Appeal court overturns JR ruling on port vote

| 02/07/2020 | 39 Comments
Cayman News Service
Shirley Roulstone and her lawyer, Kate McClymont from Broadhurst LLC

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal has found in favour of government on the constitutional question surrounding the cruise port referendum law. According to a brief summary of the decision, the senior justices said that the government’s port referendum law, which was quashed by the Grand Court, was in fact constitutional and did not require a general or framework law to support it.

The appeal court found that the right of people to vote and other rights associated with a referendum could be protected in a specific or bespoke law for each people’s referendum. The court also decided that issues surrounding fairness and campaign financing were not constitutional but policy decisions.

The government appeal was made in response to a victory secured by Shirley Roulstone from the Cruise Port Referendum campaign and the National Trust in the Grand Court last year, which put a halt to government’s plans for a December vote on the controversial proposal for a cruise berthing facility in George Town.

The campaign had secured a people’s vote under section 70 of the constitution but the government’s handling of the vote caused considerable concern and as a result the issue was taken to the courts.

However, government’s victory was hollow and very narrow. The campaign had throughout the process secured much of what they had demanded and government has, in any event, agreed to passing a framework law. The project has also been stopped as a result of an accumulation of events, starting with the stay on the project secured by the legal action and the victory in the lower court, as well as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Several weeks ago Premier Alden McLaughlin said the project was effectively “dead in the water”, given the pandemic’s impact on tourism and cruise tourism in particular.

During the appeal court hearing on Thursday, as the government and Roulstone argued over costs and a potential Privy Council appeal, the lawyer representing government said that he had been instructed that the project was, at the very least, not going to proceed in this administration.

Although the court refused Roulstone and the Trust leave to appeal to the Privy Council, the parties are free to appeal directly to the UK court if they choose.

However, extending the legal battle may no longer be beneficial to the referendum campaigners, given the successes it has enjoyed along the way. Government has agreed to passing a framework law, the potential threat to the harbour has been temporarily halted and the CPR still has the right to press for a people’s vote on this issue if the issue re-emerges.

Check back to CNS for the response from CPR later today.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (39)

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    “…the lawyer representing government said that he had been instructed that the project was, at the very least, not going to proceed in this administration”

    in *this* administration?

    Will a port be built during the next PPM reboot?

    Is that the plan?

    Clever language Mr. Lawyer. I see what you did.

    Until there’s effective leaders running in the next election, who are not beholden to developer or the old mercantile class, the fight may not be over. That is if this pandemic doesn’t sink the cruise ship industry.

    One can hope.

    But I also have hope for 2021 and that voters will be able to elect a fresh, effective government who will permanently close the door on CRUSTY LOBBYISTS who still think building a port is going to make dusty Lladro figurines, crystal made-in-China, over prized t-shirts, bad food and expensive Rolexes, attractive.

    It won’t.

    Cruise ship passengers were NEVER in Cayman to “buy.” Not now. Not when they travel around in floating cities that services every bovine need.

    Cayman cannot keep scrapping by on a dead business model.

    It’s time to move on.

    It’s 21st century. We aren’t a bamboozled people anymore.

    And no one’s going to sit back and watch ANY administration blow up a reef to sustain a fossilized business model.

    We Caymanians know where the true value of our Islands lie and it ain’t in no tourist shop. Like the GT reef, the true value of the Cayman Islands is irreplaceable. And once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

    Shirley Roulstone you need a medal! THANK YOU FOR PROTECTING THIS ISLAND FROM A CATASTROPHIC ECONOMIC & ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER. Thank you to the National Trust, the legal team and every single individual that helped in this cause. You all need medals.

    This ruling does not diminish your victory in any way.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Even if the vote had gone forward and been approved, it would not have been started in time to have an impact on the port. Covid is what has killed the port project. It has been an interesting debate to follow, but in the end the only thing that really stopped the construction of the port was the pandemic, thankfully.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, I guess we probably ended up spending $10M on this foolishness. It’s a shame we can’t sue Alden and Moses for squandering our hard earned money..

  4. Anonymous says:

    Shirley, thank you for all you have done to save us from our own government..

    Every time, I see you, I think of this song….Alden and Moses need to listen to it too..

  5. CPR Cayman says:

    CIG will still have to deal with the issue of conducting the Referendum before they can commit to any cruise berthing facility project.

    CPR is still alive and will continue our efforts.

    We are focused on having achieved the main objectives of the Judicial Review process, which were to prevent CIG getting an unfair advantage in the referendum by:

    (a) conducting it on a date shortly before Christmas, which would actively reduce voter turnout, something that is particularly grave where failure to vote acts as a vote in favour of the government position, and

    (b) using biased wording in the question to encourage a vote in favour of the government position.

    We hope that, having been faced with a formidable challenge this time round, when the referendum eventually takes place, the Cayman Islands Government will not make the same mistakes it made last time, such as:

    (1) providing the public with inaccurate information, using public funds, which nothing short of propaganda; and

    (2) completely dominating the information people heard about the project by spending millions of dollars of public money on campaigning while the anti-port lobby struggled to get information out to the people at anywhere near the same level due to financial constraints.

    CPR showed that the people do have a voice and will challenge decisions that lack transparency and accountability.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do believe that any incoming Government starts with a clean slate. The project is dead for this Government and with it the referendum is also dead. A new Government can proceed afresh. The CPR campaigned for a referendum then denied the people having one. If it is a victory for the CPR then it a pyrrhic one. But I actually think it’s a huge loss for CPR and for The people. It’s a shame.

      • Anonymous says:

        They didn’t deny you from having a referendum. Alden just said he is not proceeding with the referendum so I’m not sure where your logic is on this one?

        I’m all for the referendum at election time but not at Christmas and not when the question favors the Government or when not voting means a yes…You have to admit the government was a wee bit disingenuous…

        • Fed Up says:

          Disingenuous, or lying cheats….. or both. A pretty sleazy bunch, even for politicians.I hope they ALL get voted out.

    • IJosh says:

      To CPR one and all. You all would have been looked on more favorably and most likely have garnered more support, if you at least appeared to be more humble and less cocky with the decisions before and after. While it is believed by some coerced people that you have good intentions, this idyllic perception falls short by the arrogance displayed day after day by in particular the M& M cadre you are actively catering to.

      There is no doubt in the mind of many, and I mean many ( it’s a pity their right to vote was taken away) who feel and know that politics and personal agendas of your hierarchy’and financial supporters played a vigorous part in the CPR rationale and.machinery. The people of this country will now see your true colors tinged with the idyllic cry of patriotism displayed in and within the next election won’t we, as you propel your erstwhile leaders to gain the power they so loudly abhor, but would take on if given the opportunity. Woe betide if this were to happen for this country would then see a display of Autocracy it has never seen before , not only fueled by a fiery Napoleonic syndrome , but at best a true picture of corruption which they so vigorously ascribe to the present government by rumors on radio and nary a shred of evidence profited for public view ( perhaps some law suits would further bring to light the nefarious nature of the protagonists earlier referred to).

      Too many stones are being thrown at and in the wrong places CPR, be mindful that before you try to pluck the mote out of anybody’s eyes you should really really pluck and burn the ones in ya own. Only then you might achieve the overall respect that at least some of you truly deserve.

      Oh what a Minnie!

      • Res Ipsa Loquitur says:

        Consider the facts and the goals as cpr set out on the people’s initiated referendum process and the application for judicial review which challenged the actions of the current administration. They effectively reached their goals. Perspective is everything.

      • Doris E. Banks says:

        I see your troll name is “I Josh”. Well, I agree. You MUST be joshing! It is obvious that you have a high I.Q. and considerable education. Well, good for you! I find it sad, though, that you would blow your horn for a bunch of creeps trying to get rich at the expense of the citizens of the Cayman Islands. It is my opinion and my hope that these creeps will be removed from office at the next election! I just can’t stand thieves and liars and cheats such as the ones we currently have! Have a nice day!

        • IJosh says:

          ToDoris: you too are making a series of revealing claims which may or may not be true I don’t know You so I cannot fully assess if there Is any validity to your allegations .

          However may I suggest that your allegations if they are true and supportable could be channeled to the Authorities e.g. The AntiCorruption Commission, TheOmbudsman Office. TheRCiPSand as a further tool the Foreign and Common Wealth Office (FCO) . Your seemingly vast evidence of the crimes you have posited and that as portrayed Verbally by members of the 2nd Political Opposition Group ( 2POG I am sure His Excellency the Governors Office who No doubt would be very helpful I’m seeking truth and Justice.

          My dear don’t think of me as the Enemy think of me as one who knows the landscape and has seen over and over again how theCreators wannabes are always critical of those they wish to overthrow to then do the same thing they criticized as being done.

          My Dear , You don’t have to believe me look at the manifestos for the last 10 plus terms of office and research the media publications and you will no doubt will also have a clearer view of the mite of which I speak.


          PS. TheI represents my first name which is Israldo Josh.

          • Anonymous says:

            I Josh: I find your comment somewhat interesting. You credit yourself with knowing the local landscape Your advice to Doris in dealing with the corruption, that she should report to the authorities, I wonder if you have followed the cases and observed the results. Any comment?

          • Doris E. Banks says:

            Hello, Israldo! Anonymous 12:15 pm has commented on the reason that I do not pursue any action against any wrongdoers in our government. “You can’t fight City Hall” is a frequently used saying when efforts to change things for the better go unheeded, and “Absolute power corrupts” is more than just a saying. Since I cannot run for office, and since I have no desire to do so, all I do is bitch about what I believe is wrong………. and I believe there’s a lot wrong in our government. Maybe things will be better after our next elections………………?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Fix the Dump

  7. Anonymous says:

    Great news! Hold the vote. Build the port. Get out of the way of progress CPR!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    This isn’t good news. Only tyrants wanting to pass more bad laws would be happy about this gov’t appeal ruling.

    • Caymanian / says:

      Everybody knows the Corona pandemic has changed the dynamics, and a cruise berthing facility is least of our worries. Like Alden said, its effectively “dead” ! I take it as an Act of God. Reminds me of the saying, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but the will of the Lord shall prevail” King Solomon, Proverbs 19:21.

      I hope one day, Alden seriously surrenders his heart ♡ and life to Jesus. His planning is not God’s planning.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Pity there won’t be any cruise ships around to ever use it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yet another step backwards for the people/voters of the Cayman Islands where an appeals court can rule that unqualified school-leaving MLA legislators are entirely free to draft and pass repugnant and prejudicial laws – particularly those that stifle fair-play and transparency. This ruling stinks of political/AG interference.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just say you don’t agree with the ruling. To accuse 3 distinguished appeals court judges of caving to interference is just plain silly. A

  11. Anonymous says:

    My sincere and deepest gratitude goes out to Shirley for having the guts and grit to go up against the likes of Alden and Moses on behalf of the people of these islands.

    I cannot for the life of me think of where we would be had we started that port. It would have been an eyesore and and a tourism disaster as we would have had an abandoned site in our beautiful Hog Sty Bay, not to mention no cruise ships and no tourism..A financial disaster was in the making if the people of Cayman didn’t take a stand and support Shirley and the CPR group in pushing for a referendum even it was hijacked by the Unity Government in their efforts to shove this down our throats.

    Let this serve as an example to this and future governments that they should never underestimate or take for granted the people power of these islands.

    I encourage everyone that hasn’t as yet to get themselves on the voters list as soon as possible and when election comes in May of 2021, let it be a further demonstration of people power and remove these tyrants that believe they can do as they like without concern for the people.

    • Anonymous says:

      The list if electors needs to be audited before any new people are added. Far too many have snuck on the list when they haven’t held up their end of the bargain ie. unpaid PR fees and the like.

    • Anonymous says:

      For or against, every person running in the next election should state very clearly where they stand so that voters can make an informed decision.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Thanks for the laugh. Politicians will tell you what they think you want to hear…….. then do what they think is best for themselves!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Good thing this referendum stopped the cruise port or we’d be footing the bill for a useless cruise port terminal. At least we only on the hook for any money spend advertising this ridiculous idea…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Well done Alden and McKeeva an outstanding effort; victory, victory, victory! How proud you both must be. I do hope Moses brings over some champagne for you to toast this. What an amazing day in both of your careers, you fought the people of the Cayman Islands and you won. XXXX Let us all bow down in your honour. #pyrrhicvictory #governmentwaste

  14. Anonymous says:

    ROFL. Build our damn port!

    • Cayman Mon says:

      Build the port now. Get rid of those judges who try to legislate from the bench. And, yes, Jon Jon is a good, hard working man.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fug yew. But if you are going to pick up the bill, go for it!

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