Bill of rights trumps in traffic case delay

| 15/11/2012

Plaatje-Christopher-Human-Rights.jpg(CNS): James Stenning became the first local defence attorney to take advantage of the people's new rights in order to assist a client last week. During a sentencing hearing in a traffic case on Tuesday 6 November, the day the Cayman Islands Bill of Rights came into effect, the crown's efforts to obtain a compensation order against Thomas Novak were thwarted as a result of continued delays by the prosecution. Stenning argued that the crown was too late to claim compensation in the careless driving case. Pointing to the dawning of a new era in the local criminal justice system, which will see delays play a more important part in all court cases, Stenning said that the continued adjournments by the crown broke his clients new constitutional rights.

The magistrate, who had previously indicated that she was unlikely to allow any further adjournments in the case, agreed and stopped the crown's attempts to secure compensation.

The local judiciary has over the last few months signalled a warning to representatives from the office of public prosecutions about the importance of avoiding delays in regard to court cases.

Justice Alex Henderson in particular has been vocal about the problems of continued delays that plague the local court system and has warned that, following the implementation of the Bill of Rights, even serious criminal cases could be thrown out if the prosecution is found to have delayed the cases, regardless of the reasons.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What a joke…

  2. Legal Seagull says:

    What a tremendous advert for the Bill of Rights.  A guilty man escapes some punishment on a tenchnicality without any evidence of prejudice.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ah good, even more ways in which the guilty can escape justice.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or finally a way that penalizes the court for its incompetence at not doing its job in a timely manner so the victims are not left hanging.  Something that has been a long time coming.  But yes in Cayman it will work for the guilty more than the innocent as the Cayman courts are already doing the best they ever will.

      • Anonymous says:

        So the victims are to draw some consolation for the criminal going unpunished? 

  4. Anonymous says:

    "Stenning said that the continued adjournments by the crown broke his clients new constitutional rights"

    How? unless the delays prejudiced this person in some specific, demonstrable way. 


  5. Anonymous says:

    James Stenning, who I met in 2007 and has been a long-time human rights advocate, is the perfect person to kick off this watershed in justice for people on the Cayman Islands.

    Congratulations Sir.