Mac defends legal aid cut

| 15/10/2009

(CNS): The leader of government business has said that the country should not have to pay for expensive lawyers to get “criminals off the hook”. Defending his decision to alter the legal aid policy by sanctioning a legal aid clinic and taking the budget from the courts, McKeeva Bush said the issue of legal aid had been a matter of contention for years, and while the system of jurisprudence might say everybody deserves a fair trial, nowhere does it say the country should pay for it. “I don’t believe the country should may millions of dollars for heinous crimes committed against them,” Bush said on Rooster’s Crosstalk on Thursday morning.

“But of course, it is all wound up in the law and democracy so we spend money on it when we can’t pay for our children or for the handicapped,” he said and added that he was no longer prepared to vote money for lawyers to defend people “who shoot up our children”.

Taking what has long been a populous position that criminals do not deserve to be financed by the state to defend themselves against charges, Bush said the legal aid clinic presented a way for his government to address the original budget allocation of $1.8 million requested by the chief justice, which he did not want to fund.

He admitted that when he made the decision he had not consulted either the CJ or the AG as they were off island but had discussed it with Mrs Catcho from the courts and the solicitor general, Cheryl Richards, who Bush said both backed the idea.

The LoGB further justified his decision when he said both the CJ and the AG had contributed to the reports on the issue from the Law Reform Commission and in public that the legal aid system needed to be addressed. Bush said that the criticisms from the opposition were unfounded and that his ministry would not decided who did and did not get legal aid.

Steve McField, who will be partnering with Theresa Lewis-Pitcairn to create the clinic, said the allocation of legal aid would be means tested and that, based on people’s salary and property ownership, the clinic would administer advice and representation. McField also sought to answer some of the questions that have arisen since the surprise announcement of the policy change late in the LA on Monday night, which the opposition criticised because of the way it was presented in Finance Committee hampering proper debate and a lack of information.

The clinic, McField said, would be employing at least seven qualified attorneys who would be paid salaries. It would have one QC on staff and would also employ paralegals, support staff and train young lawyers. He said the legal aid office would offer a wide range of services as well as defending those facing criminal charges. McField explained that people would be able to go to the clinic for advice on everything from landlord and employer problems to protection from gender violence. The clinic would be available to the community at large but especially to the poor and those who had nowhere to turn.

With a budget of $500,000 for the remainder of this year, increasing to $1.2 million for next, it is apparent the clinic is intended to do far more for far less. McField did not indicate if there would be other sources of funding, whether those using the services would be asked to contribute toward their legal costs within their means, or how they would manage to make a smaller budget do more.

Pitcairn indicated that the clinic would be unlikely to seek pro-bono assistance from the legal community as she said the Cayman Law Society had recently rejected the idea of what it called “compulsory charity”. She said that, in its contribution to the Law Reform Commission’s work, it had said that the provision of adequate access to legal aid is a cost to be borne by government and the whole society, not the legal profession, which she noted made it clear where the legal fraternity in Cayman stood.

McField confirmed that the clinic would now be advertising for lawyers to join and they would be asking people they knew if they would be interested.

Currently there are around 10 local defence attorneys that take up what is a busy criminal legal aid schedule. Some are employed by local law firms and paid a salary directly by their employer, who in turn collects the legal aid hourly rate for the work that those salaried lawyers undertake. As legal aid is paid at $135 per hour regardless of whether it is a QC or junior counse,l it does not usually cover the actual costs, meaning some firms at least are still subsidising the legal aid budget.

Local legal firm Walkers for many years employed a criminal defence attorney purely to undertake legal aid work at a loss to the office, which it has recently closed down as it said it wanted to divert the money it gives back to society to different causes. There are other defence attorneys, however, that survive solely on the $135 hourly rate and it is unclear whether the clinic will be seeking to recruit these individuals or whether they will contract their services.

Nor has it yet been explained when the clinic will begin taking over the defence work of the courts. With a number of major criminal trials still in the pipe line, it is not clear if those cases will remain in the hands of their current attorneys and be paid from the $300,000 in the CJ’s remaining allocation, or if they will be turned over to the new clinic’s attorneys.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    McDinejad knows who the criminals are. After his meeting with Kernohan in the parking lot of the Ritz where he told him "The Bald One" was leaking confidential information to CNN, and I believe it is recorded in the Hansards of the LA, he stated that he always makes it his business to meet with the new Police Commissioner to tell him who the criminals are in his District.

    It naturally follows that McDinejad would therefore know those to whom legal aid should be given. So it’s a nice cushy job for Steve and Theresa. Sit back and collect a big fatsalary, and give out aid when you are told.

    It’s Legal Aid based on the very successful Development Bank model.

  2. Anonymous says:

    As far as I can tell, this office will deal with civil and criminal matters (not corporate).  I have a lot of respect for both Steve and Theresa but… 

    Q.  How many times has Theresa stepped into a courtroom as a defense attorney in either a civil or criminal mater?

    A.     Once.  

    B.     Twice.

    C.     Three times.

     D.     More than four times.

     E.     Never? 

    • Anonymous says:

      What experience does she have managing lawyers either?  She never was past an associate was she?

  3. Anonymous says:

    At least the law firms would not have to worry about spending money to support legal aid.  They can use the additional funds on the increased fees for their expat lawyers and paralegals.

  4. Disgusted and offended says:

    This is perhaps some of the most disturbing news I have seen in a while, probably even more so than the rise of crime that has been brewing on island over the past year or so.  For our newly elected leader to blatantly ignore a basic human right by deeming it unnecessary spending and immoral to his mind whilst foregoing the proper legal channels is, to put it simply, quite appalling!

    Throughout my young life, I’ve always felt fortunate that Cayman never had the sort of ‘dirty history’ is it were, that many other countries around the globe seemed to possess; no heinous oppression, diabolical politicians, mass killings (you get my drift)

    Well, here is a case of shattered rose coloured glasses.

    I am REPULSED that this sort of thing is being allowed to go on and why is no one making a stand?  Has history not taught us that ignoring evil causes only grief and suffering for the innocent?

    Yes, no one likes a criminal, and yes, the guilty should be punished.

    But if one must be punished, do it in a fair, equal manner.  Innocent until proven otherwise is a RIGHT that anyone of any nation, creed, race or sex should be privy to!  If one is guilty then the evidence and prosecution should be able to convict without too much problem if they do it effectively, like wise, if one is innocent the evidence should also prove so.

    To basically say, "Well, if you are accused then you are as good as guilty" is a damning phrase for everyone.  It means we are basically at the mercy of the government and the police.  It means that if you are unfortunate to be the average John Doe, who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and gets convicted you have basically a minute chance of being proven innocent.

    Also, do not forget what happens/happened in other countries that line the pages of our history books:


    Fear of living in you own country

    Lack of other freedoms including speech

    Mass political corruption

    Why are we letting our country go down this road? Have none of you no pride of country? Of SELF? Why are we letting one man DICTATE what HE thinks is best for us? Can we not all, as breathing, thinking human beings do that for ourselves? Why are we letting the government think that we are all babies, incapable of any higher thought and need someone to constantly tell us what is right for us!  DEMOCRACY which he is clearly disdaining, is what the free world is built upon.  

    Past US President Thomas Jefferson once noted that, "If people fear the government; there is tyranny. If the government fears the people; there is liberty."

    Remember that Cayman.


    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly.  What we have now is tyranny, not liberty!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am confused after hearing Steve on the talk show the other morning. In one breath he is referring to Public Defenders office and in another he is referring to Legal Aid Clinic. As far as I am aware, these are two distinct animals and do not offer the same service and never together. Ah Steve, you are as confusing as ever! Rumour has it that the Q.C. for the job is from Ja. whose initial begins with H.H. and he will need a work permit.

    • Anonymous says:

       Because consultation takes time and costs money and, as recent electoral history will show: people don’t want it.

  5. Inspector Clueso says:

    Has anyone snuck a peek underneath the table to find out what’s really going on here yet?

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is really scary. McKeeva’s presumption of guilt unless proven innocent is the stuff of medieval legend… 

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have followed this story with great interest.

    As I recall, first I heard the Premier Designate proclaim in a very loud voice "FIRE",

    Then after a while I heard a somewhat muffled "ready" from some of his extension cords.

    I am still waiting for someone to say "aim"

  8. Joe Average says:

    I’m trying to keep an open mind about this, but there are a few things wrong with the LOGB’s arguments and a few that are disturbing:  >"the legal aid clinic presented a way for his government to address the original budget allocation of $1.8 million requested by the chief justice, which he did not want tofund."  To keep it in perspective, this apparent saving is slightly less than the amount which will paid to Justice Henderson in his lawsuit for wrongful arrest.  As pertaining to the new legal assistance clinic any savings aren’t savings until full costs are accounted for which we are not certain of at this point. 

    As far as disturbing: > “I don’t believe the country should may millions of dollars for heinous crimes committed against them”  Legal aid is not designed to pay criminals for committing crimes.  It is for the purpose of providing an affordable defence for those accused of crimes. 

    Some of them as we have found lately are innocent even though they have been accused. This has been an extraordinarily expensive lesson for government coffers.

    > “But of course, it is all wound up in the law and democracy"  I’m not sure if I understand this statement and I’m not sure if I want to.  Ditto with this: > "and added that he was no longer prepared to vote money for lawyers to defend people “who shoot up our children”. 

    This was the most disturbing of all.  Whether Mr. Bush is aware or not he has prejudiced jury selection in upcoming trials. Whether or not they involve a privately funded defence, standardized legal aid or this recent innovation.


  9. Anonymous says:

    Question the use of the word ‘handicapped’…….? Does ‘special needs’ or ‘God’s special people’ ring a bell….?

    • Anonymous says:

      When  McDinejad says "handicapped" he means "cap in hand" outside his door at 6am looking for a little "hep".

  10. not yet a civil servant says:

    I said it before and I will say it again…All this goverment is interested in is its own survival.  It is no longer "OUR" money to be spent on "US".  Once the money goes in it becomes "THEIR" money to be spent on what "THEY" want.  Cayman is failing because of it and the only way this stops is if Mommy UK comes in, takes over, and then gives it back to the next group of uncorrupted Caymanian leaders.  Power CORRUPTS.  Thats why a person should only be in goverment leadership for a short time then they should go back into the system a powerless man.  OPEN YOUR EYES  Cayman.  Soon it will be too late.  It may already be too late.  You know that the Caymanian people will not do anything no matter how much corruption and incompetence they see.  Especially if half of them are on the recieving end.

  11. John Evans says:

    Be very careful because if you deny the accused a proper defence criminals will walk free simply because their human rights were abused.

    This is Article 6 of the European Convention, it doesn’t take a lawyer to figure where the problems will start  –

    1. In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgement shall be pronounced publicly by the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interest of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.
    2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
    3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:
      • (a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;
      • (b) to have adequate time and the facilities for the preparation of his defence;
      • (c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;
      • (d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;
      • (e) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.
    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely right.  Cutting legal aid is a false economy as it will a) just send the number of appeals through the roof and b) offer a route for otherwise convicted individuals to set up an appeal. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Folks, my fellow Caymanians, we are living under a dictatorship (a ruler who has absolute power without the consent of the people! It appears to me also that he does not have the consent, or at least the input of his colleagues either).

      This man does as he wants, & it appears that his very silent cronies are not allowed to say anything at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      The same thing that happened to Mckeevas cohorts in TCI is going to happen here in Cayman. This cannot continue for long without the UK taking control. It has to be stopped, & I can only see another TCI happening here. The UK do not look too kindly on corruption

  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s difficult to know where to start with this, isn’t it? OMG I love the new policy!

    1. The LoGB (soon-to-be Premier) makes major policy decisions without any consultation of the usual boring people (what does the Chief Justice know about running his own courts anyway!), avoids any scrutiny and bypasses all the boring usual channels used for making a change in the law. Then, the detail (such as it is) of the new policy comes out on a radio talk show (not in the LA). Hands up who else thought all that parliament, checks and balances, rule of law stuff was SO boring anyway? Me for one! Go, McKeeva! I love hearing important stuff on the radio!

    2. The same LoGB (soon-to-be Premier), i.e. the face of Cayman to the rest of the world, shows us all just how much he understands the subject of criminal justice by saying that ‘expensive lawyers’ should not be paid to ‘get criminals off the hook’. Yay for common sense! Bring back hanging too! Who ever believed that ‘innocent till proven guilty’ rubbish anyway? Thanks, McKeeva, you’re so clever and eloquent.

    3. I SO thought that the sick and the handicapped were losing out to criminals too! Yeah, take the money from the courts and give it to the sick. Hey, take it from building roads too, cos we can get along fine as we are for a few years. Oh, and how about taking it from what we pay for running a sewage system too, cos we can just pour our, er.. you know in the sea instead, and give the money to the sick, can’t we! God, I love this new way of doing things!

    4. Hey, guys – have you read George Orwell’s ‘1984’ (I hope the LoGB has!)? In it, if I remember correctly (and, hey, who cares anyway!), if you keep saying that 2 + 2 = 5, then it does. So, here’s how it’s gonna work in Cayman: if we set up a whole new bureaucracy for the provision of criminal, civil and family law public services, including paying loads of salaried civil servants as lawyers, paralegals and administrative staff and then just SAY it will cost less than what it costs at the moment (where the private sector soaks up all of those boring ancillary costs and the public purse doesn’t have to fork out), then it WILL be cheaper. And who cares about carrying out some kind of BORING costed study before we change things? Let’s just change them and see what the heck happens! After all, it’s only money (yours, by the way)!

    And hey, by the time we realise the whole things all shot to sh*t, all the half-decent people previously working in those areas of law will have left anyway, so all the people WE don’t think deserve to get justice won’t get it because their lawyers will be rubbish.

    Hey guys, I think the LoGB is, like, REALLY clever. Go McKeeva! Go Cayman!

    • I hear you says:

      I agree with your points and I think they would carry even more weight if your frustration did not show so plainly by your use of deregatory language!

    • Anonymous says:

      To the writer of 14:09, all I can say is BRILLIANT! I have nothing more to say, because you said it all, & it was FANTASTIC. & by the way, just in case you did not realise it from what I have said, I’ll let you know that I agree with everything you said, 100%! Oh man, that was great, entertaining & very true. Thanks

    • Anonymous says:

      Whats not to love. This new policy should provide well paying jobs for at least seven Caymanian attorneys (one of which will be a QC) cause surely we wont be bringing in expatriate lawyers to do a job that has in the past been done prendominatly by Caymanian attorneys. ALSO while the minor details like amending the Legal Aid Law, setting up the office and recruting all the staff are being done, the whole legal aid system comes to halt cause the three hundred thousand will only cover what is presently owing for work already done. So no new legal aid can be granted by the court to assits all those "criminals" who will just have to stay in Northward and be well clothed and feed until they can find money to pay a lawyer. Love it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whata very facile interpretation of the situation (regarding "OMG, I love the new policy").

      Read what John Evans’ has written.  If you want criminals to continue to walk the streets to inflict more crime upon us, follow this policy of denial of legal representation.

      Then we will have a mess.

      Very clever indeed.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Keep the cap on it Mr. Bush, but make everyone work within a timeframe to complete a case. 

    No murder or drug related case should take more than one month to completed.  

    If we are paying for this, from the lawyers to the court should be ready to work and get the job done in a month.

    my 2 cents

  14. Anonymous says:

    Great, now the scapegoats that get stiched up by the police for crimes they didn’t commit just to appease the public won’t even be able to get a fair trial.

    Upset the wrong person at work or something like that and next thing you know their cousin has arrested you on trumped up charges and you haven’t even got the right to a fair trial.

    At least when the UK takes Cayman back under its control next year all of these ridiculous plans will be scrapped.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I told you all the Teresa was UDP

    • Anonymous says:

      Sensible BT people always knew she was UDP !!!

      And those that didn’t know before should remember that Chuckie told unna so more than once !!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Well one thing for sure she’s not PPM…I mean who would want to be?????? there are a useless bunch…

        • Anonymous says:

          The PPM are decent people who respect the rule of law. Unlike the previous UDP Govt. there are no reasons to suspect corruption from their administration. As much as McKeeva and his ECs (like you) have tried demonize them you can be sure he would have rapidly pursued any excuse to investigate them.  I am not PPM but I would choose them any day over Mcdinejad’s autocratic party.  The UDP has done more to damage this country in the few months they have been in office than any amount of PPM expenditure on infrastructure could have accomplished. But slowly people are beginning to wake up. I can’t figure why they thought he had changed.    

    • Anonymous says:

      She dont even know what she is as she goes where her bread is buttered and Mac sure is buttering her bread!

  16. go ahead, touch it says:

    Let me get this straight…   Our government can afford to give money to churches but can’t properly fund a basic legal aid programme? You cannot be serious!

    • Anonymous says:

      OMG – what about those many people who are innocent yet charged with a crime (see all of the recent NOT GUILTY verdicts.) Many the victims of RCIP ineptitude and corruption  and malicious prosecution by Crown Counsel who proceed with inadequate evidence.

      What about the fundamental democratic right to a fair trial?

      This makes me so sick I could literally vomit.

      Time to apply for that UK passport and/or try to get into the US or Canada.

      Another example of Caymanians losing their rights in their own country.

      • Pale Rider says:

        Uh-OHHH…better look out with talk like that…I mentioned alleged police corruption and persecution a few weeks back and nearly had my head ripped off…Not to mention the right to a fair trial and innocent until proven guilty..seemed a lot of people, ( whom I think were in fact INSIDE the RCIP, but of course could not prove) didn’t seem to agree with me.  Just thought I would warn you…you are going to draw some serious fire with seditious talk like that…

      • Makam says:

        Do you really believe that all the people who have been aquitted were innocent and were victims of malicious prosecution.

        No the wonder there is so much crime happening when we have people like you believing what you do….OMG

  17. Twyla Vargas says:

    Oh Dear, hear goes the badmindness and envious streak again.  Just because it is two Caymanians, Steve and Theresa, you all are against it.  I bet if they were outsiders and of a different colour you would not hear a word from any one.  Una too badminded against your own and want to tear down any Caymanian who gets a little position in life.   I really dont care how much you critize me for making my comments, because I can do something you cannot do, and that is to sign my name to all of my comments, for or against a situation.

    I congragulate Mr Steve McField and Mrs. Theresa Lewis Pitcarin on their apointment.  Mr Bush, could not have chosen two better persons to head this up.  You all should be very proud of Theresa and Steve instead of continuing the same old , same old mean badmindness against each other.   My gosh !!!!.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s not true, Twyla. I find it difficult to believe that you would be so dense as to believe that is the issue here.  Personally, I have great regard for both Steve and Theresa and I most certainly support my fellow Caymanians. Their appointment is not the issue. The issue is that a public defender’s office should be properly organized so as to be free from any potential for political interference in the administration of justice. This should not be subject to the LOGB’s Ministry.

      • Anonymous says:

        Twyla this has nothing to do with Steve and Theresa.

        The point here is that political control of the administration of justice only occurs in communist countries……Cayman is not a communist country and we better stop McKeeva before he turns it into one !!!!!!!

        • Twyla Vargas says:

          OK, since you want me to believe that it has nothing to do with Steve or Theresa, then lets see them work it. 

          So who is going to be running the show?   Many of us are calling Theresa the "Third arm of UDP"   So what if she is?     What have Theresa done wrong that she should not be recognized for the caring person she is.  I have given lots of free service in many areas of this country, and because of badmindness,  if some of you had the chance you would deport me from Cayman.   Not a kind word because I speak freely.   "Isnt that a fact"?    If the office set up by Steve and Theresa fails, then we can begin hollering.  Now I would say give them some support to see if it will work.   Is it that hard to show a little love in your hearts for one another.  Even for me too.  My God.

          • Anonymous says:

            Sorry Twyla but you have completely missed my point on this move being totally undemocratic and contrary to the principles of democratic governance.

            If you want a communist country then stay asleep…..McDinejad is giving it to you slowly darling !!!!!!!!!

          • Anonymous says:

            You really don’t get it. Poor Steve and Theresa won’t know what hit them if they don’t dance according to the LOGB’s tune. They are about to be used. Why wait for the whole thing to fall flat when those of us with at least half a brain can see where this is headed. You don’t wait until someone falls off a cliff to begin hollering if you can see them headed towards the precipice. What kind of logic is that?!

            This will damage the country’s reputation and like humpty dumpty all the kings horses and all the kings men won’t be able to put it back together again.  

          • Anonymous says:

            Da right Twyla, very proud of you for standing up to ignorance..people need to do research before they run their mouths; it is well within the bounds of the LOGB power to do this, even the AG’s office says its so.

            • O'Really says:

              Thank you for starting my day off with a good old laugh. " Standing up to ignorance"? Your post is much more stand up comedy! 

            • Anonymous says:

              ‘…………even the AG’s office says its so.’?  The AG’s office has something to say now………agreeing with ‘the LOGB power…’ again? 

          • Anonymous says:

            Twyla, you are way too caught up in your self-victimisation and projecting that onto other topics. People here are highly concerned about 1) the process (or rather, lack thereof) by which this change happened and 2) that now legal aid isn’t fully protected from political influence by the judiciary. People are now upset that corruption CAN happen via the road of party politics due to this change. Whether or not it actually does happen is a different story, and one that will undoubtably be addressed if it comes up. But right now, the issue is that this change has allowed that potential corruption to enter the equation. It hasn’t happened, it might not, but the big difference is that with this change to legal aid it opens the door to the possibility.

            And while you like to think that people would love to kick you off the island for speaking your mind, really, we just all tend to ignore/dismiss some of the less than sensible things you tend to say.

            • Twyla Vargas says:

              REPLY TO 16:47   To the commentor,  Consciousness is one hell of a torment to the soul, is,nt it.

              Some times we have to live with the consciousness of how we have victimized certain people,  Commentor?  it is a good thing that memories dont leave like people do, they always stay with you.  Be careful of your comments, I cannot believe they are still haunting.  But it has always been said when you dig a hole dig two.   Sometimes things come back to haunt us, so be careful of your comments.

          • O'Really says:

            You continue to miss the point. This is not about who has been appointed to fill the positions in the legal aid clinic and all about its existence in the first place, at least through the process used by BigMac.

            Do you think it was a coincidence that this was brought for approval and rushed through when the 2 people in the best position to have a opinion and the most likely to oppose it, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General were off island? Do you not find it suspicious that it did not follow the accepted LA procedures for discussing and voting on such a significant change to long established practice?

            It removes control of the majority of funds from the independent office of the CJ to a politically appointed office under BigMac’s control, a man who, in justifying his actions, essentially denied the concept of innocent until proven guilty, among many other gaffs.

            Whether Cayman and BigMac likes it or not, the provision of legal aid is mandated around the world in many ways, not least the European convention on human rights, the relevant excerpt of which has been posted by John Evans on this thread. Cayman cannot opt out.

            There is little legitimacy to the process by which this office has been established. This is where I take issue with your support of Steve McField and Theresa Lewis-Pitcairn. By accepting the positions offered, they have both tacitly ratified the process as legitimate. As lawyers they should hold the law and due process as sacrosanct, so I would be interested to know how they reconcile their actions in accepting posts created through a flawed process with these high ideals.

          • Anonymous says:

            For you? Why? If we give them a chance silly & it does not work, dont you think it will be too late then? Anyway, mac controls everything & you especially knows this, & if it does not work with these two cronies, he will replace them with two other lackies. Don’t you know how things work in macs world?

            • Anonymous says:

              LISTEN TO ME CAREFULLY, Cut the Friggen ""Silly"  word,  I am not silly and I did not call you silly.   Further more how in the world can you accuse me of knowing that Mr Bush controlls everything.   I hate to accept that you are a true  Caymanian calling Steve  and Theresa Croniesm and darn it you must really hate Mr Bush alot.  Well in fact you hate everybody, because you call me silly, and call Steve and Theresia Cronies, and spewed vemon at Mr.  Bush.

              Please reconsiderm it may make you feel better.  Dear me!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      "Two Caymanians"?? If those two mackeevaites had true love for Cayman they would tell Bushy that they are pleased to have been thought of for hand outs, but "in such terrible economic times we both feel that we cannot accept any of the peoples money unnecessarily." Remember, it was their UDP leader who, within a week of being sworn in, was boasting to the world that our beloved Cayman Islands was bankrupt. How can he now spend $500,000 (soon to be almost $1.5 million) on a new unnecessary legal aid office, and how can those two justify to the people taking a lot of dollars at such a difficult time? We are bankrupt, why make it worse, uh Steve & Theresa? How can you?

  18. Un tasse de tea says:

    THis will lead to many a quashed conviction in the years to come and many compensation suits from wrongly convicted citizens spending time in Jail for a crime they did not commit

    This will cost Cayman more in the future, far more.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Things keep going from bad to worse. XXXXX

    His mind set of “I don’t believe the country should may millions of dollars for heinous crimes committed against them,” is so unbelievably misguided. ALL people, regardless of their nationality, have a right to a defence. When Caymanians go overseas and committ crimes, and believe me, they do, they are entitled to a defence provided by the state when they can’t afford one themselves. Furthermore, has our leader never heard of "innocent until proven guilty"?

    I am further horrified to learn that this has all been done without consultation from the AG or the CJ. I heard Mr. McField stating on the radio that this matter "has nothing to do with them" ha! Well, I argue that this should have nothing to do with the office of the premier. MAC you are not fooling anyone by claiming it will be independent of your influence. How convinient these so called appointments are. I feel badly for Mrs. Cacho and the SG who are apparently being set up as scapegoats in this fiasco. MAC said that he spoke with them on the matter but, note how he fails to mention whether or not he had their support or what their actual input was.


    All that’s left to say is "heaven help us"

  20. A REALIST says:

    A "criminal" is someone who has been convicted of a crime. Not accused or facing charges.

    So for Mr. Bush to say that the fact that someone is charged of an offense makes them automatically a criminal is stupid beyond belief and symptomatic of his (and many in the community) reasoning level and mindset.

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe he knows something you don’t.

    • Anonymous says:

      C’mon we all know that the LoGB’s education level is no greater than that of a middle school student at best and yet the people of West Bay continue to re-elect him. Although not many will admit it the time of "old guard" has come and gone. We cannot continue to do things the "old" way. The world has changed and Cayman must change with it. Bush can make statements like that because none of his clan will be, falsely or otherwise, accused of doing anything illegal as long as he is in power.

      I am not in favour of spending millions on defending those who are obviously guilty but I refuse to support a system that may very well send an innocent person to jail. We should all have access to the same level of defense whether you are of the social elite or the poor man on the street. 

  21. Anonymous says:

    There is simply no way that the following can be done with the little money that is left after Mr. Bush gutted the legal aid budget to add more money to his personal slush fund. Cayman this is more smoke and mirrors,

    The clinic, McField said, would be employing at least seven qualified attorneys who would be paid salaries it would have one QC on staff and would also employ paralegals, support staff and train young lawyers. He said the legal aid office would offer a wide range of services as well as defending those facing criminal charges. McField explained that people would be able to go to the clinic for advice on everything from landlord and employer problems to protection from gender violence. The clinic would be available to the community at large but especially to the poor and those who had nowhere to turn.


    • Anonymous says:

      You are right. There is no way that this is anything but nonsense designed to hoodwink the people of Cayman. This is going to cost us a fortune and will give his cronies more of our money to play with.

  22. Anonymous says:

    But of course, it is all wound up in the law and democracy so we spend money on it when we can’t pay for our children or for the handicapped.”

    Am I the only one that reads this as showing utter contempt for the rule of law and Cayman’s democratic institutions? Life will no doubt be so much better for all of us when His Majesty does away with them. Wake up Cayman.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I guess that this means that everyone except members of his party are guilty before they have even been tried and are therefore not entitled to any kind of defense.

  24. Anonymous says:

    So McField said, the clinic would be employing at least seven qualified attorneys who would be paid salaries? It would have one QC on staff and would also employ paralegals, support staff and train young lawyers.

    Isn’t it amazing that you can write one single article praising the new Premier Designate and be rewarded with the office setup (with guaranteed budget for the next 3 years at least) that you were unable to achieve on your own after being qualified as a barrister for more than 30 years?

    I bet there are a lot of people in George Town who can survive just fine on a $135 hourly rate. If he spends the money wisely, and I am sure there will be no audit of how the moneyis spent, he just might garner enough votes to become another one-term representative come the next elections.

    When will we ever learn?



  25. Anonymous says:

    Bush said that the criticisms from the opposition were unfounded and that his ministry would not decide who did and did not get legal aid.

    Of course his Ministry will not decide. Note however that there is no mention of the possibility that he will decide this personally, based on Party affiliation, and will then inform his Extension Cords who is to get legal aid and who is not.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Bush. It’s ridiculous that Cayman’s tax payers have to foot the enormous legal bills of those (expecially foreigners) who come here and committ serious crimes. I support this move fully. Criminal defendants need to be responsible for their own legal bills. Enough is enough.

    • Anonymous says:

       I hope you still feel that way next week when you get arrested due to mistaken identity and have to fight it.

      Either you are rich or foolish.

      • A Lone Voice in the Dark says:

        "especially foreigners"  yes lets already start with breaching the constitution by discrimination on the basis of race.  Oops I forgot its allowed because its in favour of Caymanians.  Ggo down the courts every single day and see how many foreigners as compared to Caymanians are the ones who appear day in day out.    But good god lets just erode the right to free and independent legal advice (for those who cannot pay) under the European Convention on Human Rights – which incidentally does appyly here because there is a direct right of petition to the European Court.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ll take my chances and I’m neither rich or foolish. I’m a Caymanian fed-up with the money we spend on the defense of criminals.

  27. Anonymous says:

    What about the Government’s obligations under Art 6 of the ECHR?   What about innocent until proven guilty? Why are the Human Rights Committee not speaking up?

    • what a mess! says:

      And what does the Cayman Ministers Association have to say??

      This country is just too hyprocritical to continue to prosper…

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha! McInijad disbanded dem so fast, they didnt know which end was up!