CIG finally offers free online access to laws

| 09/10/2020 | 25 Comments

(CNS): The public can finally access all current Cayman Islands legislation free of charge on a single website with the launch of legislation.gov.ky. This long-awaited online library includes laws and regulations, as well as all bills tabled for consideration by the Legislative Assembly. The archive goes back to 1963 and is a recognition by government that the public must have access to democratic governance, the rule of law and the administration of justice.

Premier Alden McLaughlin admitted that it had been a long time coming and was pleased to see the launch by the Attorney General’s Chambers.

“This service dovetails nicely with my government’s commitment to transparency and gives the people who are governed by the laws we create the ability to see them, no matter where they are and at no charge,” McLaughlin said in a release. “That is as it should be.”

The legislation website was soft-launched in limited form in May but was completed in August. Its development required that all existing legislation be individually classified by category, and that a unique reference and inventory number be attached to each item of legislation.

The website has enhanced user-friendly features including ‘point-in-time’ searches of historic legislation as well as searches by categories, tags and key words, officials said. It also has notes attached to all legislation that provide the date of commencement and reference to commencement orders (if applicable) and a consolidated index of all legislation, which may be automatically generated at any current date.

All bills, including the dates introduced and passed by the LA from 2017 are included as well as proclamations by the governor from 2004 and all Legislation Gazettes over the last year. There are also links to legislation imposed externally by the UK (Imperial, Acts and Statutory Instruments) and links to other legal resources.

These include cases from the Cayman Islands courts and the Privy Council that are relevant to the Cayman Islands. This feature is intended to facilitate understanding of how the Cayman Islands Courts interpret and apply each item of Cayman Islands legislation.

Attorney General Samuel Bulgin said the website was extremely user-friendly and informative. “The launch of the dedicated legislation website is a major development in making the laws of the Cayman Islands accessible to our residents and others,” he said.

“When combined with the availability of the case-law online, it further enhances the jurisdiction’s commitment to the concept of open justice,” he added.

The site was developed by Law Revision Commissioner Dr Camille Stoll-Davey of the Portfolio of Legal Affairs. She explained that in the near future, the portfolio intends to further enhance the website’s functionality with a database of repealed and revoked legislation. This enhancement will allow users to determine what legislation was applicable at any historical point in time.

There will also be a database of all the historic revisions of Cayman Islands laws. Having this information will ensure that there are no gaps in the historic legislation should a user need to know the status of a particular item of legislation between revision dates.

Dr Stoll-Davey explained that the database of repealed or revoked laws is in the early stages of development. “There is extensive work still required in researching and completing this portion of the website,” she noted.

All the underlying historic legislation incorporated into post-2020 revisions has been located but the underlying historic legislation incorporated into pre-2020 revisions still needs to be located and uploaded to the website.

People who do not have computers or internet service will be able to access the website at any public library in the Cayman Islands. The portfolio will provide library staff with the required support to guide them, and thereby the public, in navigating the new legislation website.

The Computer Services Department and the National Archives assisted in the development.

Feedback and suggestions can be emailed to LawRevisionCommission@gov.ky.


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Category: Laws, Politics

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The question is will people, especially the disenfranchised utilize this tool. Or continue to be passive and remain oppressed, waiting for someone else to do the research and take on their battles.

  2. Chris Johnson says:

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse. How many times did I hear that. Yet you had to pay to obtain copies of the laws 💤😋.

    For decades other financial centers such as Gibraltar have had their laws accessible on line. TCI and BVI have also had their laws on line for several years. Cayman chose not to do that to make a few bucks. Finally they cottoned on.

    Our Government has now created further draconian laws on keeping accounting records. It is a shocker and will cost small Caymanian business people heartaches and serious money. We must stop bending over.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wait so people didnt know they could access legislation either on the CIMA, DCI, NRA or DLP of which ever wesbite related to the entity OR on the gazette website? Its all always been in the public domain.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      These laws have NOT always been in the public domain online. CIMA and NRA have not been around that long. Many laws are not available at all by way of the Internet of thru the Gazette. That is why the government has taken the step that they stated.

    • anon says:

      12.55pm Most Govt websites are a waste of time and carry long outdated information

  4. Anonymous says:

    Finally!

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      No kidding, right?? I remember when we had to pay for a badly copied pamphlet of whatever legislation we were interested in.

      Well done!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Maybe soon they’ll start to actually enforce them too.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Lol. Timed out perfectly with constitutional amendments that cut us off from financial assistance to prosecute the government for breaking their own laws!

  7. Anonymous says:

    World Class in action. Congrats CIG.

    Hopefully the private sector will do a better job following the laws.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s about time!! Thanks Camille for bringing common sense to the table

  9. Al Catraz says:

    This is a great first step.

    Now, everyone can read and understand penal code 127(3):

    “A man also commits rape if he induces a married woman to have sexual intercourse with him by impersonating her husband.”

    Does this happen a lot?

  10. Anonymous says:

    This was a long time coming. The idea that we were bound by legislation we had to pay to access was absurd, and frankly unjust. Thank you CIG and all involved.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Yup… 4 different civil service entities work together to do something that satisfies a real need and empowers the people while making their lives easier, and saves them money…. story is so positive that …. not a single comment. Congrats to all involved in this initiative. Well done and thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      are they being paid for that or they did it on a voluntary basis?

      A baker gets up at 4am each morning to bake you a croissant that would make you happy

      A car mechanic fixes your car that would make your life easier

      A grocery store shelves stocker works all night so you would have everything available at 7am which in turn would make your life easier

      • Anonymous says:

        wouldn’t it be nice if the stores were stocked OFF HOURS so that they wouldn’t always be in the way of those of us who need to run in and run out quickly instead of having to meander around boxes, trolleys, and moving equipment.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your comment is just plain dumb. Yes we all do our jobs and we all should receive some level of recognition for doing our jobs, that’s how you increase productivity. My point was plainly seen.. too many people like to post negative comments about the public service but don’t want to post positive comments. Me thinks my rock hit a pig.

  12. Anonymous says:

    What about all the back room agreements with vendors, developers and others – that legally bind the people of the Cayman Islands, our lands, rights, and finances?!? Still no transparency on that!

    • Anonymous says:

      And there will never be transparency to all the money-hungry thieves that somehow manage to keep their snouts in the trough. It would be a great step forward if they would be exposed and kicked out.

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