The Cayman Islands Law Society and the Caymanian Bar Association Statement

The Cayman Islands Law Society and the Caymanian Bar Association welcomes the clarification issued on Wednesday 26 April 2017 by the Clerk of the Court regarding Requests for Copies of Writs and other originating processes filed at the Grand Court.

Both associations are committed to the rule of law including open justice, a system the Cayman Islands administers, enabling public scrutiny of the judicial process by which litigants’ rights are adjudicated.

The Grand Court has confirmed and clarified that certified copies of documents are available to non parties as they have always been.  However, it should be noted that rights of non parties (including representatives of the media) with respect to the copying of court documents must not be confused with the principle of open justice. It is an element. Access is granted to non parties to scrutinise the relevant judicial process itself, but in the Common Law world there is no unrestricted right to access. There is a balance to be struck with other competing interests, both public and private, and this is the context in which access to court documents is given.

As a jurisdiction, the Cayman Islands is recognised as an international financial centre that attracts clients through its business friendly environment, the quality and probity of its professionals, court processes and judiciary.

We acknowledge that in the information age it is sensible to review existing policy as it relates to open justice, with an understanding that there are many competing public policies, to ensure it remains consistent with international standards. We are therefore pleased that the Grand Court Rules Committee is to consider whether any changes to the existing rules and practices are required.

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