People who have been head of government or presided over the Legislative Assembly will retain their title of “Honourable” in perpetuity, Cabinet has decided.
Individuals who have held the title of premier, leader of government business and speaker of the Legislative Assembly will keep their titles after leaving those positions “as a result of the burden of responsibility borne by those posts”, the government has announced.
Under the new arrangement, for example, Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush would retain the right to continue to be called Honourable McKeeva Bush, once he stops being premier, and the former Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts will again be known as Honourable Kurt Tibbetts. The honorific is usually abbreviated to “Hon.”.
Under the revised Order of Precedence, former Leaders of Government Business Thomas Jefferson, (1992-1994) (posthumous); Truman Bodden, (1994-2000); and Mr. Tibbetts (2005-2009) are entitled to resume use of the honorific. Past Speakers Mabry Kirkconnell (1996-2001) (posthumous); Linford Pierson (2003-2005); and Edna Moyle (2005-2009) may also begin using the designation.
Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who served as Speaker from 2001-2003, will retain the title if she leaves Cabinet, while National Hero Sybil McLauglin, who was the first Speaker of the House (1991-1996), already bears the title of “Honourable”.
The position of premier replaced that of leader of government business after the Cayman Islands Constitution 2009 was enacted, with Mr. Bush being the first to serve in that role. Mr. Bush had previously served as leader of government business from 2001-2005.
The title of leader of government business was informally introduced in 1992 and formalised by constitutional amendment in 2003. The position of speaker of the Legislative Assembly, a political appointee chosen to preside over the legislature, came into being in 1991. The current post holder is Mary Lawrence.
Officials said the retention of the titles would mean no cost to the public purse and that the small numbers of posts involved limits the potential for proliferation of holders.
Cayman’s soon-to-be revised Order of Precedence, which lists the ceremonial order of rank of senior government officials, will include an explanatory note to this effect, although former post holders will not otherwise appear in the list.