New judge appointed to Grand Court bench

| 23/06/2011

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Grand Court finally has a new permanent judge. Governor Duncan Taylor announced that Justice Richard Williams will take up his post on 12 September, having been appointed on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission. This is the first time that a local judge has been appointed via the new commission, which was established in the 2009 constitution. The position was filled after an open recruitment process advertised both locally and overseas. Following the short-listing, an interview panel of four members of the JLSC and the chief justice interviewed six people for the job. The panel was unanimous in its view that the qualifications, experience and skills of Justice Williams made him the strongest candidate.

There has been a vacancy on the Grand Court Bench since the former Justice Priya Levers was removed last year following the decision of the UK’s Privy Council based on the findings of tribunal that was held in the Cayman Islands in May 2009.

Since then the courts have been depending on a team of visiting temporary judges from around the region, who have been helping with the growing workload of the courts system.

Justice Williams is currently a Puisne Judge in the Turks and Caicos Supreme Court, a post he has held since May 2008. Since his appointment, he has sat as the judge in the Island of Providenciales, which is the most populous and prosperous of the Turks & Caicos Islands, and it is where most of the businesses and hotels are situated.

Prior to this he served as Chief Magistrate for four years after having served as Resident Magistrate for Providenciales for two years. Justice Williams also gained Magistracy experience previously as Senior Magistrate and Acting President of the Family Court in St Vincent and the Grenadines. 

He was called to the Bar in England and Wales in 1988 and spent most of his early legal career practising as a Barrister specialising in all areas of family law.  Before taking up his first judicial post he was admitted and practised as a litigation attorney in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

His ten years on the bench have given him a wealth of experience in dealing with criminal, civil, family and coroner inquest matters.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow, amazing no one has picked up on this slow, but sure pathway to British takeover.  Let me try and lay it out for you, perhaps you agree or disagree, but it should be considered.

    1. Letting McKeeva dig his won grave with allegations of corruption (IE: Cohen advancement issues)

    2. Governor who is quiet and not dumb just letting things go without saying much.

    3. Allowing Commissioner Baines to not reduce crime.

    4. Cayman not abiding by the rules set by the FCO, and the FS saying, "it is virtually the same budget as agreed"

    5. Having British in some of the highest post in Government and renewing contracts without advertising of those posts.

    6. Appointing of a judge who worked in TCI…where the British did takeover.

    Caymanians, you have a choice, just look at TCI and tell me how you are so different.  You aren't and the fact that Bush and the TCI leader were "best friends"…you need to consider the above before it is too late.


  2. Anonymous says:

    I nominate Mr. Steve McField as a magistrate for Cayaman he has been practicing law for a lot longer and he is qualified, with an intimate knowledge of the people of the Cayman Islands.  Mr McField is very well travelled as he has lived and worked overseas in many countries .  He is the perfect candidate.  It is high time that we get a Caymanian judge.

    • Attorney says:

      Perhaps Steve should consider the vacancy in TCI?  Many would be happy at his elevation, provided it was over there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Judges have to be impartial. McField has nailed his colours firmly to the mast in terms of his political affiliations, and has in the process disqualified himself from judicial office

  3. Anymous says:

    HE IS A JUDGE? darn it he is too handsome. I won,r mind standing before him seven days a week.

    Yes you Honor, I am guilty.

  4. Anonymous says:

    yer not from around here, are ye?

  5. JTB says:

    It is sad truth, but a truth nevertheless, that there is no Caymanian candidate qualified for this role.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Who he fa? Who he mama and daddey ees?

    "This is the first time that a LOCAL judge has been appointed via the new commission, which was established in the 2009 constitution."

    I'm just trying for a little Friday levity, but you do know the question is coming, right?

  7. Anonymous says:

    "Governor, Duncan Taylor  announced that Justice Richard Williams will take up his post on 12 September having been appointed on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission."

    CNS you should have said,

    "Governor, Duncan Taylor, former Governor of Turks and Cacois Islands, announced that Justice Richard Williams, former Justice of Turks and Cacois Islands, will take up his post on 12 September having been appointed on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission."


    • Anonymous says:

      Except Duncan Taylor was NOT Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

      • Libertarian says:

        I don't mean to sidetrack a bit.

        But you are correct that Governor Duncan Taylor was not Governor of Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). But  may I add, that we do know that this Governor supports the British takeover of TCI 100%. Apparently, he appears to be a very loyal servant of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and their interest must come first over the people's interest when he is commanded to do their biddings. This is my opinion, but I think Taylor is in a state of denial when it comes to the reality of Colonialism. In his own words, Taylor said to the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) in September 2009:

        "I don’t think it [the British takeover of TCI] is necessarily a backward step. I think the circumstances which had developed in the Turks and Caicos were truly exceptional, and once the Turks and Caicos remains a British Overseas Territory, in extreme circumstances, the power of the British government to take control still exists…

        "I hope it won’t come to that in the CAYMAN ISLANDS and I would be VERY SURPRISED if it did but the nature of the relationship with the British Overseas Territories is that they are still British overseas territories and that is the constitutional positions…

        And at least, Taylor admits the existence of government corruption in the UK's Parlaiment:

        "I think we are dealing very vigorously with the [MP] expenses scandal. There has been some pretty tough action taken already against a small number actually of the worst miscreants in the expenses scandal and a major review of the way parliamentary expenses are operated in Westminster… I think that the leaders of all the parties in the parliament of Westminster have committed themselves to very tough action to ensure that a system is put in place that is more transparent and accountable and to ensure that some of the difficulties which arose and which were made public over this summer don’t recur."

        I wonder if Taylor thinks different of TCI's debucle and the recent happenings in the Cayman Islands. He must have had some say to appointing a Justice from TCI to seat on our Grand Court bench.

    • Anonymous says:

      All journalists now aren't we? 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Sir. May you serve us honourably.

  9. Anonymous says:

     Judge Williams has been a great asset to the TCI. He will be missed greatly.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Did our Attorney General apply?