New face joins appeal court for summer session

| 14/08/2014

(CNS): Following the retirement of Sir Anthony Campbell from the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, there is a new face on the bench for this summer session of the local high court. Sir George Newman was sworn in on Monday, 11 August, by the governor as the appeal court got underway. Officials said he brings a wide range of experience as an advocate and as a judge. As an advocate, he was involved in constitutional lawcases in the Privy Council, dealing with challenges under the constitution against the governments of various Commonwealth jurisdictions. First appointed to the bench in 1995, as a High Court Judge in England & Wales, he has dealt with a wide variety of work involving serious crime.

On his first visit ever to visit to Cayman, this week he said: “I feel very happy that I am able to be here because I see it as part of a continuous passage of being involved in the rule of law in the Commonwealth and, in particular, the Caribbean.”

Welcoming Sir George, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie said it was a great pleasure. “The wealth of experience that he brings from around the Commonwealth, both as a leading advocate and judge, will certainly help to maintain the high reputation of our Court of Appeal. I hope that he and Lady Hilary will enjoy their times spent in Cayman."

With human rights cases now emerging in the Cayman Islands, court officials said Sir George’s extensive role as an advocate arguing such constitutional cases is of particular significance. His expertise in resolving legal matters in the constitutional and political arenas was recognized when after an attempted coup in Trinidad, he acted and advised in court proceedings in the aftermath of the violence there.

As well as his work as a judge the new member of the appeal court brings experience as the UK’s Surveillance Commissioner at the Home Office where he is responsible for judicial scrutiny of law enforcement operations involving serious crime such as terrorism. The aim of these enquiries is to ensure that law enforcement procedures are not disproportionately or unnecessarily intrusive of individual privacy and human rights.

Sir George also has commercial law experience after working on the banking dispute when US President Jimmy Carter, froze Iranian banks in London, and in the International “Tin Council” litigation. He has acted in arbitrations as counsel for various foreign governments, such as the State of Qatar, in a Gulf oil dispute, and an arbitration concerning the security of Qatar’s border technology, and for the People’s Republic of China in a commercial arbitration in Stockholm. He has also acted as an arbitrator in London, Singapore and Stockholm in commercial disputes involving both foreign states and commercial entities.

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