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Topic: Human Rights

Protecting the right to good governance

James Austin-Smith knows most people in the Cayman Islands will never have to fight for their right to a fair trial or freedom from torture.

Police officers argue age, nationality discrimination

A human rights case of 10 Caymanian police officers who claim they were discriminated against on the grounds of age and nationality when they were forced to retire or accept a demotion at age 55 stalled in Grand Court on Tuesday.

Human rights expert calls for ‘abolition of tax havens’

An independent human rights expert has urged the United Nations to convene a world conference on tax avoidance and tax evasion, the abolition of tax havens and the protection of whistleblowers. “I sincerely hope that the abolition of tax havens and the creation of a United Nations Tax Authority ... will be among Mr. Guterres’s priorities."
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Human rights highlighted for Mental Health Day

Cayman’s Human Rights Commission has released a booklet describing how human rights can apply to situations involving mental illness. The booklet gives case studies from the European Court of Human Rights as guidelines for how to handle specific situations.

Cayman legalizes plans for witness protection

Cayman Islands witness protection methods that have previously been described as “ad hoc” in some cases and raising potential human rights concerns in others, will take effect in specific local legislation this month.

Privy Council: 19 months too long for citizenship application

The judicial committee of the U.K. Privy Council has overturned an earlier decision of an eastern Caribbean court, ruling that a 19-month delay in registering an application for citizenship was too long and was “likely to be unlawful” when considering the applicant’s human rights, according to the judgment issued Aug. 2.

‘Solomon Webster’ Bill aims to protect rights of disabled

Named for the slain former Cayman Islands Special Olympics athlete, the Disabilities (Solomon Webster) Bill proposes new legislation to protect the rights of disabled people and create a National Council for Persons with Disabilities and a voluntary disabilities register.

Gay couple wins work permit appeal

Ruling in favor of a same-sex couple, the Immigration Appeals Tribunal granted Leonardo Raznovich’s application to be added to his spouse’s work permit as a dependent. The decision ends 14 months of applications and appeals to the Immigration Department.

Bus shelters and other issues

From years ago I have appealed to our government to erect bus shelters for our schoolchildren but to no avail.

Potential rights breaches by Immigration Department revealed

The Cayman Islands Human Rights Commission reviewed three potential cases of human rights breaches against the Immigration Department in 2015, a report made public Wednesday revealed.

Cayman to host LGBT conference

The 7th annual Queering Paradigms conference, an international conference focused on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues, will be held in Cayman in June.

Jay Leno to speak in Cayman

Comedian and former late-night talk show host Jay Leno will be the keynote speaker at the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit. Mr. Leno was the host of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” from 1992 to 2014.

A month-by-month roundup of Cayman’s 2015 news stories

Top stories of 2015 in the Cayman Islands

Premier Alden McLaughlin: Suckoo, Eden departures ‘unfortunate’

Premier Alden McLaughlin has described as “unfortunate” the defection of a second backbench legislator to the opposition benches.
Kevin Mitnick

‘World’s most famous hacker’ to speak in Cayman

A notorious computer hacker who was once on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for hacking into 40 major companies will be coming to Cayman in February.

Top stories of 2015: Bush, McLaughlin take legal action

Both Cayman's premier and opposition leader got litigious over the 2013 general election during 2015.

Top stories of 2015: Lawmaker's motion against same-sex unions sparks debate

A speech on the topic of same-sex unions made in the Legislative Assembly in August, sparked a months-long and still ongoing debate that pitted members of the Cayman Islands government against those advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Professor: Same-sex unions legislation 'inevitable' in Cayman

When human rights professor Robert Wintemute visited the Cayman Islands in January to deliver a critique of the islands’ “out of date” laws on rights for homosexuals, he hoped to start a conversation.

PR application, appeal take eight years

A man whose application for permanent residence took more than eight years from the date it was filed to when it was rejected by an appeals body has sued the Cayman Islands government, seeking re-consideration of the case.

Cayman to host One Young World leaders in 2016

The Cayman Islands will host hundreds of young world leaders next year at a special international summit on the topic of sustainable finance.

Christmas wishes: Keep it kind, Cayman Islands

Our elected statesmen would do well to draw inspiration from the sounds of Christmas, and utilize the feelings of goodwill and politeness to temper their political discourse.

Gay rights battle paralleled in Bermuda

A landmark ruling in the Supreme Court of Bermuda giving same-sex couples equal rights on immigration and employment issues has been cited as further evidence that the Cayman Islands needs to modernize its own laws.

Efforts to help migrants thwarted by police

A group of Cayman Islands residents who chartered a vessel to try to bring food and water to migrants on a ramshackle boat say marine police prevented them from assisting the men.

Straight talk on gay marriage

On some subjects, particularly ones whose fundamental nature is cultural or moral, there is no clear opportunity for compromise. In the Cayman Islands, same-sex marriage is one of these.

Premier, human rights body clash on same-sex unions

The government cannot consider any request to recognize same sex unions, Premier Alden McLaughlin said in a letter to the Human Rights Commission that was made public on Monday.

Free speech, hate speech, and Mr. Eden’s speech

As an individual, Anthony Eden has a protected right to free speech. As an elected MLA, Mr. Eden is sworn to uphold the Constitution. This is where the trouble begins.

Governor: Religious beliefs 'not relevant' to commission appointments

Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick confirmed Thursday that religious beliefs of government appointees should have nothing to do with their service on public commissions.

MLA Anthony Eden 'We do not need an atheist chairing our Cayman Islands...

Saying recent statements showed a “total apparent disrespect for the majority of residents in Cayman,” Bodden Town MLA Anthony Eden suggested Wednesday that the current chairman of the Human Rights Commission be replaced.

Operation Tempura case judge joins Cayman's appeals court

A former U.K. High Court judge who once presided over various Cayman Islands court actions related to the ill-fated Operation Tempura investigation has joined Cayman’s Court of Appeal.

Changes to prisoners' release take effect Feb. 1

The Cayman Islands Governor’s Office is seeking volunteers to help decide when and how criminals – including those convicted of murder – should be released from prison.

Cayman’s disabled face ‘unnecessary’ discrimination

Cayman’s human rights watchdog has taken current and past governments to task over failures to implement legislation protecting disabled residents from potential discrimination.

Juvenile justice center write-off: $678,000

The Cayman Islands government has written off nearly $700,000 spent on the partial construction of a juvenile justice center.

More human rights claims filed against immigration boards

Two Grand Court lawsuits filed this month against the Immigration Appeals Tribunal allege that decisions of the tribunal were contrary to human rights protections in the Cayman Islands Constitution Order (2009).

Law professor condemns UK silence on gay 'hate speech'

The professor at the center of a gay rights case in the Cayman Islands told a conference for international lawyers that he believes the United Kingdom is failing to meet its responsibilities with respect to human rights for homosexuals in the Overseas Territories.

Rights commission highlights healthcare, homelessness

Cayman's human rights watchdog reviews some ongoing mental health issues in the territory.

Business in brief

Red Cross raises $56,000 with golf tournament; Campbells announces scholarship recipients; Pan-American Life celebrates launch; Samson & McGrath’s Trevor Burke admitted to Cayman Bar; Extended hours for business licensing; Fidelity Bank Bahamas appoints new chairman.

Legal aid bill sets $20K initial fee limit

An initial limit of $20,000 per case is proposed in the latest attempt by the Cayman Islands government to rewrite legislation governing its legal aid services budget.

Laws without enforcement lead to injustice

For any perceived problem, government has at least one solution for it, on paper. Of course, there is a difference between paper solutions and real solutions.

Far-reaching effect of permanent residence ruling cited

A recent court decision in permanent residence case may be a game-changer, not only for immigration-related matters, but for many other areas in which appointed boards make rulings and hear appeals on a plethora of matters, from business licensing to planning issues.

Cayman's human rights issues to be aired internationally

The gay law professor at the center of an immigration test case challenging the unequal treatment of homosexuals in the Cayman Islands has been invited to make a presentation on the issue to the International Bar Association.

Cayman issues poised for 'prime time'

From the standpoint of sheer numbers, we cannot recall another point in time where Cayman faced so many reputational threats of our own creation.

‘Sea-change’ in permanent residence process expected

The effect of a judgment issued by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie could have a "sea-change" effect on the way permanent residence applications are handled.

Gay law professor can apply for visitor permit

A law professor fighting to have his same-sex marriage recognized by Immigration officials so he can stay in Cayman says he has been told he can apply for a visitor’s permit as an interim measure.

Gay couple challenge Immigration decision

A gay law professor and his husband are at the center of a possible test case, challenging the “unequal” treatment of homosexual couples in the Cayman Islands.

Fallout spreads from Mr. Eden’s intemperate remarks

Anthony Eden’s remarks on the floor of the Legislative Assembly regarding homosexuality could not have been more ill-conceived – but they were also ill-timed.

MLA Suckoo denies 'hate speech,' apologizes

One Bodden Town MLA at the center over allegations of 'hate speech' against homosexuals speaks out.

Organizers defend LGBT lecture series

The organizer of a lecture series on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and gender rights in the Cayman Islands has responded to critical remarks made by Bodden Town MLA Anthony Eden during a recent meeting of the Legislative Assembly.

Marriage debate was 'hate speech,' rights commission says

The Human Rights Commission accused certain MLAs of using their elected positions to espouse “poisonous hate speech and threats of violence” against homosexual men and women.

Mr. Eden’s regrettable remarks on the floor of the House

Anthony Eden's diatribe during his motion to confirm that the definition of marriage in the Cayman Islands is a union between a man and woman did the country no favors.

Government says marriage is between one man, one woman

The Cayman Islands government has passed a motion to maintain the definition of marriage as it is currently written in the law: a union between a man and a woman.

Court lists wrong defendant in ‘insulting modesty of woman’ case

The Cayman Islands court system listed the wrong name for a defendant in a criminal case due before the Summary Court on Monday.

HRC: Government must allow civil unions

Cayman is about to get a wake-up call when it comes to recognizing same-sex unions, the Human Rights Commission warns.

Activists urge Cayman rights for same-sex unions

A local LGBT activist starts a petition drive to change Caymanian immigration law so that gay couples are granted the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Cayman, today: No country is an island

Things in the Cayman Islands have changed – and in many ways more dramatically in the past 50 years than in the preceding 50,000.

Cayman's principal education lesson: Subtraction by division

Does Cayman have the will to deal with our "segregated" school system?

Finance Committee debate: School access and the Bill of Rights

Questions were raised during a Finance Committee hearing on the country’s education budget about whether policies that prevent the children of foreign workers from accessing free schooling in the public education system were incompatible with the Bill of Rights.

Red Cross to mark World Refugee Day

Saturday marks the United Nations 14th annual World Refugee Day, as the Cayman Islands Red Cross celebrates its budding regional partnership with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Budget, legal issues hold up human rights legislation

Important human rights-related legislation is being held up over government staffing issues.

Human Rights Commission says minimum wage too low

Members of the Human Rights Commission called the minimum wage proposal too conservative, but did commend the committee for its work on detailing abuse of domestic workers in Cayman.

Attorney General: Human rights drive up legal aid costs

Cayman's legal aid costs skyrocket as more qualify for legal assistance.

WHO mental health report cites lack of facility, training

A report from the World Health Organization cites the lack of a national mental health policy and a shortage of beds for psychiatric patients as weaknesses in Cayman’s health system.

Modest savings expected from government merger

Government will likely not realize any savings from a proposed merger of two independent oversight offices.

Online government services progressing

A new steering committee hopes to launch an Internet portal this year that would move many Cayman Islands government services online.

Cayman will set time limits for prohibited immigrants

Cayman seeks to set 'time limits' on prohibited immigrants.

Bush motion: Conspiracy claim on hold for now

A call for an independent review of the "toppling" of Cayman's former government administration won't be heard during this LA meeting.

Bush motion alleges conspiracy 'toppled' UDP government

Cayman's former premier alleges a far-reaching conspiracy to remove him from office prior to the last election.

Cancer Registry Doctors call for changes to bill

A proposed new law making it mandatory for health professionals to report cancers and brain tumors to a national registry should be amended so patients names and addresses are not collected, the Medical and Dental Society has recommended.

Immigration may activate 'mass migration' response

Cayman's Immigration Department considers ramping up its response to Cuban migrant arrivals as more reach local shores.

Medical malpractice suits hard to win

Anyone injured or killed as a result of a mistake by an employee of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority faces a very difficult challenge if they seek compensation through the courts, lawyers have warned.

Registry crucial to cancer research, advocates say

Data from the Cayman Islands Cancer Registry could be crucial to the prevention and management of the disease in the territory, according to health officials advocating for mandatory reporting of cancers and brain tumors.

AG lauds Cayman's human rights progress

The Cayman Islands' record on the territory's new human rights legislation is solid, the attorney general says.

Seminar to explore impact of Magna Carta

A seminar that looks at the enduring impact of the 800-year-old Magna Carta on Cayman and the Commonwealth Caribbean will be held at UCCI on Wednesday.

This week