A failed constitution

| 03/09/2014

The 2009 Constitution was rolled out to much acclaim and educational expense. The public has not been notified of any review or results of review of our unconstitutional laws. It would appear that our overburdened attorney general, who spent almost $1.5 million dollars in the last three years on outside counsel, cannot find time to deal with this pressing task.

By his default our overworked and underfunded court system, which is yet to receive a much promised dedicated modern facility, will have to assume that task. Put another way, it would be easier for our highest law enforcement official to seek change of laws obviously unconstitutional than tie up the courts for days trying to perpetuate a fiction of his creation.

Perhaps the lawyer in his chambers on the government payroll who also has permission by the attorney general to do private outside work could be given the task.

Our esteemed and highly regarded minister of finance would appreciate the cost saving to the government and assistanceto our judiciary if such a review was performed.

These laws include banned publications, inhumane penalties and police laws in breach of human rights.

The most recent ruling of our Grand Court saw a most important decision that required accused persons to be advised of their right to free legal advice when interviewed by the police. As is commonly done, the decision was first heralded as going to appeal then quietly discontinued.

This decision will require substantial increase in the legal aid budget and it is debatable if Minister Archer has been advised of this by the highest law enforcement officer. He has not been advised of potential claims under the Constitution for quashed convictions.

A reasonable guess will see a tripling of legal aid costs to the government depending on the number of police arrests for minor offences.
The Cayman Islands are now required to pick up the tab for recently passed unconstitutional laws while the sinecure government legislative advisor reclines comfortably in the legislature as his retirement portfolio grows and these Islands decline.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Viewpoint

About the Author ()

Comments (48)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    A big problem you may not notice Is the fact that there is no justice in the cayman islands unless you have lots of money.and that justice is only for the person with the $$

    Let me explain. Lets say you have a problem and can afford to hire Peter, or he feels for your cause. You get to court and he is up againsed a regular local attorney . Before you ever get to trial the other side with the regular attorney wants to settle because they know they will loose in trial.

    I sat in court a few times to watch this this unfold  The one woman attorney made the other attorney seem like a child  and the weaker attorney knew it. No matter what the smarter attorney could outwit the weaker . Weather the truth or not and that is the problem.

    Justice is supposed to be blind.

    Thus Cayman has a big Problem and I dont have a solution.



    • Anonymous says:

      Dude, that is not a "Cayman" issue. That is the case in every adversarial legal system.  

    • Anonymous says:

      You should friend should have engaged a better lawyer then.  You get what you pay for.

  2. Anonymous says:

    12.22. You are correct. The Constitution does not say so at all and indeed speaks spcifically to legal aid when a person has been charged with a criminal offence. Indeed the heading of section 7 refers to a fair trial. Legal aid before charge does not fall under this section or any other. I guess justice Henderson was givinga broad and liberal interpretation of section 7.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I do think that this section about free legal advice is being misinterpreted, because I have read the constitution and it does not say that at all.  However, since Mr. Polack said it I am going to ask him to quote the section and exactly what it says.

  4. bradley says:


    1. That districts can do their own referendums to stop large and invasive projects by well-off folk that impacts not only the environment but communities. (Eg. the South Sound incident where we had over 1000 signatures and still project was given planning's approval. That is no democracy)

    2. That powers are taken away from the Governor or any other Governor to ever dissolve a people's Constitution and deem it immaterial. (Eg. This happen in Turks and Caicos in 2009 when the UK declared full British rule on them and they were not allowed to vote for a number of years; the Governor was a dictatorial firgure head. Still there was no excuse to take away the people's Constitution. The UN oppose the UK's hypocrisy to the world)

    3. That a person shall not be an MLA no more than 2 or 3 terms

    Shall we go ….


  5. Anonymous says:

    The enforcement of the constitution is a shame in fact its shameful. The nation should be disgusted and indeed it should be interesting indeed how they deal with legal aid funding. Legal Aid needs to be expanded 5 fold in Cayman to allow for JUSTICE instead it is brought to the butcher and trimmed down to provide for murders drug dealers and "abused spouses" -as a consequence we have a lot of "abusive allegations" in the family courts save for two cases to mind (Dart Road Case) and (Rivers Election Case) this seems to be the rule. For the average man to have justice it seems as if it needs to be a concern of thousands of petitioners or under the fine tooth of international observes.


    Perhaps it is time to have a petition on the state of Legal Aid in this country. What good is $100 million in surplus if the average man can't have some justice.

    Two ships left from England to Cayman; Peace and Justice. Justice and most hands deck were lost in a storm. Peace arrive but seemingly since Ivan is now in a tattered state.

    • Anonymous says:

      why is legal aid provided for matrimonal/divorce or custody cases? I thought it was only for criminal.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The unconstitutionality of the barring of resident children from free state primary education is being completely ignored, despite Cayman having a legal obligation to provide it.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Premier thinks that there is not an absolute legal obligation to do so because of the words "within available resources" in section 20 of the Constitution…


      • Anonymous says:

        Which is nonsense as that exemption would be narrowly read so as to comply with the nations ECHR obligations.  Anyway any funds that are paid for tertiary education, which is not a state obligation, can be applied to meet this requirement.

    • Anonymous says:

       19:43.Talk about entitlement mentality.Wow.

      • Anonymous says:

        No, rather a request that the state complies with its fundamental human rights obligations towards children.

    • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        Cite some cases following Gillow.

        • Anonymous says:

          There have been none dealing with the Small Island Exception. It therefore is and remains the law.

          • Anonymous says:

            No.  It is a rogue, outdated, obscure outlier, which does reflect the modern position.  It certainly does not form the basis for the mythical "Small Island Exception", with capital letters or otherwise.  And it certainly does not provide the basis for an education system that breaches several articles of the ECHR when comptaibility with the ECHR.

            • Anonymous says:

              The debate is irrelevant. Even if you were right, the government could simply limit the numbers of resident expatriate children.

              • Anonymous says:

                I think Article 8 probably bars sterlisation . . . .

                • Anonymous says:

                  But it does not prevent them from being allowed to mover here in the first place!

    • Anonyanmous says:

      It is unconstitutional to barr any child from attending primary school, so challenge it! If you cannot afford to have your child here in school then send them back to their country of origin where it will be free.  Heck you get an inch now you want the whole yard too, this is what I call entitlement.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is not a failed Constitution, Peter, but I agree it is time for a review to see what amendments may be necessary or appropriate. That is a normal part of the process.  

    • Anonymous says:

      There are many things that are not stated in the Constitution that should be there pertaining to our democratic rights.

      I don't know about you and your raters, but as a born Caymanian IT IS MORE THAN A FAILURE!

  8. Anonymous says:

    The AG was only recently given status in 05 i do believe – he is in no way, shape or form a caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      15:27, it is ironic that in a comment on a piece by Mr Polack dealing, inter alia, with human right issues, you should make such a bigoted (and innaccurate under the law) remark as you do.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is also ironic that 15:27 is commenting on a piece by Mr Polack, who is, like Mt Bulgin, a native born Jamaican who was granted Caymanian Status and is therefore, under the law, a Caymanian. Repeat, a Caymanian. With supporters and "friends" like 15:27, Mr Polack does not need enemies!!

        • Anonymous says:

          13:35.I believe that if you carefully read the constitution you may just discover that having Caymanian status does not equate to being a Caymanian.

          • Anonymous says:

            My good God Almighty, 1:43. no wonder Maples, Walkers, Campbells and the rest want to get lawyers from overseas if your intellect is anything to go by. Wishing something to be the case does not make it the true situation. Bobo.  I suppose that is the way we are supposed to address "real" Caymanians nowadays. I hope to Christ you are not a lawyer.

            • Anonymous says:

              You are only reflecting your own prejudice against Caymanians. 

            • Anonymous says:

              Wow. An anonymous person posts on CNS and you assume (a) that he/she is a lawyer, (b) tthat they are Caymanian, and (c) their ability is representative of all Caymanian lawyers. Racist much? 

          • Anonymous says:

            And if you were to read the immigration law you would find that you cannot be Caymanian without having Caymanian Status.

        • Anonymous says:

          Compare when the two Jamaicans (Pollack and Bulgin) arrived here, when they each received status and the legal experience of both.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right.  He is in no way, shape or form a Caymanian, apart from being a Caymanian.  Yes, other than being a Caymanian he is definitely not a Caymanian at all.

      • Anonymous says:

        Other than being a paper Caymanian by virtue of the likely unlawful status grants which he advised on while being a recipient of a grant.   

        • Anonymous says:

          What is this paper Caymanian status you speak of?  In my UK passport the stamp merely states "The holder is a Caymanian.."  Do I need to go back to immigration and have them use a different stamp?

        • windinguup says:

          Let me rephrase that for you…he is a Caymanian in the eyes of everyone except a small group xenophobic nutters that most people find funny/ slightly scary

          • Anonymous says:

            Actually, if the grant was unlawful, it is void and of no effect. Nothing to do with nutters.

            • Anonymous says:

              Nunsense.  It has granted the recipient settled resident rights under Article 8 of the ECHR.  So they are almost impossible to move now.

          • Anonymous says:

            By which you of course mean the majority of Caymanians reflecting your own prejudice and stupidity. Obviously, we are entitled to disrespect whatever has not been done lawfully.  

          • anonymous says:

            Define small group? I seem to be meeting more and more.

            • Anonymous says:

              You need to get out more.  Perhaps you should socialize at Camana Bay, the miserable sorts don't tend to go there.

              • anonymous says:

                I think I need to go out less. Take a walk past the fish market, leery and loud creepy guys sat on the wall clutching beers. Mary street, some guy rolling round on the floor shouting. Cafe del sol, another guy eating out of the garbage pail. Bus station, yet another collection point for creepy guys that hiss and hold themselves.Finally, get to work and it is only 0830, most of them are about up yet.

    • The REAL Truth says:

      I think you mean to say that he is not part of the current ruling Caymanian tribe.  Like most Caymanians.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks again for your insights and willingness to educate the public Mr. Pollack.

    Maybe we need to advocate taking our concerns to the FCO regarding their life time appointment or at very least give us the reason for keeping the AG is his position until HE decides to leave.

    [Please don't start with the 'he's a Caymanian' because if he was an Englishman married to a Cayman, he would have been gone a long time ago.]