Monday 11 June.
Today the Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin and a delegation including Financial Service Minister Hon. Tara Rivers met with Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC and Lord David Pannick QC to develop discussions about the Cayman Islands relationship with the UK. The meeting follows a series of talks held after the amendment to the Sanctions and Anti Money Laundering Bill regarding public registers was passed by the House of Commons, causing friction with the Cayman Islands and other Overseas Territories who contest that this is a overreach of respective Overseas Territories Constitutions.
Sir Jeffery is a longstanding associate of the Cayman Islands and has been involved in Constitutional developments for many jurisdictions including the Cayman Islands. The scope of Sir Jeffrey’s work includes judicial review, human rights and planning. He advises extensively on the drafting of national constitutions, the relationship between the UK and dependent territories, and the design and application of internal regulatory and Ombudsmen schemes. He has appeared on these matters in the courts of Commonwealth countries as well as the Privy Council and the UK Supreme Court.
Lord Pannick QC is one of the UK’s most highly regarded advocates, practising in a broad range of areas with a particular emphasis on Public law & Human Rights. Amongst appearing in 100 cases in the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords (before it was replaced by the new Supreme Court), more than 25 cases in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and over 30 cases in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, he has acted in a large number of the leading public law cases of the last 25 years. He is recognised by Chambers UK 2015 as one of its “stars at the bar”, and by the Legal 500 2014 as a ‘Leading Silk’ in eight areas, including EU & Competition.
“We talked about the way forward with Constitutional talks in regard to the Cayman Islands Constitution of 2009” said Mr. McLaughlin. “We are concerned about the actions of the House of Commons in seeking to legislate for the Cayman Islands, which amounts to constitutional overreach by forcing the Cayman Islands to adopt public registers of beneficial ownership.”
The agenda for discussion included a review of advice from Sir Jeffery and Lord Pannick, a discussion about desired outcomes, formulation of plan for the way forward and setting out timelines necessary for the Cayman Islands.
The meeting was followed by a luncheon hosted by Sir Jeffery and Lord Pannick held at Blackstone Chambers in the Temple district of central London, the lunch was also an opportunity to continue discussions that morning.
The Cayman Islands Representative in the UK, Eric Bush said after the meeting “The round up from the meeting alone continued well on into the evening and we believe we are making great progress in setting out desired improvements to the Cayman Islands constitutional relationship between the UK and the Cayman Islands at this critical time. We thank Sir Jeffery and Lord Pannick for their enthusiasm and expertise to help guide us through these waters.”
Talks will continue this week, with a meeting with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for the Overseas Territories, and two conferences with other Overseas Territories Heads of Government.