Brexit won’t affect right to petition ECHR

| 13/07/2016 | 26 Comments
Cayman News Service

European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France

(CNS): Following the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, members of the community have been under the mistaken impression that this means the European Convention on Human Rights will no longer apply to Cayman. But Britain’s exit from the EU is unrelated to its relationship with the convention, which means that local people can still petition the court in Strasbourg. James Austin-Smith, chairman of the Cayman Islands Human Rights Commission, explained that the ECHR has direct application in Cayman.

The controversial case of a same-sex couple trying to get their marriage recognised for the purposes of an immigration matter has dominated the local headlines recently, and commenters on CNS and across social media have been under the impression that as a result of ‘Brexit’, the ECHR will no longer be relevant to Cayman.

“Importantly, the ECHR is separate from the EU,” Austin-Smith told CNS. “Accordingly, the UK leaving the EU will not result in it automatically leaving the ECHR.”

The European Union has its own Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms and when the UK leaves the EU, these will no longer apply. However, this was never extended to Cayman and its provisions have never applied in this jurisdiction.

“More importantly, human rights in the Cayman Islands are enshrined in Part One of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 and as such are protected, regardless of the UK’s position in or out of the EU. Whilst the Cayman Islands relies heavily on UK jurisprudence, the implementation of the Bill of Rights in the Cayman Islands has provided for local case-law to be developed by local judges,” Austin-Smith said.

He noted that human rights in Cayman are protected by common law, which predated the ECHR and continued to develop alongside it.

“Regardless of any international legal developments, the common law will remain and continue to develop and to protect the rights of all people within the jurisdiction of the Cayman Islands,” he added.

While most people have welcomed the Bill of Rights and the protection it offers, the broader debates about human rights have been dominated by religious controversies, as many members of the church community remain fixated on the protection it offers to those discriminated on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Community fears over the possible passage of legislation that would facilitate same-sex unions have given rise to some extremely unpleasant comments from members of the Legislative Assembly about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So what? The Cayman Islands has never recognised ECHR (or any other human rights conventions for that matter) anyway. The Constitution is a joke, subject to selective application and interpretation depending on who you know and how much you are prepared to slip them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s time for Cayxit

  3. Anonymous says:

    The fact that so many thought that the ECHR was an EU institution shows why putting the issues to the masses in a referendum was a stupid idea.

    • Anonymous says:

      And why democracy and not dictatorship should never be allowed to enter UK politics.

      Sorry us masses don’t conform to your leftie liberal, metropolitan ideal of elitism in society and government, but I’d rather vote my representatives out when they don’t shape up.
      Arrogant attitudes towards the ‘masses’ are exactly why we voted for Brexit and why millions, if given the opportunity, across Europe would undoubtedly do the same.
      Why do you suppose European Parliament elections were the most undersubscribed democratic process in history. Surprise! The British people had no taste for European government and if you smart people actually came out of your self righteous bubble once in a while, you would have noticed that the EU debate was a slow train crash waiting to happen. And this was long before immigration became an electoral liability.
      Not so smart eh?

      The problem is that in your self entitled world you cannot see, (or may not care) that others don’t want unelected career bureaucrats or judges dictating what’s in their best interest. They don’t want professional career politians and failed lawyers dictating their lives, we have more than enough ‘snouts in the trough’ amongst our own chattering, liberal and middle classes.

      Perhaps if politicians had listened to the ‘masses’ earlier, a referendum may not have been necessary, but then again their blind stupidity and arrogance led us into an illegal war that was instigated by the Blairite liberal left from Notting Hill. The ultimate metropolitan elite.
      It was their ‘we know best’ attitude that took us into two un-winnable wars that still see many British, Iraqi and Afgani lives lost on the battlefields and in our own towns and city’s.
      IS is the direct product of ‘we know best’ and surprise, we didn’t vote for them either.

      So we won’t be taking lessons on stupidity from you or those that think they know best, thank you very much.
      We’ll just get on with making the will of the ‘masses’ work for the benefit of all in our country and not that of self obsessed tax dodgers here in Cayman, or in London for that matter.

      • Anonymous says:

        The masses can vote in General Elections. The reductivist tendencies of a binary plebiscite make such processes ill suited to issues like Brexit. Your rant reflects the resentments of the mediocre.

        • Anonymous says:

          And your pompous attempt at aloof arrogance speaks of your detachment from reality.

          The reason why the Tories swept Labour aside in last years general election was clear. They offered the entire electorate a referendum in their election manifesto.
          So voting in the GE was exactly why the referendum took place. It’s basic democracy, because if the smart people had thought about their vote or indeed bothered to vote at all, they could have stopped any likely hood of the referendum by voting for another party. But they didn’t because they really weren’t that smart after all and prefer to indulge in their typical, wet nurse inspired whinging that marks out those educated beyond their intelligence.
          Get nanny to put your thumb back in your mouth and shut up whining.

        • Anonymous says:

          Really, is that the best you’ve got? Go back to lunch, then sleep it off, then perhaps you wont be such a self righteous diva.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you 9:06. We have some real elitist w–k-rs posting on here and it is heartening to see someone let them know that there are many of us who are extremely happy with this sensible decision to get out from under the overblown unaccountable frequently corrupt EU bureaucratic juggernaut.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes Mr Farage, you are right. In fact, Hitler was elected chancellor in Germany and most racist laws were passed by a German democratically elected parliament. In fact, segregation laws were passed by democratically elected legislature in US’s states. Countries can commit suicide and the first symptoms are when they enter into a spree of racism driven by its own institutions. The most poor countries in the world are racist simply because someone has to be blamed for the decadence. In the UK, we blamed EU, I cannot wait to see England and Wales (as the UK is on course to self-destruction) begging to re-enter the EU club. It will happen sooner than you expect.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh you sad delusional fool, try getting your leftie head out of the Guardian and join the reality of what has happened.
          Racism had nothing to do with a vote to leave the EU, only a simpleton with a myopic view of the reality of what has happened over the last 40 years would indulge in such simplistic garbage.

          You seem to disregard the fact that a majority voted for the European Common Market in 1975, the very same people you idiots now blame for ‘ruining’ the future of the country. Ask yourself why such an overwhelming vote for remain, ended as a majority vote for leave. What went wrong?
          Turning our back on our traditional democracy in favour of a supranational and federalist bureaucratic dictatorship, that’s what went wrong. Ordinary people who have seen their country turned into a mere satellite of Brussels have decided that they don’t want unelected career bureaucrats ruling their lives, they want their own representatives, voted for by them and answerable to the electorate every five years, to run their country.

          To resort to racism as a lever to discredit people whose only crime is love their country, support their democratic rights and feel that they have an influence over their future is exactly the reason why the nation turned against the liberal thought police who think they know better. You stupid people don’t understand that ranting ‘racism’ when the subject of uncontrolled immigration is raised has provoked a very large number of people to rail against you and revive their right to legitimate freedom of speech.
          No one denies that the rats have put their heads out of the sewers, racists are idiots but they are not representative of over 17 million citizens who wanted national representation and accountability restored.
          To reduce a leave vote to such a vile and minute minority opinion is to diminish your argument. Concern of freedom of movement rules, unfettered access to UK public services and housing is not racism, bigotry or xenophobia, is a legitimate argument in an open and free democracy. But that’s not what you want is it? You and your comrades want totalitarianism where the masses are told what to think and what to say. Well tough luck Trotsky.

          Of course country’s have turned in on themselves and committed national suicide, but very often that was driven by historical imperial aspirations or the sense of national humiliation. Germany suffered as a consequence of both these ill advised paths, imperialism first, the Treaty of Versailles the second. France suffered the same fate under Napoleon.

          It is their historical past that dictates a European Union future, they have fought each other over and over and it is the fear of that past that drives their willingness to be federally intertwined, with the explicit encouragement of the US who has given so much to keep them from killing each other.

          That is not our history, our history was fighting French and German imperialism to maintain freedom across Europe. We gave them the chance to rid themselves of deeply ingrained hatred, but we didn’t want or need to join their processes of guilt and reconciliation.
          The U.K. has given enough to Europe, we have nothing to apologise for, history and geography will always keep us European, not a political liberal elite whose motivation is their personal vision of integration at the expense of national sovereignty.

          • Anonymous says:

            National sovereignty? You idiot. You can sell that crap to the masses but anyone with half a liberal or [conservative brain for that matter] will understand Brexit will only deliver the illusion of sovereignty without any real power. Perhaps the pride in your history has gotten the better of your sensibilities, the sovereignty argument is fundamentally misguided. Before Brexit the British parliament decided how to deploy more than 98% of its public spending so there is very little control to be regained when it comes to the UK’s finances. In terms of national policies, the British government determines the vast majority of them, NHS, tax, education, pensions, defence and foreign policy. Preserving absolute sovereignty is worthless if it reduces the prosperity and security of British citizens. For you, clearly the increased cost of living for working class families as a result of the collapse in the pound and weakened economy will not be a problem, you represent the worst kind of elite, the kind that places ideology before reason.

            • Anonymous says:

              You need to study the EU more, it clearly calls for an erosion of national sovereignty for the common good. As for UK laws, well that’s true if you take into account that it is the EU directive that precedes the illusion of a home grown law.

              It is pure speculation to assume that prosperity can only be linked to membership of the EU. You have no clear proof that security will be damaged, after all, France is an EU member but suffers disproportionally from acts of terrorism. And even if you refer to financial security, we didn’t need the feared emergency budget, the pound hasn’t really collapsed and shares are fairly buoyant. Property is going through a long needed correction and exports are on the rise.
              Isnt it strange how country’s not in the EU manage to survive out of it, country’s with far lower GDP than ours. Being the 5th richest nation on earth isn’t down to EU membership, but it is why they don’t want us to leave.

              It’s all far removed from project fear forecasts so far. Even Osbourne started talking sensibly before he was sacked.

              That’s not to say that issues may arise, but whose to say that they wouldn’t have risen anyway. The Euro for a start, it’s still rocky, just waiting for Greece to default or any other financial crisis to hit Spain, Portugal or Italy. France is a basket case under Hollande and the socialists and most of Eastern Europe want harsher controls on immigration, (now they are hardened racists, right in the centre of Europe). You must be so proud.

              Oh it’s an absolute dream over there. Just wait until the elections next year, the EU and the Euro are in for some serious shocks, especially if the UK doesn’t fulfil your prophesies of doom and other nations see promise outside of Brussels.

              It must be so gratifying to not be ‘one of the masses’, because the metropolitan liberal elite have done so well for us in the recent past. That’s if you dismiss 3 Middle East wars, and a financial crash driven by greed and incompetence. Austerity was the direct result of Blair and Browns arrogant policies and the blinkered world view of the chattering classes.
              There’s nothing worse than a champagne socialist.

              Who picked up the bill for that little exercise in narcissistic elitism, we did, the masses. You know the working classes who went to war so you could sit at home and count your tax free money.

              I’d rather have the illusion of sovereignty than the bitterness of defeat. After all, you are a loser, aren’t you.

            • Anonymous says:

              That superiority complex of yours must weigh you down.
              Better to be an ideological winner then a elitist loser. Especially one that has no idea what being a working class family is like, but pontificates anyway whilst sitting in the Cayman Islands. Hypocrite.
              Just stay on Cayman, you won’t like the new order, you’ll think it so beneath your pompous arse.
              Oh no, they don’t want you there either, oh well, always Jersey with the rest of your whining tribe and their identikit and weirdly blonde families.

          • Anonymous says:

            Insulting the person who does not agree with your view are more often than not a sign of poor education or lack of argument. Your answer shows a bit of of both. I shall say two things only, England and Wales cannot force NI and Scotland to do as they wish; to argue otherwise it would mean the dictatorship of the English, which in light of your own argument, you would agree that dictatorship is a bad thing whether it comes from Brussels or London is really irrelevant. The nation has for countries and two of them voted for remain and two for leave. Bye Bye UK, welcome back to your boundaries as they were by the beginning of the seventeenth hundreds before the Union Act. Secondly, no country in the world can survive the earthquake of withdrawing from its economically active population that has massively voted for remain the right to work and trade within a market of 800 millions people (whether you are poor or wealthy or person or a corporation, EU does give you that right to everybody) and replacing it with the hypothetical right for the wealthy and corporate entities to trade products with some nations in the uncertain forceable future. This is more unlikely to be accepted by those below 45 years old who overwhelmingly voted for remain when on the other side one finds a majority composed of pensioners retired without mortgage and enjoying free health system along with a bunch of racist uneducated living in council estate accommodation paying pennies to live in central London for the rest of their lives and of course free education for their children and free health system for themselves and welfare cheques waiting for them every month all of these paid by the taxes of those who voted remain. I wonder why you are living in the Cayman Islands … oh … yes it is the sun shining here all year around! Any serious country in the world would not dare to allow such a change unless an aggravating majority voted for such a dramatic withdrawal of rights. I wish England and Wales the best in this new endeavour: enjoy the sovereignty and endure the paucity that you have brought upon yourselves.

            • Anonymous says:

              Spoken like a true disconnect from the truth. Take a look at the EU trading figures, the UK runs a huge trading deficit, we buy more from them than they buy from us, so who needs who? 85,000 BMW cars are sold in the UK annually, one fifth of their world production. Do you seriously think they want tariffs or a trade war. Stop believing your own prophesies of doom, even EU members don’t believe most of it because they need open trade and a strong UK.
              Even prior to Brexit, UK trade with the EU was sinking, the percentage of trade is minuscule compared to the rest of the world.

              You like to refer to the demographics, but you still fail to notice that the young make up a reflectively small number of the voting public, so any percentages are misleading. Even if 70% actually got off their whining arses to vote, (which they didn’t by the way) that is still a small number compared to those over 25. Even when registering to vote was extended, the additional 2.5m, (mostly young voters) still didn’t make a difference.
              Also if the 16-18 age group was added in to the mix, they would still have lost.

              The young will learn that there’s more to life than a no visa required holiday to Ibiza. They seem to manage when travelling around the rest of the world.
              7.25m votes were cast in London, Scotland and NI combined. Only 3,776,751 in London, 60% of whom voted to remain, hardly representative of the nation. So do the maths. Take Scotland for example, only 2.5m voted, yet 62% voted remain, still not large numbers are they?

              The fact is more people voted nationally for Brexit, including in Scotland, London and NI, this wasn’t a regional referendum, NI and Scotland are not independent from it and must follow the majority decision.
              You can no more exclude those who voted for Brexit in Scotland than you can those who voted remain in the South East. But I promise you, there were far more eurosceptics that voted remain out of fear for the status quo. But you wouldn’t be able to see that from here now would you?

              Scotland will not go independent, the Scots aren’t that dumb. They have no real source of GDP since the drop in oil prices and falling availability. They know this, that is why they voted to stay in the union, otherwise they would be bankrupt by now. The SNP are angling for a better deal to make up for their reliance on EU handouts, they already get more per head from England, Wales and NI than they put in. It’s purely noise to get attention.

              And you hypocritically talk of insults, yet you happily disparage those who aren’t fortunate enough to have been born with a silver spoon in their mouths or have worked all of their lives and paid their national insurance and taxes to afford a well earned pension. With age comes experience and wisdom, it qualifies you to make important decisions, especially when you’ve lived through the car crash that is the EU. Just out of nappies, school or university isn’t a life qualification, hard work and the human experience is.
              The U.K will do just fine outside of the EU, there will be bumps along the way, but long term, we will be stronger for it. Already the Chinese are knocking on the door because of the EU’s failure to come to an agreed trade deal, it’s only taken 9 years. No wonder there are so many exasperated and emerging trading nations around the world looking for newly available free markets when the EU bureaucrats can’t get their s### together.

              And guess what, I’m not in Cayman any longer, so stick your sunshine.

              • Anonymous says:

                so … who in the UK is going to be able to buy the 85.000 German cars when the city moves out of London … and in any event the exit will destroy London as a financial centre mate, the pound lost 12% of its value in hours as a currency is the worst devaluation in the world only second to the Argentina peso in December last year! That is not a ‘bump’, that’s objectively a disaster and any serious forecast is predicting that by the end of the year the pound will be even lower. It is a disaster because it is the market’s reaction to what the UK economy is actually worth outside the EU as of today 12% less than before the referendum and probably even less by the year … this means in actual number that the economy is shrinking or to put it in Boris’s words, the pie from which we eat is smaller. For people such as you who can spend time in the Cayman, you will not feel it, it will be those who live out of benefits, who earn just below what they need to subsist who are going to suffer, but you don’t care because you think that you got the sovereignty back, so stick your sovereignty, I’d rather stick the sunshine!

                And by the way, yes I do disparage those who are closer to die and enjoyed all what they have because of the EU market and voted out on completely irrational grounds (perhaps you do not remember that the UK relied in IMF lending it money before it joined the ECC in 1970s or that people could not take out of the country more than 300 pounds!), but now are attempting to deprive the overwhelming majority of those under 45 of the same luxuries they had. They can rotten in hell mate but I am not going back to the UK to pay a penny in taxes for those idiots. I say attempting because this is not over … the opera does not end until the fat lady sings and we are only at the beginning of the first act mate. May said yesterday that she will not trigger exit until all nations in the UK agree a model because she cares about a united Kingdom … good luck with Scotland!

                On a side point, your lack of understanding is just beyond believe, do not embarrase yourself by using terrorism to explain the French social problem that is causing chaos in France, which it is by the way the same social problem that causes chaos in the US: racism.

            • Anonymous says:

              Total BS 3:41, you clearly have no handle on the reality of EU membership. Or the population by the sound of it.
              Get back in the cupboard, there’s a good boy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pit Bull, is that you old chap?

      • Pit Bull says:

        It was not. But I applaud the sentiment. There is a Test Match on. Must go. toodle pip.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank God. I thought we had lost you, though there is at least one poster here doing what forensic people would call “copycat Bull posting” and it is frightening to think there might now be two of you. I daresay Patrica X might rise from the tea table in her drawing room soon. The Horror, the Horror.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The UK will toss the ECHR (and the court that enforces it) before anything else. They’ll pass a law like the ECHR but definitely jettison the European court.

    • Anonymous says:

      The new prime minister completely denounced that idea last Thursday, just in case you haven’t caught up with the news.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh do catch up. The new Home Secretary is a known exponent of withdrawal from the ECHR and its replacement by a UK constitution.
        But even so, it will still be applicable in Cayman as the bare bones will obviously remain the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      ECHR compliance will be a requirement of any EU deal. The EU will not permit rights arbitrage within a single market.

      • Anonymous says:

        The reality is that it matters not. Article 50 hasn’t even been enacted so anything, such as the Stone Age bigotry and homophobic rants of the Caymanian religious Nazis, will have plenty of time to be heard.
        And in any case, the UK’s new PM brought into law same sex marriage in the UK, so how do you think that’s going to work here?
        Soon come bobo.
        Of course, there’s always the freedom to vote for independence, you won’t be missed.

  5. Anonymous says:


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