Immigration: Levers must depart

Former judge now a ‘visitor’

Former
Cayman Islands Grand Court Justice Priya Levers must leave the country
following her recent dismissal from the bench, Immigration Department officials
confirmed late Thursday.

A
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.

“Ms
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.”

Typically,
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.

Last
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
committee.

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
from office”.

The
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.

 

0
0

2 COMMENTS

  1. Justice Levers called it like it was. And because she was so brutally honest, dealt appropriate punishment were indicated (no "slaps on the wrist" like so many other judges are notorious for), didn’t listen to ridiculous excuses and didn’t put up with BS in her court, she’s being shown the door. Well, Cayman, you will see the crime rate go up with out her.

    Editor’s comment: This comment had to be edited for legal reasons.

    0

    0
  2. This is a sad thing. I reserved my comments because of the ongoing case. Ma’am Levers was the ONLY judge that showed any genuine interest in my kids during a maintenance case. For over 11 years I tried to have some form of legal contact and extended contact with my kids. I spent money on a grand court lawyer that didn’t do much. Smellie, as a matter of fact told me he had people waiting outside his chambers and did not have time to hear my concerns, that judge that sued the Government told me he is not a lawyer and could not advise me. However, during my case with Madam Levers she took a few moments to comment on the connection of child delinquency and the lack of a father figure. Madam Levers advised the mother of my kids the importance of them having contact with their father, she asked "Is there any reason for you to keep the children from their father?" After hearing no for an answer Madam Levers quietly said well give him the chance. Thanks to Madam Levers today I have a striving relationship with my kids. I knew from then she would be out of the system because if she did this for my kids, she would have done it for others and ‘stepping on some corns ‘in the process . I you read this Madam Levers my kids and I thank you. God Bless

    0

    0

Comments are closed.