Liquour board denies making new JS decision

| 11/11/2010

(CNS): The Liquor Licensing Board has denied making a new decision to grant a provisional licence to Jacques Scott for its new flagship store in West Bay, despite a letter from the Attorney General’s Office to the wine merchant stating that the licence had been granted subject to planning approval. On Thursday afternoon the LLB issued a press statement saying no meeting of the board had been held to reconsider the application and no variation had yet been granted for the store. In possession of an order from the chief justice and a letter from the AG, Jacques Scott said, however, that it did not think the LLB statement was accurate.

Nevertheless, the LLB said on Thursday that it had still not met to reconsider the Jacques Scott application for a change of location licence in connection with the new West Bay store so it was the board’s position that nothing had been granted and it was still up for reconsideration at the earliest opportunity.

The board stated that reports in the media on 3 November (CNS – Wine Shop gets new decision) that said the licence had been granted were incorrect.

“Since 3rd November and the present date the Board has had no opportunity to meet for the purposes of reconsidering the variation as there was no quorum following the absence of one member due to medical reasons,” it said in a statement. “The Deputy Chairman of the Board did not approve the application pursuant to section 13 of the Liquor Licensing Law but instead actually agreed only to a reconsideration of the application by the Board in quorum, as soon as reasonably possible and in accordance with the Order of the Chief Justice.”

It said that as a statutory board charged with responsibility for matters concerning liquor licensing in Grand Cayman, it understands that the courts may guide the board in its decision-making but that ultimate responsibility and power to grant any variation rests solely with the board.

However, having received a letter from the attorney general’s chambers on 3 November saying the license was “hereby granted”, Jacques Scott said it believed the board was wrong.

“The Board was ordered by the Chief Justice to reconsider the application and reach a decision in accordance with the findings of the Court within 14 days,” the wine merchant said in a statement to CNS. “If it was true that no reconsideration of the application had taken place within 14 days of the Chief Justice’s order then the Board would have been in breach of the Judge’s clear direction to make their decision quickly. No-one from the Attorney-General’s chambers or the Board has suggested to us that the letter of 3 November was written in error, and of course we would have heard about it before now directly from the Attorney-General’s chambers or the Board if that was indeed the case.”

According to the chief justice’s order, the board was told to reach a new decision on the licence within two weeks of his order of 25 October based on the information the board hadreceived at the original application hearing in April after he squashed the original refusal. The chief justice pointed out the grounds of refusal were not appropriate as the conclusions fell outside those reasonably available to the board.

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  1. 21st Century Boy says:

    Why are we living in the 1950’s when it comes to liquor sales?

    1) I would like to buy wine with my food at Kirks or Hurleys.

    2) As I work hard, I would like to go to a store and buy some beers after 7pm.

    3) And it would be quite nice to buy something for my impromptu Sunday afternoon cocktail parties without having to plan them a day or two in advance.

  2. frikadelle says:

    Why not make alcohol available for tourists and expats only. So you would have to show your international drivers license or passport. That way Caymanians are protected for the "horrors" of alcohol.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What good has alcohol ever done for this country? It brings in the most revenue. Really what exports does this 2 by 4 island have? Turtle? and Hyprocrosy?

    It very clear that conflict of interest is turning down this new venture. Why is Jaques Scott trying to get in and not Dart? Think about it…Politricks again..

  4. Crabsinabucket says:

    34 days left on the countdown to success and we can’t even get inward investment into the Republic…….

    CNS: Ooops! forgot to change it this morning. Just 33 days left to go.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       The Premier makes all kinds of statements and promises and nuttin appens. Is anyone going to ask for documented proof that something is improving. Promises, first class flights, travel, and nuttin honey.

  5. MER says:

    Another example of Government and its ever-growing problems with following their own procedures. One department says its done, the next says its not, seriously though???

  6. Anonymous says:

    The law provides for the Governor in Cabinet to appoint additional board members to ensure that decisions are taken in a timely manner. Too bad this was not done in this case.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The law needs to be changed to keep politics and conflicts of interest out of all appointments to statutory boards. People should be appointed to uphold the relevant laws not protect their own interests, or vote the way their party says.

  8. Shock and Awe says:

    It’s obvious the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.

    It’s holding a drink!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    It is simple.This is what happens when orders are made thoughtlessly. How can a board meet if circumstances beyomd their control do not allow them to be properly constituted. My undertstanding of the law is a Judicial Review Apllication can result in quashing of an order but it would be very unusual to set a time limit unless there is an exceptional reason.Suppose the board wanted  new evidence. Who an earth is the AG (WE KNOW) to write without consulting the board

  10. Anonymous says:

    I dont care one way or another if it gets approved or not, but fair is fair, and my humble opinion is that Mr. Michelle should not have been allowed to vote on this issue as he has a personal interest in this store not going in ….. XXXX

    CNS: This is from the LLB about this decision: "The Board is constituted of 5 members, 2 of whom, including the Board’s Chairman, recused themselves from the decision-making process from the outset due to a potential conflict of interest."

    • Anonymous says:

      Do they count for a quorum if they are recused? If so, it looks like one person being sick would make nodifference. Also, if the sick person was one ofthe recused then there would still have been a quorum, assuming that 3 is a quorum. All sounds like bs, it will be up to the courts to prevent continuing arbitrary action.

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS – Thank you for clarifying that. On behalf of the other Anonymous (if they do not do this themselves) apologies are extended to Mr. Michelle for besmirching his good name (in accusation and spelling).

  11. CLiberty says:

    My personal opinion:


    It would be nice if Jacque Scott contribute something to assist Social Services with helping those who are addicted to alcohol. The Board should not grant them any License until they can show to the Board how they can help educating the public on the dangers of alcohol addiction and the importance of moderation.


    • Just Tipplin' says:

      What good has booze done? Itmakes me happy, ok?  And when I am not happy I do baddd  things!

      (Pouring myself a drink.)

      I would suppose you also believe that auto dealers should not be granted Trade and Business licenses unless they can demonstrate how they can help educate the public on the dangers of speeding and the importanse of good driving.

      (Pouring myself another drink.)

      Likewise, under youre brilliant programe, restaurants would not resh… re-ceive their license unless they can demonshr…  demonshr…  show… that bad old board how they can help educate the public on the dangers of gluttony, the horror’sh of getting fat, and the importan’sh of a good diet.

      (Pouring myself another drink.)

      An of coarsh churches would not be a-loud to move into a nayburhood unlesh they can demonsh… oh hell… show… how they can help educat the publik on the danger’sh of religious fanaticism and the importance of rashunul thimking.

      (Pouring myself another drink.)

      Yur shug-jeshon indicates posshibul brain deth! So plee’sh now, jush lay down on the floor like a proper comato’sh person. May be in th’ corner… can u shee that tiny itty bitty little co-shee little corner…   wayyyy over there? Sho go sho lie down in th little bitty corner all the wayyy over thre, sho no one trip’sh over you, an… …uhhh…

      (What wuz I shaying enney-way?)

      Oh yeah… sho lie down in th little bitty corner all the wayyy over thre ann quit trying to make peepul believe that yur shurebral neuron’sh are firing.

      (Pouring myself another drink.)

      Thish ish jush my persunl opinion, perhapsh a fuzz-ish… a…. a fuzzzz-ish… a doctor… an a EEG kud reveel shome limited activity in the reflex shenters of yur brane.

      Oh my gawd, af… afff…  afft-ter reeding yur coment agin…

      I need a JRRRINNNKKKK! Where’sh mah dam jjrikn?? 

      HEY! JAKE’SH SCHKOT!!!  Where… ish… my… jjjhh-rink??  I no it’sh aroun here… shum-place.

      Furget that. Poor me anuther won… and maek taht a dubble, pleeeesh!)

      I neeed an-nuthur  jjjrrr-ink… biff….biffff… bee-foe-wer I hop in mah carr an sh’peed on over to Bergur Kign for shum guud shtuff two pig out on.

      After I eet I need to dress in shum cleen clothes (without the regurgitated rum shtains) becuzz rev-er-rund Sykes mite git ups-set if I miss Mass.

      • Anonymous says:

        Clever my friend but not everything is a joke.

        We have more than enough liquor establishments on the island.


        Shame on you JS!

        • Just Tipplin' says:

          Now that I have sobered up a bit:

          Speaking of joking, your comment was intended to be a joke too right?

          So, essentially you are arguing that once a particular field has a sufficient number of providers to cater to the island’s need, government should deny permission for new establishments in those fields. Gee, so you are for closing quite a broad number of fields to permission for new locations, right?

          Using your argument quite a number of areas should be denied new licenses: grocery stores, restaurants, clothing stores, banks, attorney’s offices, real estate brokers, auto sales and rental, dive operations, construction companies, a broad array of miscellaneous retail operations, and certainly churches, to name a few.  We have more than enough off all those; don’t need any more, right?

          After reading your comment and after considering its logic and sensibility (or lack thereof)…

          …I need another drink. (Oh, Jacques Scott, where are you when I need you?)

          You should feel very bad right now because you drove me to drink – probably end up driving me to get drunk. If it had not been for you and your silliness I would have remained sober this evening.

          Shame on you!



    • Tax collector says:


      What a stupid comment!
      Do you not realize the millions of Dollars a company like the Jacques Scott Group must contribute each year to this Country’s economy through fees and duties…Get a life!
  12. noinjusticegcm says:

    One would think that it is Jacques Scott & Co. that misinterpreted and not the Board. It is common knowledge that the Courts cannot, on an application for judicial review, replace its own judgement with that of the decision of the Board when it comes to questions of opinion within the context of what the Board is legally entitled to consider. If we read the Order it does not say the CJ struck down all, but instead only part of the decision of the Board and if it was impossible for the Board to be quorate and take a decision until its member returned from medical leave then how could the Board be held in contempt of the Order?….that would be like saying that if I were in a coma but you wanted a decision from me in 7 days but I awoke in 9 days, I would be in contempt- that is rubbish! Jacques Scott’s lawyers (and those of the AG Chambers should know that reasonableness in these matters has a role to play!), who can argue with the clear argument put forward by the Board. Kudos to the LLB and to their Deputy Chairman for speaking out. Change is afoot in Cayman! JSC has no varied license until the Board says it does.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think that it would be unfair to suggest that the Board is in a coma despite all appearances.

    • Peek-A-Boo says:

      If a Board is unable to meet a quorum simply because one individual Board member is ill, then there is something seriously wrong with the setup of the Board in the first place.

    • Just Tipplin' (again) says:

      Did you read the attachments accompanying the article?  In no uncertain terms the letter from the Attorney General’s Chambers clearly and expressly stated, without ambiguity and in plain English, with no reason for other interpretation, with forthrightness and in a quite comprehensible manner, and without reservation (other than statutory approvals other than the LLB) made it patently plain and obvious, said explicitly and unambiguously and with absolute lucidity that the applicant with certainty and without doubt or reason to believe otherwise,  certainly, positively and most assuredly that "…the application…is hereby granted."

      So who messed up?

  13. noresh says:

    Technical breach of the Order? – we in the Public are hardly in a position to know what was said to the Courts, what was said to the members of the Board? How can the AG’s office issue a statement that an Order approving a license has been given 5 days before the period of time the Order gives the Board to reconsider its decision has expired is beyond my comprehension. One thing rings clear: we need to start asking questions about who runs our “justice” system and why???….or anarchy might start to take root as it has in places not too far away.

  14. Anonymous says:

    CNS, Does this mean that the LLB is in contempt of Court? If so, what are the consequences for the LLB and its Board Members? Also, if the LLB is in contempt, can the Court just step in and grant the variation requested by JS?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Who wouldn’t be confused? But I don’t see how a judicial review of an administrative decision can do anything more than say it is legally right or legally wrong, if there are other administrative points to consider then clearly the Board has to make those decisions and not the Courts.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The AG’s office cannot make a decision on behalf of the LLB. If the LLB has for legitimate reasons not yet met to make a decision as to variation then there is no decision. This may be a technical breach of the order but it does not automatically mean that any variation has been granted and provided the delay in reconsidering the matter was unavoidable, the LLB is not necessarily in contempt of court.

  17. Anonymous says:

    the LLB is another reason why business and tourism is down in cayman. with the opening hours on the weekend until 12, what a joke, what century do we live in again 1800s………..wake up cayman its 2010

    • Anonymous says:

      The majority of Caymanians and many people who have come to live amongst us like the bars ending at midnight on Saturdays and we intend to keep it like thta. Get over it!

      • Just Tipplin' (again) says:

        The Thumbs would seem to negate your comment.

        Any other bright ideas there, Sunshine?

        • Anonymous says:

          The thumbs down or up on this form is not indicative of the majority opinion of Caymanians Sugarpie.

          • Just Tipplin' (s'more) says:

            On what do you base your opinion? Grabbed that one out of thin air, huh?

            Do you have any valid statistics as to the nationality of contributors to this forum. The answer is "no", nah? Fact is you are merely expressing an opinion you hope is true. Whereas I expressed an observation based on fact. Right, Sunshine?

            Thank you for providing us with an excellent illustration of a problem with the anti-booze, close-the-bars-early types: they have little in the form of facts, statistics and empirical evidence, yet they hold out their opinions and emotional responses as truth or the will of God.

            I say you are wrong. And I have more of a statistical chance of being correct than you, so thus I speak. Which does not amount to a turkey’s tailfeather because you think you are right. (Or at least you hope so.)

            So on the matter of opinion, save for persuasive argumentation, we are currently at a stalemate. However, I shall proffer that my opinion has more relevance than your opinion since truth is preferred to flights of fantasy.

            Let’s get to the crux of the issue: You are anti booze, right?  I like mah Greeneis and mah rhum and mah wine becuz they make me feel so good and they taste good and can make a great pairing with certain fare. Big gap to bridge there.

            The challenge: I say, you will find it a long steep narrow bumpyfoggy tortuous road to come up with a rational, logical basis for a desire for the bars to close so early. But I would like to hear it. If you can come up with one, that is.

            Salud! (Tippin’ mah glass)


    • Jab-Jab says:

      You are absolutely correct. We need to shorten the drunkenness hours. Look at the increases in arrests, hospital visits and other anti-social behaviour that occured in England after they lengthened the pub hours. To subject a society to that just so (a) a few people can make a bigger profit and (b) a bunch of people can drug themselves is embarrassing in this day and age. You’d think society would know better by now, wouldn’t you 17:31?

      • Just Tipplin' (again) says:

        Gee Jab, so that’s what you do during those hours, get drunk? Sorry to hear that.

        So where do we look to see all this bad stuff you’re talking about?

        Or is this just hearsay or wishful thought based on emotions?

        Have a look::

        A study on this subject was commissioned by the UK government to assess certain social impacts resulting from legislation that includes liberalising of licensed premises closing hours.

        The Licensing Act 2003 came into effect in November 2005 across England and Wales. The Act made a significant change, allowing licensed premises to sell booze up to 24 hours a day. Research was undertaken to assess the levels and patterns of crime after the implementation of the Act and several reports compiled.

        One report is entitled, "The impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on levels of crime and disorder: an evaluation"

        Here is the preface to the report:

        "In the run-up to implementation, there was widespread
        concern that the legislation would lead to ‘24-hour
        drinking’ and an increase in associated problems. These
        fears were not met in the year after implementation.
        Nor are there any clear signs yet that the abolition of a
        standard closing time has significantly reduced problems of
        crime and disorder.

        The scale of change in licensing hours has been both variable
        and modest: while the majority of pubs have extended their
        hours, most of these extensions have been short.

        The limited evidence suggests that alcohol consumption
        has fallen slightly, although some people are drinking until
        later into the night.

        The overall volume of incidents of crime and disorder
        remains unchanged, though there are signs that crimes
        involving serious violence may have reduced. However,
        there is evidence of temporal displacement, in that the
        small proportion of violent crime occurring in the small
        hours of the morning has grown.

        Alcohol-related demands on Accident & Emergency (A&E)
        departments appear to have been stable in aggregate,
        though some hospital services have seen increased
        demand, others a fall.

        Police, local authorities and licensees generally welcomed
        the changes, the new powers it gave them, and the Act’s
        partnership philosophy. They did not report significant
        problems with implementation – once teething problems
        were solved – and did not think generally that alcohol related
        problems of crime and disorder had worsened.

        In surveys, local residents were less likely to say that drunk
        and rowdy behaviour was a problem after the change than
        before it, and the majority thought that alcohol-related
        crime was stable or declining.

        The main conclusion to be drawn from the evaluation
        is that licensing regimes may be one factor in effecting
        change to the country’s drinking culture – and its impact
        on crime – but they do not appear to be the critical factor.
        The key issue is how they interact with other factors."

        The report closed with the following conclusion:

        "Whilst some indicators point in different directions, the overall
        conclusion to be drawn from the evaluation is that in their first
        year the changes introduced by the 2003 Licensing Act had only
        small effects on the opening hours of most pubs and clubs, on
        levels of alcohol consumption and on alcohol-related problems
        of crime and disorder. Some crime has been displaced into
        the small hours, but overall levels of crime associated with the
        night-time economy remain largely unchanged, and there has
        also been a small fall in serious crimes of violence – possibly as a
        consequence of the extension of licensing hours."

        And while we are now on rational ground, let us look at some more stuff:

        A study by the Applied Criminology Centre (ACC) at the University of Huddersfieldin the United Kingdom reports on findings on some impacts of of The Licensing Act 2003.

        Key findings from the study include:

        1. Violence against the person predominantly decreased following the implementation of the Act.

        2. Reductions in violence within premises were reported.

        3. Criminal damages decreased and “the location of criminal damage hot spots often did not correspond with the location of licensed premises and the key drinking areas."

        The Act incorporated measures to encourage responsible drinking (this is also a biblical/scriptural approach.) In spite of the babblings of the moralists and doomsday-sayers, the reform was progressive and did not result in willy-nilly drunkeness and crime.

        Cayman would do well to emulate the UK and introduce sensible laws regulating establishments that sell alcohol. We should enact effective legislation and programmes aimed at promoting responsible drinking. That makes far more sense than relying on the outdated and silly idea that bars closing early is a limiting factor to alcohol-related problems.

        Speaking of crime, the worst criminals in this are the so-called "Christian" churches that demand total abstinence from alcohol and stick their head in the sand and refuse to get on board with progressive legislation in regard to booze. They lie and tell us that abstinence is what God demands in the Bible when there is ample evidence that they are heinous deceivers who will misrepresent scripture when it suits their aims. Imagine how many lives may have been saved if they would abandon their lies, preach moderation and set a biblical example by giving us a model as to responsible consumption of alcohol rather than spewing tripe about drinking alcoholic beverages being a sin. The blood of those people that the churches could have reached with a message of responsible drinking and moderation but instead turned away leaving them to abuse alcohol and die is on those churches hands.

        I am so very happy that at least one church, The Roman Catholic Church is around! Because of their presence I can tip a brew with a "man of God" and not made to feel as if I am an outcast of God. Oh, but could the rest of the Cayman Ministers Association see the light!