Bill: Grand Court will enforce foreign orders

A bill that will put the Cayman Islands Grand Court on “sound legal footing” when supporting the enforcement of lawful orders from foreign courts has been approved by Legislative Assembly members.

The Grand Court [Amendment] Bill, 2014, essentially puts in law what had been a standing practice of the local court system, Attorney General Samuel Bulgin told lawmakers Thursday.

Mr. Bulgin said the bill formed part of a “package of legislation” that would be brought to the House in the coming months aimed at enhancing the manner in which foreign court judgments are enforced in the Cayman Islands

“There is no doubt that other jurisdictions rely on the existence our modern legislative framework to determine whether the islands can be viewed as an attractive location to conduct international business,” Mr. Bulgin said.

The amendment, which was passed without discussion last week by LA members, allows the Grand Court to enforce a legitimate order made for interim relief in a foreign court in circumstances where there is no current substantive cause of action within the Cayman Islands.

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Such interim enforcement powers permit the Grand Court to make orders appointing receivers or granting relief in proceedings outside the islands in cases that could eventually result in judgments within the islands.

The local court would have its own discretion to add conditions to such orders and could refuse applications for relief in cases where it determines those requests to be “unjust or inconvenient.”

In a recent Grand Court judgment, quoted by Mr. Bulgin in the assembly Thursday, Justice Sir Peter Cresswell indicated Cayman would certainly not wish its financial services industry to be “abused” by the criminal element.

“The public policy of the Cayman Islands clearly requires that it operates so as to assist foreign courts and to prevent the jurisdiction from becoming a haven for wrongdoers,” Mr. Justice Cresswell wrote.

Mr. Bulgin said there is a growing number of cases where multi-jurisdictional enforcement issues are becoming relevant “in the global village in which we live.” However, the government thought it better to put local judges on sound footing, giving them legislative guidance on how to deal with such cases.

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