Rivers is qualified, says CJ

| 09/08/2013

CNS) Updated: Chief Justice Anthony Smellie has found that Tara Rivers is and was qualified to be elected to her seat in West Bay. In a lengthy ruling delivered to a packed courtroom on Friday afternoon, the islands' senior judge revealed that the petition challenging the education minister's election to office had failed on both grounds. Smellie said Rivers has a right to a US passport by birth and that it did not represent an allegiance to a foreign power. He also found that her physical absence from the jurisdiction prior to Nomination Day was not an impediment to her residency as she retained her home in West Bay and she was abroad for purposes of study as she was training with a major established law firm.

It took the chief justice over an hour to deliver his decision in the election petition challenging Rivers’ qualification to run, in which he focused, among other issues, on what he believed was the intent of the constitution, particularly where he felt there was ambiguity in its language.

The petition was filed by John Hewitt, the husband of UDP candidate Velma Hewitt, who came in fifth in the district election, thus failing to gain one the four West Bay seats. John Hewitt had argued that Rivers was not qualified on two grounds: she possessed and used an American passport, which was an indication of allegiance to another power, and because she lived overseas for a significant part of the seven years prior to Nomination Day and so did not fulfill the residency requirements set out in the constitution.

Rivers had admitted that she had a US passport and that she was living overseas for part of the seven years prior to Nomination Day but argued that she was still qualified. She claimed that the acquisition and use of her US passport did not show allegiance to a foreign power by her own acknowledgment as she was entitled to the passport by birth. Rivers submitted that the constitution provides for that exception.

She also argued that while she physically livedin London, she maintained her residence in Cayman. In addition, her absence from the islands was necessary because she was furthering her professional education with an established law firm and was, in essence, a student.

In his detailed argument, in which he noted that an interpretation of the intent of a constitution was “seldom straightforward”, the chief justice found that because she maintained her home in West Bay, where she kept her personal possessions, and had frequently returned home she had remained domiciled.

Smellie also found that her absence was for legitimate professional study. He said that Allen and Overy could be interpreted as a place of education because of the extensive professional training she undertook while she was there as an associate. He pointed to the need for those in professional practice to acquire education, experience and training overseas and that he did not conceive that the drafters of the constitution had intended to exclude persons from running for office who were overseas to further their professional education.

Although she was working and earning a salary, he said, she was still a trainee solicitor in English law. The chief justice said he was satisfied that she was resident and that her time away was legitimately provided for in the constitution.

On what he described as “the vexed issue” of allegiance to a foreign power and what justified acknowledgment, the chief justice was swayed by the evidence from the legal expert on American law, Professor David Cole. The US legal expert had argued that because no one needed to swear an oath anymore when applying for and using a passport, it was not an act of allegiance over and above the allegiance that exists by virtue of being born in the country.

Despite the extensive case law of candidates across the Caribbean and Commonwealth being disqualified when they were discovered to be holders of another passport outside of the country in which they had been elected, the chief justice found most of them did not apply to the case before him.

He pointed to the “carve out” in the Cayman constitution, as it had been describe by the attorney general during the trial, which uniquely allows for dual citizenship in Cayman . The CJ again pointed to the intent of legislators in relation to the constitution, and said they had wanted to demonstrate equality for all Caymanians, regardless of where they were born.

He said the constitution does not expressly disqualify those who have a foreign passport by virtue of birth and, given the history in the jurisdiction regarding the challenge to Jim Bodden in the 1970s, had legislators wished to do so they could have spelled it out.

The senior judge told the packed courtroom that nothing in the law had persuaded him that renewing and using an American passport acquired by birth was an act of acknowledgment of allegiance. He said he felt there needed to be something far greater than a mere administrative act of getting a passport to exclude someone from their democratic right to run for office. As a result, he said he was satisfied that Rivers was not by her own act under the acknowledgment of allegiance to another power and was therefore qualified, as he indicated the petition had failed on both grounds.

Acknowledging the importance of the public interest issues that the petition had raised, the CJ said he was not inclined to punish the petitioner by ordering him to pay costs and that the issue would need to be heard.

Although his decision settles the ongoing debate in Cayman about dual citizenship for Caymanians born overseas and lifted that barrier to office, the ruling raises some different issues.

Several candidates have given up citizenships that they held by birth in order to run on the basis of recommendations fromthe Elections office.  In addition, and more pointedly, the disqualification of Richard Christian from the May ballot on the grounds that he held a US passport which he acquired by birth is now of particular significance. It is clear by this ruling that Christian did qualify, despite receiving a letter based on advice from the Attorney General’s Chambers that he did not.

Check back to CNS over the weekend for reaction to and implications of the decision.

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  1. Blessed says:

    Caymanians seem very happy about this presedence!!  Let's see what they say when a caymanian born in Jamaica or some other country they dislike wants to run in politics!!  They will be singing a diffrent tune then.  LOL  I guess the saying is true he who pays the piper picks the tune!!

    • Anonymous says:

      What a fool. We've had Caymanians who were born in Jamaica running for office for a long time. Minister Kurt Tibbetts, the former LOGB, is one such current MLA who was born in Jamaica. The whole reason that such a carve out was created in the first place was because many Caymanians were born in Jamaica for medical reasons.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sue them for your costs Tara! Just like they did to the Bodden Town people who lodged the protest last election.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What God has put together, let no man tear asunder.

  4. Jack So Nimble says:

    I am getting nowhere with Immigration, with the recent ruling by the judge does that mean I can run for office in the next three years? I am married to a caymanian and I also have status. I am German national by birth but cayman is my home.

    CNS please help?

    • Anonymous says:

      I have no problem with you running for office. The $1,000 deposit that you have to put down is not much, but in these austere times every little bit of revenue helps government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you run for office in the next three years?   Well, of course you may, depending on how much influcence you have.   Cayman Island laws have enough built-in flexibility to be read in such a manner to suit the whims of those who interepret them.  You don't even have to call it "running for office" – call it a "study" in politics, or "engaging in political studies".  That ought to qualify you.  And that German passport, didn't the Germans almost take over England, and therefore the Cayman Islands by default?  That also ought to qualify you for Caymanian citizenship. 

    • Anonymous says:

      were your parents Caymanian??…if not the answer is NO.

      • Anonymous says:

        Running with the UDP will also disqualify you.

        • Anonymous says:

          So why on earth do we have THREE of them in the House?! 

          • Anonymous says:

            That's exactly what I keep wondering. I think i has something to do with keeping us in a financial deficit.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you have status as you claim, what do you need from Immigration? Are you a British Overseas Territories Citizen? Was at least one of your parents or grandparents Caymanian by birth? If the answer to either of the latter two questions is "no", then you would not be qualified.

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm only here on a work permit, but if you'll do me favors, I'll vote for you. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tara Rivers goes about her business. That is fine with me. I will never send my kids to government schools, nor will I ever need to ask her for a job as I can take care of my own. As far as I'm concerned, this means nothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Never say Never

    • Spooner-Greenwood-Bailey-Carter-Flatley-Ebanks-Harper-Kapoor says:

      Private schools are not that much better. I know, I went to Cayman Concentration Camp, Prep before that and first Catholic. The public school system needs better paid teachers and if so, they must be accountable to the results of their students. A performance study every 6 months should weed out the non-performing teachers. All that is easier at a smaller, private school. But not everyone can afford the cost. So good for you, I hope you and your kids enjoy the rest of what government provides and give back occasionally.

      • Spooner-Greenwood-Bailey-Carter-Flatley-Ebanks-Harper-Kapoor says:

        To add, the names I used in the Submitted by, are teachers that are/were public school teachers that really went out of the way to teach and be someone that cared for all their students, no matter how you looked, behaved or where you came from. Not everyone will agree, but most will and they’re the ones that saw/experienced what I saw/remembered and learned while attending public schools (I just preferred public and kept asking to go back there, it was more real, down to earth I guess, to me at least).

        There are more names that I can think of that made a true difference as public school teachers, but that’s for another time or story. I hope someone soon will highlight present and past public school teachers that mattered where it counted, teaching and caring and at times being a better parent than the student’s own parent(s). <3

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Yours is a very silly and terribly short-sighted comment, unless, of course,  you and/or your kids are planning on leaving the islands.  Ms. Rivers is a part of the ruling party; therefore, for at least the next four years she will be instrumental in helping to shape the dircetion these islands are headed. Moreover, many if not most of the Caymanians and a goodly number ofresidents here from their youth whom you interact with as you go about your business were educated to some degree in government schools and are employed by local employers. Unless your children are past school age they will fall under Ms. Rivers ambit as all private schools and educational institutions, and even home schooling, falls under Ms. Rivers' ministry. Or maybe you like dumb kids and do not intend on them receiving an education at all because you can "take care" of them.  Anyway…Like it or not you are directly impacted by educational policy and employment policy in many ways. (Yah nah see it, dey, Star?)

      So, contrary to your myopic and self-centred vision, Tara's tenure in office does mean something to you if you intend on remaining in the Cayman Islands.  If not, fare thee well. As you depart don't let de door hit you or your kids on de bunky on ya way out! Buh-bye now!

  6. Dred says:

    In truth I do not agree with the ruling.

    My gut tells me this. If the winning party was UDP the outcome would be different and that in of itself is not comforting.

    Do not get me wrong. I am happy for Tara and I really wanted her to get in, just not this way.

    BUT what's done is done. and Mark & John John was allowed to hold post even though they were TECHNICALLY disqualified under the letter of the law also so…..I guess she lucked out also….

    Okay…..time to move on…..what has happened has happened and it's no use crying over spilt milk. It's time to put this country back on it's feet now that Big Mac has all but ruined us…


    Tara….show us what you can do…..You broke the monopoly now let's show the people of West Bay they made the right choice….




    • Anonymous says:

      I read many of the comments on here and shake my head in despair. The court has spoken, in a well balanced arguement. That is it, end of story. Time for everyone to move on, it does not matter a damn what any of us thinks. Idle speuclation is absolutely pointless and proves nothing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    So just a question based on this ruling. If Maples and Calder and all of the other Law Firms decide that they are "educational institutions" instead of Law Firms does that mean that they dont have to pay for work permits for the "students" who are furthering their education? Could be a big hit to the government coffers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Assume you mean the many that come here from certain common law jurisdictions that do not require Articles, and actually receive lots of training on the job here? While it is made unduly difficult for Caymanians every step of the way.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Lots of training on the job" – what a joke.  Cayman Islands law is diddy law that takes about 2 days to understand. 

    • Anonymous says:

      So just a question based on…….

      It is obvious you know nothing about this case. If you did you would have known that while she was training a work permit was taken out for her until she obtained a UK passport.

    • Anonymous says:

      Does it mean that as "educational institutions" they should now be regulated by the Education Department?

    • Anonymous says:

      Umm…first please get the terminology right: it is "educational establishment". Second, obviously that is the contextual meaning given to the phrase within the confines of s. 61 of the Constitution about who has the right to run for office. It has nothing at all to do with the Immigration Law or the requirement for expats to obtain work permits. Third, any expat lawyers admitted here are supposedly coming because they are fully-fledged lawyers with at least 3 years PQE so they should be furthering their education.   

      Next idiot comment?

  8. Anonymous says:

    My God, I wonder how poor ole Velma is holding up.

    • Anonymous says:


      One thing for certain, she's got the UDP to thank for forever ruining whatever chance she may have had of serving her country.

    • Anonymous says:

      My God, I wonder how poor ole mac is holding up.

  9. Peacemaker says:


    Now anyone born in America and carry and American Passport can be eligable to hold office in the Legislative Assembly because the PRECEDENCE is set by Judge Smeille's decision. Watch Out Cayman what is going to happen down the road and you won't be able to do a thing about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank God.  Here's to a better Cayman Islands.  And a big step toward a Corruption free and more intelligent Cayman Government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Read our constitution Dufus. You must also be of Caymanian Parentage to qualify if you were born in a foreign country !

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets face it, anyone born with Cayman connections in any country on earth can run for election here.   The full effects of this outrageous ruling will be felt 20yrs down the road.  Judge Smellie will have many sleepless nights.  Maybe his children will benefit  from it all.   Hope mine will too.   As a matter of concience,  it would be in the best interest of the country if Miss Rivers resign forthwith otherwise she too will be having many sleepless nights and Cayman will slide deeper and deeper into depression. So Miss Rivers, do the honourable and submit your resignation and you would have redeemed yourself and saved this island from total  catastrophe   Take your choice but for God's sake,…….USE YOUR IMAGINATION AND LET COMMON SENSE PREVAIL.

      • you-na-no-much says:

        Hey Anonymous Sun, 08/11/2013 – 14:18, you just won fist prize for the most ridiculous post on this story. You can collect your prize at the Gov. Admin. Bldg. from the office of the Minister for Education. The prize if you decide to accept it is a voucher for free lessons in how not to look ridiculous when putting anything in writing. Lesson no.1 is  making sure you have the facts before proceeding. Good luck!

    • Anonymous says:

      Look up the meaning of "qualified citizen" and "Caymanian" in the Constitution and you will see why your comment is ridiculous. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    "Ignorance of the law excuses no man — from practicing it." – Adison Mizner 


  11. Anonymous says:

    In response to: Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/10/2013 – 12:57.

    How do you KNOW what advice the AG Chambers gave to the Elections Office?…Advice is just that, ADVICE, it is not directions, so the advice, what ever it was, could have been taken fully on board, ignored, part used etc. etc. The Elections Office may have gone beyond advice given, or they may have followed any advice to the letter, but unless you are privy to that privileged advice,  how do you know what the advice was?…..and whoever you are, you seem to be always on here with the same message repeated over and over…you obviously have a personal vendetta against the AG and your constant negative posting is tedious…..

    ——————————————————————————————————————————–Though I am not the person to whose commentary you responded, nevertheless I do wish to comment on your nonsensical little rant.  Unless you're from outer space or the office of the Attorney General (I suspect the latter) you ought to know that there isn't a lot of love for the AG of these islands.  Aside from costing these islands a lot of money as a result of past poor decisions/advice, this particular AG is viewed as a former McFry stooge, who broadens his already broad girth at the public's expense, while contributing very little to the advancement of his profession.  Not only do many view him as undeserving of his position, many do not believe that he is all that intelligent.  In fact, I believe that he often comes across as a dullard.  As for your last statement, that this person must have a personal vendetta against the Attorney General, you're once again out to lunch – there are a large number of people on this forum and these islands who do not like the AG, not just one.  Sorry to burst your bubble, no harm intended.  If anyone from the legal profession has the courage to anonymously post their opinions of the AG I am sure that the public would love to hear them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps some of you that is posting such terrible stuff about the AG dont even know the man. For your information the man is very learned and also a gentleman of a man. He is well respected by many many of us Caymanians. A few years ago I attended a luncheon at one of our hotels and I needed some advice on a matter so I bodly approached him not ever speaking to him before. This humble man was so courteous and knowledgeable about the matter and gave me all the advice needed. We should not throw stones especially when we dont have glasses to see where we are going. Embarassing embarassing.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The question i had before the elections is same one i still have today.

    Why didn't the Elections Office not disqualify Tara and CJ as they both also apparently had USA passports as well?  Surely if the Attorney General advised that Richard should be disqualified, why did this advice not apply to the other two.

    The CJ's decision would suggest that the legal advice given to the Elections Office was faulty, but that does explain why the advice was not applied to all three candidates.


    The Elections Office owes us an explanation.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Smellie's decision smells so badly it stinks!  Just sayin…

    • Anonymous says:

      Not nearly as much qs your comment sucks.

    • Anonymous says:

      It smells so badly because you didn't win mi love. So sorry but to me it is sweet as a rose!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the operative word here is "just". But thanks for your input, anyway.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Could Ms. Rivers please post her marks while "studying" abroad during the period in question. Uhhh, there are no transcripts???  You mean pay slips are the only thing she received during that time?  No problem folks, we live in the Cayman Islands – pay slips, transcripts, kaka, all the same thing when you want them to be.

    • Anonymous says:

      That's just plain ridiculous.

    • Anonymous says:

      Such sickening comments. Time for some positive attitude PLEASE

    • Anonymous says:

      For goodness sake 19:17, give up! Transcripts, payslips … whatever. Its over, move on!

    • Anonymous says:

      Somebody should tell this clown that the case is over, the decision has been delivered, Tara won and there is no appeal! 

  15. Anonymous says:

    WHAT ABOUT PAYING U.S. TAXES. As a U.S. citizen I would presume she has been filing her tax returns and if not should be reported to the IRS. Paying taxes to a foreign government goes a long way to implying allegiance to the government since the payments support that governments political and foreign policy.

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      Get a bloody life!

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps, but most people do not realise that a non-resident alien can become liable for US income tax if they meet the "Substantial Presence Test" requirements. So a Caymanian owing no allegiance to the USA becomes liable to pay US income tax if they spend more than about 4 months a year in the USA per the following from the IRS website dealing with the tax liability of non-resident aliens:-

      Substantial Presence Test

      You will be considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes if you meet the substantial presence test for the calendar year. To meet this test, you must be physically present in the United States on at least:

      1. 31 days during the current year, and
      2. 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:

        • All the days you were present in the current year, and
        • 1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current year, and
        • 1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current year.


      You were physically present in the United States on 120 days in each of the years 2007, 2008, and 2009. To determine if you meet the substantial presence test for 2009, count the full 120 days of presence in 2009, 40 days in 2008 (1/3 of 120), and 20 days in 2007 (1/6 of 120). Since the total for the 3-year period is 180 days, you are not considered a resident under the substantial presence test for 2009.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cry a little louder.  We still can't hear you.

    • Anonymous says:

      <snarkiness>Next time you are in Miami just try refusing to pay sales tax.  After all you are not a US citizen and don't want to imply allegince to the US government to support their political and foreign policy.

      Decline to pay income tax on US source income.  Just explain to the IRS that you are SPECIAL and don't want to support US policy.

      Good luck with that argument.</snarkiness>

      US citizens are required to file income tax returns on worldwide income and pay income taxes in accordance with US law. If you earn very little you don;t even have to file.

      Many US citizens residing in Cayman are able to claim a Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and thus exclude the first US$84,000 or so of income from US taxation. They end up owing no tax to the US government.

      Governments coerce tax payments and spend them on all sorts of things that you might individually object to paying towards.  Doesn't mean you can opt out.


      • Anonymous says:

        I wonder when the IRS come for Tara's tax, she will also  tell them she is not  a true American because she doesnt swear allegiance to their flag.

        She is in that bracket to pay her taxes….over the 80,000.00, she is earning approximatley  CI$100,000.00, which is US$ 120,000.00  

        • Anonymous says:

          Does anyone have any reason to believe that Ms Rivers has not complied with US tax laws? Bring forth your evidence.

          In addition to the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion of up to US$95,100 (FY 2012 figures), many Caymanians holding US citizenship would also qualify for a Foreign Housing Exclusion or Deduction of up to another US$48,000 (FY 2012 figures).  That would potentially exclude the first US$143,100 (CI$117,342 at US$1 =CI$0.82) income from US taxation.

          That is before any further deductions, credits, or payments are applied.  If Ms Rivers only earned US$120,000 in salary or wages then I would expect she would owe no US income taxes on that income.

          As much as American expats may bemoan the paperwork involved in filing US income tax returns, the reality is that many American expats working and living in Cayman will not owe US income tax in the end.

    • Anonymous says:

      You lost! Pay your taxes and mind your business.

    • Anonymous says:

      WTF has that got to do with you? Tara's job is to be Education minister…anything else is her issue to deal with if it should come up. Why are you sticking your nose in to things that do not concern you? Your responsibility is to make sure you abide by the laws of this island. Definitely not your business to concern yourself with Tara's tax affairs. If somebody started poking their nose into your private business, you would be the first to mouth off!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Tara's outcome will go down in in the annals of Cayman's history, line the CJ's decision on the Rasta child's education, as monumentally supreme pieces of law craft. I wish God's guidance on all concerned, and I only wish Rev. DeeDee Haines was here to see this historic moment transpire.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, not quite clear what it is you are saying here. Kindly explain what you mean by "law craft".

  17. Anonymous says:

    For those of you who think that the consitution means there can be no appeal, the lack of an appeal right is probably a breach of the Petitioner's rights under the ECHR, so they should consider appeal up all the way to Strasbourg if necessary.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe, but I think the special need for certainty would meet any ECHR proportionality test. It's not as if Hewitt was deprived of the opportunity to challenge. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Hardly since an ad hoc Court of Appeal can be arranged within a week.  The matter could in proper circumstances be in the Privy Council within the month. 

    • SKEPTICAL says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Great idea. What state is Strasbourg in?

    • Anonymous says:

      With you and mac funding that shouldn't be a problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      They could also take it to the Raelian Supreme Court. According to the Compass, that paragon of journalistic integrity, a Raelian Ambassador was in Cayman last week.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Compass are promoting ET now, eh? Haha. Probably a Lodge thing.

      • Just Commentin' says:

        I should think that the Vulcan High Court, of which I believe Spock was once a part, would be the best venue. (Good logical decisions and all that.) Unless you don't like the Vulcan-Kingon alliance, in which case maybe a shuffleboard court would be best. Oh, hell, all this legal stuff is so bloody confusing, especially when one is just finishing an extended educatonal stint and being called to the bar at Happy Hour…pish-posh….just pass me another Greenie!

  18. RULIAC says:

    I'm sure there were many of the church going supporters of the UDP that prayed desperately for a different outcome, but the Good Lord knows best. So please accept his will!  Look back and reflect on the past two decades, think of the many atrocities that were committed in the name of Jesus by those who professed to be men and women of God and who used catchy names like "Nation Building Funds" to do their underhanded deeds in support of their loyal subjects.

    There's an old saying that goes: God don't like ugly!

    That to me is the answer to those of us who may have become upset or angry over the final {may I say appropriate } ruling by the Chief Justice. This ruling I am hopeful, will have caused us all to rethink some of the things that we have looked at previously with acceptance all because we may have benefited financially or otherwise without thinking about the consequences and repercussions that will befall the next generation of Caymanians!

    So let us all think of ourselves as one big loving family here in The Cayman Islands, and let each of us all  work toward those things that will benefit all of us here today, but more importantly let us all work toward those things that will leave a Loving, Peaceful, and Prosperous Cayman Islands for our children.

    Our hope is that every member ofthis government will dedicate themselves to  doing whatever is within the laws of this island to see that this dream becomes a reality.

    God Bless The Cayman Islands!!

    • Anonymous says:

      "God don't like ugly!"  I am ugly. Does that mean that God doesn't like me? I hope not since he created me in his own image.  Please God, I really want you to like me too, not just the pretty children.

  19. Vernon.Jackson says:

    I encourage all bloggers to read the judge's speech from the trial scene in The Merchant of Venice, beginning:

    The quality of mercy is not strained, it dropest like the gentle rain from heaven …

  20. Anonymous says:

    I am sorry to advise those of you who are expecting an appeal that you will be waiting a very long time for that ! Our constitution is clear on this issue – a decision of the Grand Court on an election petition "shall" be final. There is no appeal option !

    • Anonymous says:

      The very fact of Tara's landslide victory in West Bay showed that she was indeed in touch with the concerns of the Cayman Islands.


      that is the key to this whole thing.


      hats off to a role model Caymanian woman who shows what intelligence, hard work, and concern for her country can do. She makes us Caymanian women proud.

      We need more Tara's.

      love the whole thing!

      • Anonymous says:

        Tara received 44% of the votes not 100% although she did amazingly well. 

        There are more than half of WB residents that are probably very disappointed that the CJ decieded to take a popular position for C4C not for all West bayers.

        This was never a UDP vs Tara issue, as many candidates were affected negatively because of Tara's decision to run at this time, the unfair treatment of other candidates who weren't able to run and or didthe right thing by declaring honestly their position as required by the Constitution.


        Why did it have to be West Bay again to have an elected member, who feels above the law from day 1, not years of service?

        Anyway Ms Rivers will have a load to bear, hopefully but not sure about her conscience, regarding the floodgates and loopholes her action has presented.


        Do we expect any different result though, with non-Caymanian CJ and AG who I am sure would not accept the same in their country but easily allow our Constitution to be mocked.

        What's even worse is that the WB people really believe she'll be helping them with education and employment, good luck Bobo.



        • Anonymous says:

          Since 56% of West Bayers cast their vote based on how 1 individual told them to vote beforehand, then in reality Tara received 99% of the votes from people who actually made a choice when they cast their vote.

          • Anonymous says:

            Tara and Mervyn also told the voting public to vote for Tara Rivers # 13 and Meryn Smith #14. Vote straight West Bay, "It's Time". This was repeated constantly from every one of their platforms, talk shows, ad, humans holding card board ads etc.

            She got 44% of the vote, nothing less and nothing more. This whole situation is very unfortunate.

        • Anonymou says:

          I believe you have it wrong.  Tara believed she was qualified.  That was challenged in a court of law and the court upheld that she was qualified.  Other than sour grapes, what is your problem?

  21. Anonymous says:

     This decision does have other implications. Congrats to the CJ on a thorough and correct decision. Now Richard Christian does have a cause of action and perhaps he will take it. We all know he didn't stand a chance in BT but his presence in the race could have resulted in a very different outcome. The votes that would have gone to him could not have gone to anyone else and so the likely result would have been that either Theresa Pitcairn or Charles Clifford would have been elected instead of Mr. Suckoo or perhaps Theresa and Charles would have both been elected with Alva and Wayne falling to 5th and 6th place respectfully. This is why it is so important for the Elections Office and the AG's Chambers to resist the temptation of determining who is qualified and who is not. The AG's office ought to know better. Determinations on qualification or disqualification of candidates as the case may be is a function exclusively for the courts. Now the country must face legal action because of this decision by the Elections Ofice and the AG's Chambers. Who will be accountable for the costs of this and will anyone be held accountable for this ill advised and very wrong approach by the Elections Office and the AG's Chambers ?

    • Anonymous says:

      The AGC is a joke. We have an honest and capable government, a Governor-Designate who earned the post, a strong judiciary, a brain trust of the great and good serving on commissions and authority boards, and a fearless Auditor General. The next governmental body that needs an overhaul is the AGC. Staffed with 'lawyers' and led by a man who isn't exactly bulgin' for brains, it has rendered incorrect and tone-deaf decisions and opinions repeatedly in the last few years, occasionally to our great detriment, such as now. The current holder of the AG's office comes from the Jamaican legal tradition of mediocrity characterised by a smarmy, gentile manner that values comity over sharp, correct thinking. They see legal practice as a game played amongst friends in-between serious domino sessions. What we need is a professional AG – someone who understands when it is or is not appropriate to involve the office and will demand better from the staff. A country known for its talented lawyers should not have such a poorly-advised government. It's embarrassing.




      • Anonymous says:

        Well put 13:38!!!!!!!!!! Hear hear!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amen and tra la la!

      • Anonymous says:

        "We have an honest and capable government,"  Now thats embarrassing.  Most people here would like you to raise your standards.

        • Anonymous says:

          Capable = able to do things

          Honest = free of deceit and untruthfulness

          How have I misdescribed the people who are now in government? I don't know what most people here want, but I would certainly like you to get a dictionary.

    • Cayman Mama says:

      There can be no action taken by Richard Christian since it happened before this precedent ruling by the Chief Justice on interpretation of the ambiguously worded Constitution.

    • Anonymous says:

      Has anyone thought that maybe the real reason that Richard Christian was disqualified was because he left theUDP and was running with the PNA?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, I thought that. But nobody I've questioned did, so maybe it's just the two of us?

      • Anonymous says:

        Really? So why wasn't CG disqualified then? He sat in the L.A. for 12 years while holding a U.S. passport.

    • Anonymous says:

      A well stated post by 11.12. 

      If the Attorney General evidence in Tara's matter was of benefit to her case on her US passport and birth, how is it that this same office advised the Election Office that barring Richard Christian as a candidate was appropriate – because of his US passport and his birth in the United States ??  

      • ACRULI says:

        To Poster Sat./8/10/2013-18:57:

        Please get your facts strait before going on. The A.G. had nothing to do with the outcome of this trial.  The Chief Justice made a ruling based on  evidence presented by Vilma's lawyer and  by Tara's lawyer, and based on his research of case law, and high court rulings in that appear to present  similar circumstances. Most people seem to think his ruling was the correct one.          

        So do yourself a favor and not pine over it. There is nothing you can do but to accept the fact that "TARA" is now 'Minister of Education" and will do a superb job while at the helm .

        • Anonymous says:

          He decision  cant be  based on case law. On record, there are nine of his country men and women who had to renounce their US Citenzenship….  to be eligible to compete for political seats in Jamaica.

          They were never given the opportunity to challenge their constituation laws, the law is the law.

          Unlike most   Caymanians, we don't think the laws apply to us.

          • Anonymous says:

            His decision is based on the provisions of our constitution which are quite different from the constitutions elsewhere as they do not contain the words "….except for any right to any citizenship he or she may have by virtue of his or birth outside the Islands".

            Of course there have been challenges under the Jamaican constitution. Hewitt's attorney in this case, Dabdoud, was a petitioner in one of the challenges. 

      • AG says:


      • Anonymous says:

        The AG gave no "evidence" in Tara's case.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummmm…RC had a cause of action the day the Elections Office refused to put him on the ballot. He should not have waited so that he is now out of time to bring any action.  

    • Anonymous says:

      If as you say he did'nt have a chance in Bodden Town – do you think he would have gotten more that 41 votes.  According to you I guess not so -it would hardly effect either Al or Wayne.

      • Anonymous says:

        To the "Bright Spot" @ 09:41…….Richard C wouldhave gotten much more that 41 votes. Errington Webster got 500+ votes in BT  so you have to assume that Richard C would have gotten between 700 – 800 but remember the size of BT now, so that still wouldn't get Richard elected but it could have resulted in Al and Wayne not getting elected. That is why it is so important for the Elections Office to get it right ! Understand now or have you graduated from "Bright Spot" to "Dullest Knife in the Drawer ???

  22. Anonymous says:

    The Chief Justice was suckered in by expensive by clearly wrong arguments. 

  23. Anonymous says:

    Tara you deserve to be in office, the people spoke loud and clear on election day. As for the CJ…. Let’s just say that this decision was no surprise to this Born CAYMANIAN.

  24. Anonymous says:

    CNS, where is the text of the judgment?

    CNS: If we get an electronic copy we'll post it.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The chief justice ignoredthe law in order to render a popular decision. I am appalled. He is the new Lord Denning who completely confused the law of trust and equity. This is a stunningly bad legal decision. He needs to choose the career he really wants- politics or the law. Pick one and stick to it.

    • Anonymous says:

      The 'safe' judgment from a legal perspective was always going to be to throw his hands up and say 'I have to disqualify her'. That would have been little comfort against the anger of thousands. He did what I always knew he was going to do: find a way to do the right thing. Don't tell me you can't think of dozens of cases where the judge was clearly motivated in his reasoning by the outcome he desired. CJ quite properly resolved the ambiguities by interpreting the provisions in line with what the drafters of the Constitution intended, which was to exclude from eligibility people who were out of touch with the country's affairs by reason of absence. She clearly never lost touch. I spent 4 years in the UK myself studying law and paid more attention to local news and politics when I was away and could see things for they were. If anything people on island are more complacent and willing to accept anything for representation as long as the peppers are hot and the mangoes are sweet. My grandmother used to say you had nothing to offer Cayman unless you had been away and brought wisdom back with you. A decision the other way would have been a huge step backwards for Cayman, in no one's interest except the petitioners, who sought out of spite to embarrass and weaken the government of young, intelligent, successful and honest people we now have.. CJ is to be commended. The law has to serve the needs of the society, not the other way around. 

    • Anonymous says:

      If the CJ had found in favour of the petitioner (s), he would equally have been accused of political interference as well…quite possibly even more so by being seen to uphold the case of a 'sour grapes' loser.


      I believe that the CJ has interpreted the Constitution correctly, both in the wording and the spirit of the law.

      At the same time, Richard Christian now has every right to bring a case against the AG's office..and in defense of fairness, I hope that he does.

      What is good for the goose (Tara) , should equally have been good for the gander (Richard Christian).

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh for God's sake!  Take the pause button off your brain, accept defeat and go makes some picgture frames or something!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Another blow to the UDP’s death grip on Cayman. You know things are getting desperate when it’s costing THEM for a change.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I thought the CJ's choice of QC's would be his worst decision of the week.  How wrong I was!  This judgment is awful.  I don't have views one way or the other about Tara Rivers, but it is clear that she was not studying within the exception, the construction given by the CJ means anyone getting "life experience" can say they were "studying" and it is clear that is not what is intended in the constitutional provision.  The "residence" approach is very weak too, but might help those who spend time abroad get permanent residence by broadening the concept of "residence" under Cayman Islands law. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you.  This is a very broad and liberal interpretation, and anyone can argue that overseas employment is gaining experience/.training.   But Im not too bothered by the decision, as voters knew Tara's full background and agreed to vote her in nonetheless.   That was the people's decision so she has legitimacy to represent the people.   One could not say this if the CJ removed the people's choice.   So Im OK with the outcome, but disagree on the CJ's interpretation. 

      • Anonymous says:

        There are approximately six billion different interpretations of the CJ's interpretation. Lets forget about those please. The outcome is what matters.

    • RULIAC says:

      I guess that's why he's the CJ and you're not.

    • Anonymous says:

      This doesn't broaden the concept of residence "under Cayman Islands law" in general, just in respect of that particular provision in the Constitution. The Immigration Law has its own definition of legal and ordinary residence that applies to permanent residency.    

  28. anonymous says:

    This is the correct ruling. Congratulations Tara! Now get busy signing those Scholarship cheques, as there are a lot of students already in school without their tuition money. There are a lot of unemployed people and there are some people in your Department that needs to go XXXX. Get rid of those who are not performing and get busy with those scholarships. Start off on a positive footing, as too much time has been wasted on what was considered the people's decision.

  29. Lower Valleyian says:

    Jim Bodden’s case was actually in the early 1970’s after the death of Mr. Clifton Hunter which caused a by-election before the next general election.
    Mr. Jim had American Citizenship having been a seaman onboard vessels travelling the USA and around the world. He met and married his wife Ms. Dot in Texas which also qualified him for citizenship.
    Like Ms. Rivers case he was contested and renounced his citizenship before the upcoming general election which he won and held until his untimely death.

    Just a small correction and short history lesson about our island’s history and in particular political history.

    May God Rest His Soual

    • Anonymous says:

      one correction…there was never any proof he actually gave up his citizenship….many believe he kept it and said he had given it up.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Keke back up plan just blew up in his face!

  31. mitzietomlinson@yahoo.com says:

    Thank God Tara you will take care of the West Bay People, because the way that MR Mac took care of MR Tomlinson  from NRA was not well, God is Good all the Time and Mac day is  coming. Mitzie Tomlinson.

  32. Anonymous says:

    The law is vague in order to allow for the most just outcome in each individual case. Justice did prevail, however, what about the bum advice given to Christian? Hope he seeks compensation. It is actually quite typical for those yielding power to interpret regulations to suit their interests. 

  33. Anonymous says:

    Richard Christian should sue the returning officer

    • Anonymous says:

      But most of all he should personally sue the Attorney General who gave advised the Bodden town elections officer.  If Christian sues and wins the AG should either pay  out of his own pocket or LOSE his job.  

      • Anonymous says:

        How do you KNOW what advice the AG Chambers gave to the Elections Office?…Advice is just that, ADVICE, it is not directions, so the advice, what ever it was, could have been taken fully on board, ignored, part used etc. etc. The Elections Office may have gone beyond advice given, or they may have followed any advice to the letter, but unless you are privy to that privileged advice,  how do you know what the advice was?…..and whoever you are, youseem to be always on here with the same message repeated over and over…you obviously have a personal vendetta against the AG and your constant negative posting is tedious…..

        • Anonymous says:

          Whatever you say, Senior Crown Counsel.

        • Anon says:

          SOMEBODY made the decision to tell Richard Christian he was not eligible to stand for election. Whether it was the AG's office, then they have to take responsibility.  IF the elections office consulted with the AG's office , then I would think they acted as directed.  If they didn't consult the AG's office, then they made a decision which they were obviously not qualified to make. 

  34. Truth says:

    As Cayman islands crawl out of the dark ages those that can not live in the light will cry and cry..  Now begins the age of true balance and prosperity that only accountability can bring.  Those that deserve it will thrive.  Those who can't will begine to lose what was never earned.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who thinks that law and justice are synonymous ought to have their heads checked.  Depending on circumstance and/or convenience, judges can interpret the law broadly or narrowly.  In this case the Chief Justice apparently took a very, very, very broad approach in his interpretation of the law, especially as it related to Ms. River's "studies" (ha ha ha ha ha) abroad.  Unfortunately, Mr. Christian is the big loser in all this, having been "disqualified" by the advice of the Attorney General, a man who gets paid the big bucks to dish out poor advice.  If anyone knows what the AG has done right since his appointment, I'd love to know.  That's what you have to love about the Cayman Islands – one day a US passport qualifies you, the next day it disqualifies you…And the magic of it all is that you never know what type of day it's going to be, which way the winds blow, and what side of bed the decision makers get out of on a given day.

  36. Just Commentin' says:

    Very good!  I was confident that if the learned justice did his homework he would indeed decide as he did.  Justice Smellie basically reiterated what I have been maintaining all along.  It is sad that the Constitution is a moron document that is so vague on such a vital issue as selection of our leaders but I recognised long ago thatis was a pathetically poor excuse of a law from the get-go.

    What is so good about this decision is that it is not subject to appeal and is F-I-N-A-L. Unless and until the constitution is amended otherwise, the question of possession of U.S. passport by a natural born citizen of the USA has be put to rest for once and for all in respect of candidate qualifications here.

    It is interesting to note that the opposing sides brought in so-called "experts" on the applicable U.S. laws as it pertains to possession of a passport and allegiance to the USA. In spite of what Velma's attorney maintained, I have been maintaining  all along that application for and possession of a U.S. passport has absolutely no bearing on the question of allegiance and that a passport is merely a travel document.  I would hope that the Hewitt's attorney so advised prior to taking their money. He should have advised from the start that the question of  River's possession of the USA passport was pretty questionable grounds for disqualification. I wonder if he did? Velma? Care to weigh in on this? Awwww, Velma, did you all waste your money? It is always a delightful pleasure for me to get the last laugh when people play the fool. To the petitioners and their counsel, this is for you: Ha, ha, ha, ha ha, ha, ha, haaaaaa!!!!

    What appalls me is the testimony of Professor David Rowe, the person the petitioners employed as their "expert" witness to make an issue over River's possession of a U.S. passport. Rowe maintained that applying for and using a U.S. passport is an act of allegiance to the USA. That is pure unadulterated nonsense!  I am very glad that Mr. Smellie had the discernment to see the fallacy in Rowe's argument .

    The requirement of a U.S. passport applicant having to swear an oath of allegiance was struck down long ago. Contrary to the hackneyed malarkey that Rowe spewed in the trial, the "declaration" in the passport application to which he referred has absolutely nothing to do with declaring or implying allegiance to the USA. Of course Rowe being a man supposedly learned in U.S. law had to know that, yet he pushed the disingenuous implication that applying for and using a U.S. passport  "implies" allegiance to the United States of America. Hogwash!  The very issuing country no longer makes that implication. Certainly Rowe should be competent enough to know that American case law has enduringly established that mere possession of a U.S. passport has no legal bearing on allegiance.

    In the case in Jamaica of "Dabdoub v Vaz and others"  the judge was absolutely incorrect in finding for Dabdoub. I challenge both Dabdoub and the Jamaican CJ to find one shred of enduring USA case law to support the decision. It cannot be found and therefore Cole's opinion that such decisions are defective is astute and correct. And it follows that Justice Smellie's decision is indeed based on fact rather than foolishness.


  37. Anonymous says:

    You’re flogging a dead horse. Thank goodness.

  38. Anonymous - Thoughts Part 1 says:

    Cayman Constitution Section 61.—( (3) In ascertaining whether a person has been absent from the Cayman Islands for the purposes of subsection (1)(e) or (f), any period of absence by reason of the following shall be disregarded—

    (a) the performance of duty on behalf of the Government;

    (b) attendance as a student at any educational establishment;

    (c) attendance as a patient at any hospital, clinic or other medical institution;

    (d) employment as a seaman aboard an ocean-going vessel; or

    (e) employment as a crew member on any aircraft.

    An undefined meaning of an "educational establishment" becomes subjective and therefore lends to positions that can be reasonably argued from different perspectives; i.e. could an “educational establishment” be considered as a work place where experience and instructions are given as part of a course or program designed to lead to a state license, degree or professional qualification?

    • Anonymous says:

      The key word permitting this arguement is "establishment" rather than "institution". Therefore, a place of work can be considered an educational establishment if the individual is under tutelage as part of gaining a professional qualification.

    • Anonymous says:

      You hit the nail on the head "Cayman Constitution": could that period of "work" not be considered "training"?  And why not?  She certainly was a junior solicitor and was certainly learning, and did maintain her Cayman residency.

      Those two factors are critical.



    • Just Commentin' says:

      Absolutely!  Moreover, this section does not specify whether the employment or attendance has to be full-time. And the clauses referring to "any" period of absence and "any" educational establishment leaves it wide open!  I could live in the USA or UK for years and as long as I, say, attend classes in Underwater Basket Weaving at the U.S. Scuba Center my absence is excused under this clause.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. In this instance clearly Tara was over there to further her professional training, therefore she  was a student. Thank goodness common sense has prevailed.

  39. Bad Precedence says:


    Tara is the best qualified for the job, hands down. However the Chief Justice's  decision is truly a joke. Smellie are you serious???  She is a US citizen, living abroad, you just set a bad precedence the we will have to live with. 

    MAN UP. The "man" thing to do was to the right thing not the popular thing.  The Law has to be followed even if it was not popular with the people it represents.  

    Sick of the liberal way of thinking.  


    • Anonymous says:

      The CJ has followed the law. She was for, at least part of the time, away for educational purposes.  That's final!  Live with it!!

      • Anonymous says:

        She was away for educational purposes. That's more than we can say for Ms.Velma and donkey face.

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Do tell us on what section of the law you base your opinion? Or did you get it from a Dr. seuss book? "Horton Hears a Who" perhaps?  Merely "living" abroad is nowhere set forth in the Constitution as reason for disqualification. So what "law" are suggesting was not upheld?  Do tell!

    • Slowpoke says:

      ""Sick of the liberal way of thinking." 

      Where in Cayman do you live?  I would like to move there.  Being a "Liberal" Caymanian is almost as much fun as being an "Atheist", "Muslim" or "Gay/Lesbian" Caymanian.

      The only fun part is, that we can get crowds of people having apoplectic fits with a few words or sentences.

    • Liberal Here says:

      Give it up. Trial is over, the law has spoken. Nothing else to see or say, move along please. 

    • Anonymous says:

      This is why I believe that cases like this should be heard by a panel of judges if a true verdict is to be expected. What I have read so far is a joke. This was not fair to Christian by any stretch of the imagination. Everyone should be treated the same. 

    • Bad for who? says:

      Sick of the third world way of thinking.

  40. SKEPTICAL says:

    Well, you can frame that one Gordon. This was as much a case of Natural, as it was Legal Justice. If the voters in WB had wanted Velma in the first place, this judgement would never have been needed – but at least it created a couple of very important precedents.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Can this be appealed to the Privy Council? They certainly gave the CJ and Government an expensive smacking in the Astley McLaughlin case.

    CNS: The Constitution makes it clear that the decision of the Cayman Islands Grand Court is final in the case of an election petition and rules out the normal courseof appeals in order to prevent uncertainty in the legislature.

    • Anonymous says:

      NO!! IT'S FINAL!!!  There is no possibility of appeal,

    • Anonymous says:

      Not quite a "smacking"  for the CJ:  the CJ had ruled in favour of Astley McLaughlin.  It was he Cayman Islands Court of Appeal that overturned the CJ's ruling in favour of the government.  Ultimately the case came to the UK Privy Council who in turn ruled in favour of Mc Laughlin.

    • Anonymous says:

      No appeal. Final and binding says the Constitution.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then we have to put up with any old reckless decision!

      • Anonymous says:

        Go back to America donkey face. There you can profile, shoot people "stand your ground" and surround yourself with conservatives. No more liberals and justice to deal with.

  42. Anonymous says:

    What a slap in the face for Christian and Roulstone. XXXX

    • Anon says:

      Roulstone wasn't born in the US 

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe irrelevant. She did not choose to be a US citizen either, but became such by virtue of birth to US parents.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well that is Roustone's problem.  She can contest that in court if she is unhappy.

          • Anonymous says:

            Roulstone's interpretation was the same as Tara's, it's just that she didn't acquire her citizenship by being born in the U.S. 

        • Anonymous says:

          You should read the constitution: "…by virtue of your birth outside the Islands". Didn't apply to Roulstone.  

  43. The Golfer says:

    As a lay person sitting in court room #5 and listening to every word uttered, I was extremely impressed in the way which Justice Smellie conducted the summation of  the Rivers vs Hewitt court case.  Anyone, who sat in that court room and listened as the CJ summed it all up  based on the legal presentations of both sides, and the many quotes from and  references to case law [everyone if they were listening attentively ] will have to admit, that he made it all so easily understood that no one could have come away with any conclusion, other than, his ruling  was correct.

    Thank you Chief Justice Smellie!

    Tara you go to Little Cayman for a long weekend to relax and give God thanks for all his goodness and guidance.  You will then be ready to face any task given you. 

  44. Anonymous says:

    So I did a year of study outside of Cayman when I was due for rollover and came back more qualified than when I left. I retained ties to the island as well, does that mean my rollover year should not be counted ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Idiot.  You are not even from here.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is Tara?

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t think so. I believe she was born in the USA to persons who were long settled there and came here as a child for the first time. She says she has no allegiance to the Queen – and seems to have needed a work permit when she was in the UK so it seems in reality she is an American who has gained some kind of rights here that have never been explained. It is all very confusing.

          • Anonymous says:

            She is a Caymanian born to Caymanian parents in the U.S. who hold a Cayman passport as well as British and US Passport.

      • Anonymous says:

        It was a joke, friend. (And take care with the term "idiot"!)

      • Anonymous says:

        Off the Chief Justice decide that….. Idiot

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you still rolling? At least I think you should be.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, dumbass,  you are governed by the Immigration Law which has its own definition of residence.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually it does not. It does however define “legal and ordinary residence”.

        • Anonymous says:

          The point is that this decision has no implications for matters falling under the Immigration Law, smart alec.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great! Thanks for boosting that you were an expat who went away for training for a year on a Caymanian job and came back more qualified… wanting to stay longer so you can deprived yet another potential Caymanian out of a job and training opportunity.
      Oh by the way, your comment honestly has nothing to do with this news article. You definitely are more qualified… for PR (permanent removal)

      • Anonymous says:


        Can deprived?

        Can you see where the real issue is here ?

    • Anonymous says:

      That's a good one!

  45. Anonymous says:

    oh well. i guess its back to more fund raising for foolio.

  46. A-nony-mouse says:

    It's about time!  Leave the foolishnes and sour grapes behind and start working on the needs and aspirations of the Caymanian public, especially those of us unemployed and under-employed.

    The sore loser(s) can go home and lick their wounds and more importantly should definitely PAY TARA her costs!

    God has blessed you Tara, so take up the mantle and make us proud!

  47. Anonymous says:

    This must be one of the most bizarre rulings I have ever heard, what about the candidate who gave up their candidacy because of their US passport?

    Obviously an appeal is in order where I expect this ruling to be overturned.

    Reading the comments sounded more like a cheering section than a legal determination.

    • Anonymous says:


      Thats enough from the peanuts corner, mac.

    • Anonymous says:

      No one gave up their candidacy. Richard Christian was excluded from the ballot by the Elections Office. There is no appeal from this ruling. 

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Haaa!  So you "expect" the ruling to be overturned on appeal?  Really? OMG! How very amusing!  You are really serious?  Naw!  Are you?  OK. I won't waste time quoting you the applicable law. But this is one decision you may be waiting a very long time to hear. In the meantime: Please do us all the favour of not returning back here with silly comments until you come to gloat over the final verdict of the appeal. OK?

      • Anonymous says:

        In your world there is no room for disagreement, just so in kindergarden.

        • Just Commentin' says:

          Not my world, the Constitution says the judgement is final. Well…yeah…in my world my judgements are not subject to appeal either unles your ability to deliver a clat in the head is greater than mine… but that's not the point here.  Read the Constitution!  *grin*

    • Anonymous says:

      In reply to:Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 08/09/2013 – 18:08.                           This ruling is final,there can be no appeal.

  48. pmilburn says:

    Congrats Tara and now may you get on with the job that you are MORE than qualified for.Nice to know that this CANNOT be appealed against as far as I know from the start.To have had a bye election would have been a travesty and another waste of taxpayers money.One thing that has to be done after this ruling is to have that part of the Constitution totally overhauled so that this will not happen in the future.It certainly needs to be simplified and made clear cut so there is NO mis-understanding by anyone including the election officials and the general public.Good luck Tara and lets put our Caymanians back to work where possible.

    • Anonymous says:

      Come on Peter – you shoud know better,  Nobody is disputing her ability to serve but the law is the law and she blatantly should not have been allowed to stand.  Even in your comment you recognise this.  Stop mixing your emotion with what is right.  And this decision is pure wrong  

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you an expert on the law or is the CJ??  The CJ as well as most legally qualified individuals know that this decision is legally correct.  Plus it final!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree: the residency law was designed to ensure that we don't elect people who are out of touch with local conditions and politics.  Ms Rivers was clearly involved locally throughout the period.  

      This decisions makes sense of the law — it interprets the law in terms intended by the legislators.   That Is what courts to — they interpret the law.

      Same for the possession of a passport.

      It may be that the law needs to be fine tuned, but this decision does not mean that we do not need the residency requirement — this says we do need the requirement, but that in this case it was fulfilled.


  49. Anonymous says:

    Excellent decision!!!  It would have been a travesty if  one our most qualified Caymanian was not permitted to represent us.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is exhilarating the way justice continues to be served to bring our beloved country out of the dark ages. Almighty God is surely with us. Now if only they hadn’t put that other case off for an entire year…

    • Anonymous says:

      How do we know she is Caymanian as that phrase is defined in Law?

      • Anonymous says:

        Disagree by all means but do not just vote with a thumbs down. Please explain how someone born overseas at the relevant time to parents not resident and possibly not domiciled in Cayman is Caymanian? How long were her parents away before her birth? What did the law require when she was born? Has immigration confirmed that she is Caymanian?

  50. Anonymous says:


  51. Anonymous says:

    oh well. i guess its back to more fund raising for foolio.

  52. Anonymous says:

    As an expat with little to gain or lose from this matter, I find this decision to be a complete joke!  Based on the information available to the public, she definitely was abroad for purposes of work and not study.  Would the other judges found likewise – I doubt it.  It's a shame when courts start playing politrix instead of engaging in justice.

    • Anonymous says:

      What an ignorant approach… Someone studying abroad gaining further knowledge and experience to better represent her community and yet she should be ostracized for it meanwhile we have a joke of a premier in power for too long XXX

      • Anonymous says:

        you cant win for losing around here 18:15. These expats laugh all the time saying we have no "real world"experience (have in mind most of them with degrees who come to cayman, most likely were working at waitrose/asda or some low level job, yet have good jobs in cayman now) and she went and got some. She went for experience and came back HOME. She kept her ties, and she cant help if the constitution was written poorly. The CJ can only go by what the law dictates and if she must be held accountable or be exempt by it.


        You expats who are complaining watch too many Jeremy Kyle show. The CJ did his job, youshould go back to your jobs and enjoy your extended time here, or return to your country , then critique and fix your own govenrment issues.

      • Anonymous says:

        That's the entire point, she was not studying abroad – she was working, period!

        • Anonymous says:

          She was working AND STUYING!!  Her studying time was sufficient to fit within the educational exemption!! 

    • Anonymous says:

      I could not agree more with 17:34 Poor decision with apparently no thought proces.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Who cares what you think. The CJ has interpreted our Constitution, determined that some of her time at A&O was for educational purposes and has ruled. It's final now!!

    • Anonymous says:

      apparently you would probably be one of those who convicts someone based on assuming they are guilty. Whether you knew if she was there for school, you have to prove it in court. It was not proven. Learn the law, dont bring your own justice to this island. 

  53. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to Hon Ms Tara Rivers on her victory. I trust now with the case behind her,she can now focus on the employment opportunities for unemployed Caymanians as well as on the education portfolio.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do hope that Tara will look into the situation of Caymanians applying for jobs and when the person responsible for giving the job finds out that they are Caymanian thats the end of the story. Even our Boys complain that they are treated differently with Police if they are Caymanian.

  54. Anonymous says:


  55. Anonymous says:

    Take that!

  56. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Tara. You are the best candidate from the Republic.

    John 1:46

  57. Anonymous says:

    Now I have seen it all a law firm is now a school. Politics at its best.

    • Just Commentin' says:

      It is apparent that you did not bother to actually read the law before you hit the keys to type your less-than-fact-based opinion. The constitution does not mention attending a school. (go read for yourself) The words it does use are strikingly vague and are subject to a very broad interpretation. Justice Smellie chose to subscribe to a broad rather than narrow interpretation thereof. Yeah, I actually did read the law.  Now go back and getinformed before you spout off any more foolishness. 

  58. Anonymous says:

    Richard Christian bound to sue now…

    • Anonymous says:


      And lose.

      • Anonymous says:

        Naw, pretty sure he can sue the AG and win. AG=Zzzzzzz. 

        • Anonymous says:


          No doubt you were pretty sure Velma would win too. Zzzzzzzzzz.

      • "FACTS" says:

        Richard Christian is a very nice christian young man. However, my source tells me that the only passport that he possesses is a US passport. Not like Tara who has a British passport as well as a British Overseas Territory Passport, that makes the difference.

    • Anonymous says:

      Richard should have brught an action for judicial review before the election. It's too late now.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Why? Based on the results he may have saved himself $1000. There is always next time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hope he does!!!  What's good for the goose is good for the gander!!

  59. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Minister Tara.  Now lets get on with the work of the country now that we have those sore  losers behind us.  I hope they going to pay your costs.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Got to love today…just got to love it. Congrats Tara!!!!!!!!!

  61. Anonymous says:

    Dear Petitioners,

    Please do appeal.  The "study" finding is blatantly wrong.

    • Just Commentin' says:

      And where in the law do you find that there is recourse to appeal?  Please enlighten us.

    • Anonymous says:

      The decision of the Grand Court on an election petition is final.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry bro. dem expensiwe lawyas done tek all owa lil funds wey foolio raise fer us.

      • Anonymous says:

        God took folios money, plan and simple. Trying to be nice while teaching that boy a lesson   

    • "Facts" says:

      Naive!!  why don't you try and read the law.  The CJ judgement is final!!

  62. Anonymous says:

    This is, without doubt, the right decision. Congratulations Tara! May you go from strength to strength in your post as Minister and MLA for West Bay! PatrickSchmid

  63. Anonymous says:

    Another blow to the initiator (Keke) lol! These islands want educated leaders!

  64. Anonymous says:

    10000000000000000  thumbs up to this ruling.

  65. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a ruling based on common sense..we need a pile more of that..

    • Anonymous says:

      On good old common sense, eh 16:54? Not the law. Common sense so long as a Caymanian is not disadvantaged by an unfortunate law that she does not happen to agree with. Cayman really is something else.

      • Anonymous says:

        hmmm, if Hewit was not caymanian your statement would have some weight to it, but as usual, most of you talk through your ars on here, and not from actual sense.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hewitt is not Caymanian. He married a Caymanian and got certain legal rights, including the ability to sue and interfere in our political process, but that does not make him Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        If Cayman is so bad then get the HELL out!!!!!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Laws should be made using common sense in the first place!

    • Anonymous says:



  66. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic, just fantastic news especially considering who may have replaced her …..!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh stupid!  It's now about her replacement it's about the rule of law!  What's in it that you do not understand???  Why are you just digging on being so hateful about this whole thing and not speak the truth about the facts.  It's all because her replacement would have been Velma Hewitt and that she is a UDP right???? Get over that part of the argument now nah!!

  67. Anonymous says:

    Amazing decision await the appeal!

  68. Len Layman says:

    Congratulations Tara.  It is nice to see justice served.  This is a big win not just for you but more importantly for West Bay and its future.

    Now that this distraction is out of the way, government can move forward with the country's business.  There is a lot to be done and I am of the opinion we are in good hands.


  69. Anonymous says:

    Best news of the week!!!…Congrats Tara. We love you.

  70. Anonymous says:

    Well done!! I am very happy with the outcome of this judgment.

  71. Knot S Smart says:


    This challenge had about as much merit as Mac had ability to be Premier…

    Me thinks someone will have to sell a lot of picture frames to  pay a big legal bill…

  72. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic News.  

    The challenge was pure mischief on the part of a sore loser and the UDP party she is part of.

  73. The lone haranguer rides again! says:

    No rules, just right.

  74. Anonymous says:

    Brilliant, about time. Now let this nonsense stop please UDP.

  75. Anonymous says:

    What now Ms. Velma?

  76. And another Ting says:

    Wow Well well some legal precedent has been set! better change the law quickly. And another Ting.

  77. Anonymous says:

    what a bunch of BS   AGAIN……..justice NOT served !!!!