Judge seeks to block report’s release

Suspended Cayman Islands Judge Priya Levers is expected to go to court later this month in attempts to block the release of a report filed by a Tribunal of Inquiry conducted in the Cayman Islands earlier this year regarding her alleged misconduct on the bench.

According to records filed with the Clerk of the Grand Court on 5 November, Justice Levers’ attorneys state that Governor Stuart Jack had decided to release copies of the Tribunal’s findings on 2 November, 2009.

This decision by Governor Jack, according to Justice Levers’ attorneys at the firm Stuarts Walker Hersant, was contrary to his earlier position regarding the release of the Tribunal report and was alleged by those attorneys to be Ultra Vires, or outside the law.

A press release issued by Governor Jack’s office on 20 August read as follows: ‘Because the case is ongoing and will be referred to the Privy Council, the Governor is not at liberty to release the report. Once the Privy Council has made its ruling, a decision will be taken concerning the report’s release to the public.’

However, on 2 November, the governor’s special counsel sent a letter to Justice Levers that read as follows: ‘Having provided you with ample time to peruse the report, His Excellency now considers it appropriate and in the ‘public’s interest’ that he makes the report public. The proposed date for the release of the report is 10 November, 2009.’

The Tribunal report was never released on that date, following the 5 November filing for a judicial review of Governor Jack’s decision.

According to court documents, Governor Jack changed his mind about releasing the Tribunal’s report partly due to a freedom of information request from a journalist. Court records indicated that the Governor thought his decision not to release the Tribunal’s report was at odds with a previous decision made in the territory of Gibraltar.

Court records indicate that Governor Jack’s decision to release the Levers Tribunal report was made ‘against the background of the freedom of information request and the guidance from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council that it is now appropriate and a matter of public interest.’

Read more on this story in the Caymanian Compass on Monday…