Privy Council advises Judge Levers’ removal

The United
Kingdom’s Privy Council has recommended that Justice Priya Levers be removed
from office for misbehaviour and an inability to carry out the functions of her
role as a Grand Court judge.

The Privy
Council’s Judicial Committee considered the judge’s conduct of proceedings, her
relationship with Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, her attitude to fellow judges
and her conduct.

The board found
that critical comments she had made about fellow judges on two occasions in
court constituted serious misconduct in one case and were inappropriate in the
other.

In its ruling,
the Privy Council determined that Justice Levers had shown “bias and contempt
for Jamaicans and amounted to misbehaviour that would of itself have justified
her removal from office.”

The Privy
Council found that the judge was guilty of serious misconduct on three occasions
in cases heard in Family Court.

“She made
offensive and racist comments to a Canadian mother…, demonstrated a similar
attitude in suggesting that a Filipino mother go back to the Philippines and
made a remark… which would be perceived as outrageously racist and would be
wholly unacceptable from the bench anywhere in the world,” a summary of the
Privy Council’s report stated.

The report said
that evidence from a number of witnesses showed that after May 2007, Justice
Levers had formed a powerful dislike of the Chief Justice and some fellow
judges. “She had disparaged them in private conversations with others involved
in court
administration, which crossed the line from indiscretion to become misconduct
although not misbehaviour justifying removal from office on its own,” it
said.

In its
conclusion, the Privy Council Judicial Board stated: “The board has
been most concerned with those occasions when [Justice Levers] J has been guilty
in court of completely inexcusable conduct that have given the
appearance of racism, bias
against foreigners and bias in favour of the defence in criminal
cases.

“They have been
fatal flaws in a judicial career that has had many admirable features,” it
said.

It ruled that it
was satisfied that “by her misconduct [Justice Levers] showed that she was not
fit to continue to serve as a judge of the
Grand Court and humbly advises Her Majesty that she should be removed from that
office on the ground of her misbehaviour.”

In May last
year, a judicial tribunal into Justice Levers’ behaviour was held in Cayman. The
tribunal was convened by former governor Stuart Jack. The three members of that
tribunal had recommended that the judge be removed from office. Their findings
and the content of the tribunal hearing were passed on to the Privy Council for
consideration.

Head of the
Governor’s Office, Steve Moore, said the Privy Council’s advice was to the Queen
and the current governor Duncan Taylor, who is off Island until
Monday.

He said: “Her
Majesty and, in turn, her representative in the Cayman Islands would need to
consider that advice and take what action is necessary.”

Please see more on this story in Friday’s editions of the Caymanian Compass.

A complete copy of the Privy Council’s decision can be found at the following weblink: http://www.jcpc.gov.uk/docs/JCPC_2009_0092_judgmentV2.pdf

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1 COMMENT

  1. I wish people would just stopping being so prejudice towards others. But I also wish that I had wings and leprechauns were real.
    It’s not like anyone of us are a "Pure" race, which doesn’t matter anyway.
    Race is just a description that we use to categorise people. What does it matter we are all human and should act like it. In the end I’m sad that a judge would be in that slime hole of prejudice.

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