(CMR) Chief Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale has announced plans to bring justice to the people of Grand Cayman by establishing a district court.
Making her inaugural address at the opening of Grand Court on Wednesday, 11 January, the Chief Justice said she is proposing that a district court be established to replace the town hall, which is now closed for renovation.
“I'm excited by this because the whole idea of circuit courts is to take justice to the people…I think it will be well received by the people in the districts. It will ease the congestion in George Town,” the Chief Justice said.
“If we establish a district court now to replace the town hall, it gives us the opportunity to explore district court in Bodden town. These district courts would supplement what would now become the George Town District Court,” she said, further explaining that it would be similar to the current court arrangement with the Sister Islands.
Once a month, a magistrate goes to Cayman Brac to deal with summary matters from the Sister Islands.
Also, in outlining her plans for this year, Justice Ramsay-Hale said one of her objectives is to establish a blueprint for court excellence.
“It is the judiciary's intention to implement what is called the international framework for court excellence. The blueprint for excellence will inform the strategic planning exercise on which the court will embark in March this year,” Justice Ramsay-Hale stated.
“It is my view that the results of implementing the framework will inform us of the areas of the courts where we are performing under par and give us the tools we need to drive performance forward,” she explained.
The framework which will be used was designed by the International Consortium for Court Excellence.
Justice Ramsay Hale explained that the framework is a quality management system designed to help courts improve performance, built on ten core universal judicial values: equality before the law, fairness, impartiality, independence of decision-making, integrity, competence, transparency, accessibility, timeliness, and certainty.
The blueprint will include seven areas of court excellence that align with the framework. These include court leadership and management, court planning and policies, court proceedings, public trust and confidence, user satisfaction, court resources, affordable and accessible services.