Governor says constitution ensures ‘high standards’

| 04/07/2011

(CNS): The governor described the country’s constitution as the document which ensures government is held accountable to the “highest standards” in his constitutional message on Monday. Against the current background of political unrest and uncertainty, Duncan Taylor said that the document which the Cayman Islands adopted in 2009 was the cornerstone of democracy.  “This Constitution tells us who can make decisions and how you can challenge those decisions,” he said.  “It serves to reduce the powers of the government and to devolve more power to the people.”

Taylor said that everyone had an obligation to take stock of its contents. “I urge you to familiarize yourself on the Constitution by visiting one of the Commissions websites or contacting the Commissions Secretariat,” he told the people as he asked them to embrace the document.

With less than 18 months to go before Cayman introduces its bill of rights, the constitutional expert who advised the Cayman government during the negotiations with the UK, Professor Jeffrey Jowell paid a visit to the island to meet with the various commissions that have been established under the constitution.

“In my view the Cayman Islands Constitution is one of the most interesting and advanced in the world,” he said. “It gives more autonomy to this British Overseas Territory than to any other,” Jowell said in a radio appearance.

During the course of this week under the theme Embracing our Constitution, there will be a number of media appearances by those involved in implementing the provisions of the country’s newest constitution. For more information visit Commissions Secretariat in the Smith Road Centre, tel: 244-3685 or one of the websites relating to the constitution: 

www.knowyourconstitution.ky

www.humanrightscommission.ky

www.standardsinpubliclifecommission

See the governor's full message below.

Category: Politics

Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It's all in the wording folks, the constitution may "promote" high standards but unless it is enforced, it cannot "ensure" high standards. The "BT Duet" was just the beginning.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Governor, you are smarter than this.

    Anyone who knows and cares anything about human rights knows that this constitution is horribly inadequate. If it had been written a century or two ago it might be excusible. But that fact that it was written in the 21st century makes it an outrage and an embarrassment. But it is not only our shame. Our mother country certainly knows better on issues such as freedom of the press, gender fairness, rights of the handicapped, and so on. But they let it happen.

    Cayman's current constitution was tailored to appease the backward, mean-spirited, and unfair sentiments of Cayman's worst Christian fundamentalists. Future generations will suffer for the historic failure of this constitution's passing.

  3. 4th CLASS CITIZEN says:

    High Standards sure arn't coming from the top.

  4. B.B.L. Brown says:

    Quote from Cayman News service:   "The assets of Michael Misick, the former Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, have been frozen world-wide. Documents obtained by The SUN revealed that on June 23rd, 2011, Chief Justice His Lordship Gordon Ward made the order to freeze all of Misick’s assets".

     

    Hmmmmmm……  I wonder if the Turks and Caicos have a constitution similar to ours.  I wonder if we have anyone like His Lordship Gordon Ward.   I wonder………….

  5. Libertarian says:

    With all due respect to the Governor, the Constitution may ensure a high standard, yes… but the question is, will this document protect us from acts of colonialism and ensure a laissez-fare democracy that won't be suspended like they did in Turks and Caicos (TCI)???

    Of course, Caymanians well know that being under the UK is a help in terms of international reputation and our stability. It wouldn't be wise to assume that we can protect ourselves without her. We are just a small island.

    However, the question should always be raised:-  Are the relations between the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office and those who represent us, our Local Government, good and strong enough to guarantee that the FCO and her Governors, will respect and uphold our individual rights and democratic freedoms when it comes to "Her Majesty's interest" or "good governance" that are at times taken to be of more importance than the people's interest?

    We saw in TCI when the UK's FCO failed to prosecute Misick in his own country for corruption, but instead used their power to send a British warship to TCI, suspend the people's Constitution, dissolve their elected Cabinet, seized their financial records, and set up the Governor as a British dictator (All these happenings are Facts). And yet these things were done without the people's consent. There was no vote for marshal law. There was no vote to dissolved Cabinet. There was no vote, democracy in abolishing the Constitution. There was no election to have the Governor rule the island. Where was the people's interest and protection of rights over their "good governance takeover", which is later found to be a special interest takeover??? Why couldn't Misick be prosecuted in his own country?  Instead he is allowed to roam free for two years whilst TCI's economy plummets.

    Where was the immovable Bill of Rights that was said to be imbedded in their Constitution???

    Can someone challenge me and prove me wrong?!

    Libertarian

    • Anonymous says:

      – Stated Well –

      And I guess those who thumbs you down can't prove you wrong, so they resort to thumbs down anyhow…

       

  6. Slowpoke says:

    Problem is, I did "familiarize" myself with the constitution, but defintiely did not find it to hold anyone to the "highest standards". 

    I guess that is why I voted NO to this "interesting" (Jowell) loser document, that is not even being effectively enforced since its introduction. 

  7. 4th CLASS CITIZEN says:

    Does this Governor know anything except for cashing his paycheck?

    Is he doing anything about the investigation? Have you noticed all the big shots are not watching the store? Why are they getting paid?

  8. Anonymous says:

    nice pic of duncan.!…looks like he's just found out about mckeevas latest blunder…… just lucky nobody can or is able, to ask him any hard questions

  9. anonymous says:

    As long as Britain has the ability to override our constitution all the "preamble" and flowery language is a waste of time.

    Britain says in signing document they "will try to follow it but cant guarantee they will.. (sic)"  Says it all.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am 100% Caymanian; Caymanian to the core, but I am also glad that we have the UK as a check and balance.  With what I am seeing now with politicians not willing to follow laws, regulations or procedures and overriding Board decisions, I certainly do not want them having any more power than they already have and wish the UK would intervene as soon as they cross the line.  I and my children and family will NEVER in the foreseeable future ever vote to sever our ties with the UK.

      • Dred says:

        I agree. Can you imagine some of our politicians of today alone without someone to rein in on them.

    • Shawn says:

      Excellent point!  I don't want Independence, but I do want a true and real ife Constitution – not this one!

  10. Anonymous says:

    This statement is prime 100% BS.

    The Constitution, like a lot of other local legislation, isn't worth the paper it's printed on because it is not being enforced and probably never will be.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Tell us how effective the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Commission for Standards in Public Life are doing Mr. Governor.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Platitudes. The Constitution is a piece of paper. People doing their jobs is what gives the Constitution its effect. When we have a person responsible for good governance, a police service and a prosecution service, and a judiciary who all do their jobs to the extent necessary to remove corruption and arbitrary decision making by the institutions of government then the Constitution might do something towards improving standards.

  13. nauticalone says:

    We'll see just how well the "theory" results in the "pratice"!

    If the "Powers that be" will finally conduct some "professional investigations" regardless of "who" it concerns and prosecute (with adequate resulting consequences, including prison terms) then the "people" will begin to "believe" this to be more than the usual "lip service" that is so often heard where it may be politically expedient.

    XXXXX

     

    • Dred says:

      Amen my brotha.

      Unfortunately it didn't hold weight after the elections in BT or GT so forgive me if I have little faith in the system who has a selected few who are or seem to be ABOVE THE LAW.

      Until those people are brought to bear for the things they do I will believe this is all BS.

      And when the police can come out and say "lack of evidence" when 100's of people saw and many were willing to testify and physical evidence was even published it leads me to wonder who's side the police are really on. XXXX

      Only thing I can say is this makes for a good Steven Seagal Movie.

  14. Attorney says:

    We already have a Bill of Rights that applies in the Cayman Islands.  It is called the European Convention On Human Rights.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Attorney, you should understand that the ECHR is not enforceable in the Cayman Islands courts. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Close – No sword yet but there is a shield – the Cayman Islands Courts are already required to take into consideration the provisions of both the HR provisions of the new Constitution and the provisions of the ECHR in reaching any decisions.

      • Anonymous says:

        It's not a case that it isn't enforceable but that there's no will to enforce it.

        ECHR is already causing the UK government enough trouble as it without extending it to the OTs.

        Just so there is no misunderstanding – ECHR applies in full to the Cayman Islands and has done so since 2006.

        • Anonymous says:

          10:53

          You got that right, ECHR is causing the UK  Government lots of trouble, the biggest problem they are having , is with the exremist and criminals from other countries.

          Human rights won't allow Briton to expel these criminals back to their original countries, which in turn, is putting  Briton's  sercurity at a high  risk, it's the beggining of the end for Great Briton. This is serious….blowing up buses, trains and airoplanes along with inocent people….poor Briton..needs to drop the EU like a hot plate, and protect their country and it's people.

          Extremist on soap boxes in the parks around London, preaching, " kill all the English devils" These same criminals are given free homes to live in at the cost of the tax payers money…some in 4,000 pound a month rental homes, many  hard working British, don't make that  in a month's salary.

          The human rights have their lawyers on hand to fight the English Immigration and the Government to keep them in the country. What a mess, Briton has gotten herself in!

          Cayman, be carefull what you ask for, it is coming here soon, and  you are not going to like it.

          I would suggest we immidiatly  ammend our constituation to let these human rights group, and their lawyers, take one each, of these criminals in their homes, let them be their protector, otherwise we will be tax to support them.