Latest laws unconstitutional

| 12/10/2011

(CNS): Government’s failure to give the latest two laws passed in the Legislative Assembly the required 21 days consultation period has made them unconstitutional, the North Side member said Wednesday. Ezzard Miller revealed that he has written to the governor pointing out that the recent amendments to the immigration and the national pensions laws did not follow the requirements of the Cayman Constitution 2009 and as a result, as also indicated by the constitution, the governor should not assent to the two bills. Miller said government had given the immigration law to members some 15 hours before it was to be debated, which was simply unacceptable.

The LA’s only independent member has raised the issue of government abusing the parliamentary process on a number of occasions and this time he is asking the governor to uphold the Constitution.

“The constitution states quite clearly that except in the case of emergency, every bill introduced by the government shall be published at least 21 days before the commencement of the meeting at which it is scheduled to be introduced,” Miller said, quoting from section 77 (2). He pointed to section 78 (2) (a), which shows that the governor should refuse to assent to any bill that is in any way repugnant to, or inconsistent with, the Constitution.

Miller said that both the amendment bills to the immigration and national pension laws were rushed through the House with no consultation period, denying not only the legislators but also the general public the necessary time to scrutinize and research the bills.

“This is another illustration of the constant erosion of parliament by the current administration when it is the only mechanism by which the people can keep the government in check,” he added.

The independent member stated that this was not just about upholding the rules for the sake of it, as the rules laid out in the constitution were there for a purpose.

“There is a reason why there is a 21 day publication period,” Miller added. “It is to give the general public as well as the members of the legislature time to study government’s proposed laws.”

He pointed out that it was unacceptable for members to be handed the details of important legislation impacting the wider community, such as the two bills presented last month, at 7pm in the evening before the morning on which government planned to debate the motion. Miller said he was putting his faith in the governor that he would consider the sections outlined in the constitution and not assent to the laws on the grounds that both amendments were unconstitutional.

The premier has complained on a number of occasions about being forced to wait the requisite 21 days, and although he has reluctantly done so on some legislation, others he has deemed as emergencies and therefore suspended the Standing Orders in order to place them before the House without allowing for any notice period or consultation.

Anyone with questions about the constitution can ask them in person tomorrow evening in West Bay when the constitutional commissioners will be holding a public meeting at John A Cumber Primary School Hall, starting at 7pm

For more information visit www.knowyourconstitution.ky

Category: Politics

Comments (38)

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  1. ABBOT says:

    I understand that some also believe that it is unconstitutional for a person who is not a born Caymanian or have at least one  parent or grandparent who is a born Caymanian, to be elected to the Cayman Is Legislative Assembly;unfortunately for them the Constitution does allow for this;see Section 61.1and 61.2.

    • COSTELLO says:
      I'm with you on this one, ABBOTT…you wanna you and me team up and give this election-running gig a try?  Looks like WE'D FIT RIGHT IN!!
       
      Who's on first??
  2. Anonymous says:

    If Ezzard would put the same amount of time into trying to come up with 'good solutions" and try to help people of this country and I am not talking about building a boat dock, I would feel something would be due him. Unfortunately Ezzard that was politics of the 80s and 90s. Nobody cares about boat docks anymore because we can't afford boats, we need jobs and homes to live in. Not all of us can make the kind of salary you do to as an MLA, wasting time propping up Hurley's talk show ratings and ranting and raving in the LA without any good sense simply because you have an opinion that sometimes not even the opposition will stand by you.

    Ezzard, you are no different from Mac, you just don't have the power and Lord forbid that we ever give it to you. It won't be boat docks that we we will be getting but a "grass piece" for us to plant cassava and yams. Them days long gone Ezzard, stop living in the past and do something good for the country for a change rather than just being an obstructionist.

    you say you don't believe in party politics, I don't either and wish they had never happened but then I look at you and wonder, My God, is that the alternative?

    • Anonymous says:

      To Anonymous Fri.10/14/2011 It is truly sad that  you call Ezzard an obstructionist for asking Mac to abide by the Constitution. If you are willing to let Mac bypass the law just because it is convenient, then you have just identified the number one reason for the high crime rate that we now have.People who think like that would likely turn a blind eye when their child ignores the law and rides his bike at night without a light ,because it is convenient.Or to drive a car without a licence,because they  dont want him walking home at night.    On and on it goes until one day he ends up with a gun ,but again its ok because he needs it for protection.          I wonder if you would think it is ok for a police officer  to ignore the law and search your premises for a gun without a warrant simply because it is convenient.I bet you would insist that the law not be ignored in your case.    When I read your post i have to ask myself "My God what have we become?"

  3. Libertarian says:

    I am afriad that to increase the rollover policy term limit to 10 years, is not enough. These are the steps I recommend:  Get rid of the rollover policy altogether, lower all duties and fees, provide business incentives for those hiring locals, focus on affordable education for Caymanians, and launch a registry of names to enforce "Caymanian First preference" in the job market. Cut the spending and reduce the size of governement to its essential services remaining like the Police. If you must, create public-private partnerships.

    Regards

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard better not ever retire because it certainly seems like he is the only one that understand the rules…

    Any Caymanian that plans on running in 2012 better know what that constitution means. EVERY WORD of it!!!

    Someone needs to be watching these guys every move or we could be bulldozed into some really stupid laws..

  5. Anonymous says:

    Once again Ezzard Miller trumps his horn. Mr. Miller when will you ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING EXCEPT COMPLAIN. MAYBE CREATE A JOB FOR EVEN A SINGLE CAYMANIAN? 

  6. Kent McT says:

    Ezzard, Ezzard, Ezzard what are we to do with you?  How long have you been involved in politics? Yet you still don't grasp the fact that the constitution only applies to those who are controlled not those who control.  How dare you expect all to play by the rules!  How would the "government" ever get anything done if they had to play by the rules!  The rules and the opposition are the only thing standing in the way of our economic recovery!  Damn the rules and the opposition!

     

    On a more serious note, it is sad that there isn't more respect for our constitution, as it seems to be viewed like toilet paper at the moment, an essential part of our needs, without it we panic, but when we have it we take it for granted wiping our posteriors with it.  Sad!

  7. Whodatis says:

    It is difficult to argue against Mr. Miller on this one.

    There are steps to be followed in this process and if these things are allowed to be pushed aside who is to say what else may be overlooked in the future.

    Now I realize what was the confusion yesterday as an acquaintance of mine was fearful that their (and their colleagues') plans of a pensionwithdrawal were in jeopardy. The general public seems to be quite scrambled in regards to understanding the situation.

    As I understand it Mr. Miller is not against the changes in legislation (well, pension at least – I imagine he is not very pleased over the immigration issue, lol) so folks may just have to wait a few more weeks before they contact their pension and loan officers.

    In the case of my acquaintance this may come as welcome news as the individual now has an extra month in which to set aside funds for deposit / furniture / stamp duty etc.

    Thanks Ezzie!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard = Loose Cannon

    Mac = Cannon

  9. truth says:

    Unconstitutional?  Unlawfull?  Do it anyway?  Just another day in Grand Cayman.

    • Whodatis says:

      Yep.

      Only difference is that here in the Cayman Islands our "unconstitutional" and "unlawful" acts do not result in war crimes by way of illegal invasions of foreign countries and the inhumane slaughter of hundreds od thousands of innocent fellow human beings, not to mention the injured and maimed.

      Not that many folks on here would really care … I'm just saying.

      (Had a coffee break.)

      • Anonymous9 says:

        Just makes you grateful of your geographical location and country of birth

        That does not make it okay

  10. Anonymous says:

    "Well, when the President does it, that means it is not illegal."  –  Richard M. Nixon

  11. Anonymous says:

    One new law that is sorely needed in Cayman is one that says:

     

    "The government must obey its own laws."

  12. Anonymous says:

    STUPID Statement By a man who is supposed to be learned in the ways of the world

    Mr. Ezzard Miller, TAKE BACK THIS STATEMENT: Mr Miller since you are an authority on Constitutional Law you will know that our Legislature follow the Westminster Model.

    In this system, Parliament is Supreme.(except in the UK Law if it conflicts with EEC Law) It means that Parliament can make and unmake all laws. Since Parliament consists the Legislative Assembly, and the Queen, once a bill passes all its reading in the Legislative Assembly it then goes to the Governor(Queen's Representative) and receive the Royal Assent, it become law. In the UK the bill has to be passed by the House of Commons, The House of Lords, and it then goes to the Queen for the Royal Assent and it become a Law binding on every citizen and resident.No MP will be able to lobby the Queen not to give it Her Royal Assent. The only person who can interpret the Laws is the Court. You are in no position to say that the law is illegal because you are not a the Supreme Court.  No court can refuse to enforce a law which has gone through its stages and passed in the LA and receive the Royal Assent by the Governor. You can protest it yes, and can you petition the law makers, by raising up public sentiments against it and push for repeal but thats about all you can do, It is up to Parliament to decide if they will repeal or abolish the law. And of course if the Government has a majority in Parliament it wil be hard for the Opposition or independent members to force any change. However a sitting MLA has to be heard to be making an impact even if nothing will ever come of his point of view.

    In Independent Countries such as the United States there is a Supreme Court that declare whether or not a law is or is not unconstitutional. We have nothing like that in the Cayman Island and even if its coming it is not here yet. There is a convention in place that the colonies must not legislate repugnantly with to the Law of the mother country.(Colonial Law Validity Act 1865} If the law is so blatantly wrong that it offends all principles of good government and human rights ,UK  can set it aside(Probably by an Order in Council).In this respect, it would be the UK through the Queen's Representative,the Governor, it would be set aside. This will not be done without all the pros and cons be balanced carefully, at least not at the insistence of one lone  "voice crying in the wilderness"(one lone MLA) but all interested parties.

    • Anonymous says:

      You seem to know an awful lotfor a person with such a poor command of the English language.

    • Knot S Smart says:

      Are you intending to offer franchises from your fountain of knowledge and constitutional law?

      Seems to me like it would be very profitable if one is able to buy your opinion for what it is worth, and sell it for what you think it is worth.

    • Anonymous says:

      You my friend are an idiot.

      He does have this right. Actually we all have this right. I believe he stated quite clearly the law. Even though I am for the pension law I see his point.

    • Anonymous says:

      A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Unlike the UK Parliament the Cayman legislature is not supreme. It is a creature of the Constitution and must comply with the Constitution. In the UK there is no written Constitution as such. Mr. Miller is within his rights to petition the Governor in this respect.   

  13. G.T. says:

    Ezzard, you got it all wrong!  Changing the Immigration Law and National Pension Law, is deemed as Emergency Laws in accordance to the Constitution!  If the Immigration Law and Rollover policy is not changed, it will cause serious damage to our economy and more people will be left without jobs because of it!  Don't tell me that more people becoming out of jobs, is not an emergency situation, Ezzard!  We know you are downplaying these changes to the Laws, because you are the only one in the LA that is still endorsing an Immigration Policy that is killing businesses in the Cayman Islands!  However, thank you for quoting the Constitution. Nice Try! 

    • Dred says:

      Everything to UDP is Emergency…soon an emergency will be the norm and when we get a REAL emergency what will you call is SUPER Emergency.

      This is all playing with the rules and someone has got to put a stop to the madness. There is no reason why the governement could not submit these papers and allowed the necessary time for discussion.

      The policies you are abusing was put in place for REAL emergencies not to allow you to abuse the process. Your wilful disregard for policies and procedures has already made you HANDS DOWN the worst government the Cayman Islands has ever seen. Not one single grant is being done in a correct manner. Always something "funny" or "strange" in the way it is handled. You are giving our auditor general fits. I swear he must wake up in the middle of the night calling the premier's name.

      I say this and I say it clearly. STOP THE BS. This is not UDP government it is the PEOPLE'S GOVERNMENT.

      We the people, if you haven't heard as yet want DUE PROCESS. We want things done in a way that avoids doubt.

      We wonder why crime is escalating I give you the UDP. As leaders of our country if you can not follow the laws then how in the blue booty do you expect the people to. In their looking to you for guidance all they see is missmanagement and even possible corruption.

       

  14. Anonymous says:

    what do you think our mute governor is going to do????

    • Lyrca Lover says:

      He's not mute, you moron, he just acts with digninty and decorum, rather than flying into things like your childish, spoilt, Emperor.

      Do you follow the Governor every day to see what he does? No. Have you ever, even once, seen what the Governor does? No. Have you ever been to one meeting, been present at one telephone conference, or overheard anything that the governor has done? No.

      Just for once, try and think and be reasonable in what you say. I'm sick of hearing your ill-considered, biased, nonsense, which is so incorrect, so lacking in any foundation of fact that you just sound like a retard.

      • Anonymous says:

        the governor has sat back and has over seen the last 2 and a half years of abysmal governnence….. for someone who is meant to ensure 'good governence' his perfermonace has been shocking…..

    • Knot S Smart says:

      He is a good Governor and in time we will get to appreciate the stability he brings.

      Not discussing every issue immediately does not make him mute. Just like how you not being mute, does not make you not dumb…

  15. Anonymous says:

    Excellent, Ezzard! Nothing wrong with following the law, no matter how inconvenient it is! I don't live in your district, but I respect you for having the courage to stand alone and tell it like it is, even if you are ruffling Mac's feathers.

     

    The Governor MUST respond to you. What's he going to say? We don't need to follow or enforce the law??? What was the great emergency? Mac MUST follow the constitution or GET OUT!

     

    Mac, don't you DARE tell those gang members to follow the law if you don't do it either!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Calm down Mr Miller,

    The economy is in dire straits and needs emergency fixing.

    That shoud answer your point whether it is a emergency

  17. Slowpoke says:

    There is a problem when you want to "pick and choose" as to when the constitution should be enforced.  Where were you when two electd members from BT were elected unconstitutionally? 

     

    Anyway, this is just another grandstanding, attention seeking effort by Ezzard.  Do you really think that waiting 3 weeks will suddenly change all the votes?

    • Anonymous says:

      "Pick and choose" is absolutely correct. A perfect example is the fact that the very same Mr McKeeva Bush refuses to get involved in the crime crisis in Cayman because the constitution prohibits him from doing so. I suppose the Crime situation in Cayman is not considered an emergency. And yes you are again correct, it is OK again to ignore the constitution in order to retain two of his law breaking 'party' buddies to help him run our country to death.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Leaving aside the fact that Ezzard got the Dr Hortor Hospital project signed off and underway against the widly expressed wishes of the public at the eleventh hour before the general election of 1992 because he thought it could not be stopped, we must allow that he has learned from his rascally folly and is drawing our attention to something we should indeed pay attention to. Ezzard's punishment for treating the electorate with contempt was political banishment for himself and the lost 1992 election for his government. Linford has not forgiven him to this day. What will Mac's punishment be?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller obviously did not getthe memo that the Constitution does not apply to the government and that anything the Premier does is by definition fully compliant with the Constitution.The same goes for the procurement rules, election law, and just about everything else.

  20. Must be crazy says:

    You must be crazy if you think I am going into West Bay after dark bobo!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think that might be good for West Bay! as we are now experiencing some of the results of  the refugee impact after 2004. But I guess you might be safer in Windsor Park or , even shopping at Countryside.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Is the proposed SEZ against the constitution?  That would be a nice and easy way to get rid of it!  It does filter profits to predominately one expatriate.  An expatriate that has not even resided on island for two years.  How is that beneficial to the Caymanian public?

    • Anonymous says:

      Oooh, please tell us more Anonymous 19:10?!

      • Anonymous says:

        Anonymous 9:08, pay attention!!!!

         

        For a start, ready "Bad Public Policy" in the Vewpoints section by Aristophanes Duckpond

      • Anonymous says:

        I call it like I see it!  The truth hurts doesn't it!