Human rights lecture series slated

The Cayman Islands Human Rights Committee has scheduled a series of three lectures to help residents understand and decide which rights should be considered fundamental here.

Vaughan Carter, deputy chairman of the CIHRC, said the Bill of Rights was expected to be one of the key issues of debate in the public consultation process for modernising Cayman’s Constitution.

‘The Human Rights Committee sees itself as a facilitator of that debate,’ he said. ‘We thought the best way to do that was with a series of presentations and discussions.’

The lectures will all take place on Thursday nights from 6pm until 9pm at the South Sound Community Centre.

‘We’ll have three distinct speakers concentrating on different things, but always tying it in with what is relevant here,’ Mr. Carter said.

The first lecture takes place on 31 January. Lord Anthony Gifford, a renowned human rights advocate, will present a lecture on how international human rights law and advances in other domestic constitutions could be relevant to the development of fundamental rights in the Cayman Islands.

The second event is scheduled for 28 February. Caribbean jurist Lloyd Barnett will narrow the focus and concentrate on the development and evolution of human rights in this region.

Mr. Barnett will discuss, among other things, some the advantages and disadvantages of the fundamental rights provisions contained in other constitutions in the Caribbean region.

The final event will take place 20 March and will be led by Mr. Carter, who will concentrate on human rights in the Cayman Islands. During this session, Mr. Carter will speak about some of the topics covered by the first two presentations and lay out some of the options that might be available.

Although Cayman’s current constitution does not contain human rights provisions, Mr. Carter will offer numerous examples that illustrate how human rights are woven into the fabric of the country’s history.

‘We want to try to dispel some of the concerns to a Bill of Rights here,’ he said.

All three of the lecture events will feature a presentation followed by a question and answer period.

CIHRC Human Rights Analyst Danielle Coleman said the lecture series was intended to help shape the new constitution the way people want.

‘We want a locally friendly constitution that people will agree with,’ she said.

FYI

For more information or to confirm attendance at any of the lectures, e-mail [email protected].

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