QC criticised for work in ‘homophobic’ Cayman case

| 28/01/2021 | 85 Comments
Dinah Rose QC

(CNS): British barrister Dinah Rose QC, who is representing the Cayman Islands Government in the now infamous ‘gay marriage’ case before the UK Privy Council next month, is facing pressure to step away from it by the academic community, which says she is representing homophobia. Rose, the president of the prestigious Magdalen College at Oxford University and a human rights lawyer, has been forced to publicly defend her decision.

One critic called the QC’s role in the case a “stain” on the reputation of the 563-year-old Oxford college that was once home to Oscar Wilde.

Despite the criticism she faces, according to various reports in the British media and the academic press, Rose has said she will not quit the case as it would be an “act of serious professional misconduct”.

The row was fueled in the first instance by a statement from Edwin Cameron, a former South African judge and a leading global activist on LGBT issues, to the university’s LGBT society.

Cameron, the Chancellor of Stellenbosch University, said Rose had “aggressively attacked” Chief Justice Anthony Smellie’s ruling that had granted Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden-Bush the right to marry, persuading the Court of Appeal to overturn it. He questioned if she should be pursuing this homophobic cause.

“The President of Magdalen owes a duty to the college as well as to its LGBTIQ members to uphold Magdalen’s equality policy. Choosing to deploy professional energies on behalf of a homophobic government is incompatible with this duty,” he said.

Since then, other academics and lawyers have weighed in, criticising Rose for her work on this case, which has resulted in Day and Bodden-Bush still being prevented from marrying some four years after they first approached the government here about some form of lawful union.

Rose stated that she is not arguing that the Constitution prohibits same-sex marriage, just whether or not the Bill of Rights requires same-sex marriage to be made available to couples in Cayman.

While the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal ruled in the CIG’s favour, that the question of same-sex marriage was one for parliament and not the courts, the judges had directed parliament to enact some form of legal equivalency. As is well documented, the legislature failed to do so and as a result the Civil Partnership Law was implemented by the governor.

Rose has stated that the main issue before the Privy Council only concerns the proper interpretation of the Cayman Constitution and she is not acting for the attorney general here to oppose same-sex marriage.

The case is due to be heard by the Privy Council on 23 Feb.


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Comments (85)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely right to put her under the spotlight. Lawyers should be held accountable for cases they choose to take on. This is not a criminal trial and the lawyer has discretion whether to accept the case. So she should be held accountable now for her decision to take this case.

  2. Anonymous says:

    All I can say is – imagine this was interracial marriage (as in the days of segregation and apartheid) and CIG and a British QC were working to prevent it being legalised.

    Now tell me that lawyers shouldn’t be judged on the cases they take on.

    • Anonymous says:

      A lot can’t think that far. Next thing you hear is that being gay is a choice. And all kind of nonsense.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Homophobia seems to applied to anyone who doesn’t agree with homosexuality. I don’t agree with it, but i don’t have any fear of gay people or care what they do.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s like saying “I’m not racist but I don’t trust Chinese people”

    • Anonymous says:

      Precisely

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course I see it as a phobia if I see it as a sin, and I want to protect my children from its influences. Its my right to have such a phobia. Now, am I scared of gay persons… to me, its more what they do and have this entitlement that the public must accept it !

      • Anonymous says:

        We are not asking nobody to accept nothing. Everyone is entitled to own opinions. What others think about me as a gay man is not my problem and quite frankly I don’t care. What I care about is being respected and have the same rights as you do. No more. But no less. I don’t interfere in anyone else’s life and require it from others. It’s that simple.

  4. Truth Hurts says:

    The word “Marriage” is based on religion. Always has been and Always will be.

    “Civil Unions” is based on legal terms. Simple.

    Both have essentially the same outcome. Persons being recognized as a “Partner”.

    The issue is that both these woman want a “Marriage”. Wont happen, never will. You can take all your mumbo jumbo and shove it where the sun dont shine.

    Get over it already. Just do the civil union and done. Leave peoples religion the hell alone.

    As far as this lawyer goes. It’s her “RIGHT” to chose whether or not to represent a case. If any of these persons complaining about her dealings were to ever be arrested for say “Murder” that they DID commit then how is it ethical for her to be able to represent them, knowing full well they committed the “Murder”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please, educate yourself on the subject of marriage, information is available at hand. The time you spend saying that marriage is based on religion could be used for learning about why it’s not. I got it, you are against same sex marriage, whatever. You are entitled to your own opinion just like everyone else, but please, do some research. Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not sure it’s factually correct to say that “marriage” is a religious term that excludes same-sex couples.

      The English word “marriage” is derived from the Latin word “maritari”, meaning to get married. You might be surprised to learn that the Roman emperor Nero, who ruled from A.D. 54 to 68, actually twice married men in formal marriage ceremonies, and that same-sex weddings weren’t outlawed in the Roman Empire until the year 342.

      Furthermore, there are many, many religious denominations around the world—including many Christian ones—that recognize and celebrate same-sex marriages.

      While your particular church doesn’t have to recognize or celebrate same-sex marriages if it doesn’t want to, I don’t know that we can use the etymology of the word “marriage” as a reason to exclude same-sex couples from equal recognition under the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Spoiler alert: The concept of marriage predates Christianity.

      • Anonymous says:

        Still irrelevant

        Marriage as we know it today is a Christian tradition

        • Anonymous says:

          So what? That can and will be changed. Christian traditions never mentioned root canal treatment yet I doubt you would turn it down if needed.

          • Anonymous says:

            Today is the point – still a Christian tradition

            Today you got the civil union option – use it

            Move on

            You are losing the support of the “live and let live” majority of our population

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, that’s rubbish. Marriage wasn’t even a sacrament until the Middle Ages. The Romans had civil marriage, and even a form of same-sex marriage.

    • Anonymous says:

      So if someone goes to the Registry and gets married is that not a marriage because religion was not involved?

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, marriage is in fact a contract based in law. It wasn’t originally about love – more economics and status through family ties. NOTHING to do with the church until the 12th century and not a sacrament until the 16th century.

  5. Anonymous says:

    An“ act of serious professional misconduct” for a barrister to have a conscience. We all knew that.

    • Anonymous says:

      From day one in bar school you are taught that you must represent any client who wants your services as long as they are able to pay a proper fee and a couple of other bare minimum requirements like you having the right expertise to do a good job for them. It is a fundamental part of the system. Large numbers of solicitors keeping most litigation away from barristers and the courts, coupled with a small number of barristers who specialise in court work who can be hired by anyone when court becomes inevitable. It gives everyone access to the very best court representation, no matter what quality of solicitor they can afford or retain. Who you are representing is always changing but what does not change is that you are not allowed except in limited circumstances to say no based on the client. Kind of like how an ER doctor doesn’t get to let patients die because they were involved in crimes. So the relevant conscience in this case is the barrister’s professional conscience – her commitment to the spirit of her profession. For a barrister that is a higher loyalty.

      • Anonymous says:

        We don’t use the term solicitor or barrister here. We have a fused profession hence the term attorney at law.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Completely OK to be of that opinion.

    Completely not OK to justify withholding the right of committing to another consenting adult on the basis of that personal opinion or belief system.

    Don’t want gay marriages? Then be straight. But don’t tell another Caymanian adult they can’t because you don’t like it.

    How would you feel if vegans tried to stop meat sales in shops?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I do not believe in same sex marriage. I believe that the
    LBGQT, etc, etc, etc, folks should live as they choose to.
    I simply do not want to be spoon fed the need to accept this.
    If I do not “go along”, it most certainly does NOT make me
    HOMOPHOBIC!! I just have a different opinion.
    Leave me be. Live and let live.

    • Anonymous says:

      Listen to yourself. You don’t believe they should live as they choose to, because you think they shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

    • oh yes you are being homophobic! says:

      You are mistaken. By refusing to allow gays the same rights you have — marriage, etc. — you ARE being homophobic. Why are you so selfish? Allowing gays the right to marry takes absolutely NOTHING away from you! So what if gays want to love a same-gender partner — what’s it to you? If your answer is religion, spare me! You’re welcome to your religion, and if YOU don’t want to marry a same-gender partner, good for you. But you have no right to force your religion on me! My husband and I — yes, we’re gay and had to marry abroad because of the bigotry of people like you — are Caymanian. We’re every bit as good as you — and we WILL have the same rights as you very soon, wait and see. And guess what, you’ll survive it just fine.

      • Anonymous says:

        These people can’t know very much about their own religion because you find so-called righteous and upstanding characters in the Bible engaging in marriages which are polygamous and incestuous – so is this all still ok as well?!
        I wish you and your husband every happiness.

    • Anonymous says:

      You believe being gay is a choice, you lost me here.

  8. Anonymous says:

    i am a single divorced caymanian….i will never marry again…having too much fun….but more power to those that do…including gays… i actually have a first cousin who is a native caymanian that is married to a man in brazil…happy as pig in mud!

    • Anonymous says:

      Guys play tough until they find out where their sweet spot is located relative to females.

      ;))) P

  9. Anonymous says:

    HOMOPHOBIA: to believe in having traditional marriages between one man and one woman and raising like minded children that identify with their biological gender.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Traditional marriage”

      Ha, you don’t know the history and cultural diversity of your own species.

    • Anonymous says:

      Homophobia: the fear of gay children growing up to enjoy the same rights to work, live, and be valued members of our community. The worst homophobes are closeted, self-loathing, jealous gay men sitting next to you in church with their family. They are so angry that others are living the life they wish they had the courage to live.

    • Anonymous says:

      how did this work when the seafarer’s were all away at sea for months on end, and it was the women raising the children. Please don’t insult the hardworking cayman women of our past.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s not the meaning of homophobia, but the way you’re speaking is like that of a bigot: disliking people because they think differently than you do. That’s bigotry.

      Homophobia means an irrational fear of homosexuals which has unfortunately become an overused word that is fast losing its sting I’m afraid, lovey, evidenced in valuing the Cayman Islands Government “homophobic”.

  10. Anonymous says:

    All of these lawyers, law firms and QCs are free to decide to take any case (or not). Where there appears to be good reason for not taking the case – such as not believing in or liking the position taken by the client – then they either decline, or they take the case, knowing the risk to reputation, and even loss of further business with the client (CIG). Tho defending an obvious guilty murderer, and defending them well, can still get an attorney an improved reputation, even if they lose the case.

    Good lawyers declining should result in bad lawyers being appointed, and the case having greater chance of failure. But big bucks means that sometimes a moral compass is overlooked. When did you last trust a lawyer ?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Using Oxford as some institute of moral virtue is laughable!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Silks are not court appointed public defenders. They operate at a level where they have discretion to take the work they want. Dinah Rose read the legal argument and thought it would be to her career and social advancement to take the case. It was a conscious miscalculation to defend the wrong side of this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dinah Rose QC does not need this case for career advancement – she is already a ‘star’ of the legal world and will almost undoubtedly end up as an appellate Judge!

      Furthermore, the fact that she is representing the CIG on this issue, does not mean that she is against same-sex marriage.

      A cornerstone of democracy is that even government (and the Queen) needs to exercise their powers in accordance with the rule of law and may be challenged through the legal system if there is any question of legality.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can rank does not apply to Privy Council cases either so there is not that lane excuse.

    • Anonymous says:

      Proof that lawyers have their consciences brain-washed out in law school. There were lawyers who defended racial segregation laws, anti-science laws, slavery laws, etc. This puts Oxford behind the times of elite universities in the US for the latter would never continence a faculty member arguing for the continued destruction of human rights among sexual minorities. Are we sure she’s not on the faculty of Oxford Mississippi (Ole Mill) law school?

  13. just a show says:

    I get it that a lawyer’s job is to defend his/her client, no matter what. But in this case, her defense of the Cayman government is utter hypocrisy — because she’s made a career of SPECIALIZING IN HUMAN RIGHTS! Was it all just a show?

    • Anonymous says:

      Its because straight citizens also have a right to their beliefs. Thats why no one gives a shit about your arguments. You act like its your way or nothing at all! Get a life and stop marching through George Town.

      • can't "split the baby" on equality says:

        Yes, even bigoted straight citizens have a right to their beliefs — but NOT to forcing their mindset on the rest of us. And by denying gays the same rights that straights possess, like marriage, bigoted straights are doing exactly that. Yes, it will be “all or nothing” — because there’s no way to split the baby on this: Either we have the same rights as others, or we don’t. And as for “marching through George Town”, how else would you have us advocate for the fairness we deserve? No doubt, you’d prefer we sit there and do nothing, so that bigorty can continue forever. Sorry, we’re not going to do that. We ARE going to get the equality we deserve. And in the end, you will wonder why you were so upset and something that doesn’t affect you in the least — !!! (If it does affect you as much as you imply, then clearly you have bigger psychological problems that you’re aware of.)

    • Anonymous says:

      There are always 2 sides of those human rights cases. Do you perhaps think that every human rights claim go uncontested in courts?

  14. the nasty stain of bigotry says:

    Shame on her. She’s a person who outwardly claims to support tolerance and equality — yet clearly she is pursuing homophobia and discrimination. She is wrecking her reputation. She WILL LOSE at the Privy Council Gay marriage WILL COME to Cayman. Chantelle and Vickie WILL BE MARRIED, as they desire. Their wedding portrait WILL APPEAR at the top of the news, and the majority of us WILL BE THRILLED FOR THEM. Cayman WILL SURVIVE — and be better off for having gay marriage. However, Cayman’s nasty stain of bigotry WILL HAUNT it for years to come. Those gays who may have been willing to pay Cayman’s outrageous prices to get married here WILL CHOOSE OTHER PLACES for the foreseeable future. Way to go Cayman: You shot yourself in the foot.

  15. Anonymous says:

    So your government is paying a QC to assist in in discriminating against a minority group – you obviously have so much money that you don’t need free vaccines!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mob justice

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is the worst form of bullying I’ve seen. Everything that does not align with LGBT ideology is lambasted and reputations destroyed, jobs lost, simply for saying “no”, a right we were meant to enjoy through the freedom of thought and conscience.

    Now the administrators of justice are under attack for defending the constitution. Amazingly, the people who are attacking others are flailing their arms in the arm and crying “woe is me, poor old me!” and playing the victim. Of course, this is well scripted in Madsen’s “How America Will Overcome Its Fear of Homosexuals in the 1990’s” and the tactics contained therein have been deployed globally (except Muslim territories) with precision.

    I don’t support bullying in any form and the push to legalize homosexuality is obviously putting justice and liberty at risk. These attacks are unwarranted and we need to consider if this is the outcome of “Love is Love” then what will happen later on after other fake “rights” are granted?

    Please see the new report which now declares heterosexuality as a social risk and unhealthy to others…this is what we have come to that what is normal is now being called “abnormal”l what is bad is being called good and what is good being called bad. Incredibly, I read this in a book too.

    I know this post will be scoffed at and all sorts of hateful comments posted to it. It’s just the way that bullying works in this “progressive” world. ATTACK TRUTH!!! ATTACK! ATTACK! ATTACK!!!!!

    • selective outrage says:

      Oh, I get it. Bullying her is wrong, but bullying homosexuals is OK.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s one thing to disagree

      It’s another to outright ban it for other consenting adults because of YOUR opinion when no one is forcing you to change anything about your life or opinion.

    • Last Zion says:

      Which report says that heterosexuality is a social risk?

      I don’t believe you have read a book… unless it was one of those bigoted Christian books…

      If you didn’t post such complete tripe people wouldn’t criticize you…

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for the judgment and as a result proving me correct. You don’t know who I am but you have judged how many books and what books I’ve read; actually you’re certain that the only book I’ve read is the Bible. I spoke the truth and what did you do? Exactly what I said you would: attack, scoff and return lethal rhetoric.

        Please see one link here: https://www.insider.com/why-straight-relationships-are-doomed-according-to-sex-researcher-2020-12

        I’m aware of this because I read. Alot. Just so you know so you don’t have to judge me again ans spew more venom, then call me homophobic because I’m sharing more truth,this time on your request.

        Please take the time to read this and please take the time to read her new report.

        As for all these rest of the comments to my post, as I stated: ATTACK! ATTACK! ATTACK!!! “THERE’S TRUTH – ATTACK!!!”

        • Anonymous says:

          If that’s what you took away from this article, then you might not be reading closely enough.

          There are a fair number of truths in there about the inappropriate gender and power dynamics at play in many heterosexual relationships.

          • Anonymous says:

            This is the “tragic” view from a LGBT perspective, it says.

            So, the heterosexuals relationships by which we are reproduced is considered a tragedy by those who can’t reproduce and heterosexual relationships are judged in their entirety by seemingly misguided people who have assessed sexual satisfaction on a few ‘when I cum’ bad-sex-partner experiences and by someone whose “penile penetration” would have to be a rubber dildo in comparison to someone who experiences the physical drain of ejaculating?

            I hope that the expectation I’m supposed to feel good about living with this view of my heterosexual relationship? As far as I can recall, every time something was identified as tragic – or possessing the potential to become so – efforts were made to mediate it/its damage before more damage was done or continued. I’m really not very comfortable with this perception.

            Just for the record, some of the most violent cases of domestic abuse and rape are perpetrated by same-sex partners.

            And, again, for the record, my heterosexual partner is the hottest sex partner in this country, even at 56.

    • Anonymous says:

      What an utterly ridiculous comment. For one thing, being gay is already legal, it’s the right to be married which is being contested here. Remember that in some countries it’s illegal to be a Christian and no doubt you would be shouting for tolerance and respect for those people …

    • Rodney A. Barnett says:

      The writer of this comment is so far off the tracks it is sad.

      The hate filled comment makes all kinds of unsubstantiated claims and shows the author simply retains hate filled beliefs about GLBTQ persons. Remember, this overarching issue is about “Gay Marriage” and the fact that legislation as a whole does not protect other rights of GLBTQ people, such as inheritance rights, estate planning rights, medical care rights.

      The article however is about the appropriateness of Ms. Rose to take a position defending the Cayman Government in its quest to prevent a minority of the population to have the same rights as others always have had. Ms. Rose’s career history is that of a person supporting LGBTQ rights, not opposing them as she is doing in this case. This is career mistake on her part.

      Selection of Ms. Rose as Counsel in this matter will only lead to the fact that the Cayman Government will protest they did not have adequate counsel in this case. This of course will go no where, except the elected bigots in Parliament will be able to claim this whole mess was not their fault. Instead it was the failure of Ms. Rose.

      Those supporting LGBTQ rights are ONLY asking for the same rights that others currently have now. NOT special rights as is claimed in the commentator’s diatribe.

      What a mess!

      • Anonymous says:

        Rodney,

        Perhaps you should read the article again.

        Ms Rose is being attacked because she chose to represent the CIG in a conditional matter on a punt of law.

        Rights are not partial. Everybody is entitled to representation. The supporters of the attack on her are anti-democratic, clueless as to how the law works, or are just bent on having their way irrespective of what damages arise to other persons.

        • Rodney Barnett says:

          Thanks to your comment, I did re-read the original article, this time without blood in my eyes!

          However I do feel that the head of a university law school should not be taking this position on such a hot button issue. I continue to believe that any action taken to delay or eliminate the rights of others is wrong. No matter what the intention.

          Perhaps Ms. Rose should simply file a case in Cayman objecting to the CIG’s actions that forestall any basic human rights, and clean up the marriage laws in the country.

          • Anonymous says:

            Your observations are fairly noted. Hot button issues are issues. We do not have the right to condemn her because she is undertaking her professional obligations and, as the head of a university law school, displaying to her students that they should act impartially in the execution of their duties as we are all entitle to the equal protections afforded under the law. The last thing we need is for law students to feel and believe that they should deny representation to anyone because of another’s beliefs. Where would that leave us as a society, locally and globally?

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh yes, the Constitution, Bible, laws are all fine when they suit those thumping on them.
      So the US Confederacy was merely enforcing their rights in the US Constitution Article 1, Section 2 that enslaved African Americans count 3/5 of a person? They cited the Bible and credited God for this bigotry. Which fraction do we want to make gays? 1/3 because they can be denied work, citizenship, family status? Shall we go back to imprisoning them. Do you fear you or your spouse will dissolve your marriage if you were allowed to marry someone of your sex? Please stop thinking that by harming others that it will make your life better.

      • Anonymous says:

        If someone’s marriage dissolves because same sex marriage is simply available… oh God, it had been doomed from before those people got married. They pretend like they didn’t know. Surprise surprise.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Trying to shame someone into not doing their job seems a little bit out of line to me..

    If attorneys were to take this stance in every case we would have a serious problem in the justice system.

    • Richard Wadd says:

      Welcome to the new ‘Cancel Culture’, where ‘Truth’ is what the media tells you & ‘Facts’ no longer matter, LAW be damned.

      • Anonymous says:

        Having the right to believe whatever you’d like, or the right to freedom of expression, does not mean you are guaranteed the right to be free from criticism if what you believe or express is wrong.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Geesh, leave the woman alone..so if a QC defends McKeeva in a assault case does that make them the same as McKeeva..

    Bad example I know but you get the picture..

    Lawyers do what lawyers do..defend their clients.

    • Anonymous says:

      Defending Mac is an innocent UNTIL proven guilty case.

      The two consenting adults are guilty of nothing but wanting to commit to each other, so the “why bother” complaints are warranted.

      • Anonymous says:

        disagree..everyone deserves the right to a good attorney. whether they are wrong or not..

        • Anonymous says:

          But CIG is not on trial for a crime – they are actively seeking to maintain a state of affairs which is recognised by most civilised nations as a breach of human rights.

  20. Last Zion says:

    What a disgraceful attack by Edwin Cameron. Dinah Rose QC is an impeccable QC representing her client to the best of her abilities. While I wish she wasn’t representing the Gov, because I think she is so good and I hope Chantelle and Vicky win, this is a terrible underhand attack. Not even the lunatic Christians have criticized Ben Tonner or Edward Fitzgerald QC for representing Vicky and Chantelle… or maybe they have… either way none of the attorneys be they members of the Cayman Bar or the England & Wales Bar are doing anything wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      I read another report which strongly suggested his comments were about her position as president of the college and how her decision to represent CIG in this type of case sat with that role, not actually questioning her decision as a barrister to accept the brief. Perhaps this is a narrow distinction but it seems to make sense to me. In any event, I hope she loses.

      • Last Zion says:

        She had already accepted the brief and I think had done the CICA hearing before she was appointed Chancellor. When the case went to the Privy Council the Cab Rank rule kicked in and she wasn’t fully retired…

    • Anonymous says:

      Cheers to Ms Rose!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I’m not gay but I hope they’re get their right to marriages.

    Just to burn the complacent hypocrites we have elected! Unna wanted quote Bible up in there when two consenting adults want to commit to each other but say NOTHING about the woman beater.

    Just cool. Time longer than rope. And it only needs to be until Feb 23.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Da wha’ she get.

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