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PORTFOLIO OF LEGAL AFFAIRS

The Portfolio of Legal Affairs is headed by the Attorney General.  The Office of the Attorney General is constituted by section 56 of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009, under which the Attorney General is appointed as the principal legal adviser to Government and the Legislative Assembly.  The Attorney General is also an ex-officio member of the Legislative Assembly and Cabinet.

The Portfolio of Legal Affairs is comprised of the following Departments:

 Department   Department Head
 Solicitor Generalís Office   Reshma Sharma
 Legal Drafting Department  Cheryl Neblett
 Law Reform Commission   Jose Griffith
 Law Revision Commission   Camille Stoll-Davey
 Cayman Islands Law School  Mitchell Davies
 Financial Reporting Authority  RJ Berry
 Anti-Money Laundering Unit  Francis Arana


Solicitor Generalís Office

The Solicitor Generalís Office (SGO) provides legal advice and representation to Government Departments and statutory boards and authorities.  The legal advice spans the full spectrum of the exercise of the duties and responsibilities of Government Departments, statutory boards and public authorities, including guidance on the exercise of statutory powers and the interpretation of statutory provisions.  The SGO also represents Government Departments and statutory boards/ authorities in proceedings before the Grand Court and the Court of Appeal when the decisions of the Government are subject to any form of legal challenge.  In addition, the SGO represents Government Departments in proceedings before statutory tribunals such as the Planning Appeal Tribunal. 

The Legislative Drafting Department

The Constitution empowers the Legislature to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the Cayman Islands.  The Legislative Drafting Department is responsible to the Attorney General, and through him to the Cabinet, for the provision of an effective legislative drafting service.  The Legislative Drafting Department has the following main categories of work:

  • Drafting primary legislation (laws)
  • Drafting subordinate legislation Ė regulations, Orders, directions, Rules, etc and
  • Advising on proposals for legislation and statutory interpretation.

 Drafting instructions are provided to the Legislative Drafting Department through the Cabinet.  Instructing offices may be Ministries, Portfolios and Government Departments. 

 

Law Reform Commission

The Law Reform Commission was established by the Law Reform Commission Law No. 6 of 2005 and commenced operation on 16 September, 2005. 

In accordance with the Law, the Commissionís mandate is to 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 modernisation of the law;
  • providing research papers on law reform topics;
  • 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 work of the Commission is four-fold

(a) conducting legal research

(b) carrying out public and governmental consultation

(c) preparing reports on law reform topics; and

(d) drafting reform and other legislation.

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 staff of the Commission (Director and Legislative Counsel), pursuant to the instructions of the Attorney General, assist the Legislative Drafting Department with urgent work and in other circumstances where staff of the Legislative Drafting Department are not otherwise available to assist in a particular matter.

 

Law Revision Commission

The operational role of the Law Revision Department is to produce an annual revision and consolidation of all the laws of the Cayman Islands that have been amended during the previous 12 months.  In addition the Law Revision Commission produces annually, a consolidated index of laws and regulations containing additional legal measures, including United Kingdom statutory instruments.  The revisions and Index referred to above are published as Supplements to the Official Gazette and are intended to supply information to the public in general and to the legal profession in particular.

 

Cayman Islands Law School

The Cayman Islands Law School (CILS) exists pursuant to Section 20 Legal Practitioners Law (2012 Revision) which makes provision for the establishment by the Governor (in consultation with the Legal Advisory Council) of a local system of legal education.  The establishment of the CILS followed a feasibility study (The Fairest Report) which had been commissioned in order to facilitate the legal training of Caymanian individuals interested in pursuing a career in legal practice.  As the CILS was originally established as a vocational school for the training of lawyers, it made sense for it to form part of the Attorney Generalís Chambers where it has since remained.

The CILS clients are its students, both local and international.  Approximately 25% of the CILS students are now international students who possess a student visa for this purpose.  The CILS also provides legal advice, as requested, to other Ministries and Departments and is frequently called upon to provide legal training to other departments, notably the police and the judiciary.

 

The Financial Reporting Authority (FRA) 

The Financial Reporting Authority (FRA) is established by Part II of the Proceeds of Crime Law 2008 (PCL) to serve as the Cayman Islands Financial Intelligence Unit for the receipt and processing of financial information received from local entities and individuals who are required to report suspicions of money laundering and/or financing of terrorism under the PCL.  The role of the FRA is to receive, analyze and disseminate disclosures of financial information concerning proceeds of criminal conduct, suspected proceeds of criminal conduct, money laundering, suspected money laundering, or the financing of terrorism.  As a member of the EGMONT Group, the FRA is the contact point for international exchanges of financial intelligence with its overseas counterparts.  The FRA also makes disclosures where appropriate to local law enforcement agencies.  It has been designated as having the regulatory oversight of the Designated Non-Financial Businesses (DNFBPs) as required under the Financial Action Task Force 40 Recommendations but these functions are not yet carried out as the staffing and other resources have not been allocated.

The FRAís primary objective is to provide timely and high quality financial intelligence to local and overseas law enforcement agencies through their local FIUs, in keeping with the statutory requirements of the PCL.

 

The Anti-Money Laundering Unit

 The AMLU was established in March 2014 in recognition of the need to assess money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) risks nationally and to foster greater inter-agency cooperation & coordination.  The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40 Recommendations (International Standards for Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism & Proliferation) require that ML/TF risks be assessed (Recommendation 1) and that there be an effective mechanism for cooperation and coordination domestically (Recommendation 2). The Unit plays a key role as an agency established for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) coordination.  

The AMLU is a unit of the Attorney Generalís Chambers has been spearheading  the preparatory work for the Cayman  Islandsí fourth round of mutual evaluation assessments (in the third  quarter of 2017) in which the jurisdictionís anti-money laundering and combating the financing  terrorism (AML/CFT) framework will be assessed for  compliance with, and effective implementation of, international standards.  The benchmark for the assessment is the revised Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40 Recommendations and the Methodology for Assessing Technical Compliance with the FATF Recommendations and the Effectiveness of AML/CFT Systems. 

 

The Finance Unit

 The Finance Unit of the Portfolio of Legal Affairs provides financial support for the Portfolio as well as Judicial Administration, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Office of the Complaints Commissioner and the Information Commissionerís Office.

 

The Finance Team consists of 3 persons:

 

Ms. Tiffany Ebanks, Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Email: tiffany.ebanks@gov.ky Direct: 244-4510

 

Ms. Kathleen Brown-Gremli, Deputy CFO

Email: kathleen.brown-gremli@gov.ky Direct: 244-4507

 

Ms. Shemina McLaughlin, Financial Administrator

Email: Shemina.McLaughlin@gov.ky Direct: 244-4517

 

For finance related matters (queries, quotes, invoices, statements), the following email addresses can be used:

Portfolio of Legal Affairs: LegalFinance@gov.ky

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions: DPPFinance@gov.ky

 

 

Last Updated 2020-09-11