Sentencing article needs clarifying

Re: Your publication of Tuesday, 29 January, 2008, captioned ’10 year firearms sentences changed’:

Your reporter Mr. Brent Fuller continues to do a good job in sensitising the public about this particular issue.

His approach to the subject thus far is very professional. It is therefore with some reluctance that I write to clarify one factual inaccuracy in the captioned article.

In commenting on the recent Court of Appeal decision in the case of Allan Garfield Ebanks, he wrote that the Court stated ‘while the retroactivity issue may run afoul of European human rights conventions, no such conventions were applicable here because the Cayman Islands had not enacted legislation incorporating provisions of the conventions.’

In fact, what the Court said was… ‘as the maximum sentence was not increased, it could not be said that a heavier penalty could have been imposed than the penalty which was applicable when the offence was committed. Consequently, the 2005 Law cannot be said to be a retroactive penalty and thus in breach of the Article 7(1) of the convention.’ (Please see page 30 of Court of Appeal Judgments). Thereafter, the Court went on to state that ‘in any event, as stated earlier the convention does not apply…’

I am of the opinion that it is important that your readers be made aware that the Court of Appeal had ruled that the penalty was not retroactive. This finding by the Court of Appeal is in keeping with decided cases by the Privy Council (Flynn) and the House of Lords (Uttley)-the two highest Courts in the United Kingdom.

I would be grateful if you could publish this correction especially given the fact that there are other appeals still pending.

Sam Bulgin

Attorney General

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