STATEMENT: Someone recently posted the following on CMR Facebook page:
According to the: “Part I of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 – The Bill of Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities”, on section “, “Expression – Part 1, Section 11” states that: “You have the right to voice opinions and express your views, either by yourself or in a group, unless doing so would breach the rights of other persons.
Therefore, on the same Bill of Rights it states under the section of “Private and Family Life – Part 1, Section 9”: “Under this right, the respect of your private and family life, your home; and your correspondence is protected.”
Consequently, if you may understand you are in the violation of their Rights.
The writing was referring to Cayman Marl Road being in breach because we posted the name and photos of persons who have been arrested.
RESPONSE: Since implementation of the constitution it appears that many people are ill prepared to understand the true remit of the document and what their rights actually are.
This is not an easy topic to address but allow us to start by explaining one key point. The Constitution contains a Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights broadly lays out what basic freedoms and rights you have in this country as it relates to the government. Those rights have nothing to do with private entities or individuals. So, in a dispute relating to a 3rd party you would not make mention of the Bill of Rights.
Further to this point not all rights are “absolute”. They are what’s legally called qualified. In other words there are exceptions and instances where those rights will NOT apply.
The other part of this statement really requires an explanation of what is Private and Family Life?
On the constitution’s website it is explained in this matter:
Under this right, the respect of your private and family life, your home; and your correspondence is protected (“correspondence” could include communication by letter, telephone, fax, and e-mail). The concept of “private life” is broad. In general, it means you have the right to live your own life, with reasonable personal privacy in a democratic society, taking into account the rights and freedom of others. This right limits the extent to which government can invade your bodily privacy without your permission, such as taking blood samples. This right can also extend to the government putting in place laws to prevent the media from intruding into your life. Any interference with your right to private and family life by the government needs to be justified and must achieve a legitimate public objective. Grounds for government interference include the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health.
This would not apply to any media or online news blog. Under the UK laws there’s currently nothing that prohibits the naming of persons arrested. It has been a much debated subject there and many accept that a complete prohibition of naming suspects is not realistic. In fact, the naming of persons can often assist in the investigation and allows victims or others to come forward to strengthen a case.
However, it would be worth nothing that Cayman Marl Road is a USA registered entity and as such those are the laws that apply to it. In American there are greater press freedoms that are guaranteed and enjoyed.
Cayman media appears to have no set standard. Sometimes they name persons in some cases upon arrest and other times they do not. There’s not law to prevent this unless the courts indicate this in certain cases like child abuse; where there may be a risk of identifying the victim.
CMR will name arrested persons and attempt to provide factually or reliable eyewitness information that is available.
We know the basics: whatever you report on, do so in a balanced, objective way. Classify no person as a criminal until he has been convicted in court. If allegations have been made in court, report on it accurately and fairly.