The CJ and even the Governor did their jobs and followed procedures.  One should not be critical of them but those who truly caused the expense of these investigations and those people are the people who are sworn to uphold the law and protect the people!

    • anonymous says:

      I understand the two points made by both the CJ; and the Premiere,

      The premiere is saying that if you come to this country claiming to work, then don’t commit crimes adding terror to our society. If you do, you’re on your own.

      The CJ is saying that all people should be represented and be entitled to our legal aid fund. It would handicap the courts not to have the cases heard by competent lawyers. It too would burden the courts with numerous cases that they donot have the manpower to handle.

      Bottomline, if you come to this country, claiming to work, then work. Leave the criminal activity alone.  If Jamaicans were hired to commit a crime under the disguise of a work permit as a "gardner", at least confess and if you go down, don’t go down by yourself, take your work permit holder with you you idiot! Isn’t he or she the person that told you to snuff out so and so?There are many people in the Cayman Islands that enter on these terms and its costing the RCIP a slew of unsolved mysteries.

      Because you’re damned if you do, and still damned if you don’t. So tell us who brought you to this country to committ these crimes so we can put them in the same prison cell with you..