The UK Privy Council has given the green light to a number of amendments to Cayman’s Constitution, including the changing of the name of the Legislative Assembly to Parliament.
The Constitution (Amendment) Order 2020 was tabled before the Privy Council on Wednesday, 11 Nov.
Other changes include:
- Mandatory consultation on laws directly affecting the Cayman Islands
- Removal of the governor’s power to write Standing Orders for the Legislative Assembly
- Creation of Parliamentary Secretaries
- Creation of a Police Service Commission
An earlier version of the draft order had included a proposed amendment to remove Section 81 of the Constitution, which gives the governor of the Cayman Islands the power to enact legislation with the approval of the UK Secretary of State. However, that amendment was removed after legislators in July voted to reject the Domestic Partnership Bill, which aimed to provide a legal status for same-sex unions in Cayman.
Following that rejection, Governor Martyn Roper assented to a similarly worded, retitled Civil Partnership Law.
The UK Minister for Sustainable Development and the Overseas Territories, Baroness Liz Sugg, in a letter to Premier Alden McLaughlin in August, said the decision to retain Section 81 was because the governor had had to use it to uphold the rule of law following the failure of the Legislative Assembly to approve the Domestic Partnership Bill.
Under the amended Constitution, the Cayman Islands will become the third British Overseas Territory to have a legislative body known as Parliament.
The Legislative Assembly sat for the last time on 2 Nov. and will have its first sitting as Parliament in December.