Torts (Reform)(Amendment) Bill, 2011, scheduled to be on agenda
The third meeting of the 2010/11 session of Legislative Assembly recommences Monday after being adjourned sine die on 9 December, 2010.
The day the meeting ended, Speaker of the House Mary Lawrence chastised the Caymanian Compass and its reporter, Brent Fuller, for an article and an editorial that appeared in the newspaper the previous day concerning a Legislative Assembly subcommittee that was set to review the Freedom of Information Law in meetings not open to the public.
Mrs. Lawrence called on Cayman Free Press and Mr. Fuller to apologise to the Legislative Assembly for the article and editorial, which she said impugned the integrity of the House and its legislators, and suspended Mr. Fuller’s ability to report on the Legislative Assembly for the rest of the week, which in the end amounted to the rest of the day.
The Caymanian Compass subsequently stated it would not apologise and Publisher Brian Uzzell said the newspaper would no longer send reporters to the Legislative Assembly. The newspaper later clarified the situation, saying it would still report on the proceedings of the House through other means such as listening to the radio re-broadcasts.
After Mrs. Lawrence made her statement, North Side MLA Ezzard Miller brought a motion calling for the immediate cancellation of Mr. Fuller’s Legislative Assembly press privileges and for the criminal prosecution of Mr. Fuller and the Caymanian Compass for contravening sections 18 and 19 of the Legislative Assembly (Immunities, Powers and Privileges) Law. The motion passed nine votes to four, with two members not in the chamber at the time.
On Monday 20 December, Attorney General Sam Bulgin issued a statement saying that after very careful consideration, he had decided there would be no criminal proceedings instituted against Mr. Fuller and/or the Caymanian Compass.
Monday’s meeting is expected to deal with at least one very important piece of business. Premier McKeeva Bush said Friday that the Torts (Reform)(Amendment) Bill, 2011, which seeks to limit the civil liability of physicians and healthcare facilities, was on the agenda for Monday morning. That legislation is required if the large Narayana Hospital project of Dr. Devi Shetty is to proceed in the Cayman Islands.