Governor sacks Judge Levers

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Governor Duncan Taylor sacked Priya
Levers as a Grand Court judge on Friday after the UK’s Privy Council found her
guilty of misbehaviour.

The governor informed Mrs. Levers,
in person, of his decision to remove her from the court bench on Friday
morning, staff at this office confirmed.

A statement released by the
governor’s office on Friday morning stated: “Following upon the advice of the
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council dated 29 July 2010… Governor Duncan
Taylor, CBE, having received and considered that advice has in accordance with
section 96(3) of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 removed Madame
Justice Priya Levers from the Office of Judge of the Grand Court of the Cayman
Islands.”

The dismissal was effective as of
Friday, 6 August.

Former Governor Stuart Jack
suspended Judge Levers from the court bench in September, 2008, and ordered a
judicial tribunal into complaints of her conduct in court and comments she had
made about fellow judges, including the Chief Justice Anthony Smellie. The
tribunal inquiry was held over a week and a half in May last year, and it
recommended that the judge be removed.

The Privy Council’s Judicial
Committee heard the case this June and in a report published on its website on
29 July, also recommended that Mrs. Levers be removed from office for
misbehaviour and an inability to carry out the functions of her role as a Grand
Court judge in Cayman.

The committee stated that it was
“most concerned with those occasions when [Justice Levers] 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.

Its report concluded: “The board is
satisfied that by her misconduct [Judge 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.”

Mrs. Levers’ legal
representative Anthony Akiwumi said he would release a statement relating to
his client’s dismissal this week.

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