Editorial for August 3: Not happy about Levers

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
involved.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The editorial on this issue is puzzling at best and that is being diplomatic.
    The system that is in place is the one that applies to all British Overseas Territories.
    The message sent here in this editorial seems to suggest that any high ranking official, including judges, can break all existing laws and rules that are currently in place but should face no consequences or penalties because they live and work in the Cayman Islands.
    This is the same stance that was taken by the CC on the corruption probes initiated by the same governor, Stuart Jack, that ordered the Levers Tribunal.
    In other terms, the Caymanian Compass seems to be condoning official corruption in the Cayman Islands because it does not believe that the Cayman Islands should be held accountable to the rules that applies to all BOTs.
    If such is the case, then the Caymanian Compass should start an independence poll and come clean on its position regarding Cayman’s status as a British Overseas Territory.

    Editor’s note: The Caymanian Compass does not ‘condone official corruption’. We advise the reader to take a look at the stories on the front page of our newspaper over the past two weeks.

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  2. I am completely baffled as to what you are trying to convey in your editorial. It is the duty of the press to report the news, good or bad, and try your best to keep personal feelings out of it.

    Are you suggesting that Justice Levers should have been removed quietly and allowed to continue her career by becoming a judge elsewhere without anyone the wiser about her injudicious behavior in Cayman? Or are you suggesting that removal should be subjected to a higher or lower power than the Governor?

    Are you suggesting that judges should be appointed for life like the US Supreme Court, or are you suggesting they should they be subject to removal by the Chief Justice quietly and without any need for further consultation?

    I would suggest that the next time any member of your staff or Editorial Board take great pleasure, or displeasure, in writing a story that they ice it and come back to it later.

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