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Published 5th May 2005, 3:38pm

The Honourable Sam Bulgin, Attorney-General has announced that the Law Reform Commission of the Cayman Islands was established on 1 May 2005.

The Law Reform Commission, which falls under the Attorney Generalís portfolio, is a statutory body formed under the Law Reform Commission Law, 2005, which was passed by the Legislative Assembly on 21 February 2005.

In accordance with the Law, the Commission will study and keep under constant review the statutes and other laws comprising the law of the Cayman Islands with a view to its systematic development and reform, including in particular --

  • the modification of any branch of the law as far as that is practicable;
  • the elimination of anomalies in the law, the repeal of obsolete and unnecessary enactments and the simplification and modernisation of the law;
  • the development of new areas in the law with the aim of making them more responsive to the changing needs of Cayman Islands society;
  • the adoption of new or more effective methods for the administration of the law and the dispensation of justice; and
  • the codification of the unwritten laws of the Cayman Islands.

The Commission, in the performance of its functions, may,

  • review and consider any proposals for the reform of the law which may be referred to it by any person or authority;
  • prepare and submit to the Attorney-General from time to time, a programme for the study and examination of any branch of the law with a view to making recommendations for its improvement, modernisation and reform;
  • initiate and carry out or direct the initiation and carrying out of, studies and research necessary for the improvement and modernisation of the law;
  • undertake, pursuant to any such recommendation approved by the Attorney-General, the formulation and preparation of drafts in the form of Bills or other instruments for consideration by the Governor in Cabinet and the Legislative Assembly;
  • provide, at the instance of Government departments and other authorities concerned, advice, information and proposals for reform or amendment of any branch of the law; and
  • with the approval of the Attorney-General, appoint or empanel committees, whether from among members of the Commission or from among persons outside the Commission or both, to study and make recommendations to the Commission on any aspect of the law referred to it by the Commission.

The Commission comprises the following five Commissioners --

  • Nigel Clifford, QC -- Chairman
  • Langston Sibblies
  • Andrew Jones, QC
  • Cheryl Richards (Acting Solicitor General)
  • Eileen Nervik.

The Commissioners are all well respected attorneys-at-law who practise in the Cayman Islands. By its composition the Commission reflects a wide cross-section of the various areas of law including commercial, regulatory, criminal and family law.

The Commission will sit regularly to consider issues that would have already been collated by the office of the Commission. The office will be headed by attorney-at-law Cheryl Ann Neblett who is presently Senior Legislative Counsel of the Legislative Drafting Department. There will be a close working relationship between the Law Reform Commission and the Legislative Drafting Department in order to ensure uniformity in the law.

The offices of the Law Reform Commission are located on the third floor of Anderson Square. Telephone numbers of the office will be released soon.

The establishment of the Commission is an exciting beginning and is long overdue. The Attorney General is confident that the Commission will usher in a new approach to the reform of law in the Islands and that the Commission will not only continue but will also enhance the reputation of the Cayman Islands as an international leader in innovative and contemporary legislation.