CJ’s ruling on election petition released to public

| 14/08/2013

(CNS): The 57-page judgment delivered by the chief justice last Friday in the unsuccessful election petition challenging the second elected member for West Bay’s right to be returned has been released into the public domain. In the decision, Anthony Smellie found that Tara Rivers was an ordinary resident in Cayman despite being absent while she worked abroad, and that her absence was as a result of study even though she was working full time at a law firm. In addition, although she has and uses an American passport, the country’s top judge ruled that this was not an allegiance to a foreign power becuase in this case US citizenship was acquired as a matter of birth.

The result was a complete change in position from that of the legal department and the Elections Office, which had previously ruled and been of the view that continuing to possess and use any foreign passport was an indication of an acknowledged allegiance to another power and grounds for disqualification.

Full judgment attached.

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Rivers qualified says CJ

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A well written judgment that demonstrates modern thinking and is reflective of a modern constitution which recognises and embraces globalisation. Clearly this is what modern thinkers like Alden McLaughlin, Charles Clifford, Sarah Collins and the late Melanie McLaughlin intended when they 'framed' our 2009 Constitution. And let us remember that constitutions are deliberately framed as broadly as possible to allow for flexibility and adaptation in a rapidly changing world. Well done Honourable Chief Justice……..you understood the framers correctly !!! No one with any degree of rationality could claim that the framers intended to disqualify someone like Tara who is clearly a Caymanian, clearly domiciled in the Cayman Islands and clearly committed to the betterment of our country.

    • Peter Zuffrie says:

      I have read  a lot of bloggers' commentary on the CJ's masterly verdict because he interpreted the Constitution correctly. Here are two important questions: is it right/legally proper for the CJ to base his judgement on what he felt the Constitution intended to effect or should he have made a ruling based on what the Constitution actually says now; and was the CJ encouraged ti take such route because there was no others to appeal his decision to? 

      • Anonymous says:

        Your questions will be answered if you actually read the judgement.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It does not get any better the more you read it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, this ought to shut more than a few mouths. The CJ has been on the bench for 20 years, and this judgment illustrates that. Show some respect, you nattering ingrates.

    • Anonymous says:

      00.01..you are far too polite, I would have used stronger words for the thousands of well educated judges we have out there. Er, apologies, meant to write bloggers out there…

    • Anonymous says:

      The Constitution is so poorly and ambiguously framed that it allows any competent lawyer (and the CJ is much more than that) to come up with different judgements. I bet another equally competent Judge could write a judgement supporting the Hewitt contention, using the Constitution and some of the same points Mr Smellie focusses on but just giving them a different (but equally defensible) reading. So what? At least we have clarity going forward: a foreign law firm can be an educational institution.

      • Just Commentin' says:

        While I agree that the constitution is pretty crummy to a large degree, Justice Smellie managed to make a prudent judgement because only a totaly moron would think that the relevant section of the constitution was written with the intention to disqualify from holding office a born Caymanian with close contact with and a home on the island, who was absent for a while but obviously had every intention of returning to the island after she bettered herself.  Sure there are lots of morons on this site who think that way because they sit on their brains and therefore suffer the resultant damage, but thank god they do not sit on the seats of justice roun' yah! 

      • Anonymous says: