Former judge now a ‘visitor’
Cayman Islands Grand Court Justice Priya Levers must leave the country
following her recent dismissal from the bench, Immigration Department officials
confirmed late Thursday.
specific time line for the departure was not given. However, Ms Levers does not
have permanent residence or Caymanian status that would allow her to remain on a continuous basis without an employment contract.
Levers’ immigration status has been changed from that of a government
contracted employee to that of a visitor,” Chief Immigration Officer Linda
Evans wrote in a response to Caymanian Compass questions on the matter. “She
has been given sufficient time to sort out her personal affairs and depart.”
visitors’ permits can be issued for up to 30 days at a time, but Ms Evans gave
no indication how long the former judge would be granted leave to stay.
By way of explanation, visitors who own property in Cayman can be allowed to remain up to six months out of the year as long as they do not engage in non-permitted work activities, and they can always return to visit again. However, immigration does not allow individuals to remain here indefinitely on visitors’ permits.
There has been no suggestion or report – either by this newspaper or anyone in the Immigration Department – that Ms Levers would be ‘deported’ from the Cayman Islands, despite claims of that in other media.
Friday, 6 August, Governor Duncan Taylor – acting on advice from a UK Privy Council
committee – officially terminated the embattled justice from her position. She
had been on paid suspension since 2008 while various allegations against her
were heard, first by a tribunal of inquiry and then by the Privy Council
The advice from the council committee, released in a report on 29 July,
came after the tribunal held last year in the Cayman Islands looked into a
number of issues regarding the ex-justice’s performance.
The Privy Council 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.
In its advice, published
following a four-day hearing in London last month, the Privy Council determined
that Justice Levers had shown “bias and contempt for Jamaicans” and
demonstrated misbehaviour that would “of itself, have justified her removal
Caymanian Compass has attempted to contact Ms Levers and her attorney numerous
times for comment about the Privy Council committee findings, but no response
has been received.