Archive for February 9th, 2009

Newsweek plans makeover to fit a smaller audience

| 09/02/2009 | 0 Comments

(New York Times): When US Airways Flight 1549 glided safely onto the Hudson River last month, Newsweek did what news organizations have done for more than a century — it sent reporters and photographers to the scene. Considerable effort yielded a modest article on Newsweek’s Web site, and nothing in the printed magazine. If a similar episode happens six months from now, editors say, Newsweek probably will not even bother. Newsweek is about to begin a major change in its identity, with a new design, a much smaller and, it hopes, more affluent readership, and some shifts in content. Go to article

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Missing teenager found

| 09/02/2009 | 9 Comments

(CNS): Police have now confirmed that Caitlin Amanda Scott has been found. The 13 year old teenager went missing on Sunday evening and police put out a public alert today to appeal to her or her friends to make contact with friends and family to let them no she was OK. This evening the RCIPS said that she was now safe and well.

Concerns were raised after Caitlin was last seen near her home address in Will T Road, Bodden Town at around 6.30pm on Sunday evening.  Chief Inspector Peter Kennett said on Monday that the young girl was not in any  trouble but her family just wanted to know that she was OK and appealed for her to make contact. Kennett stated it was unusual for Caitlin to go missing

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Cops turn up drugs and ammo in East End raid

| 09/02/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): A large amount of ammunition and a quantity of cocaine were seized by police this weekend during an operation in East End which resulted in the arrest of a 22-year-old man on Friday 6 February. The operation took place in Seaview Drive and involved officers from East End and the Drugs Task Force. The man remains in police custody and a second man, aged 18, was also arrested on suspicion of possession and consumption of cocaine.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) said criminals should be feeling the pressure as detectives from Bodden Town Criminal Investigation Department also arrested a 35-year-old woman on suspicion of burglary on Friday.

 “Criminals in the eastern districts should not relax for a moment,” said Area Commander, Chief Inspector Richard Barrow. “We have a dedicated team of officers committed to making the eastern districts as safe as they can be working around the clock. We will continue to target those involved in crime and ask the community to join with us and assist when they can. If you spot suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, or know of someone who is involved in crime – do let us know.”

Officers from the eastern districts also arrested and a 40-year-old man on suspicion of various driving offences including driving without being licensed, driving without insurance and careless driving. Meanwhile, Police officers in George Town and West Bay were also kept very busy this weekend with various crimes.

In George Town police arrested a 30-year-old man on suspicion of possessing a prohibited weapon; a 38-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol; an 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct; a 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of taking a vehicle and driving away without the owners consent; a 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and disorderly conduct;  a 32-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol; and a 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass.

In West Bay a 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault causing grievous bodily harm following an investigation by the Family Support Unit; a 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of robbery; an 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault causing actual bodily harm;  a 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence of alcohol;  a 48-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession and consumption of ganja; a 27-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of consumption of ganja; three men aged 43, 21 and 19 were arrested on suspicion of consumption of ganja; a 20-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and two women, aged 39 and 23, were arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly, threatening violence and resisting arrest. During a road block, two men aged 34 and 54 were also arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Iguana eating tourists arrested in Bahamas

| 09/02/2009 | 1 Comment

( Two American tourists have been arrested after photographs of people cooking and eating endangered iguanas in the Exuma Cays were posted on a social networking website. Friends of those responsible for posting the pictures on Facebook circulated the photographs in an e-mail that worked its way to executive director of the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Eric Carey on MOnday afternoon. Horrified by the gruesome images of the critically endangered species being butchered, grilled and devoured,  Mr Carey alerted staff at the BNT Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. Go to article

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God debate on the move

| 09/02/2009 | 0 Comments

( word of God is on the move in London — literally. Beginning Feb. 9, three different Christian groups launch new ad campaigns on the iconic red buses today to counter that recently run by an atheist movement that told people there probably was no God and to stop worrying. In response the Christians are running their own campaigns to convince people of God’s existence. Go to article.

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Scholarships up for grabs for UK study

| 09/02/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Caymanians who are interested in postgraduate study in the United Kingdom have until Sunday 1 March 2009 to apply for  the prestigious Chevening Scholarship Award. A Foreign and Commonwealth Office programme, it offers funding to outstanding graduates for study at any one of the many British universities that subscribe to the Chevening programme. Awards are normally for one-year masters programmes, but may also be considered for other courses of a minimum three months duration.


As the programme is intended for future leaders and decision-makers, successful applicants must demonstrate this level of potential. According to Government Information Services (GIS) there is strong competition for the limited number of scholarships that are offered each year. 

Over the past thirteen years, some 24 Caymanians have received Chevening scholarships for postgraduate study in Britain. Previous scholars have returned to the Cayman Islands to take up employment in a number of Government Departments and elsewhere. The Chevening programme is administered locally by the Governor’s Office and the Education Council.

Further information on the Chevening scholarship programme can be found at

Applications for the scheme are to be submitted online and the relevant forms and guidance can be found at

Information is also available on the Governor’s Office website

Completed applications must be submitted by the Sunday 1 March 2009 deadline. Please contact Melenie Mylrea at the Governor’s Office 1 345 244 2431 or


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Civil servants delighted by outcome of talks

| 09/02/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): the president of the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association (CICSA) has said he and the membership are ecstatic over the excellent news that Cayman’s new constitution will not deprive senior civil servants of their democratic rights. Following the Association’s written submission to the talks in the UK, the proposal to include a 12 month hiatus before top public servants could run for political office after resigning has been dropped.

“The Management Council spent many, many hours in endeavouring to put our position forward,” said CICSA President James Watler. “We met with a number of interested parties in regards to giving us their support.  Many of our members made contact with us and gave us their full support as we pressed forward in making our position clear on the issue at hand.”

Watler explained that before the delegation went to London, he and a delegation from the Association’s Management Council met with Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush to put forward their case.

“It is our belief that the nation’s Constitution is not the place to address the issue of a hiatus or break period for senior civil servants.  We stand by our convictions that currently the PSML (Public Service Management Law) and Regulations and the code of conduct can adequately take care of the concern as was expressed by Mr Bush,” he said. 

“CICSA was shocked and appalled to see this inserted into the Constitution at the last round of discussions that was held in Cayman a couple of weeks ago.  How could anyone in this day and age agree with such a stance!  Just about two weeks ago we celebrated 50 years since Caymanian women gained the right to vote and be able to offer their services as a candidate for election, and as we have so passionately celebrated this wonderful turning of events, we are now about to snatch away the rights of civil servants who may want to serve their country in a greater and more dynamic way.”

Following the strong and emphatic submission to the talks, however, the proposal which had been initiated by the opposition was dropped. The proposal had its origins in the issues surrounding recommendations made by Sir Richard Tucker following the tribunal regarding Minister Charles Clifford’s decision to leak documents to the local press after he resigned from his post of permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism before running for office.

In his written letter to the constitutional talks, Watler noted that a hiatus would not prevent anyone from leaking documents but merely disenfranchise an undisclosed number of people from the real democratic process.


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New Insolvency Law to modernise process

| 09/02/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): It has been a while in the making, but it has finally happened.  The updating of Cayman’s law of corporate insolvency, an area of Cayman Islands law that, especially in the current economic situation, is crucial to our financial services industry will take effect on 1 March 2009. With the publication in an ‘extraordinary’ or special issue of the Cayman Islands Gazette published on Friday 23 January, of three new sets of procedural rules dealing with how insolvency matters are conducted, as well as an amendment to the Grand Court Rules, the overhaul of Cayman’s insolvency regime is achieved.

 Amendments to the Companies Law that were enacted in 2007, but not brought into force pending the preparation of the rules, will now enter into effect on 1 March 2009, at the same time as the new rules. 

The new rules are The Companies Winding-up Rules 2008, The Insolvency Practitioners’ Regulations 2008, The Foreign Bankruptcy Proceedings (international Co-operation Rules 2008 and the Grand Court (Amendment No. 2 Rules) 2008.

Until now, insolvency procedure in the Cayman Islands has been governed by what can only be described as something of a fudge.

Order 102, rule 17 of the Grand Court Rules provided that “all proceedings concerning or arising out of the liquidation of any company shall, so far as practicable, be made in accordance with The Insolvency Rules 1986 (S.I. 1986/1925) [of the United Kingdom] insofar as such rules are not inconsistent with the Law or such other rules as may be applied to the proceeding in question.”

Although this was somehow made to work tolerably well for many years, it was clearly less than satisfactory, not least because of the significant differences between the substantive insolvency law of England and the Cayman Islands, which meant that large sections of the Insolvency Rules 1986 were irrelevant or inapplicable.  Both a committee of private sector practitioners in 2002 and the government’s Law Reform Commission in 2006 recommended, along with the modernisation of Cayman’s substantive law of insolvency, the adoption of specific insolvency rules for the jurisdiction.  They also recommended the codification of the extensive cross-border co-operation in insolvency cases that was already taking place.

Similar uncertainty historically surrounded the question of the qualifications to act as liquidator of a company, particularly in a jurisdiction that does not have its own insolvency practitioner or accountancy qualification.  The Grand Court was simply empowered to appoint such persons as it thought fit.  The opportunity has been taken to introduce some specific criteria for eligibility, and also to codify the rules relating to liquidators’ remuneration.

The new rules and regulations, together with the replacement of Part V of the Companies Law (dealing with insolvency generally) and the introduction of Part XVI (dealing with international co-operation), represent a major enhancement of the Cayman Islands’ legislative framework.  They provide the jurisdiction with an up-to-date and well thought-out insolvency regime specifically tailored to meet the needs of users of the Cayman Islands as a major financial centre.

The Companies Winding-up Rules 2008: These rules, to be cited as ‘CWR,’ represent the first procedural rules for insolvency matters specifically adopted for the Cayman Islands.  They replace the UK’s Insolvency Rules 1986 (S.I. 1986/1925) (‘IR86’) in relation to all proceedings commenced, and all steps taken in existing proceedings, after 1 March 2009.

In many areas, particularly where the underlying law is similar, the CWR closely follow the terms of the IR86 (specifically Part 4, being the part of IR86 dealing with the winding up of companies), with only minor local modifications.  These areas include: the form, content and service of statutory demands; the presentation, filing, advertisement and hearing of winding-up petitions; the appointment and removal of official liquidators; the holding of meetings of creditors or contributories; the filing and determination of proofs of debt and related appeals; mutual credit, set-off and netting; interest; and the collection and distribution of assets.  

Even in these areas there are differences.  A line-by-line comparison is beyond the scope of this article.  There is no substitute for detailed review of the new rules with regard to the circumstances of each particular case.

Other parts of the CWR are intended to address procedures that differ from those available in England & Wales, such as voluntary winding up subject to court supervision, or petitions presented by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, or adopt significantly different approaches to particular topics. Selected highlights in these areas are set outbelow.

Contributories’ petitions: these are covered by CWR O. 3, r. 11-12, in rather different terms to IR86 rules 4.22 and 4.23.  In particular, the directions to be given by the court are required to address whether the company can properly participate in the proceedings or is to be treated merely as the subject matter of the proceedings, and whether the petition should be treated as a proceeding against the company or as one between particular members of the company.

Monetary Authority petitions (CWR O. 3, r. 13-15): the special rules for this type of petition (usually brought under a power granted to the Authority under one of the regulatory laws and in relation to a regulated entity) provide for the service and filing of the petition, the giving of directions for the hearing of the petition, and for any member, director or professional service provider of the company to appear at the hearing, having first given three days’ notice.

Sanction applications: CWR O. 11 provides a specific regime for the making of applications by official liquidators for the court’s approval of a specific course of action, or by the liquidation committee or specific creditors to compel or prevent such a course of action.  These applications are collectively defined as ‘sanction applications,’ and the rules specify who must be served, who may be heard and what evidence is to be adduced.  Sanction applications will generally be heard in chambers.

Payment of dividends: a significant difference between the way this is addressed in CWR O.18 and IR86 Part 11 is that the latter’s requirement (absent specific circumstances laid down in the rules) that the official liquidator pay each dividend within four months of the last date for proving in relation to that dividend has not found its way into the CWR at all.  The official liquidator must still give notice of his intention to declare a dividend and set a last date for proving, but there is no specific time within which it must then be paid.  This may have been to allow greater flexibility in cross-border cases, where it is desirable to co-ordinate with foreign procedures applying to related estates and those procedures make a set time limit difficult to operate. 

International protocols: official liquidators of Cayman companies that are the subject of parallel insolvency proceedings in another jurisdiction, or whose assets overseas are subject to foreign bankruptcy or receivership proceedings come under a new duty contained in CWR O. 21, r. 2.  They are now obliged to consider whether it is appropriate to enter into an international protocol with any foreign officeholder.  If they do, rule 3 sets out the areas such a protocol may cover.  Such protocols have to be approved by the court and cannot exclude the jurisdiction of the court.

Unclaimed dividends and undistributed assets: the question of what to do with amounts of money left over at the end of a liquidation because, for example, dividend cheques sent to creditors have been returned undelivered or have not been presented often exercises the minds of official liquidators.  CWR O. 23 now provides a specific regime for this situation, involving a post-liquidation trust.  The former liquidator holds the assets on trust for the creditors of the now-dissolved company for one year after the dissolution.  Provision is made for the payment of his fees for so acting.  If the assets are still unclaimed after a year, they pass to the Financial Secretary, to be administered by him under the Public Management and Finance Law.


The Insolvency Practitioners’ Regulations 2008: For the first time, insolvency practitioners in Cayman will have to meet defined criteria for appointment as official liquidators.  Those criteria relate to four areas: professional qualifications, residence, independence and insurance.

Professional qualifications.  A person must either:

(a)        be licensed as an insolvency practitioner in England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada; or

(b)        be qualified as a professional accountant by a ‘relevant institute,’ in good standing with such institute, have a minimum of five years’ experience in the restructuring or winding-up of businesses and be credited with not less than 2,500 chargeable hours of work in that area. (‘Relevant institute’ is defined as an institute listed in Schedule 2 of the Public Accountants Law, but this is an error in the drafting, as that schedule was repealed in 2008.  The right to approve accountancy institutes for the purposes of qualification to practise in Cayman is now vested in the Council of the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants.  The Regulations will presumably be amended in due course to correct this point.)

There is, however, a ‘grandfathering’ provision, in that anyone who has been appointed by the Court as an official liquidator of a company at any time within the five years immediately preceding the commencement date (i.e. since 1 March 2004) remains eligible for appointments. 

Residence.  It will be a condition of appointment that a person is resident in the Cayman Islands and that he, or his firm, has the appropriate ‘trade and business licence.’  However, a foreign practitioner who meets the independence and insurance requirements described below may be appointed jointly with a local practitioner who is eligible for appointment under the rules, but not as sole official liquidator.  This reflects and codifies the current practice of the Grand Court.

Independence.  A person who is not independent of the debtor company may not be appointed.  Specifically, if a practitioner or his firm has audited the company in the last three years he is excluded.

Insurance.  Insolvency practitioners will now have to have professional indemnity cover of at least US$10 million per claim and $20 million in aggregate with a deductible of not more than $100,000.  The Court can require higher limits of cover in specific cases.  Practice Direction No. 1 of 2003 already requires cover of at least $10 million per claim but the requirements as to overall cover and level of deductible are new. 

The other main area covered by the new regulations is the remuneration of official liquidators.  Regulations 10 to 15 broadly follow the current approach, where ultimate control over remuneration rests with the Court.  The Regulations take account of the fact that the new Companies Winding-up Rules (CWR) formally establish the concept of Liquidation Committees, and provide for the negotiation, conclusion and approval by the Court, of a ‘remuneration agreement.’  This can provide for remuneration on the basis of time spent, percentage of distributions, percentage of realisations, a fixed fee or any combination of those methods.  The Schedule to the Regulations sets limits in each type of case.  For remuneration by time spent, a range is set for each of a number of levels of staff.  Remuneration agreements concluded under the Regulations cannot require Official Liquidators to accept less than the lower end of those ranges, nor can the liquidation committee agree to pay more than the top of the range.

It is notable that the regulations refer to the committee ‘agreeing to pay’: in fact the committee’s approval, both of the basis of remuneration and the amount sought by the liquidator for a given period, is not conclusive.  The liquidator still has to apply to the court, providing the court with the report and accounts already given to the committee and evidence of the committee’sposition.  If the liquidation committee’s approval is not forthcoming, the official liquidator has to apply to the court for the determination of the matter.

Where there is no liquidation committee, provision is made for a meeting of the creditors or contributories to be held and for their views to be taken.

The provisions of the regulations relating to appointment of liquidators apply to appointments after 1 March 2009.  Those relating to remuneration agreements and approval of rates of remuneration apply to work done after that date.  The provisions concerning approval of payments in respect of remuneration apply to all applications made after that date.

The Foreign Bankruptcy Proceedings (International Co-operation) Rules 2008: These Rules regulate applications made under the new Part XVI of the Companies Law, and come into operation on 1 March 2009 along with Part XVI itself.  They comprise only three operative provisions. 

Rule 2 lays down the procedure to be followed on an application by a foreign representative for a declaration that he is entitled to act on behalf of a debtor.  It prescribes the contents of the petition by which such applications are to be made and the evidence that must be filed in its support.  Notably, this includes an affidavit of foreign law explaining the powers and duties of the foreign representative under the law of his place of appointment.

Rule 3 makes similar provision in relation to applications for ancillary orders such as injunctions, orders for stay of enforcement, examination or delivery up of property.  These applications are made by originating summons and must be supported by an affidavit setting out the basis on which it is alleged that the order should be made against the particular respondent, as well as an affidavit of foreign law as under Rule 2.

Rule 4 requires any Cayman company, and any foreign company registered in Cayman, that is made the subject of foreignbankruptcy proceedings to give notice of that fact to the Registrar and advertise it in the Cayman Islands Gazette.

The Appendix to the Rules contains prescribed forms of the various orders.  It is notable that the headings of all the prescribed orders begin ‘In the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, Financial Services Division.’  There has not to date been any announcement of the establishment of such a division.

The Grand Court (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2008: Because the Grand Court Rules are a comprehensive procedural code used by practitioners on a daily basis both in court and in their offices, amendments are always made by replacement of entire Orders within the GCR, enabling the substitution of the relevant pages in printed copies.  Accordingly, these Amendment Rules replace the existing Orders 1 and 102 of the GCR with new versions set out in an appendix, even though the changes are relatively minor and entirely consequential upon the introduction of the Companies Winding-up Rules 2008.  They also revoke Practice Directions 1 of 2003 (Official Liquidators: Security for the Due Performance of their Duties) and 1 of 2006 (Liquidators’ Remuneration), both of which subjects are now dealt with by the Insolvency Practitioners’ Regulations 2008.



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Latest smartphone arrives

| 09/02/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Despite the economic downtown local telecoms provider LIME is expecting brisk business at its stores this Wednesday when the new BlackBerry Curve 8900 smartphone arrives in Cayman. “There’s always a lot of excitement when we have a new BlackBerry product. The BlackBerry Bold flew off our shelves and I think the new BlackBerry Curve 8900 is going to be very popular as well,” said LIME’s Executive Vice President Commercial, Mariano Doble.

To launch the BlackBerry Curve 8900 smartphone, LIME said that during February any new prepaid or postpaid BlackBerry service subscriber will get 30 days of free data service.  “For anyone who hasn’t yet experienced the ease, convenience and fun of a BlackBerry smartphone, LIME has an offer that makes it easier to try it out,” Doble added.

The latest in the Balckberry range, the Curve 8900 it is the thinnest and lightest full-QWERTY smartphone. Described as having an easy-to-use keyboard, it boasts a wide range of features  include a 3.2-megapixel camera with image stabilization, digital zoom and flash, the ability to record and play video, a media player, a 3.5mm stereo headset jack and headset, and a hot-swappable microSD/SDHC memory card slot with a 1 GB card included. 

In addition to a sleek, stylish design, the BlackBerry Curve 8900 has a large, vivid display with the highest resolution available on a BlackBerry smartphone (480×360), as well as a 512MHz next generation processor for fast and responsive performance. The BlackBerry Curve 8900 also has built-in Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) for extended data coverage and faster web browsing.

Mark Guibert, RIM’s Vice President, Corporate Marketing said it has a compact and refined design with an impressive look and feel.  “It gives you everything you need to stay connected and entertained,” he added. “With rich multimedia capabilities, exceptional mobile email and messaging, enhanced web browsing, premium phone features and easy access to social networking communities, such as Facebook, the BlackBerry Curve 8900 helps you make the most of a mobile lifestyle that spans beyond normal business hours.”

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Bid to stop Levers’ costs fails

| 09/02/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Although the tribunal, appointed to investigate complaints relating to Grand Court Justice Priya Levers, recently agreed to pay 75% of Levers’ costs to defend herself against the accusations of misbehaviour, CNS has learned that attempts were made by the Governor’s Office to overturn that award and reduce the obligation to 20%. However, the attempts failed. Under the current arrangement the Grand Court judge will receive three quarters of her legal costs on a week to week basis and the remaining quarter will be paid to her if the tribunal finds in her favour.

According to sources close to the issue, the Governor’s Office had contacted Sir Philip Otton, one of the tribunal’s judges, stating that they were having difficulty with the award made by the tribunal that obliged the Cayman Islands government to pay Levers’ cost up front. However, the tribunal has refused to alter the award. Justice Levers’ defence attorney, Anthony Akiwumi, recently stated the significance of the tribunal agreeing the fees.

“This was an important issue because the costs of her legal representation in the Tribunal of Inquiry will be substantial and the unanimous decision of the Tribunal of Inquiry in Madam Justice Levers favour is significant.”

Justice Levers also noted recently her right to the hearing when Minister Charles Clifford appeared on Rooster’s morning phone-in show, Crosstalk, suggesting that in the past the government would have paid off the judge instead of incurring the costs of another expensive legal hearing — thereby implying her guilt by his suggestion. Justice Levers herself called in to the show to correct him, saying she had a right to be heard and that the Minister would do well to find out the details of the accusations against her.

“The constitution provides that the only way that a judge can be removed is by holding a tribunal of enquiry and then subsequently that tribunal’s recommendation must be endorsed by the Privy Council,” Justice Levers said. “Since the minister is being asked to fund these exorbitant costs he should find out the nature of the complaint. That, I think, is very important if you are being asked to fund something.”

The full details and nature of the accusations made against Justice Levers have yet to be revealed in the public domain. However, CNS understands they have no connection to any of her judgements or any issues of dishonesty. According to sources, they are of a personal nature and Justice Levers still enjoys widespread support throughout the legal community.

When he announced the tribunal last September, the governor said that in April 2008 certain complaints relating to Justice Levers were brought to his attention.  “Having given the matter the most careful consideration, I have appointed a tribunal under the relevant provisions of the Constitution to inquire into the matter and report back to me,” the governor said at the time.

According to the terms of reference of the tribunal, it will 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.

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