Courts deny that judge withheld JR documents

| 03/02/2021 | 12 Comments
Cayman News Service
Justice Richard Williams

(CNS): The Cayman Islands courts have denied that an application for judicial review and a subsequent ruling were blocked from the public by the judge currently presiding in the case. In what appears to be a miscommunication among court staff, CNS and another media house were repeatedly denied access to the judicial application filed by Kattina Anglin in October challenging the governor’s use of section 81 of the Constitution to implement the civil partnership law until this week.

Even after the existence of a ruling in the case emerged in another related case, we were still told the document was not public. Just last month, after CNS had found out about the judge’s ruling allowing the judicial review to proceed, we were told by the staff in an email that they had not been given clearance by the judge’s office to put the documents on the public register.

Nevertheless, Judicial Administration released a statement Tuesday, stating that this was a matter of public interest and the judge’s ruling was not uploaded to the website because it was inadvertently overlooked. The court confirmed that Justice Williams heard the ex parte JR application on 17 November and in his view it was a matter of public interest.

“Justice Williams delivered a detailed reserved written judgment on 20 November 2020 to fully explain his decision,” the courts said. “That judgment was not uploaded to the Judicial Website, as it was inadvertently overlooked, which has now been rectified. For the avoidance of doubt, Justice Williams did not direct that the publication of the judgment be restricted in any way.”

The court added, “Earlier communication from Judicial Administration sent to CNS stating that Justice Williams had been consulted by the Clerk of Courts concerning the applications being made public and Justice Williams had indicated that the ex parte application was not to be made available to the public was not accurate. For the avoidance of doubt, Justice Williams was not consulted and he gave no such direction.”

Both documents are now on the public register, though no date has yet been set down for a hearing.

See the full statement in the CNS Library along with the original email sent to CNS by the court. 

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Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The most important question, which nobody has addressed, is why this application was ex parte in the first place, I’m a lawyer, and I can’t see one good reason why an order was sought without the other side being given a hearing.

    This happens too often in Cayman. Judges are weak and dazzled by advocates, especially QCs from London (and believe it or not, even the dimestore “QCs” here). Ex parte hearings should be the exception and not the rule.

    • Anonymous says:

      To the ‘Lawyer’:
      This was an application for LEAVE to apply for Judicial Review which MUST be made ex parte. Look it up! Order 53, r.3(2) Grand Court Rules!

  2. Anonymous says:

    So who made the decision?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Usual incompetent performance from Judicial Admin. They seem to exist simply to make life more difficult for anyone who uses their ‘service’ – lawyers and public alike.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Section 81 is definitely a matter of public interest and great relief. We already know what will be the outcome: a waste of time, money, and sense while the Governor is muzzled.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How far can this all go? What do they expect as the outcome of JR?

    • Anonymous says:

      The only reasonable outcome is that Section 81 powers are tested and stand, for the avoidance of all future doubt. In the meantime, while this is under review, it would appear the Governor must appear to be impartial, and throttle back on any perceived interference, no matter how valid and egregious the good governance concerns may be, or become. Unity have a long leash to do whatever they want right now, and they are.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Blame the consultants

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