We’re so glad Cayman Islands Attorney General Sam Bulgin
took the opportunity to voice his support for the free press in our country
during Wednesday’s opening of the Grand Court.
Since the honourable AG is so concerned, we just thought
we’d mention a few matters that continue to prevent the operation of that
institution within Cayman. It is to be hoped that a strong supporter of the
free press will address these matters in a direct fashion.
entirely from the Cayman Islands Penal Code Part V, section E ‘Defamation’,
which makes the publication of defamatory matter a criminal offence. These
matters should be handled in civil court.
the elimination or at least revision of archaic and needless provisions in
section 57 of the Penal Code relating to ‘seditious intention’, particularly
with regard to subsection (c) “to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite
disaffection against the administration of justice in the Islands”. Also remove
sections 58 (4) and (5) of the ‘seditious offences’ section of the Penal Code
realise some attorneys may object to the attorney general’s proposal that a
local press association decide its own sub-judice rules – but as long as he’s
asking – our recommendation is that sub-judice be severely restricted only to
cases before the court where a judge has made special order and given reasons
for why the publication of such matters cannot be reported in the public domain.
the Confidential Relationships [Preservation] Law.
all sections of the recently-proposed Data Protection Bill that allow the
Cayman Islands government, through the information commissioner and the Grand
Court, to define who is and is not a journalist.
If Mr. Bulgin truly does believe in the continuation and
strengthening of the free press in these Islands, his office would be well
advised to work on the matters addressed above. Surely, they are more important
than forming a committee or association with the sole objective of filing
frivolous complaints about news stories that have no basis in law.