Tribunal to investigate “Judicial Misbehaviour”

| 26/09/2008

(CNS): Amidst turmoil surrounding the arrest of one Grand Court judge comes the announcement of the date and terms of the Investigating Tribunal, appointed by H.E. the Governor Stuart Jack, which will investigate allegations that Grand Court Justice Priya Levers’s conduct in court amounts to "misbehaviour". The Tribunal will commence in two months’ time.

A release from the Governor’s Office said that the Tribunal, which was announced on 16 September, would convene for the hearing on Monday, 24 November 2008. The Governor has appointed Sir Andrew Leggatt (right) as Chairman, and has also appointed Sir Philip Otton (below left) and Sir David Simmons (below right) to the Tribunal. Sir Andrew Leggatt and Sir Philip Otton are Privy Counsellors and former Lords Justices of Appeal. Sir David Simmons is the Chief Justice of Barbados.

According to the release, the Tribunal is expected to last for up to three weeks, and will conduct its proceedings in accordance with six stated Terms of Reference:

“The Investigating Tribunal is requested to consider allegations that between August 2005 and April 2008 Madam Justice Levers’ conduct, manner and behaviour towards witnesses, attorneys, court staff and judges officiating in the Cayman Islands was such as, when taken together, amount to misbehaviour, as set out in section 49J (2) of the Cayman Islands (Constitution) Amendment Order 1993.

“The Tribunal should carry out a factual investigation and report to the Governor whether the conduct of Madam Justice Levers taken as a whole has fallen below the standard reasonably to be expected of a holder of the office of Judge of the Grand Court so as to warrant proceedings for her removal.

“The Tribunal should make such inquiries as it deems appropriate and should consider in particular the matters referred to in: The Case Summary dated 12 July 2008 prepared on behalf of the Governor; Madam Justice Levers’ response dated 7 August 2008; and the Amended Case Summary dated 13 August 2008 prepared on behalf of the Governor.

“Subject to section 49J (5) of the Cayman Islands (Constitution) Amendment Order 1993 and the Commissions of Enquiry Law (1997 Revision) it is for the Tribunal to decide how to conduct the investigation and what evidence (including oral evidence) it considers necessary.

“The Governor will make available to the Tribunal and to Madam Justice Levers the documents which he has identified as relevant to the inquiry and in particular to the matters referred to in the documents listed in paragraph 3 above.

“The Tribunal will use its best endeavours to complete its inquiry and report to the Governor within three months of the date when the inquiry opens.”

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