(CMR) The Cayman Islands Human Rights Commission (HRC) has advocated for a code of conduct for legislators. Ironically, the statement comes less than a week after the Speaker of the House, McKeeva Bush was accused of blatantly ignoring parliamentary standing order in refusing to table an OfReg report.
Bush is also currently in Summary Court responding to three assault charges and one count of disorderly conduct for allegedly assaulting a bar manager earlier in the year.
The HRC shared:
Upholding high ethical standards plays a critical role in ensuring that the conduct of public officials in the Cayman Islands meets the expectations of the people in the Cayman Islands, as well as complies with and balances our constitutional rights such as non-discrimination, freedom of conscience and religion, and freedom of expression. Such public officials include, at the highest level, Members of Parliament, amongst others.
Implementing policy documents, like parliamentary codes of conduct, can help ensure that persons holding positions of power in our Islands have transparent checks and balances and that they remain accountable in their behaviours. It is against this background that the Human Rights Commission has undertaken research on parliamentary codes of conduct and related documents within the Caribbean and non-regional Commonwealth jurisdictions.
The chart developed summarises this research and illustrates Cayman’s status in a comparative manner in order to demonstrate what areas need to still be developed. Maintaining a robust set of policies to manage the conduct of public officials formalises and professionalises integrity expectations set by the public and is essential to maintaining public confidence. Furthermore, implementing such policies provides an opportunity to ensure officials are acting in the public interest and creates an avenue for upholding individuals’ rights at a parliamentary level.
Following the undertaking of the research the Commission issued correspondence to the Honourable Members of the Legislative Assembly recommending the establishment of a parliamentary code of conduct. This letter, along with the chart developed during the undertaking of research, can be found on the Commission’s website http://www.humanrightscommission.ky/parliamentarycodesofconduct