We took no great pleasure last week
in writing about the UK Privy Council’s confirmation of Grand Court Justice
Priya Levers’ judicial misbehaviour and a council committee’s recommendations
that she should be removed from the bench.
Based on the evidence submitted by
a Tribunal of Inquiry held here in Cayman, one can hardly argue with the
comments of the PC Judicial Committee that Justice Levers “showed that she was
not fit to continue to serve as a judge of the Grand Court and…she should be removed
from that office on the ground of her misbehaviour.”
The committee also added, speaking
about the judge’s various missteps that “they have been fatal flaws in a
judicial career that has had many admirable features”.
The council’s ruling is the
penultimate step in a two-year process that is almost certain to end with
Governor Duncan Taylor’s decision to remove the embattled justice from the
bench; a move that could come as early as this week.
That being said, we can’t help
feeling something is wrong with the system used in removing an erring member of
the judiciary from their position.
The situation has, first of all,
cost the Cayman Islands somewhere in the neighbourhood of $3 million. Again, we
point out that this action – however necessary under the rules and regulations
– was initiated by a UK-appointed governor.
And while those victims of crime or
plaintiffs in domestic cases who were discriminated against by Judge Levers may
see some justice in it, we would seriously question the need to destroy not
only a person’s professional career, but also to some extent their personal
life, simply to remove them from a job they were messing up in.
The evidence is clear that Priya
Levers should no longer be a Grand Court judge in the Cayman Islands.
But we would also ask our good
readers to consider whether the system for removing bad judges is something
that is truly beneficial to the Cayman Islands, or indeed to any of the parties