Portal opens on Cayman’s Constitution

| 10/03/2011

(CNS): The Constitutional Commission has launched its much anticipated website, which will become the primary tool for educating the wider public about the Cayman Islands Constitution 2009. www.knowyourconstitution.ky will serve as a focal point for promoting what the constitution means for the people and to encourage their participation, which in turn will promote more transparent governance in the country. The website has educational materials for teachers, downloadable copies of the constitution, discussion papers on constitutional matters, as well as legislation and minutes of meetings.

Part of the goal to create openness, transparency, debate discussion and understanding, the website is one of the ways the commissioners hope people will come to familiarise themselves with and understand the country’s constitution and how it can empower them to hold government accountable, said Constitutional Commission Member Wil Pineau.

As well as a portal for facts, resources, the answers to questions, documents and minutes, the website is designed to be an interactive tool and the commissioners want people to submit comments and questions and concerns and for people to post ideas, relevant discussion papers and school projects or lesson plans.

“The constitution belongs to the people of the Cayman Islands so it is critical that everyone understands and protects its provisions,” Pineau said at a briefing to launch the website on Tuesday. “The only way our citizens can carry out this important responsibility is to get involved and to learn the constitution. “

As the commission supports open and transparent public discussion, all of its own reports, discussion documents and minutes are on the site. It also has a list of frequently asked questions but Pineau stated that the commission was hoping to have more submitted from the public.

The website comes ahead of a planned series of meetings beginning in April, when the commissioners will be heading out to meet the people face to face inall six districts to start promoting and educating people about their constitutional rights in partnership with the elected district representatives.

“These public meetings and discussions will allow us to meet residents and to explain our work and to answer any questions about constitutional matters,” Pineau said, adding that the dates and locations would soon be released once they had been confirmed. “People do have another voice via the constitution,” he added.

Education is the Constitutional Commission’s primary purpose and Pineau said the meetings would be interactive and allow people to raise their issues and concerns and address the many misunderstandings about governance in general.

“There is misunderstanding in the community about the constitution and issues of good governance and the areas that need to be enforced,” he said. “When people understand the system of governance then they are empowered and can have their concerns addressed. If they don’t they are at a disadvantage.”

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  1. Magnus Carter says:

    I would not worry too much about the constitution, especially the bill of rights. Since the bill of rights is less protective that than the ECHR and the UK and Cayman is obliged to uphold the ECHR the bill of rights will quite rapidly be replaced by a full importation of the ECHR.