QC accused of gutting BoR

| 12/12/2013

(CNS): Fighting to demonstrate the case brought by the four West Bay ladies regarding the closure of the West Bay Road was an infringement of human rights, Anthony Akiwumi accused the QC representing the government of attempting to gut the country’s Constitution and its Bill of Rights (BoR). He said that if the arguments put forward by Richard Keen, QC, on behalf of the government, which was tasked with upholding the Constitution, were allowed to stand and the attempt to mute the Bill of Rights not dismissed, this did not bode well for the future of human rights. The local attorney said it was ironic that the attack on the BoR came on International Human Rights Day.

As he responded to the defendants' arguments put forward this week during the trial in front of the presiding judge, Alex Henderson, Akiwumi reiterated his clients’ case that the closure was not done lawfully and it had undermined the human rights of the women who brought the case, as well as the wider public.

He said Alice Mae Coe, Annie Multon, Ezmie Smith and Betty Ebanks were not out of time, as the clock in this action could not start any sooner than when government actually made the order to close the road. Prior to that point, the lawyer argued, the situation was "fluid” and there were no certainties, despite government’s claims about what it intended to do.

Akiwumi also argued emphatically that the case had been brought before the courts properly and that the new constitution elevated rights beyond those of wider public rights and so a judicial review was not the appropriate legal mechanism for the case.

Government had not demonstrated that it had given due consideration to the rights of the people in terms of the environment or justified why it had taken the action it did, other than from a commercial perspective, Akiwumi submitted. He emphasised the women’s point, which was the secrecy surrounding the process and the failure of government to properly consider the impact of the decision on the people it was supposed torepresent.

Akiwumi said government had an obligation to protect the interests of its people and their rights and to follow the rule of law, but given the process followed in the closure of the West Bay Road, it failed on all those points.

The three-day courtroom battle between Akiwumi and the two leading British QCs came to an end on Wednesday lunchtime and Justice Henderson said he would take time to consider the submissions and written evidence before delivering his judgment on an as yet undisclosed date.

Related article:

Dart brings in ‘bigwig’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Local News

About the Author ()

Comments (32)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Anthony Akiwumi is doing a great job and I hope and pray that he wins this case for the good of this country and the victory of the four West Bay women.

  2. michel says:

    My hat goes to those 4 ladies who at least have the GUTS that many of us are lacking. Not all is kosher here and we better stand up and be counted. Too many people don’t even have food on their table. Think of the many children that Christmas will just be another day. I am proud of my 4 ladies. It gives me hope for the future that WE must stand up more often and Unite. God Bless.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your argument is internally inconsistent.   You are saying that too many people dont have good on their table.  Yet, these ladies want to block economic development that will provide jobs.  

      The Holiday Inn Courtyard sat gutted and empty since 2008, serving only as an eyesore (like the Hyatt for almost 10 years).   Now we have the chance for a grand development.   It isnt going to work if a road runs between the hotel and beach   

      • Anonymous says:

        And, your argument is consistent with GREED! These ladies, all of whom I know, do not want to block economic development or jobs, quite to the contrary. What they do want is to stop the greed of those who are taking away the rights of all of us the Caymanian people. I applaud and thank them!  I'm calling on all of us who support them and this cause to dig into our pockets and make donations to assist with the cost!

  3. Anonymous says:

    This saddens me deeply. Here we are on our small little rock in the middle of the Caribbean Sea and the world around us moves forawrd – things change – all the time. Those places that make change work for them prosper and those that don't wither and decay.

    We grow no crops, we have no natural resources to sell, we have banking and tourism and very little else. So let's make Cayman the best banking centre in the world – let's make Cayman the best tourist destination in the world!

    If we do that we will all prosper and we will all be better off. Yes, it involves change and it means that we have to sometimes let others lead so that we can learn and adapt. But, at the end of the day the alternative is far worse.

    Over the past 25 years I have seen Cayman slowly slide into the abyss. Hotels closing, people struggling to make ends meet. Now when we have the real opportunity to improve things to make real changes we are challenged by short sightedness and narrow mindedness of a few.

    Please, please, please.. for the love of this country embrace change and lets get Cayman back on it's feet again.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let's get Cayman back on its feet by giving away 50 percent accommodation tax for how many years and the West Bay roadforever.  Deprive the the indigenous people of their lawful rights.  If the conservation law was in place at the time of the Big Give Away, we would not be in the this mess today.  

      Stop the destruction of our mangroves, and all wildlife habitat.  No more greedy grabbers in the name of investment.  Thanks, again Mr. Panton.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, if that what it takes. Your failed logic is that you would prefer 100% of nothing – than  50% of something. Anyways, you got new a brand new road all the way to WB and a new larger public beach and employment for many!  CiIG saved hundreds of millions $$ by not having to build this.

    • Anonymously says:

      Cayman's problem is the importation of  poverty less than 25 years Cayman had a stlye of living that was on par with Monaco now Cayman is just one rung up the ladder from being third world and two from the bottom of the ladder of chaos and anarchy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Its as if the West Bayers owned the road, beach view & the beach access. Only one person owns all 3 –   H.M. Queen Elizabeth II….. "The Crown"

    • Anonymous says:

      These ladies do not think they own the beach, they just have the guts to stand up and be counted. Been to Tiki Beach and tried to anchor your boat recently to have lunch? Try it out and see what happens when you don't fight for your rights. 

    • Anonymous says:

      if they want to see the ocean then i suggest they buy a condo on the beach.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really?  I thought the point was that the Queen did own it, but the government sold it to DART?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Listen.  You can hear the sound of a barrel being scraped.

  6. Anonymous says:

    History will be very kind to these four Ladies. Regardless on what side of the fence you are on, we must give these ladies credit for been courageous, and doing what they think is right for their Country.

    • Diogenes says:

      Repeat that when you see the bill.

      • The Sinope Kid says:

        Any bills arising from this should be sent to the instigator, The ex-Honourable ex-Premier McKeever U-Know-Who.

        • Anonymous says:

          Let those who profited from the transaction pay the bill.  The country lost while the gain was gamed.   I like that.  How sad.  I play to win and losers never quit.

  7. Anonymous says:


    as  Richard Wadd already commented on Wed, 11/12/2013 – 07:19.

    This argument is pointless. The section of the WB Road that was 'closed' is only closed to Vehicular Traffic, and NOT Public (pedestrian) Access.

    Is this not clearly outlined in the FCIA agreement? Therefore the argument seems to be unfounded.

    The section of the WB Road still has pedestrian access.



    • Anonymous says:

      Even with pedestrian access to most of the road, the deal includes the public losing several rights of way to access the beach north of the public beach and that is the main problem. How do you envisage us accessing the road which will be under the hotel???

  8. Anonymous says:

    And what fundamental human rights are being undermined exactly? The right to drive down a road?

    • Coconutz says:

      Ha ha…  Bet you think you're pretty clever…  It may be best that you re-read the article given that you so spectacularly failed to understand exactly what human rights were being undermined.  To help you along, I'll simplify it for you – it's the same human rights that protect illiterate donkeys and other a$$esfrom their own stupidity.

      • Anonymous says:

        Aaah, Human Rights – the biggest pile of crap since Creationism. 

        • Coconutz says:

          When the police and/or government string you up by your little peanuts you'll gain a much deeper respect for Human Rights.  Until then, feel free to spout off nonesense – that too is protected by Human Rights. 

        • Richard Wadd says:

          A little 'off-topic' here, but humor me a little please.

          IF your grounds for "Slamming" Creationism are based on Science, then considder this:

          Science is based on Mathematical Laws (I wonder where those came from?), of which 'Probability' is an accepted Discipline.

          '1 million to 1' will put you in Jail.

          '1 billion to 1' will put you on death-row.

          The Probability of a single-cell organism evolving into a fungus is Billions to 1.

          Take that and try to work out the probability of just one insect and you could never achieve that in you lifetime without a computer.

          Now what about all of the other Billions of Plants and insects … Not to mention animals.

          The chance of Creation?

          1 in 2

          • Anonymous says:

            I prefer science over bronze age magic.

            • Anonymous says:

              As a scientist I will tell you that you take science as the truth too much.

              Where are all our hurricanes this year?

              Gee scinece says it was so so it must be so,

              Science has holes just as christian teaching does.


          • Slowpoke says:

            And on the 8th day, God created West Bay Road…

          • Anonymous says:

            The probability of you evolving into an intelligent autotrope – zero

        • Anonymous says:

          If only you had left off the last two words then you would have been dead accurate. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe you should just answer the question, if it is that obvious.  (Which it isn't).