Archive for August 18th, 2010

Regional church says no to women bishops

| 18/08/2010 | 0 Comments

(Jamaican Gleaner): A bid to allow women to become ordained bishops in one of Jamaica’s most populous Christian denominations has failed, reinforcing a tradition that has stimulated vigorous debate within church circles. The New Testament Church of God, which has allowed women to be licensed ministers but barred them from the roundtable of bishops who administer the denomination, blocked the bid at its general assembly in Florida last month. Bishop Barrington Brown, who leads the New Testament Church of God in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, believes that it will take some time to convince both laity and clergy that women should have equal footing with men.

 
He emphasised that God’s favour – not prejudice for male leadership – should be the consequential arbiter of who oversees church matters. Brown said he doubted that a woman would be ordained chief bishop of the Jamaica diocese for at least a decade. "In terms of church politics and church culture, I don’t see it happening before the next 10-15 years. I don’t see it as an immediate thing, considering where we are in terms of church politics," he added.
 

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Cayman courts to allow US witness depositions

| 18/08/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): According to a specialist legal website as a result of decisions made in the Cayman Islands courts in appropriate circumstances, domestic and foreign depositions will be permitted to assist trial preparation. International Law Office reports that most common law jurisdictions have been hostile to permitting depositions of future witnesses, even in circumstances in which the law of the jurisdiction in which the witness was resident permits such depositions. This has largely been on the basis that such depositions would constitute unwarranted double cross-examination. However, in Phoenix Meridian Equity Limited v Lyxor Asset Management SA the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal confirmed the Grand Court’s refusal of an anti-suit sought by the defendant to restrain Section 1782 depositions of future witnesses.

 
The Phoenix decision is of considerable practical importance, particularly given the regular involvement of entities resident in the United States in Cayman litigation. It allows and encourages practical cooperation between courts in the United States and the Grand Court, particularly in cases where a litigant is providing limited information in respect of an important aspect of the case.
 

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Robbers use stolen guns

| 18/08/2010 | 28 Comments

(CNS): The young men involved in the armed robbery at Mostyns gas station in Bodden Town used a weapon which had been stolen from a licensed holder, the police commissioner has said. The shotgun which was used to shoot at police in that incident was once legally held but had found its way into the hands of criminals. David Baines warned that the more legal firearms there are on the island the more likely it was that these weapons would become the target of the criminal element. Talking about the subject of the community arming itself in the face of rising crime at a public meeting, Baines said he was on record as not supporting the concept of the right to bear arms as it would increase the number of guns that criminals would try to steal. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

On Friday, 11 June, three masked men, one of whom was armed with a shotgun, entered the Esso gas station in Bodden Town and demanded cash. Officers in the area responded in time to see the suspect vehicle leaving the scene. Police chased the car, which was abandoned by the suspects, who escaped on foot after shooting at the police officers.
 
“Thankfully none of our officers, or any members of the public, were injured in this incidentbut the consequences could have been so much worse,” Superintendent Adrian Seales had said at the time. One teen has since been charged in connection with this crime for robbery and firearms offences.
 
Speaking at the first of a series of community meetings being held by the RCIPS on Monday evening in George Town, Baines said his officers were working very hard to take the guns off the street but if the number of licensed firearms was to increase beyond the limited number currently held by farmers and those involved in shooting as a sport, the more guns there would be in circulation for the criminals to try and take. He said that would result in even more serious criminal incidents such as the Bodden Town robbery.
 
The commissioner revealed that on each occasion where weapons are stolen from homes, it was a matter of days before the police are dealing with armed robberies where those once legally held guns were being used.
 
The issue of householders protecting themselves was a key issue at the meeting because of the significant increase in armed robberies and home invasions in recent times. A member of the public suggested the homeowner who shot and killed a burglar in his home last month had done more for law and order in one night than the RCIPS had done with its $60 million budget and some 300 officers over a whole year, and also suggested that not all the officers were pulling their weight. He went on to say it would be an outrage if the man who had shot Harryton Rivers, the intruder who entered the home in Liguinea Circle, George Town, was to be prosecuted.
 
The commissioner said that he would not comment on the particular case as it was with the legal department but he pointed out that people had a right to defend themselves and their properties provided they used reasonably force in the circumstances, and they would be expected to justify any force used in their defence.
 
Baines said that while their was a growing fear of crime, the RCIPS had achieved a considerable amount and they had managed to put a stop to the tit for tat gang shootings which had marred the second part of 2009 and the early part of 2010. He said that most of the trigger men now were either behind bars or had been killed.
 
However, the point was raised by audience members that the Cayman Islands is a very small jurisdiction with a limited number of criminals and the community was struggling to understand why with so many resources and officers the RCIPS could not tackle the problem.
 
Baines denied that his officers were not pulling their weight, and although he admitted there was some dead wood that needed to be cut, he defended those serving in the RCIP. He said the shift patterns had also been changed to ensure that more officers were available more often. He said that there were still a number of a vacancies and skill gaps within the service which included specific skilled personnel, such as scenes of crime officers, but recruitment was continuing.
 
The commissioner said over forty new recruits had been through the training system over the last year and that ten experienced officers had been recruited from overseas, with another ten expected on island shortly. Baines also revealed that six new police dogs trained in firearms detection had been purchased and they would be in Cayman shortly.   

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