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Judges secure Cayman Island jobs

Chief Justice Ian Kawaley (Photo by Akil Simmons)

Three Bermudian Supreme Court judges are now eligible to sit part-time in the Cayman Islands.

Chief Justice Ian Kawaley has been appointed as a judge of the Grand Court Financial Services Division, and Puisne Judges Carlisle Greaves and Stephen Hellman have been appointed to the Grand Court General Division Panel of Acting Judges.

The manner of the announcement sparked controversy as Mr Justice Kawaley’s salary information and other personal details were accidentally released to Cayman media, leading to an editorial in the Cayman Compass.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Kawaley said in a Bermuda Supreme Court press release: “I am honoured to have been afforded the opportunity to assist the Financial Services Division of the Cayman Islands Grand Court in an acting capacity from time to time and insofar as my other judicial commitments permit.

“The legal system in the Cayman Islands has much in common with Bermuda’s legal system. It is not inconceivable that we may in the future need to supplement our own judicial ranks and may in turn seek assistance from the Caymanian Bench.”

The controversy in the Caymans happened after commissions secretariat manager Deborah Bodden disseminated an e-mail announcing the appointment of Mr Justice Kawaley and British attorney Raj Parker in the Financial Services Division. Her message also included confidential employment applications filled out by the two judges, sharing their home, cell and work phone numbers, e-mail addresses, home addresses, work history, academic records and other key personal details.

The Cayman Compass wrote in an editorial: “We at the Compass won’t be publishing any of the above information because it has limited value to the public interest, not nearly enough to justify the concomitant invasion of privacy of the two men.

“But if we wanted to publish the details, we certainly could. The government sent us the information, so we are under no legal obligation not to use it.

“We are voluntarily refraining from publishing the judges’ personal information, but that’s just us. We presume the e-mail was also sent to other media organisations (perhaps not just in Cayman), who may not adhere to the same ethical and news standards as the Compass.

“We have no idea, and no control over, what they might do.”

The editorial described its government’s history of accidental leaks as a “huge problem in a country whose financial services sector (and the greater economy) is predicated on the assumption that we understand how to maintain appropriate levels of confidentiality”.