Judicial & Legal Services Commission
The Governor is responsible for judicial and legal appointments. However, an independent commission called the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) is charged with advising the Governor on appointments, removal from office and disciplinary action of those specified offices appointed by the Governor. Such commissions have been put in place around the world to protect the independence of the judiciary and legal system, by vesting recruitment powers in a non-governmental organization (NGO).
The commission submits recommendations to the Governor about appointing, removing, and disciplining the following officers:
- Chief Justice and Grand Court judges;
- President of the Court of Appeal, and Court of Appeal judges;
- Attorney General;
- Director of Public Prosecutions;
- Magistrates; and
- Any other post-holder in the public service, where the post-holder is required to be legally qualified.
The Governor must follow such recommendations, unless he determines that following the advice would negatively affect Her Majesty’s service. In such cases he may then ask the commission to reconsider its advice.
Commission members are also responsible for creating a code of conduct for the judiciary, and a procedure for dealing with complaints.
Membership will include:
- A chairman and one other member, both of whom cannot be lawyers. These persons would be appointed by the Governor, in consultation with the Premier and Leader of the Opposition.
- The President of the Court of Appeal, by virtue of office
- A person appointed at the Governor’s discretion, who holds or has held high judicial office in the Cayman Islands and has recent knowledge of Cayman’s courts
- Two persons appointed at the Governor’s discretion, who hold or have held high judicial office in a Commonwealth country or Ireland, but who would not hold such office in the Cayman Islands at the time of appointment
- Two attorneys-at-law qualified to practice in the Cayman Islands, one with experience in government service and the other with experience in private practice. These persons will be appointed by the Governor, who must consult representatives of Cayman’s legal professional organisations and, where appropriate, the Attorney General.
- Commission members cannot be MLAs or candidates for election. With the exception of attorneys-at-law who are appointed by the Governor, they also cannot hold or act in public office.
The Governor will formally announce the establishment of the first Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) shortly. (projected timeline Summer 2010).
Last Updated: 2010-08-17