Judicial review set for tomorrow

The judicial review for Justice Alexander Henderson will be held Thursday.


Justice Alexander Henderson

The Grand Court schedule for this week lists the matter as Justice Henderson vs. the Attorney General and a Justice of the Peace.

Sir Peter Cresswell, a judge of the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, UK, is scheduled to hear the matter. It is listed for one day.

Justice Henderson is represented by Attorney Shaun McCann of Campbells.

The review pertains to two search warrants issued by the JP at the request of Mr. Martin Bridger of the UK Metropolitan Police and a special constable in Cayman.

The searches occurred on Wednesday, 24 September, when Justice Henderson was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office. He has not been charged with any offence.

He is asking the court to declare that officers’ entries and searches of his home and office were unlawful. He also asks that all items seized be returned to him. Further, he seeks damages for trespass ands unlawful interference.

One ground put forward by his attorneys is that the JP ‘had no, or no sufficient, information (whether on oath or otherwise) before him prior to the issue of the warrants upon which he could, or could on any reasonable or rational basis, be satisfied that there were reasonable grounds to suspect the commission of the offence of Misconduct in Public Office’.

The application for judicial review says the elements of the offence of misconduct in office include that the defendant must be acting in the course of his duties and functions as a public officer. But the conduct complained of was neither alleged, nor shown in the information on oath before the JP, to have taken place ‘in the purported exercise of a power or discretion which Justice Henderson possessed by virtue of his public office as a judge of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.’

Another ground to be considered is a ‘failure of candour’ required of the officers who applied for the search warrant, in not giving the JP information he should have had. In the circumstances, the JP failed to take into account important matters relevant to his decision whether to issue the warrants.

Finally, the warrants purport to have been issued by the court, whereas the JP is not a competent court of the Cayman Islands. Therefore, Mr. Henderson’s attorneys say, the warrants do not comply with legal requirements.

Chief Justice Anthony Smellie confirmed on 1 October that Mr. Henderson had not been suspended from office, but there was agreement it was inappropriate for him to preside over court matters in the current circumstances.