(CMR) Grand Court Justice Williams disputes claims by Colours Cayman, Cayman New Service and Loop Cayman that there was some conscious decision to withhold a judicial review ruling. Via a statement to the media this evening the court shares that it was an administrative oversight and nothing more.
The judicial review application was brought by Kattina Anglin challenging the governor's remit to pass the Civil Partnership Law 2020 alleging that his use of section 81 of the Constitution to enact the law was unconstitutional. The articles in question claimed that three months had passed and mysteriously the judgment was not made publicly.
Colours Cayman claimed yesterday that an explanation was needed as to why this decision was shrouded in secrecy.
They noted that following recent articles that have appeared in Cayman News Service (21 January 2021 and 1 February 2021) and in Loop Cayman (1 February 2021) and following comments made in a public statement released by Colours Cayman, it has become necessary to correct the record.
Justice Williams heard the ex parte application for Judicial Review on 17 November 2020.
Having regard to the nature of the proceedings and his view that it was a matter of public interest, Justice Williams delivered a detailed reserved written judgment on 20 November 2020 to fully explain his decision. That judgment was not uploaded to the Judicial Website, as it was inadvertently overlooked, which has now been rectified. For the avoidance of doubt, Justice Williams did not direct that the publication of the judgment be restricted in any way.
The earlier communication from Judicial Administration sent to CNS stating that (i) Justice Williams had been consulted by the Clerk of Courts concerning the applications being made public and (ii) Justice Williams had indicated that the ex parte application was not to be made available to the public was not accurate. For the avoidance of doubt, Justice Williams was not consulted and he gave no such direction.
The application was not placed on the Public Register because it was ex parte in nature and in keeping with what is often done in such cases. This case being of genuine public interest ought not to have been embargoed in any way without an order from the judge, and no such order was made. On 22 January 2021, upon being informed that the ex parte application had not been placed on the public register, Justice Williams ordered that to be done.