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The Editor speaks: Ludicrous motion – shame!!

Having lived here for 35 years and keenly watched meetings of the Legislative Assembly – my wife Joan being heavily involved in political campaigns in my early years – I have seen some ludicrous motions. However, never one as ludicrous at that brought to the very last sitting of the House by East End MLA Arden McLean and supported by George Town MLA Winston Connolly. The motion accuses local law firms of “intentionally ignoring and deliberately circumventing” both the Legal Practitioners Law and Immigration Law. Of course, these local law firms are not named nor is there one grain of legitimate evidence provided to back up this accusation. If that wasn’t bad enough to have our enemies in the world who also practice the same tactics clap their hands with glee, the motion goes even further. It alleges the most highly respected Wayne Panton, our Financial Services Minister, of seeking to pass an updated version of the Legal Practitioners Law in order to legitimize these un-named firms’ current questionable practices! They even accuse the Minister of having a “glaring conflict of interest” !!

The timing of this motion leads me to question their interest in so doing and it is most certainly not for the good of this country.

Both the Cayman Islands Law Society and the Caymanian Bar Association support the updated version of the Legal Practitioners Law. The Cayman Islands Law Society have even issued a statement saying, “We strongly object to the allegations of any breaches of the laws of the Cayman Islands and we are concerned that this motion is simply a means of diverting attention from the merits of the Legal Practitioners Bill.”

Panton was quite rightly outraged, and I use the word intentionally as the Minister is known for his quiet spoken and gentlemanly conduct.

He said the insults against him personally in seeking to pass an updated version of the Legal Practitioners Law in order to legitimize these un-named firms’ current questionable practices are one thing but trying to undermine the industry when the allegations “have no merit whatsoever is reckless and irresponsible”.

In an interview Panton gave to CNS he said “the independent members have been told by the attorney general and other legal authorities that there is no evidence that any firm has breached legislation relating to the offices they have overseas”.

Seeing that both of Cayman’s law societies support the new legislation one can only make the assumption the reason most of the opposition members in the LA oppose the bill is purely political. To shout foul when both societies polled their members and claim the Bill does not protect local attorneys reeks of politicizing. Their motives are indeed suspect.

The Cayman Compass quoted Panton as saying, “These two MLAs are not only wrong in law, but wrong in principle as well,” Panton said. “Their actions are grossly irresponsible when international perception is critical to our continued success as a country. This motion is an attack on our financial services industry and an example of personal political agendas being placed ahead of the interests of thousands of Caymanians in the industry and, in fact, given the significance to our economy, the interests of the country as a whole.”

Well said Minister Panton.

The motion is indeed ludicrous and I hope all voters show their displeasure at the polls. Both these MLA’s are not standing in my electoral district so all I can shout at them is “Shame”.


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