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Members of the Law Reform Commission met with Attorney General Sam Bulgin. From (L-R) are Law Reform Administrator Shirley Ann Neblett, Mr. Bulgin, Commission Chairman Nigel Clifford, QC, Ms Eileen Nervik, Mr Langston Sibblies and Mr Andrew Jones, QC.

Published 5th September 2005, 3:15pm

Members of the newly established Law Reform Commission recently met with the Attorney General to discuss current issues in need of attention and to lay the groundwork for developing new areas in the Islands’ law.

“Cayman is among the world’s leading financial centres and it is therefore paramount that our laws and legal system should endeavour to remain contemporary. Political and social stability, and a significant and modern communications and financial infrastructure mean nothing unless we have the necessary and relevant laws available to members of our legal profession so they can advise their clients properly,” Attorney General the Hon. Sam Bulgin told commissioners.

Calling the commissioners ‘pioneers,’ Mr Bulgin said they will be responsible for developing new areas in the law, codifying unwritten laws and examining the underlying causes of dissatisfaction with any law or its administration.

“We (government) consider ourselves extremely fortunate that we have five practitioners of such eminence and stature agreeing to devote their time to this important task. In addition to their all-round experience as attorneys, they also boast individual expertise in particular areas, such as commercial, regulatory, insolvency and family law. Together they will not only study our laws, but keep them under constant review with the aim of systematic development and reform,” the Attorney General explained.

Commission Chairman Nigel Clifford, QC, said the establishment of the Law Reform Commission is a “welcome development.” He added: “We will work closely with the Attorney General in promoting the development of new laws and reforming current ones. The commission represents a wide cross section within the legal profession. We are also able to draw on other expert knowledge, if needed, by establishing committees to deal with specific issues.”

All commissioners congratulated government for establishing a law reform commission to oversee the necessary task of updating and creating new laws.

“There is much work to be done in many areas of our laws, in particular, in the area of Family Law. Some of these laws were enacted almost 40 years ago without any major revision or reform. Our laws need to reflect that we live in the 21st century,” said Commissioner Eileen Nervik.

She is joined by General Counsel for the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, Langston Sibblies and Andrew Jones, QC as commissioners.

Mr Jones said the commission will fill a void for both the private and public sectors by coordinating law reform proposals from both sides. Echoing this sentiment, Mr Sibblies said that the commission’s efforts will complement his work at CIMA where he is constantly reviewing financial regulatory laws.

Administrative head and Senior Legislative Counsel of the commission Ms Cheryl Ann Neblett emphasised that the commission will not offer legal advice or intervene in individual cases. She added: “The commission intends to establish its legislative programme over the next few months and we are actively recruiting staff. We hope to add the services of one more legislative counsel as well as a paralegal assistant before the end of the year.”

She invited the public to contact her or any of the commissioners with suggestions about areas of law that they think need to be changed or just simplified: “People can give their ideas in writing or call and discuss it with one of the commissioners. There is no set form for written submissions and a letter addressed to the Law Reform Administrator will suffice,” Ms Neblett said.

The commission’s offices are located on the 3rd floor of Anderson Square, George Town and the contact numbers are 244-2365 and 244-2368.

The Law Reform Commission

  • Mr Nigel R.L. Clifford, QC - Chairman
  • Ms Cheryl Ann Neblett – Administrative Head and Senior Legislative Counsel
  • Mr Andrew Jones, QC
  • Ms G. Eileen Nervik
  • Mr Langston Sibblies