Judge vacancy advertised

| 02/09/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Caymna Island headline news, Judicial & Legal Services Commission(CNS): Following its first meeting, the Judicial and Legal Services Commission has already begun the recruitment process for a new high court judge and the position will be advertised, according to the commission chair, Dan Scott. He said the creation of the JLSC began a new system of recruitment for the judiciary as its members, along with other appropriate people, would form the panel to find the new judge. Although the chief justice is expected to offer input, Scott confirmed he would no longer be solely responsible for finding senior judicial staff. Scott also said the commission was drawing up a code of conduct for the judiciary and the public would have access to complain directly to the JLSC regarding the conduct of judges and other senior public figures working in legal services. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Along with its remit to act as an independent disciplinary body for all senior public figures working in legal services and the judiciary, the JLSC will also have the responsibility for conducting the recruitment process for judges and senior legal roles, and then make recommendations to the governor.
In his first press briefing since the creation of the commission, Scott explained that the JLSC, which has been established under the Cayman Islands Constitution 2009, would now be responsible for the recruitment of senior public sector legal personnel, from Grand Court judges to the director of public prosecutions when the officer is created.
He said the JLSC represented a new system and the chief justice would no longer be solely responsible for the recruitment of judges and magistrates. Scott stated that during the recruitment process for the current vacancy Chief Justice Anthony Smellie would be expected to offer input, but the recruitment panel itself would consist of members of the JLSC and others who it suggested should be there.
“There is no question that the Constitution has provided for significant changes in this area and it adds another layer to the process,” he said, adding that was a positive layer which would enhance the system.
Scott said that, as yet, the commission had not turned its attention to dealing with the magistrate vacancy as it had not yet been advised of the circumstance surround the departure of Grace Donalds.
Aside from the need to recruit judges and other senior legal staff, the JLSC has a watchdog role Scott said that while the commission would not have anyresponsibility over judge’s legal rulings and decisions, as that would still be the responsibility of the appeal court system, it would be concerned with judge’s behaviour.
The JLSC is currently creating a code of conduct based on various international standards, and once completed the code would become a public document. Scott said the public would have access to the commission to complain. The chair stated that the JLSC was working on a website that would provide an open portal for people to see what the commission was doing and how they could raise concerns. Scott said that the code of conduct would be published there and the procedure for complaints would also be explained on the site.
The commission and its make up was established under the new Constitution, which requires two non-legal members including the chair, plus the president of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal and experienced legal experts for other specified positions.  Scott and Dara Flowers-Burke are the non-legal members and Sir John Chadwick is the current president of the CICA. Edward Zacca, Sir David Simmons, Richard Ground, Richard Coles and Charles Jennings are the other members.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank God for this new body, JLSC, made up of sensible and upstanding persons. It is especially great news that former Attorney General Richard Ground QC is a member. He is remembered by many as a very good Attorney General and in my opinion we were silly to lose him to Bermuda. Thank you Mr. Ground for accepting this very important appointment. I also extend congratulations and thanks to the other members of the JLSC.

    • Court Press Officer says:

      Please permit me to correct a minor but significant point made in the above story, in which the Chairman of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) is reported saying… the JLSC represented a new system and the chief justice would no longer be solely responsible for the recruitment of judges and magistrates.”

      The premise on which that statement was made is incorrect.  The Chief Justice was never solely responsible for recruitment of judges and magistratesRather, following shortlisting of candidates responding to advertisement published in the press, selection was the responsibility of a panel convened in London.  That panel, chaired by the Governor, comprised the FCO’s legal advisor, the Cayman Islands Government representative in London, and the Chief Justice.


      • Anonymous says:

        Was this the process followed with the appointment of Sir Peter Cresswell, Press Officer?

  2. Anonymous says:

    How about Steve or Theresa?

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 9:33: Good one! You almost had me believing this was a serious suggestion! I need to get out more.

      • Anonymous says:

        LOL. Yes, but by the thumbs down it would appear as if several people considered my suggestion to be serious. Now that is scary.

        What if they took the Legal Aid funds, and instead of dispensing legal aid they ran a parallel justice system? Sort of like the low-cost housing, but this time just for legal? If calls to the talk shows are anything to go by, one of them appears to have the temperment to be Judge, Jury, and Executioner. lol.

      • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

        Are there any Caymanians you feel would make a good judge? Or, do you think my question is a joke also?

        • Anonymous says:

          No, Dennie, I can’t think of any born Caymanians that would make a good judge. And certainly not, alas, the two mentioned. That’s not to say there aren’t any Caymanians who are terrific lawyers – there are but they are all earning gazillions in the private sector.

          I think it is just not reasonable to expect such a small indigenous population to provide all the political, top civil service, judicial positions etc etc. There are, quite simply and it’s no disrespect to Cayman, not enough to go around.

          • Ali Louya says:

            It is not just a question of money.  Judges are usually chosen from litigators and when you search the leading litigators on the island there are not many native Caymanians in those lists.  The succesful native Caymanian attorneys tend to work as corporate attorneys. 

          • Anonymous says:

            Truman is now retired … how about him?

            • Anonymous says:

              Not a bad suggestion bit he does not have the right legal background and experience.

              • Legal Beagle says:

                So if he doesn’t have the background or experience, that would make it a bad suggestion.

                • Anonymous says:

                  I was being diplomatic, Legal Beagle, but as you are probably a lawyer you wouldn’t understand that concept! Take that!

                  But actually, you are correct. Mea culpa.

        • Hallowe'en Jack says:

          I have seen Judge Dredd, and I know you love guns, so I guess you would want the judge to be armed too?  Or do you think my question to be a joke also?

    • Alan Nivia says:

      LOL! It is so good to have the LOL button now, I had to click on that one because it was so funny.

    • Anonymous says:

      You cannot be serious. For a moment I was very worried.

  3. Loopy Lou says:

    Let us hope that they pick the best candidates regardless of their nationalities when it comes to Grand Court judges.  A bad judge can cost Cayman’s reputation dear and lose many many jobs. 

    • Slinga says:

      Let us hope that the they will want the best person rather than have to opt for someone who is just "suitably qualified".  The bane of my life, that "suitably qualified".

  4. anonymous says:

    Excellent news. 

    This is one of the positive developments from the new Constitution and hopefully the Commission will be successful in finding a fair minded and qualified ethnic Caymanian to fill the post of Magistrate.

    Surely we can find one.   


    • Anonymous says:

      Such a Caymanian would NOT want to take on a Magistrate’s post at the salary offered when he or she could rake in the cash in a private sector job.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is an "ethnic Caymanian"? 

      I’ll help you out – there is no such thing. Caymanians are made up of lots of different ethnicities – Hispanic, African, European, etc. That is something to be proud of. There is no need to create such nonsense as some bizarre notion of an ethnically pure Caymanian.

      But back to the Magistrate’s position… I think you’d struggle to find a Caymanian who is well qualified and who wants the job. From the point of view of one’s career, it may well be a bit of a dead end.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Dead end". Not necessarily so.  Quite a number of judges have risen through the ranks from magistrates. I am specifically aware of one case where a former magistrate made it into the Court of Appeal.  

        You’re right that it is unlikely that appropriately qualified Caymanians would be interested since it lacks the prestige of a judge and the salary is substantially less than the average practitioner.     

      • anonymous says:

        I’m just as happy with "native Caymanian" or "roots Caymanian" but i saw where an expat referred to us recently in the print media as "ethnic Caymaninas" so i just used that term, but i think you know what i mean "someone who has generational family ties to the Cayman islands"  – in other words a "Caymanian" to every Caymanian i know.

        And yes those ties could have Hispanic African European blood lines. That is not what we are talking about.

        Seeing the number of thumbs down on a point of view which expresses that hopefully we can find a Caymanian to fill a post in Cayman that has traditionall filled by expats is really absolutely astounding. 



        • Right ya so says:

          Replying to:

          I’m just as happy with