Election challenge hearing set

| 18/06/2013

rivers.jpg(CNS): Justice Alex Henderson got down to business Tuesday and pressed attorneys involved in the petition challenge to Tara Rivers’ election to move quickly because of the public interest. The case is now set for 17 July, when the lawyers representing John Hewitt, the petitioner, and Rivers will argue whether or not she was qualified to be elected to office in West Bay at last month’s election. Given that Hewitt is the husband of Velma Hewitt, the UDP candidate who came fifth in the political race and who is a former officer of the local courts, Henderson told the attorneys involved that if they wished to make representations to have the local judges all recuse themselves from the case, they must do so in writing by Friday.

Meanwhile, Rivers, the newly appointed education minister in the PPM administration, has been given just two weeks to prepare her affidavit addressing the facts of the allegations challenging her qualification by the petitioner, who is represented by Steve McField.

Paul Keeble, who along with Grahame Hampson is representing Rivers, was only able to squeeze one extra week from Henderson, despite his original pleas for four weeks so they could consult with constitutional expert and lead counsel, Jeffery Jowell QC, in London. The judge pointed out the need to address the issue quickly but bent on his original seven days once a date was secured for mid-July.

The lawyers on both sides were instructed to have their skeleton arguments submitted to each other and the court by 12 July in preparation for the two-day hearing, which will decide whether or not Rivers is qualified.

It became apparent that Rivers may still hold a US passport during the directions hearing and that her lawyers will be arguing the case that the passport was “thrust upon her by birth” rather than an acquisition demonstrating any allegiance to another country as alleged.

The hearing move quickly as Henderson pushed the lawyers into action in front of a packed courtroom, where significant numbers of Rivers’ supporters from the Coalition for Cayman, the political platform on which she ran, as well as friends were in attendance, including Mervin Smith, Rivers' West Bay Running mate. John and Velma Hewitt and their supporters in West Bay were also in court for the hearing. The new Speaker of the House, Juliana O’Connor Connolly, now a member of the government, was also in attendance.

Aside from the stumbling block that Rivers has to cross in connection to her alleged possession of a valid US passport, she must also deal with a second ground in the petition that relates to her time resident overseas before the election.  It is no secret that Rivers was based in the UK between 2006 and 2009, when she was employed as a legal associate for a London law firm. However, she was also studying part-time.

The elections law requires that all candidates are primarily resident in Cayman during the seven years prior to any election they wish to contest. There are, however, a number of exemptions, one of which is for the purpose of study, but it is not clear if this also applies to those who were employed full-time while studying or just full-time students with part time jobs.

Be sure to follow coverage ofthe July hearing on CNS.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I want Tara to remain a Minister, however I am happy in a sense she is being challenged.  This case will reflect all of the conflicting laws we have in Cayman.  HR conflicts with Immigration, Elections, Education Laws etc.  I hope she wins her case.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There is one important simple fact that everyone is missing here and that is that Tara's refusal to sign the election office's declaration form speaks volumes about the person. All those who refused to sign the decalaration including Mr. Bush, should not have been allowed to run for public office in the first place as they did not meet the requirements and procedures for the process of being eligible for running for public office. The bottom line here is that in not signing the declaration, they have something to hide in that they clearly knew that they did not meet the requirements stated in the declaration.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please do not bring your lack of knowledge to the table. Thank you. That declaration is not legally binding. Each candidate was told this and given the choice to sign it or not – and – were told that not signing it would not have any impact whatsoever on their candidacy. So I ask you, oh wise one, if you in your obvious blinding brilliance, were asked to put your signature on a piece of paper that was not in the constitution as a legally binding document, had no bearing whatsoever on your eligibility to run for public office and in general served absolutely no purpose in the election – would you? I sure as hell wouldn't.

      What you need to do is go and find out WHY this document is all of a sudden in the election process. What you will find will be most interesting. The country from whence it was copied is not one that I would prefer to emulate. Thank you very much!


    • Anonymous says:

      I think you are missing the point that the declaration was not a legal requirement of the Elections Law or otherwise. It was simply the Elections Office overreaching. A number of candidates objected to it on that basis alone. Arden McLean also refused to sign it.  Are you suggesting that he was disqualified?

  3. Anonymous says:

    What a choice Steve "Chewy" McField will have when this gets back in courthouse! Which one of these women to call a "sacred vessel". And if he does not call both sacred vessels, then what would that make Tara?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was born in the USA.I hold an American passport.  It was given to me when I was just six weeks old.  My parents came back to Grand Cayman and I have lived here all my life. I have renewed my passport on its expiry by simply filling out the necessary documents and sending them to the American Embassy. Does this disqualify me from being a candidate in the General Elections of the Cayman Islands?  I did not choose to be born in the USA.  That was a choice my parents made. So Tara was born in the US.  Giving up her passport does not change where she was born. Even if she does not renew her passport. her birthpapers denote that she was born in the USA. And like Tara,   I work here, my home is here. my children go to school here.  I am  CAYMANIAN              What is happening to Tara is what has been happening to Caymanians for the past 10+ years.  We are our own worse enemy.  We dont like to see our own succeed.  We dont promote our own, we dont look out for each other.  Take this same senario to Jamaica and see the reaction of the people there.    I beleive in Tara and I know that she would not do anything to mislead her people.  For God's sake give her a chance to defend herself and stop being judge and jury.  Let the Courts decide.  God bless the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      "I have renewed my passport on its expiry by simply filling out the necessary documents and sending them to the American Embassy"  So you have made the decision to take steps to disqualify yourself.  Easy.

    • Blessed says:

      Might not have been your choice initially but it certainly was your choice eventually to get that passport renewed.  So yes it does make you disqualified to run in the elections.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not about Caymanians trying to keep each other down, this is about what is right under the laws of this country.  The constitution sets out the eligibiliy requirements for candidates and each person standing for office should ensure that they are eligible.  The law is the law.  No one is above it.  Tara is a lawyer and should have made sure she was in compliance with the requirements.  If she is not , then, unfortunately,  she will have the face the consequences.   

    • Anonymous says:

      We are delighted to see our own succeed. Americans who have pledged allegiance to the United States are, however, politically not our own. And BTW – precicely the same thing has recently happened in Jamaica where Jamaicans with US passports were removed from their seats. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Again the situation at hand is, say one day perhaps you take an oath of allegiance to our assembly as by the constitution. You have then sworn to be fully committed to your Caymanian roots, true? Well then that means you've pledged to be there during the joy, pain, sorrow, all our ups and downs just like the rest of us who are limited in options to vacate if the dire need arise. It is do or die. No running, you one of us. When hurricanes or financial disasters happen, will you be in the seem boat as us? Will you be standing in line to get a visa or even a botlle of water from Fosters? That's some of the questions asked of representatives. So the difference is, when you choose to run a country, you choose your allegiance to the country that is relying on you, who voted for you.

      No need for another nations passport.

      One people. It is our constitutional right to have full representation. That's the question here. Honesty and servitude!

      Our pledge on this island is……. "God save the Queen!"

      • Anonymous says:

        It is Tara's constitutional right to retain her US citzenship which is a birthright.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have , in Tara Rivers, an educated and intelligent woman who is not tainted by association with previous unsavory goings on…why would you want to replace this valuable resource with a wannabe seeking a free ride…? we already got Capt. Eugene to fill that spot.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is what Tara Rivers said she was doing or not doing in London when she came back in 2010.


    The reference to her being an associate in London was removed in the present version of her bio.  Also there is no evidence on this bio of any study taking place in London.


    • Anonymous says:

      Wow. Now the UDP has an "expert" computer hacker on the case. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    • Anonymous says:

      If I were a betting man, I would bet that Tara's case will be based upon the argument that any denial of her right to run is contrary to her rights under the ECHR.  I don't think she has a case of positively establishing eligibility, so the rights argument may be her best bet. 

      The tight timetable gives the Petitioner very little time to access documents located abroad to challenge anything said in the affidavit.  But recent cases have confirmed that when one party has access to information and does not put it in evidence the court can draw inferences against that party.  So one would expect the affidavit to exhibit her council tax records, her application letters and contract of employment with A&O, her passports (in their entirety to show entry/exit stamps or, more importnantly, the lack of them) and details of her international travel over the last 7 years. 

      • Anonymous says:

        The Grand Court cannot rule that the Constitution is contrary to the ECHR. The Grand Court is subject to and derives its power from the Constitution.

      • Anonymous says:

        And in the process possibly and accidently establish a right for every PR holder to both vote for and run for office. At that point, Caymanians could kiss goodbye to any prospect of preserving their future.

        • Anonymous says:

          One would sincerely hope so.  The limits on voting and standing for election are clearly contrary to Art 1 of Protocol 1.

        • Kurt says:

          Cayman was lost the minute PPM was put back in power – the Courts don't need to make a ruling on that.

          They have already ruined the financial services industry by agreeing to release the name of every person owing a company in Cayman.

          • Anonymous says:

            What is wrong with knowing who owns any particular company? Are you ashamed of the company you own? Are you doing something illegal?


            If the company wins national awards for treating its employees fairly and is a good corporate citizen, would you not want people to know that you were involved with that and that you are doing a good job for the community?


            CIMA lists the directors of its registered funds, so what's wrong with disclosure of ownership of companies? Have you got that much to hide? thsi is like the FOI law, everything should be disclosed unless the company can prove otherwise that it should not.

          • Anonymous says:

            …something any new govt. would have been required to do, whether they like it or not. Didn't you notice that ALL Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies (which do not have a PPM govt.) agreed to it as well? Did you notice that after showing some initial resistance within 24 hours Bermuda caved as well?   

            Stop trying to score cheap political points with the masses at the expense of the truth.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Bascially she has no case and will need a straw clutching rights argument to save face.  Or hope that the Petitioner messes up.

        • Anonymous says:

          Can we please let the courts decide whether she has a case? My guess is the petitioner has ALREADY messed up. Big time.

  6. Garfield says:

    Tara rightly assumed that if she was eligible to run in West Bay in 2000 she would be eligible to run again in 2013 especially with all of her additional work experience and education. Why do Caymanians like to shoot down their best and brightest?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Please help as I am confused:  According the this previous post from the Constitution, wouldn't this trigger an island-wide by-election, not just a district – as the constitution itself doesn't speak of a district seat particularly?  Thanks in advance for any clarification.


    The Cayman Constitution would seem to require a by-election.


    Secion 86 (2) reads:  

    (2) Whenever any person vacates his or her seat as a member of the Legislative Assembly for any reason other than its dissolution, an election to fill the vacancy shall be held within two months after the occurrence of the vacancy, unless the Assembly is sooner dissolved or the date on which the Assembly must be dissolved under section 84(3) is less than four months after the occurrence of the vacancy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't understand your confusion…it's very clear: "…an election to fill the vacancy…". This means that the seat that has been vacated must be filled by someone else.

      The constitution allows for a certain number of seats per districts so that if one is vacated, it must be filled. This doesn't mean that just anyone can be elected from any district – so understanding all parts of the constitution is important to figuring out how to work out the by-election


  8. Anonymous says:

    While I always enjoy a good debate, I find that this island has its fair share of contributors who a) do not have a clue as to what is really going on; and b) feel the need to believe everything they read as gospel – regardless of the bold facts and reason to doubt. Sadly, CNS regulars come out in full force when there is even the slightest hint of blood and they feed and feed!

    So let's play devil's advocate for a minute and examine the claims, the conjecture and the facts, shall we?

    Tara Rivers is ineligible to stand as a representative of the Cayman Islands in the position as a minister because:

    Claim 1 – Tara has a US passport

    Conjecture: Having a US passport disqualifies a person from entering Cayman politics. It means that this person has sworn allegiance to the US.

    Fact: A passport is merely a travel document. Many Americans do not even own one. There is nothing within it that requires the holder to swear allegiance. Renewing a US passport does not mean you have sworn allegiance to the US. Does the constitution explicitly require all passports to be relinquished for US born Caymanians?

    Claim 2 – Tara refused to sign the Declaration

    Conjecture: Tara's refusal to sign the Declaration means that she has something to hide.

    Fact: The Declaration is not a legally binding document and has no bearing on a person's eligibility to enter into politics. Half of the candidates refused to sign it following the option to or not to sign it. Would YOU sign your name to a document that is not required by law?? I sure as heck wouldn’t!

    Claim 3 – Tara is in court because she broke the law

    Conjecture: Because this is in court, Tara must be a criminal and should do the country a favour and step down.

    Fact: There is no other place to deal with petitions against an election than in court. The Elections Office has no authority to make a ruling. The Elections Office can only guide candidates to review their own eligibility and make the decision to remove themselves from the race. Being in court is not a bad thing. It is the right thing. The issue before the courts is a constitutional one, not a criminal one.

    Claim 4 – Tara's silence is deafening

    Conjecture: Tara is not making a public statement. She should be addressing the nation and producing documentation to defend herself or deny the claims. Not doing so means that she is guilty and she should be removed immediately.

    Fact: What happened to innocent until proven guilty?? This is not that kind of case. This is a serious case and has the potential to alter the perception of parts of the constitution – for the better! It is bigger than Tara. Her inability to speak to the issues publicly means that she has been busy working on how best to present this to the courts. Besides – she is still the Minister of Education, Labour and Gender Affairs. You try to juggle all of that and tell us how much time you have left to satisfy the public's insatiable appetite for news. She has work to do and shouldn't be divulging her legal team's approach. We will all know in a month. 

    Claim 5 – Tara spent too much time away from Cayman, according to the Elections Law

    Conjecture: She was working. She wasn't going to school. She was articling with a Magic Circle law firm. She was gone too long and should be penalised. She'll be eligible to run again in 4 years.

    Fact: How many of you were away with Tara? Living with her? Working with her? Going to school with her? None?? Hmmm, guess that eliminates you from being an expert on her personal life then doesn't it. Seems to me theonly person who really knows what Tara was up to, was Tara. Also seems to me that she handed in all of her documentation that qualified her as a candidate in the 2013 general elections – – – and was given the green light to proceed based on their approval of her school records. 

    Seems to me that ALL of this will come to light in about a month and then all of you can go back to your lives looking for the next shark attack, train wreck, flavour of the month. 

    In short boys and girls, trying the Honourable Tara Rivers in the court of public opinion will do absolutely nothing to help the case along. It is to be tried by a judge. Not you. Your uninformed, insignificant and often petty opinions serve no purpose and should be disallowed from public view as this is an ongoing case in court. 

    I cannot think of any other country in the world where the citizens cry out for help and a saviour and then get someone like Tara Rivers, a person with education, determination, drive, ambition and cajones, but then try to cut her down at the first opportunity. You should be rallying around her, Cayman. She has done nothing illegal. She has interpreted the law and felt the right was hers. I trust that. She is not a bad person for it. She sacrificed to be in the position in which she now sits. She fought for it – for you! Stop the negativity and give her a chance to explain what she understood to be the rule of law. She was a lawyer for crying out loud! Surely that gives her more expertise than you or I to decipher the law.

    So how about we all just stop the propaganda, sit back and enjoy the summer!? School's out for some, it'll be a long summer – what's one month of waiting on the verdict?? Life is too short – go fishing!

    • Anonymous says:

      "Fact: A passport is merely a travel document. Many Americans do not even own one. There is nothing within it that requires the holder to swear allegiance. Renewing a US passport does not mean you have sworn allegiance to the US. Does the constitution explicitly require all passports to be relinquished for US born Caymanians?".

      I wish I could agree with you. Unfortunately the case authorities on the meaning of "by virtue of his or own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state" are very clear that it includes renewing and travelling on a foreign passport as an adult.    


      • Anonymous says:


        No matter how you spin it, you are not making sense.

        When you are an American Citezen, you are registered in their rigestry in Washington, as one.

        No matter whether you own a passport or you never own one, this has no bearing on U.S Citenzenship.

        Now if you think that to qualify you as  an American Citizenship, you have  to prove in you mind of allegiance, adherence and obedience, you are totally wrong.

        Now let uncle sam come and ask for his taxes, and you tell him that BS. All US Citizens have to pay taxes, no matter of the state of your mind.


        • Anonymous says:

          There is no spin.  I suggest you read the constitution and the relevant case law (or have a qualified lawyer read it for you) since it is obvious you do not have a clue about this issue. It is has nothing to do with your state of mind. The simple act of renewing or travelling on a foreign passport as an adult you have thereby acknowledged allegiance or adherence to that foreign state. Starting with the decision of the Privy Council in Joyce v. DPP (which is binding on the Grand Court) the case authorities have consistently held that to be correct.

          Your last point is self-defeating. If Tara has filed U.S. tax returns, as she is obligated to as a U.S. citizen (and if she has not she will be liable to prosecution by the IRS), she has thereby acknowledged her obedience to a foreign state. 


          • Anonymous says:

            The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council sits as an appeal court of the country it is hearing the appeal from and only in that country is its decision binding.

            • Anonymous says:

              Or "territory" if we are talking about a place that can't really call itself a country.

            • Anonymous says:

              Not where it is the common law being decided rather than a matter based on a particular statute. That is absolutely wrong.

            • Anonymous says:

              Oh really? So you think the Privy Council will decide the same point differently depending on which country/territory it originated? lol. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Conjecture is not what we are dealing with in this matter. It is pure and simple facts. Let her and her learned friends present them and we will see. Let the natural course of justice prevail and stop throwing up defenses or putting down Ms. Bush. Opinions coming in like a common cold now. Cha.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please give some clarity here………..did you mean Mr. Bush, if not be

        more direct as there's many Ms. Bush's just in case you're not all to-

        gether well informed or upto par with "how hugh the surname is in

        the community of the Cayman Islands"   hello wakeup you!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah but anything said out of court by those not in the know is always conjecture. The courts will decide and then it will become right or wrong, fact or fiction. Until then – any comments made by those attempting to interpret the law is pure conjecture. Where does it explicitly say in the constitution that a US born Caymanian must give up their passport in order to run for Caymanian politics? If it does not explicitly say this in the law – it is speculation, interpretation and conjecture. Simple.

        Now who is this Ms. Bush that you speak of?? A clear example of error? Misinterpretation of the facts? Speaking on things of which you know not? See how easy it is to say something and have it come out in the wrong way! Same dog puppy here – people are blowing this all out of proportion by adding their spin, opinion, conjecture and propaganda. Just leave it be and let the courts decide what must happen. No one is outside the law but as we have just recently seen, the law CAN be changed…even after 300 yrs and it can be misintrepreted. 



    • Anonymous says:

      FACT:  You have to be a citizen of the United States in order to hold a US passport.  

      FACT:  Once you have sworn allegiance to a country, your passport is your way of showing the world that you are a citizen of that country. 

      FACT:  Whether or not the Law requires it or not, all candidates were requested to complete the declaration.  The question that must be asked is why did she not complete the form and why did she refuse to sign. 

      I am like you.  I think if she is disqualified based on the fact that she holds a US passport, thereby swearing allegiance to another country, it will be unfortunate, but it will be no one's fault but her own. 

      The Cayman Islands, and indeed the Caribbean needs people like Tara Rivers to enter reprsentational politics.  A similar situation also happened in the last general election in Jamaica, whereby quite a few sitting parlimentarians, as well as would be members were rejected on the grounds that they held a US passport, thereby disqualifying them from sitting in Gordon House. 

      Frankly speaking, I would not want anyone representing me, who could, in a matter of minutes, get up and leave this country because they had the ability and the right to live and work elsewhere. 

      • Slowpoke says:

        Actually, you already have that right, as does everyone currently representing you.  Just fill out the paperwork for a UK passport and go live anywhere in the EU.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not true. Thousands of Caymanians are not qualified to seek British citizenship.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fact: if you were BORN IN THE UNITED STATES you do not have to swear allegiance to anything – you are automatically eligible for a US passport, and the same goes for renewal.

  9. Anonymous says:

    American immigration records would provide important evidence – did she exercise rights of entry into the US as a US citizen when visting the US?  That would be a positive act asserting American citizenship.  Her passport is either full of admission stamps or it is not.  If it isn't she has held herself out as being an American.

    • sickntired says:

      Its a requirement that us citizens have to present their US passport for all international travel and Cayman is considered an international flight to the USA.  

      • Anonymous says:

        A flight from Cayman to Jamaica is also an International flight. Are you saying a Jamaican/American has to use their US passport on that trip? That is not true. The requirement is only for US citizens crossing the US Border. There are 200 other borders in the world where that US rule has no application, even to US citizens.

        • Anonymous says:

          But if Tara has travelled to the US and used a US passport upon entry or exit to the US then she will have asserted her status as a US citizen and become ineligible to stand.  So all that Steve needs to show is one flight into the US which does not have a entry visa stamp in her Cayman passport.  Also any stamps of any type on the US passport would be similarly fatal to her case.

    • Anonymous says:

      An even more simple question is, does she file or pay US taxes ?  

  10. Anonymous says:

    Don't underestimate Tara. Would Mr Hampson, let alone Sir J.Jowell, waste their time if they didn't think Tara had a case? Clearly she has identified a certain flexibility in the interpretation of the elections law that gives her hope. The law must follow its course, but many Caymanians will feel deeply upset and cheated if Tara is prevented from giving her much needed energy and expertise back to the electorate, who chose her so decisively against a powerful and entrenched opposition. 

    Maybe this is a good thing, in so far as it might result in changes to the law that give more flexibility to those wishing to represent their country. In short, it is just plain wrong that Caymanians such as Tara should find themselves unable to run for election.

    • Diogenes says:

      Would Mr Hampson, let alone Sir J.Jowell, waste their time if they didn't think Tara had a case?

      Sorry to disappoint, but I think you will find most attorneys and counsel decision is based on whether the client can pay, rather than the strength of their case.  

      • Garfield says:

        Believe that most senior British constitutional lawyers do not live for money alone. They have enough already. Many have big ego’s, welcome the intellectual challenge and never like to lose cases against locals in the colonies and former British colonies especially when they have the title Sir in front of their name.

  11. Anonymous says:

    @6:52 would you say the same to a sprinter who had won a gold medal at the olympics but had ran out of his lane? hmmm probably not….why?


    RULES ARE RULES! Now encourage Ms Rivers to do the right thing

    • Anonymou says:

      She is doing the right thing.  she is challenging it in court.  That is what courts do.  They settle differences when two sides disagree on the interpretation of the law.

      What we should do is wait for the courts to rule.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Its all a bit ridiculous.. step back and take a look at Ms Rivers. Is she Caymanian? about as caymanian as you get. Did she win a democratic voting process? yes. Does she want to get on with her new job helping the people of West Bay? yes.. just a spanner in the spokes tactic to throw her over the handle bars. Mean but deliberate move after she had already crossed the finish line.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, the little question of "was she eligible to run under the Constitution" is an irrelevance. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I see it more like the BIRTH CERTIFICATE rumours here !! nothing but hot smelly air blowing across.

    • Anonymous says:

      How does a Caymanian look? and I do not think the immigration law referes to looks anywhere (but I like the way you are thinking; -). 

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m sorry if you read my comment that way. I did not intend this as how a caymanian should physically look. I meant how she was raised culturally and her family connections to the cayman islands

      • Anonymous says:

        I Understand what you are saying…and agree that Ms Rivers is as Caymanian as they come,  …but that is not what is in question here…what is in question is the LAW! . Mr Richard Christian was disqualified in Bodden Town for having been born in the US and holding a US passport…Mr..Mctaggert was disqualified in George Town for not residing in Cayman seven years prior to the elections. I for one would love to see Ms Rivers filfill her tream, as I beleive that she would do a great Job…but the law is the law and IF these allegations are true… are we going to uphold the Law or are we going to play favorites? I say be carfull of the message we send here!!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Obviously Miss Rivers did not realize what she was getting herself into. As the country singer says gotta know when to hold them and when to fold them. I suggest she do what is right and return in 4 years, her credibility is now tarnished at the highest level.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh get over yourself.  She remains the most credible option despite anything you or others have to say.  I wouldn't be surprised if her 3 years in the UK turns out to be a training contract when she was studying to become a solicitor.  Surely that would not count anyway.  Tara is a true Caymanian at heart even if born in the States.  We need people like her who care for Cayman and its people, who are intelligent, articulate and diplomatic and really want to make a POSITIVE difference.  We need more people like her to go abroad, get qualified and bring those qualifications back to Cayman, and to inspire others to do likewise.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Laws are there for a reason whether we like them or not, they are not just for mckeeva and UDP but for everyone. Including Alden, Richard Christian, CG, Jim bodden. Etc

    tara stop wasting the taxpayers money step aside and be the new generation leader you spoke about during elections.

    • Anonymous says:

      What you say would make sense, if the whole Mark and Dwayne debacle hadn't happened after the last elections.  They broke the law in not declaring their interests in accordance with the law, but they were allowed to stay, despite (as it now transpires) being totally useless in terms of representing their constituents.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Tara Rivers has chosen counselwell, Mr. Graham Hampson is a very experienced and able lawyer. He along with Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC is a formidable team, if Tara is able to get him at such short notice. Last year Legal 500 2011 noted “Sir Jeffrey Jowell KCMG QC’s expertise in the area was reflected when he was knighted (KCMG) for services to democracy, human rights and the rule of law inEurope.” The Times Law 100 2012 – Jeffrey is featured in The Times’ list of the 100 most influential lawyers.The scope of Jeffrey’s work includes judicial review, human rights and planning.  He advises extensively on the drafting of national constitutions, the relationship between the UK and dependent territories, and the design and application of internal regulatory and Ombudsmen schemes. In a matter as important as this it is important that Tara has the best possible representation and I hope that she will be able to do so the short two weeks given her. Yes indeed this one promises to be interesting. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent representation indeed.  Sign of things to come if the Dart Group does not wise up, honor their contract on the Hotel and also agree to ehance the overall tourism product with a re-opened West Bay Road.  Just today a landmark Human Rights decision by the UK courts have given UK families the right to sue the Ministry of Defense. 


      Safety is paramount even on the battlefield much less a breezy carribbean beach. With the Human Rights based petition from the four West Bay women still outstanding, the local courts are obviously, rightfully carefully considering the Human Rights questions put forth.

      Next up on the UK docket is whether reckless bankers will go to jail? 


    • Anonymous says:

      Jowell will not come cheap…

  16. Anonymous says:

    Do I smell a sore loser here? If and when a by election is called….Hewitt still won’t win no seat so she is only opening the opportunity for someone else to be elected.

    • Anonymous says:

      It does not matter who is elected at bi election, the process must be carried out.  Ms. Hewitt is not wrong for challenging, many of us would have done the same thing if the shoe was on our foot.  Ms. Rivers needs to now do the right thing so the bi election can get started.  The only thing I feel bad about is she should be made to pay for the bi election.

      • Anonymous says:

        How I wish some folks would get their brains in gear before they put their foot on the gas pedal. You have no idea whether Tara will win this or whether she is right or wrong and you obviously have no idea that she was ALLOWED to run and get elected by the powers that be. I feel sorry for Tara knowing that Jesus Christ was crucified my humanity in their utter and darkest ignorance.    

  17. sickntired says:

    Whether the passport was intrust on her is not a good agruement as at some point in her adult life she would have had to renew it which she did as she travlled last year on it .  Tara stop wasting the court and people of Cayman time do the right thing and you will get my vote again otherwise, I am ashamed I voted for you.

  18. Anonymous says:

    If the petition is successful and Tara is uncerimoniously removed, another WORTHY NON UDP candidate will surely take her place in a by-election.  With no McKeeva in the next election whether by his own choice or not, surely with the filing this is the beginning of the end for the UDP forever. 

    Jealously is a bitter pill to swallow. If you can't hear, you ga feel.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Not wishing to start our own birther conspiracy or anything but given, it seems, she was born in the United States to an American mother and to parents who seem to have settled there she is Caymanian because…?

    • Anonymous says:

      Tara’s mother and father are about as Caymanian as you can get. They just happened to be residing in the US when she was born.

      • Anonymous says:

        And if they were residing in the Unites States and had  settled outside of Cayman when she was born then she is about as American as you can get, but under Cayman Islands Laws when she was born,  possibly not Caymanian.  

        Section 17(1) of the Caymanian Protection Law [R] states clearly:

        Anyone born outside of Cayman after 27 March 1972 has Caymanian Status by birth if he is born a British Subject, at least one parent is Caymanian, and both parents are at the time of birth, domiciled in Cayman.


        • Anonymous says:

          True enough, but also s.14(4) of that Law says that if she was born after 27 March 1972, and was a British Subject, the legitimate, legitimated, adopted or step child of a Caymanian and under 18, she is  deemed to have been a Caymanian. However, if that is why she is Caymanian, it does not help, because all of that is subject to section 21(1)(e)(iii) which says that if the only reason you are Caymanian is because of s.14(4) you cease to be Caymanian on your 18th birthday.   Happy birthday to you!   

        • Anonymous says:

          Perhaps at the heart of the differences is the underlying reality that to many of us there is a difference between a Caymanian and a Caymanian Status holder no matter what the law says. You may not agree or acknowledge it but maybe you will stop for just a moment and hear out a 5th generation Caymanian who also holds a US passport. Yes, I eventually became an American citizen after living there for many years as a child and young adult (yes I file my taxes) but regardless I was and always will be Caymanian as are my children.

          Yes by law there is hardly any difference (only one I know is deportation) between Caymanians and CS holders… As in the US there is no legal difference between myself and the hundreds of other nationalities that hold US citizenship… But that’s half the point.

          For persons who consider themselves true Caymanians… (and if you have to ask then I’m not talking about you) Whether born here or not, living here or not… There aren’t many of us. It doesn’t matter what you think about us or which of us you know… We could be smart, dumb, rich, poor, black, white and yes we have both and everything in between… The fact is as we look around there are less and less of us… Especially in positions that matter. We are becoming quickly diluted and displaced and there is no question that we worry about our future as a people. We wonder how we will survive in this land of economic warfare where even the good ones have a hard time making it.

          So while this will boil down to the courts and we accept that… It’s still a hearbreaker to even have to split hairs on someone like Tara. Many of us have waited so long in utter frustration for representation that we can identify and if Tara does have to step down we hope to see the necessary changes to the eligibility rules that will take the dynamics of our people into better consideration and not bar some of our better candidates.

          Anyway, my final thought is this… On the day she was born she became American but from conception she was already Caymanian.

          One Love.

          • Anonymous says:

            I am sorry, but with the greatest of respect, you are simply wrong. You either have Caymanian Status, or you do not. If you were granted it (and it is not revoked) you are exactly the same as any other holder of Caymanian Status (subject to a slight Caveat if you are not also a British Overseas Territories Citizen by virtue of a connection to the Cayman islands by virtue of Registration).

            I understand the cultural position, but  regrettably, our own born Caymanian legislators are the ones that destroyed that.  By all means lobby to have them change the law to what it should say, but until then, we have to act on what it does say.

            One Love.

            • Anonymous says:

              Calling me wrong when I am not seeking to interpret law but am simply expressing my views as a Caymanian is surprising. If I am wrong whether a person granted status can be deportd forgive me… it was hardly the overall sentiment of my post amd if you thought it was then you missed me… Such is life.

              • Anonymous says:

                I respect your view and I actually share it, as a Caymanian. The problem is we are subject to laws – and if we start being governed by views rather than laws, then we truly are doomed.

          • Anonymous says:

            Actually, there is a difference in the US. US citizens who were born overseas cannot hold the highest elected office (President). Also, on becomming a US citizen you pledge allegiance, or if born American, you do it every day in School.

            No allegiance is required of Caymanians or even of expatriates becomming Caymanians.

            • Garfield says:

              Not so. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was born in Canada but will probably be running for President in 2016. Cruz is also a constitutional expert.

              • Anonymous says:

                Section 1 of the Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution says that  "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President".

                "Natural born citizen" is not defined but is used in distinction to naturalised citizens and is usually taken to mean one has been born in the U.S. Hence the "birthers" have been trying to show that U.S. President Obama was not born in the U.S. However, it is also arguable that it includes those who are born outside the U.S. to at least one U.S. citizen parent. Cruz's argument is based on the fact that his mother was a U.S. citizen. He would not be qualified if he was a naturalised U.S. citizen which was the point at hand.      

    • Anonymous says:

      My children were born in Cayman to an American mother. They are American. They are also Caymanian! Or as they would prefer to say, they are Caymanian, and also American.

      • Anonymous says:

        No, I prefer to be accurate – which is that they are American citizens who possess Caymanian Status (now known as the Right to be Caymanian). They may or may not also be British Subjects.

        • Your Health Insurance says:

          Are you crazy? A child born in the Cayman Islands of one Caymanian parent is NOT a Caymanian?

          • Anonymous says:

            I did not say that, but, it can sometimes depend on the circumstances, and being born in Cayman is usually irrelevant.

            For example thare are hundreds of children born to Caymanian Parents (whetjher in Cayman or outside) who are not entitled to Cayman Islands Passports because their parents either do not have, or are not entitled to, Cayman Islands passports. 

            There are also hundreds of children who have become Caymanian, but may automatically lose that roight on turning 18 unless they qualify for continuation.

            You may also be confusing an immigration status (being Caymanian) with a Citizenship (United States or British Overseas Territories).

            There are thousands of people who are in fact citizens of the Cayman Islands (as a British Overseas Territory) but who are not Caymanian.

            I agree it is mad, but that is the Law.

        • Anonymous says:

          I am an American woman married to a Caymanian man. We have 2 children. They both have Caymanian birthcertificates and passports. Their paternal grandparents are both Caymanian (mty husband's parents) They do NOT have to apply for status or naturalization upon reaching the age of 18 because they were born in Cayman to a Caymanian father who is listed on their Caymanian birth certificates as their father.

          I filed for my oldest child's US Consular Report of Birth Abroad. With this report I applied for and received her US passport. Unless the child has a US Consular Report of Birth Abroad, the child is not "registered" as an American citizen. With this Birth Report the child can get a US passport and once the child has the US passport the child MUST use the US passport to enter the USA. My child uses the US passport to enter the US and Caymanian passport to come back home to Cayman.

          I have not yet filed for my youngest child's US Consular Report of Birth Abroad and therefore he does not yet have his US passport. To go to the US he gets a visa waiver. To go to jaiamca he has to get a visa because he is travelling on a Cayman passport while my oldest can enter Jamaica on her US passport and does not need a visa.

          Both my children are eligigble for British passports because their father is Caymanian. He holds a British passport as well.

          I can apply for naturalization because I am a Permanent Resident (obtained long before I met and married my Caymanian husband). When I apply for Naturalization, I can apply for a Caymanian passport. Being a US citizen, I still have to file my taxes vevery year, as does my daughter and so will my son once he gets his Report of Birth Abroad.

          So your accuracy is not so accurate. The children are NOT US Citizens until the US Consular Report of Birth Abroad is obtained. They do not need to have a US passport to be US citizens, but they DO have to be registered as being born outside of the USA to a US citizen (mother or father) in order to obtain citizenship.

          My children are Caymanian with American heritage. They have not lived one lick of their life in the USA.

          • Anonymous says:

            Your children are not entitled to a British or BOTC (Caymanian) Passport because their father is Caymanian. They are entitled to the former  because he has a British Passport at their birth, and falls within a category of British Citizens who are entitled to pass on their citizenship. Similarly, they are entitled to the latter because he is a BOTC, not because he is a Caymanian.

            You could, for example, aquire the Right to be Caymanian and thereby become Caymanian without ever becomming a BOTC. If you were not a BOTC you would not be able to have a Cayman Passport, even though you are Caymanian.

            That was the point being made. Being Caymanian has nothing to do with passports under the present law. 

            I defer to you on the US citizen point, although I understand – but may be wrong – the IRS may treat the children of US citizens as potentially subject to taxation whether parents choose to register them or not.



          • Anonymous says:

            your comment would be valid if Tara was born outside of the US…..

      • Anonymous says:

        Glad to hear. But remember this, the situation at hand is, say one day perhaps your child takes an oath of allegiance to our government as by the constitution. They have then sworn to be full heartily Caymanian, true? Ok then, that means they’ve pledge to be there during the joy, pain and sorrow. Just like the rest of us who are limited in options. Do or die. No running, you one of us. When hurricanes or financial disasters happen, will they be in the seem boat as most? Will they even have to wait on a waiver to leave? That’s some of the questions asked of representatives. So the difference is, when you choose to run a country, you choose your allegiance to the country that is relying on you, who voted for you. No need for another countries passport. One people. That’s our constitutional right to have full representation. That’s the question here. Honesty. My pledge is……. “God save the Queen!”.

  20. Slowpoke says:

    I know it is open Court and she is entitled but, why would the Speaker choose to go to this matter?