Constitution gets royal nod

| 12/06/2009

(CNS): According to a statement from the Governor’s Office, the draft Constitution was considered and approved by the Privy Council yesterday, 10 June, in the UK. This means that the draft Constitution, which received a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum last month, will now become the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009. However, it will be several months, Governor Stuart Jack says, before he proclaims the ‘Appointed Day’ because of what he described as considerable work to be done to prepare the country for many of its requirements.

Following Privey Council approval, the next step is to place the order before the UK Parliament, which is set for 17 June, and after that Governor Jack will then be required to decide the ‘Appointed Day’ — the legal term for the start date.

On that day, the new Constitution will come into effect and the present Constitution will be repealed in its entirety. However, even when the appointed day arrives not all of the stipulations will be implemented immediately. During the negotiations, for example, it was agreed that the Bill of Rights would be phased in over a three year period.

Jack said that while everyone was anxious for the constitutional transition to take place as quickly as possible, as governor he must ensure that good governance is maintained and he would not set the ‘Appointed Day’ for several months, as a considerable amount of work would be required before the constitution could take effect.

“In selecting the ‘Appointed Day I must ensure that all essential tasks that are necessary for the smooth introduction of the new Constitution have been completed,” the governor said.  Failure to ensure this may leave us with damaging constitutional voids, which could become messy, complex or legally deficient.  While I am not yet in a position to set the Appointed Day I can say that it will not be for several months.

He said the priority tasks that will need to be completed before the start date include the creation and reorganisation of a number of government posts and offices; the amendment of a slate of existing laws; and the preparation of a number of new constitutional bodies that currently do not exist, such as the National Security Council, the Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy, and the Judicial and Legal Services Commission.

 "After the Appointed Day a great deal of additional work will still have to take place to fully implement other parts of the Constitution,” the governor added. “None of us should underestimate the magnitude of the task before us, particularly in the lead-up to the start date.  The completion of all this work will require the full cooperation and coordination of government agencies, theCabinet and the Legislative Assembly.

He said that aside from receiving technical advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, he has appointed a small team of civil servants under the Deputy Chief Secretary to identify the tasks that are absolutely essential before the new Constitution can be brought into effect, and to draft an implementation plan that will encompass everything that has to be done both before and after the start — work that was already well advanced.

Before deciding the date on which the new Constitution will come into effect I must seek views on the implementation plan from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Cabinet, which will need to agree certain actions. I will then make a public announcement,” Governor Jack explained.

He said that while there was a lot to be done to enjoy the benefits of the new Constitution, it was important that the administrative and legal gaps that would otherwise undermine its effective working were addressed. The governor also stated that regular reports on the progress towards implementation would be provided to Cabinet, and the public would be kept abreast of ongoing developments.

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  1. "Left-wing lunatic fringe" and proud of it! says:

    You guys are missing the point. From a human rights perspective this lame constitution is like buying a new car with no tires and rationalizing it by saying, "Aw shucks, we can always get tires later."

    That’s stupid. You tell the dealer that you want round rubber tires on your new car before you hand him a check. No matter if he tries to tell you that pre-existing oval tirescan work really swell or that you can get real tires with a referendum down the road some day.


    You people act like this constitution was written in stone and fell from the heavens and we should be happy with it because it is better than the old one. Don’t you realize that some people in the UK and some people from here wrote and shaped this thing? They could have and should have included a real bill of rights. It’s a disgrace.

    It’s sad to see people say openly that they don’t want constitutional protection from unjust discrimination based on race, gender and handicaps for all Caymanians. Truly sad.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Come on guys, am I correct in saying that the new constitution can be amended?

    • Olivaire Watler says:

      "Come on guys, am I correct in saying that the new constitution can be amended?"

      It will require a referendum. Other territories like Anguilla change their Constitutions every ten years or so. What is the big deal? 

  3. noname says:

    To all those who claim Cayman should have more liberal human rights in our constitution, you know that will never happen here right?

    As a matter of fact you people do not really want more human rights, you wanted less. After all you did not vote yes in the referendum, because you wanted the status quo to remain. That was an old set of rules that did not include anything remotely to do with basic human rights.

    So grow up or go over to USA or Europe where everything is perfect! 

    Please stop pulling the woll over people eyes! 

  4. Anonymous says:

    To: "Left-wing lunatic fringe" and proud of it!

    I must say you do come across as a left-wing extremist….I like to think that I’m centre-left and I agree that the constitution that we got was one of the times for Caymanians…I do agree that the bill of rights in lacking in some areas but giving horizontal rights in this country at this time is NOT in the best interests of the majority of Caymanians. Some of the issues that people would want to be addressed by the new constitution and bill of rights are ALREADY in place by way of laws and regulations. And lets not forget that a constitution is a document that CAN be amended…But that is just my opinion.

    I read the draft constitution and thought LONG and HARD about the consequences of implementing it…as an intelligent and self-preserving Caymanian, I voted yes. My future and that of my children depended on it. I don’t feel that I should have to explain why I want preferential treatment of Caymanians in my own country, it is our country. Basic human rights are in the provisions….and yes, while there could be some improvements…remember that we are coming from a situation of having NONE.


  5. "Left-wing lunatic fringe" and proud of it! says:

    Huh? Are you serious?

    I’m a "liberal extremist" and part of the "left-wing lunatic fringe" because I think our new constitution should have had basic modern horizontal protection against racial, gender and handicap discrimination for all people?

    Let me guess, you faithfully watch Glenn Beck on Fox News and you always check with your pastor before voting. You thought George W. Bush was a great leader and you think God steers hurricanes away from Cayman–except when we let too many gay tourists visit. Am I right? Come on, be honest…  Yeah, thought so. Nailed it!

    The bill of rights in this constitution is a sham and an embarrassment to the Cayman Islands. You insult the intelligence and decency of Caymanians when you suggest that this is the best we can do and this is appropriate considering where we are now. Geez, we cannot be that retarded.

    I hope one day you will recognize the necessity and value of human rights for all.

    If/when that day comes, the discomforting ache you will feel in your gut is the guilt you deserve for defending such a backward and anti-people constitution.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Let me guess, you faithfully watch Glenn Beck on Fox News and you always check with your pastor before voting. You thought George W. Bush was a great leader and you think God steers hurricanes away from Cayman–except when we let too many gay tourists visit. Am I right? Come on, be honest…  Yeah, thought so. Nailed it!"

      Not! I watch MSNBC and CNN, advise myself about voting, thought that George Bush was a bit of a buffoon. Do I believe in God? You bet!  

      You have an unbalanced of things because of your tunnel vision.    

  6. Sue them says:

    To the extent that the new consitution does not protect rights guaranteed under the European Convention, anyone in Cayman can now sue the UK government for damages or injunctions in the UK under the Human Rights Act.  If the Constitution is found to be wanting re the ECHR the English High Court can order that it be corrected and this does not need to be approved by any body in Cayman.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If you think our human rights are lacking then find another Country! Otherwise get over it….well done PPM and NGO’s….sorry but personally don’t feel UDP assisted this process in any way – as a matter of fact they fought it every step of the way! Anyways, sounds like they are suddenly in love with it….no doubt they want credit for it but none from me!

  8. self-flagilator says:

    You are clueless. You fell for the lie from the government and the Cayman Taliban who said, "It’s this or nuthin’!"

    We easily could have had a constitution that included basic human rights. We did not because Kurt Tibbetts and Alden McLaughlin made a deal with the Devil (in this case, the Cayman fundamentalist Christian looney leaders who see gay people lurking in every shadow).

    Kurt and Alden promised a constitution that was gutted of meaningful human rights in exchange for the loonie vote. It’s fitting justice that their plan didn’t work out so well. (And, for the record, the UDP bunch is no better than the PPM on human rights. They may even be worse, considering who they gave control of gender affairs.).

    Look, if you don’t get things like racism and discrmination against women and the handicapped that’s your problem. Time will tell.

    Future generations of Caymanians will look back on the vote to accept this constitution with amazement. They will wonder if we were evil or just plain stupid. Sadly, it may be a little bit of both.


    • Anonymous says:

      "We easily could have had a constitution that included basic human rights".

      In a few months we will. You are part of that left-wing lunatic fringe that we can do without. If you don’t like what the vast majority of Caymanians want then go find a human rights activist’s utopia and live there. You are not going to impose your will on the rest of us.  

      Future generations of Cayman can vote for their own Constitution, and there will be nothing to be amazed about. Why are we not looking back in amazement at the fact that we adopted the 1972 Constitution?  No, it was appropriate for its time, and the Constitution is appropriate for this time. 

      You are so caught up in your ideology and world view that you cannot see clearly or think logically 

  9. self-flagilator says:

    What a load of crap.

    This constitution is terrible. Only fools who think human rights don’t matter can look at this favorably.

    Bottom line: We are dumb and the UK failed us.

    • Anonymous says:

      "This constitution is terrible. Only fools who think human rights don’t matter can look at this favorably".

      Only liberal extremists hold this view. This is vast improvement on what we have presently which is terrible. It is pretty stupid to opt to retain rather than have the new Constitution.     

  10. Anonymous says:



    Well done PPM Government and  others who worked with you,you may not have won the election but you got the Constitution. Job well done too bad those who opposed are the one’s who now gets to implement it.

    Well done I say again.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Let’s  give credit  where it is due: to the input fromthe Opposition and Government, the ministers association, the public and everyone else on the negotiation team who went to London to ensure its safe passatge.

    No one person or party can claim responsibility for this.  This is the peoples document and their contribution is nothing to sneeze at.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Good Job Alden, you worked very hard on the new constitution. We say congrats to the PPM Gov’t. Thanks great job!