Constitutional amendments now official

| 01/12/2020 | 7 Comments
Cayman News Service
UK and Cayman flags outside the GAB on Elgin Ave

(CNS): Over a dozen amendments to the Cayman Islands Constitution 2009 are now official after the order was gazetted Monday. Described as a modernisation of the Constitution, the order comprises the most significant set of changes to the document since it was implemented eleven years ago. However, it is not as fundamental a change as first hoped because the Cayman Islands Government was unable to change the balance of power, which remains in favour of the UK.

Britain retains the last word, in particular with section 81 and section 125, which allow the governor to step in and make laws for the country and for the UK to issue orders in council. Nevertheless, Premier Alden McLaughlin and his cross-party delegation did achieve some significant amendments that will have an impact.

The Legislative Assembly has been renamed and is now known as the Parliament, so members of the LA are now MPs. The order also creates an additional Cabinet minister and the role of ministry councillors has been formalised, making them parliamentary secretaries. The governor no longer has to approve any changes to the rules of the Parliament, and all bills now must circulated for 28 days before they are debated.

The new document sets out more clearly the consultation, notification and discussion process between the British and Cayman Islands governments, especially if the UK is going to implement laws for the territory. It also spells out the areas that the governor is directly responsible for and the devolved subjects where he has no day to day jurisdiction.

Another major addition is the formation of an independent Police Service Commission, which will be chaired by the governor. The other five members, who cannot be siting MPs, must have relevant experience in law enforcement, criminal law or national security. Two of them are to be nominated by the premier and one by the opposition leader. The other two members will be appointed by the governor in consultation with the premier and opposition leader.

The commission will have the power to hire and fire senior officers in the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, including the commissioner, and to exercise disciplinary control, which will also need to be approved by the National Security Council.

See the full Constitution (Amendment) Order 2020 in the CNS Library

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Category: Laws, Politics

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So when will the Conservation Law go into effect?

  2. Say it like it is says:

    Thank you CNS for pointing out that the balance of power has not changed despite the crowing of the Premier and others.I have said all along that whilst we remain a colony this is the way it will always be.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So how many ministry councillors will there be and at what additional cost to the broke public purse? Eventually, half the population will be civil servants….true welfare state.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Britain retains the last word, in particular with section 81 and section 125, which allow the governor to step in and make laws for the country and for the UK to issue orders in council”

    Excuse me, what?! This gives the UK a lot of power, more than what they had before. Be interesting to see how they use this going forward.

    CNS: It’s not more power. These are sections of the 2009 Constitution.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s tragic that there were no fundamental changes to the Elections Law, even after all these years of our shared-experience and voter lament. There should have been changes tabled to broaden the field of representation, disqualify serially non-participatory/inept/xenophobic, and raise the minimum bar on education/criminal pasts and presents, and other basic suitability conflict tests. That also means we are once again doomed to accept another “party-centric” outcome in May 2021 with four more years of a corrosive squad of opaque, law-skirting, redaction-heavy CDP/UDP/PPM/Unity kleptocrats. Queue the self-anointed parliamentary pay-raises, next wave of secret port redevelopment attempts, numerous other large under-bid capital project approvals, politically-paid misdirection campaigns, and four years from now: likely another $100mln, or more, in fresh debt and service obligations. Whistle-blowers and nay-sayers can look forward to being put on indefinite leave starting May 22, and it already looks like a sealed-deal for McKeeva to remain in his throne.

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