Jack stops Mac legal aid plan

| 12/11/2009

(CNS): In the wake of considerable controversy and opposition from almost all quarters of the legal profession regarding the premier’s move to slash legal aid funding and change the way it is managed, the governor has said the funding must be put back until the proposal has been properly examined. Stuart Jack said a committee would now consider the initiative as proposed by Bush, but in the meantime the current system must be adequately funded. In an unexpected announcement during Finance Committee last month, McKeeva Bush said he was going to change the way legal aid was administered and set up a legal aid clinic under his ministry run by two local lawyers.

Despite the fact that the law had not been changed and that there had been no consultation with the chief justice, who currently manages the legal aid budget, Bush cut $1.5m from the annual allocation of $1.8m.

 In a formal statement on Thursday, 12 November, the governor said the government was entitled to consider how to manage the costs of legal aid as long as human rights requirements were met and stakeholders consulted. Jack said the committee that would examine the premier’s proposal would include representatives of the government, judiciary, legal profession, and the Governor’s Office.

“The government will, in the meantime, ensure that the current scheme administered by the Judicial Administration is adequately funded so that there is no disruption to the administration of justice through the courts. Additional funding is being urgently sought in accordance with the Public Management and Finance Law,” he stated.

However, the original legal aid budget funding was moved to various other ministries, including the premier’s new ‘national leader’s fund’ following the premier’s late night Finance Committee amendment. The entire budget, including the change, was then voted on by the Legislative Assembly, so in order to re-allocate money to the chief justice, government will now have to return to the LA to amend the 2009/10 budget document.

The plan, which Bush pushed through the legislature, had been for local attorneys Theresa Lewis Pitcairn and Steve McField to set up a full service legal aid clinic, which would not only supply legal representation for criminal matters in the courts but would also offer a wide range of legal advice and services. Bush had said that the office would be run for a fraction of the cost of the current legal aid system and offer the people of Cayman more for less.

However, the unexpected announcement and lack of consultation raised significant questions and brought wide opposition from the Human Rights Committee, the Law Society, the Cayman Bar Association, the Criminal Defence Bar Association and the legal profession as a whole. Questions were quickly raised about the constitutionality of the move, as well as concerns that the proposed clinic would be under the premier’s office, how the current legal aid certificates would be funded for ongoing cases, what would happen to the existing legal aid lawyers, and how the clinic proposed to do far more for less.

CNS understands that last week a significant number of representatives from the legal professions met with the chief justice concerning the constitutionality of the changes, their fears and concerns about the lack of clarity and the uncertainty regardinglegal payment. There was talk of ‘downing wigs’ until the issue was properly resolved.

The governor said on Thursday that an effective legal aid system is fundamental to the administration of justice. Access to adequate legal representation and, if necessary, legal aid will be required by the Bill of Rights, which will come into effect in three years time and is already required by the UK’s international human rights obligations that apply to the Cayman Islands.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    UK has an obligation to protect our environment.  So the governor should issue a decree using his reserve powers to conduct an independent Environment Impact study which meets international standards on the proposed port project in George Town.  Mr. Jack please think about this seriously and urgently. Thank you sir.

    • Caymanians for Good says:

      Don’t you think this Governor has done enough damage as it is?? His negative impact in Tempura, Cealt and the other ones we do not know of yet, has created far more damage to the Cayman Islands than any cruise pier will ever do!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    The election is over…Let us PLEASE stand behind ourelected politicians for God’s sake and try and move this country forward…I have see first hand the "representation" the lower class receives first hand. Just go and spend a few days in the court house and watch with an open mind…Any system would surely be better than what I see with my own eyes.

    • Social Contract says:

      When more of those people stop drinking, smoking crack and stealing I will start worring about how they are treated in Court.  We treat those repeat criminals who are always in Summary Court too well as far as I am concerned.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr. Stuart Jack, MacKeeva needs someone in Authority who can control his out of control spending sprees. All the good born Caymanians did not want him back in control, as he has stolen from his people so many times in the past.  He has tried to destroy the Caymanian people heritage by authorizing that influx of status grants, including criminals, by allowing the Ritz those outrageous concessions, by allowing Dart to destroy our mangroves and possibly destroy the seven miles Beach, by changing the turtle farm into an artifical money gozzling Beach, by paying twice the amount for a friends house lot, XXXXXXX. Therefore, Mr. Governor as a born Caymanian, I thank you and the auditor General very much for helping my people from extinction and I beg you and the FCO to please keep a very close attention to ALL of his other upcoming projects, because he don’t know what it is to go through the due processes. He is very scary and compulsive, so you don’t know when he will flare up again. XXXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      to poster of 08:18! I could not have said it better! In fact, you missed out a few of the alleged suspicions of corruption, but we get the message loud & clear! He has become so fabulously wealthy because of alleged corruption & deals that when we are no longer the prosperious Cayman Islands he can run to "you know where" with his family while we have to stay in our country that he destroyed, living on the streets & begging! I agree that he needs to be stopped, but I very much doubt if the AG (Auditor G that is, not Attorney G for sure as hell) or the Governor can stop him, look at all the destruction, damage & embarrasment he has already caused in just 6 months! We need a public protest, a referendum, or a coup!

      • Anonymous says:

        And the worse is yet to come! The problem is that so many people did not properly edcuate themselves on this new constitutional change and were lead by the PPM to vote for it, obviously not considering that the present situation was a real risk. (Not the PPM would be making us any more proud mind you!). So here we are in quite a mess folks, and many of you all voted to get your new premier with all the additional power he now has, to do much of what you do not want, but the Governor cannot always step in to stop him and that is scary. While His Excellency is not perfect, as is the case with all of us human beings, he has by no means had an easy time trying to govern here, but as a Caymanian I thank him for being bold and taking a stand on issues that cause him concern.

  4. Animosity says:

    Jacko versus Macko. Lord what a race.

    I bet once Jacko bolts on the BA flight Macko will come from behind and win the race.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s getting quite obvious that Bush isn’t up to the responsibilities of a transparent and modern government.

    Bush has simply "lost it", as they say. He doesn’t have the mind needed for good decision making. Old ways, pushing people around, etc. It may have been working in the past but it can’t be how we see our future.

    Once again, we’re fortunate to have a strong governor who knows more what will be good for Cayman than our own elected politicians.


  6. Anonymous says:

    McChavez/McDinejad/McFidel whatever we wish to call him……..he must be having a sh*t hemorrage right about now 🙂

    And what sayeth Steve and Lady T at this moment. They should have known better than to follow this uneducated person down this very lonely and ill-conceived road paved with the politicization of the Judiciary……..but money is the root of all evil.

    GREED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyway the british shan’t allow the natives to behave in this way.

    God save the Queen but not Jacko !

    I can honestly tell the Caymanian people, of which I am one….albeit a paper one, that they exercised a serious error of judgment when they failed to re-elect Charles Clifford Esq.

    He is the one person that I believe has the ability and courage to stop Mac. The Bodden Town election was a close race but the result was most unfortunate…….anyway I digress.


    • Anonymous says:

      That wha you all get! It bad now, but it gonna get wuss! Turbulent days ahead, dictatorships are not an easy place tolive. "TIMES TOUGH" you all hear me! (Dictators do not like to be embarrassed)

    • Anonymous says:

       It’s not money but the love of money that is the root of all evil.  Also, pride goeth before a fall.

      These people hunger for the filthy lucre and will do anything to get it… and be proud of their "accomplishments" once they have sold their souls and everything else for a few dollahs.


    • anonymous says:

      Hear, Hear!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not about to join the reincarnation of Jack.  I don’t for one minute believe that he took this initiative on his own, of his own freewill.  I think he was forced to.  If no one had spoken up, Jack would have happily appeased — if that much.  As I do not believe that Jack is competent enough or has enough backbone to make even that decision on his own. 

      He has simply lucked out on this one.


  7. Anonymous says:

    Jack is my Hero!

    No. Mac is my Hero!

    No. Jack is my Hero!

    aaawell. To hell with my heroes..

    I just want to have some fun and get drunk at Pirates Week!!!


  8. Fickleburry Hunn says:

    Friday – "I am the Premier and I run this country."

    Thursday – "I am the Governor and you don’t!"

  9. Anonymous says:

    I know several people’s pressure must be sky high now…..    

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope you all know that things not going like this! Not even a week as the mighty premier & he is brought down to earth with a thump! He is not a happy man, & I know who else not happy! You don’y get anything for free, & those who follow blindly & believe that they will get freeness will also be brought down to earth in a thump! Pitcan & Mcfield must have been real upset to see the cookie jar fall off the shelf! That is not nice, it is like taking candy from a child, or two!

      "Play with puppies & you will catch flees"!!!! Oh man, that money had look so goooood!

  10. Big Mac no it's Quarter Pounder now says:

    All of this foolishness with the "Premier" needs to stop we didn’t need one in the first place this is just getting Mac one step closer to acheving his dream of Cayman being a little Cuba under a dictatorship. I can’t believe that a person who never went to university or for that matter finished high school could attain such a prestige postion. If his reckless abandon does not stop we will only be left with two option and those are the UK stepping in and taking over like how they did in Turks and we don’t want that or the alternative of them washing their hands of us completly and leaving us poor and deprived. Mac needs to keep his behind in the Cayman Islands and handle business here instead of galavanting around the globe to "bring business" to Cayman. Everything he is doing he could have done over the phone, via email and also through his blackberry but he would have to read and we all know analitical thinking is not his strong suit. I hope and pray that the next Governer puts the brakes on all the half cocked ideas that come out of this mans head.

    and that is how Sue see’s it!!!

  11. what a mess says:

    Thank you Governor!

    Though i do not agree with all the Gov has done, i certainly agree with him on this move.

    Thank God Cayman is still a UK territory. Otherwise we would currently have a full dictatorship here.


    • Anonymous says:

      To Thank you Governor.  If the statement McKeeva made when he was sworn in is anything to go by "You see the Union Jack flying behind me but might not be for much longer"(or words to that effect) it would seem Mr. Premier is well on the road to taking us to independence and as you said, another Cuba dictatorship.  I have heard him say many times "My government" but the last time I checked it was the government of the people of the Cayman Islands.  What a HUGE mistake electing him back in.  The future looks very dismal with him at the helm.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hurry up Jacko…..Bushy is spending the Legal Aid budget as u speak during his around the world tour…..hurry, hurry, hurry…….send the UK Military to bring him and his cronies home.

    Pray tell what value does the country get by Bushy taking Richard Parchment & Paul Byles…..please tell me nah…….and as a matter of fact what value does Bushy bring to the table…….OMG…..what a mess !!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Did you all expect anything else out of this uneducated, rudderless and dangerous dictator ???

    You elected him despite the mess he had left before…..now unna tek wha unna get…….forget so easy……..a bet unna memories will improve over the next 3.5 yrs…….I guarantee it.

    Watch !!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    tha latest big mac u-turn… what an embaressment!…. his list of policy gaffes is growing by the week, pirates week fiasco, pension holiday fiasco…etc each one would be a resignation matter for any other politician in another country……

    time for mr. mcfield to consider his position too…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Yea… This Govt is making more u-turns than all the round-abouts built by the last Govt on that Easternconnecting road…  

  15. True says:

    It’s a shame, with Mac’s idea it would have the prevented anyone who is not a Bayer being able to afford a defence lawyer and that would have really helped the police’s abysmal conviction rate.

  16. Cronyism says:

    This whole plan appeared a half-cocked idea dreamed up to give two political allies a job at the expense of justice.  This intervention will save Cayman millions of dollars in the long run.

    • K-man to da bone says:

      Mac is on "holiday" with his travelling friends and I know he is Fuming – what a Bring-up! He is now asking "brown-nosing" Elio how could he let this happen while he is away – I see another demotion (like Rolstons) in the near future!

      • Anonymous says:

         Elio is a talker, not a doer.  A bullsh**er, not a builder.  Those that can – do.  Those that can’t – go on the radio.


    • Anonymous says:

      08:51……….& save face for Cayman also, because we are looking more & more like a banana republic, & that whole legal aid fiasco, with legal aid in the control of Mr. Bush must have had the rest of the world really laughing at us. WE LOOK REAL STUPID, but thank GOD the Gov has intervened, for now, because we all know that when he & his friends come back from their world holiday there is going to be a fight! Didn’t he publicly warn the Gov & his replacement about messing with the mac? No one embarasses the mac like that & gets away with it!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Well done Mr Jack!!  The separation of powers must be maintained.  Thank you for exercising your power to ensure that judiciary is separated from the executive and the legislative.  You are an educated man and understand the importance of this distinction.  Unfortunatlely we cannot expect this from Mac who proudly proclaims that he did not even finish high school.

    • K-man to da bone says:

      OH OH! Steve and Theresa now have to go and do some REAL work to get their "condensed milk" instead of relying on Mac for free hand outs!

    • Anonymous says:

      Governor Jack, you have done the right thing.  Finally!. The independence of the judiciary is vital to democracy, thank you for stepping in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Re:Mac who proudly proclaims that he did not even finish high school.

       True, but he is an intelligent man who thought he was getting good advice from two people who finished LAW SCHOOL! Perhaps they are the ones to blame.

      Good for Mr. Jack!

      • Anonymous says:

        Another sign of his ignorance if he did not ensure that he is receiving sound legal advice from well qualified and experienced legal brains. Notice he was the one who declared on the steps of the LA that the current attorney general was "not going anywhere". So, he can continue taking Sam’s advice.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Like others on this forum, i’m also not a big fan of this Governor, but you have to give credit where it is due and this was a wise move on his part.

    The way the UDP went about this was ridiculous and further confirms the shoot!! shoot!!! shoot!! ready, ready aim mentality of the Premier.

    He needs to understand that there are consequences to his actions and it is not all about stockpiling a slush fund so he can keep his cronies supplied and happy for the next election.

    Furthermore, he needs to get his butt back to Grand Cayman, sit for 5 minutes and make an educated calcuation as to what the next move for the Country should be.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Jack 150$ how in the world really can we take the legal aid from the juidiciary and put it under Mac’s portfolio…Sorry Theresa and Steve pls look other employment i personally believe it is all about giving Theresa and Steve work…  … I wish the Governor stood up to him with the BT elections and the iregularties on election day, i hope everybody has a list of all the illegal stuff UDP is doing. it is not about any party it is about being democratic it is about being honest, it is about being a good politician. sad sad sad

  20. PPM Bandwagon cheerleader says:

    You fools don’t even realise that this is Jacks way to ride out in glory. At least he won’t have any PPM’ers at the airport to see him off or will they? I am going to be there with my crocus sack of green iguanas and a couple of chickens if I can catch them and I will have my placard in hand to protest all the damage he did to this country whilst he was here.

    I noticed how he conveniently ducked Austin’s question the other day about when his actual departure date will be. Such a coward! What is he afraid of? Unless he hires a private jet to get im out of the country in the middle of the night, I am damn sure if he checks in for any commercial flight we will know about it a very short time and like most preparing for his departure, I am ready on short notice to make my stand at the airport. Of course, knowing him, he most likely will have that locked down for his departure.

    Can wait to see JACKOFF this island!!!!

    • O'Really says:

      So let me see if I am following you.

      In order for the PPM to gain political points out of BigMac’s embarrassment and in order for the Governor to minimise any public displays of dissatisfaction when he leaves, they got together and tricked the government into introducing, without consultation, a radical change to a fundamental element of the legal system, such that the government was forced to demonstrate cronyism, refute the concept of " innocent until proven guilty" and reverse an age old concept of separation of political and judicial powers.

      Seems a reasonable explanation to me!

    • Anonymous says:

      I love that comment!!! hahaha

    • Anonymous says:

      Hush with your foolishness, sack of green iguanas and chickens…. He will probably be glad to see the back of you and nonsense talk.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ok George, you go right ahead & give Jack a good old sending off at the airport, iguanas & all! I hope you will sing your song for him also, because it wasn’t much of a success otherwise, was it? You are such a hero of ours, you are such a man, going to airport to see the Governor off, WOW! my hero! While you at it, why don’t you ask him to take your buddies from the UDP along with him? And if there is room, maybe you could join your UDP buddies as well, with those iguanas! But, oh how we will miss you, my hero!

  21. Sav/New says:

    Put them all in their place yes… CNS, today is the 12th;-)  

  22. Anonymous says:

    Jack how can there be any more funds for legal aid when you had it all spent with the English croonies that you had come in here and make a laughing stock of these Islands and the Caymanian people.

    What time is your flight? Wish it was tomorrow…you have caused enough havoc, safe travel and good riddance!!


  23. Anonymous says:

    Mac is right…Jack is wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jack and the People are right

      Mac and his French Fry cohorts are wrong

  24. Anonymous says:

    Wha ya say Jacko??!! Ya on a role though! Keep on shooting from da hip! Bring Mac to his knees! You go Jack! 

  25. Anonymous says:

    What an embarrassement to the Premier! does not think things through just ad hoc behaviour. Poor us! He did not even consult the Chief Justice.
    How much longer are we going to allow this man to run our country without any forward thinking, just this radical behaviour. Why are we just talking and getting upset, we need to march. Stop saying it does not effect you, oh yes it does, might not be directly now but it will indirectly later.

    Mr. McField and Ms. Lewis, I consider both of you very intelligent people, was this issue  discussed with the great legal minds of the country, did you all think it could work? Why are people like yourselves with so much to offer to our county allowing McKeeva to make such radical decisions without any real debates on the issue.

    So much for the Premier’s nation building fund better known as the slush fund!!!! 

    Mr. Governor thank you! 


    • MacMan says:

      The Governor has no right to insult our Premier like that. The Hon. McKeeva obviously got all the advice he needed Fro. Mr. McField who no doubt is trying to make sure that all this money we are spending on legal aid is paid to Caymanians and not to foriners!

      Mr. Bush has his finger on the pulse and probably knows better than any Judge who needs legal aid and who does not so let him be.

      Despite everything they put in your way you keep going and God Bless you Mr. Bush you are for us.

      • Anonymous says:

        To hell with legal aid, it’s time to take the next step. You say "Mr. Bush has his finger on the pulse and probably knows better than any Judge who needs legal aid and who does not so let him be."

        I say Mr. Bush knows better than any judge who is guilty and who isn’t. Why don’t we just get rid of the judges and have Mac issue sentences one per week? Think about how much money we could save by not having to pay judges and court staff.

      • frank rizzo says:

        I really hope you’re just having a go at us. If so, you almost got me. If not, God help us.

  26. Concerned says:

    This post on top of the one on the Schools contact and lack of funding, and the port enviromental study is deeply disturbing. All this is taking place whilst King Kong is off island. Well I for one did not vote him in.

  27. Annoymous says:

    This is a decoy of the PRemier to divert the attention away from the Port Facility being audited etc….Come on people, you gotta think like the Mac Premier to understand his next move.  Good one on him though, he is doing his best to disrupt other areas, here this see the School’s project stopped again down there at John Gray etc.  Another political decoy to divert attention away from the big project the one that is going to make him a shining star at the end of the tunnel.

    I see it,hope you do too.


    • noname says:

      Come on now, listen to yourself, McKeeva must be the smartest man that ever lived if he can orchestrate all of this as you have dreamed up. Have sense man and stop posting foolishness!

      • Caypolitics Truthseeker says:


        “Come on now, listen to yourself, McKeeva must be the smartest man that ever lived if he can orchestrate all of this as you have dreamed up. Have sense man and stop posting foolishness!”
        Not the smartest man alive, but a lot smarter than most of his voters!
        Round one: Surprise announcement about changing the name of Pirates Week. He made the announcement (pandering to the churches and extreme religious element), then bowed to pressure for inclusive discussion, delayed the change (pandering to the business community) and (I predict) ultimately will abandon the idea. Everybody thinks he was looking out for their interest. Divide and rule! Round one, McKeeva!
        Round two: Announce a plan to develop a cruise ship berthingfacility in George Town, BUT, without a proper environmental impact, and (it now seems) without proper contractual oversight. In the face of the inevitable public outcry, he comes up with a half-baked plan to dredge deep water channels in the North Sound on the basis that Cayman registered mega-yachts will then come to visit. (Those that wish to, already visit George Town harbor, those that don’t are no more likely to visit Cayman than the Cruise Ships are to visit Liberia, where so many are registered). Dredge the North Sound? Horror of horrors! Divert the public’s attention, and move on with the cruise dock development. Round two, McKeeva.
        Round three: Offer prize jobs on a plate to two local, vocal lawyers, (political wannabes, but with a significant public following), totally bypassing all normal procedures, judicial consultation, etc. He coerces his "yes men" party members to vote in favour of a late night surprise budget change, and passes an outrageous and unconstitutional proposal. He knew full well that this would be challenged by the legal community, and disallowed by the Governor. McKeva wins, while Steve, Theresa, and his fellow party members are actually unwitting pawns. Game, set, match to the Premier!
  28. Anonymous says:

    I dont agree with several of the decisions the Governor have made in the past but I agree with this one. This present Government is moving too fast and without proper consultation with the public. Maybe Mr. Jack should also consider halting the new Port as well, until all of the alternatives have been evaluated and after consultation with and input from the public.

  29. Justice ! says:

    Good!  Justice has to be put before giving jobs to political cronies.

  30. Anonymous says:

    GOOD JACK someone needs to stand up to him.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians should feel proud of how an unelected Governor can control what happens in Cayman – and with a finger hold back the democratically elected Government.

    Be proud Caymanians! – this is the UK style