Three Bermuda judges appointed to Cayman Islands judiciary

The Cayman Islands Government and the Judicial and Legal Services Commission of the Cayman Islands announced on 21 April 2017 that three of Bermuda’s judges have been appointed to act as judges in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.

In particular:

  • Chief Justice Kawaley has been appointed as an Grand Court Judge in the Financial Services Division. He is reported to have said, in response to his appointment, that “I am honoured to have been afforded the opportunity to assist the Financial Services Division of the Cayman Islands Grand Court in an acting capacity from time to time and insofar as my other judicial commitments permit.” Chief Justice Kawaley’s appointment began on 13 April 2017 and runs until 19 August 2025.
  • Mr. Justice Stephen Hellman and Mr. Justice Carlisle Greaves have been appointed to the Panel of Acting Grand Court Judges (who may be invited to sit from time to time).

While congratulations are obviously in order for all three judges, these appointments potentially raise some interesting constitutional and legal questions. What happens, for example, if a future Cayman Islands judgment is sought to be registered or enforced in Bermuda, and the judgment debtor seeks to contest such a judgment before Chief Justice Kawaley or Mr. Justice Hellman?

Somewhat embarrassingly for the Cayman Islands Government, it appears that certain confidential documents relating to the judicial application process may have been inadvertently sent to various media organisations in the Cayman Islands, although they are commendably exercising self-restraint by not making any further publication …




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