May 27, 2023

Training for JPs Commences

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Some attendeeswebTo promote new regulations that are expected to be formalised early this year, the Office of the Deputy Governor has begun a mandatory training programme for some 200 Justices of the Peace (JPs).

Addressing the JPs at the first training session on 8 January 2014, Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson, Cert. Hon., JP, reiterated their vital role in the administration of justice, good governance and upholding the reputation of the Cayman Islands.

The upcoming regulations call for conducting a more updated and extended training programme to assist and streamline JPs’ work, especially in view of constitutional changes. The regulations also provide for update training every three years, he noted.

While the unremunerated position of JP has a status, it is not an honour but one involving serious duties and responsibilities which help to preserve the rule of law, the regulations state.

The proposed regulations will introduce a code of conduct for JPs that deals with the provision of services, conduct and integrity, as well as confidentiality. The document also covers the nomination and appointment of JPs, and sets out a requirement for training, Strategic Adviser in the Office of the Deputy Governor, Mr. Peter Gough explained.

Attorney Ms Clyte Linwood is the trainer for all the sessions.

Module I of the training took place on Wednesday, 8 January 2014 at the Seafarers’ Hall in Prospect from 4.00 to 6.00 pm. Module II follows Wednesday (15 January 2014) at the same venue and times.

The two modules will be repeated on consecutive Wednesdays until 28 May, with the exception of Ash Wednesday on 5 March. (The proposed regulations are attached to this release).

Photo captions: Photos by Bina Mani

Some attendees: Some of the JPs at the training take a look at the new regulations.





  1. Introduction.

Although the office of Justice of the Peace (JP) does hold a status, the position is not an honour but one involving serious duties and responsibilities   assisting to preserve the rule of law. When considering a person for nomination the most important consideration is the nominee’s personal suitability for appointment. Equally important is the need for additional JPs in the area the person resides or works. The purpose of the appointment is not merely symbolic it is not to bestow an honour on a deserving citizen but to meet a public need.

  1. Criteria for Nomination

All nominees must:

    1. Have no criminal record i.e. convictions for offences of a serious nature or a record of persistent minor offences.
    2. Have a sufficient level of literacy in English to be able to deal competently with a wide range of official documents.
    3. Have the ability to make good judgments
    4. Not be an un-discharged bankrupt, serving policeman, public officer that has the power of arrest, prison officer, or retired policeman (retired in the preceding 5 years).
  1. Nomination Process
    1. Nominations for persons to be appointed as JPs will only be accepted from registered voters.
    2. Nominations will only be accepted when made on the prescribed form as attached in Schedule 1 to these regulations.
    3. The nomination form should be accompanied by:
  1.                                                i.     A reference letter from two referees who must be registered voters or have been resident on the islands for 10 years
  2.                                               ii.     A curriculum vitae.
    1. The nomination form and attachments must be submitted to the Clerk of Court who will acknowledge receipt.
    2. The Clerk of Court will forward copies of the nomination form and the attachments to the Chief Justice and the President of the Justices of Peace Association and Attorney General for comments
    3. The Clerk of the Court will carryout a due diligence exercise and background check on the nominee, including a police report.
    4. Once consultation responses are received and the background check acquired,   the Clerk of Court shall interview the nominee, explaining the duties and responsibilities of the role of JP.
    5. If the reports and the result of the interview indicate that the nominee is suitable, the Chief Justice shall approve the nominee to participate in training.
    6. Following the nominees completion of the training and after further consultation the Chief Justice will send all documentation to the Governor with a recommendation.
  1. Appointment
    1. The Governor, having considered the comments of the Chief Justice and the JP Association and proof that the prescribed training course has been satisfactorily undertaken shall decide on the appointment.
    2. If the nominee is unsuccessful the Governor will inform him/her as soon as practicable.
    3. If the nominee is successful an offer will be made in writing a copy to the Attorney General to prepare the instrument The nominee must agree to undertake refresher training every three years. Once a formal acceptance is received an Instrument of Appointment will be prepared in the format attached in Schedule 2.
    4. The Governor will sign the Instrument of Appointment by warrant under his hand and the Public Seal and send a copy to the successful candidate together with the code of conduct and a copy to the Clerk of Courts
  1. Swearing in and Gazetting
    1. On receipt of the Instrument of Appointment the Clerk of Court will arrange to swear in the new JP and the Oath of Allegiance and Judicial Oath will be sworn in the format attached in Schedule 4.
    2. Once the oath has been administered the Clerk of the Court will inform the Chief Justice and the JP Association and arrange for the name to be added to the Roll of Justices and the publication of the appointment in the gazette.
    3. An official stamp will be provided.
  1. Code of Conduct

The JP must observe the following code of conduct, failure to do so may result removal from the Roll of Justices:

    1. Access to services
  1.                                                i.      A JP must not unreasonably refuse to provide JP services and must treat all persons seeking JP services with courtesy, dignity and respect.
  2.                                               ii.      A JP must deal with requests for JP services in a timely manner.
  3.                                                i.     A JP must not engage in unlawful activities or should not conduct themselves in such a manner as to bring the office of JP into disrepute.
  4.                                               ii.     A JP must keep safe and must not reveal information which is private, confidential or commercially sensitive and which the JP has obtained in the course of providing JP services, unless authorised by law.
  5.                                             iii.     A JP must remain independent and impartial when providing JP services.
  6.                                             iv.     If a JP has a personal, family, financial or business interest in a matter which he will required to act, the JP must disclose the interest to the person seeking JP services or decline to provide JP services in that matter.
  7.                                               v.      If a JP’s is removed from the Roll of Justices the JP must immediately cease providing JP services.
  8.                                                i.     A JP is not permitted to charge a fee or accept a gift for providing JP services.
  9.                                               ii.      A JP must not use the title of JP to advance or appear to advance his/her own business, commercial or personal interests, but a JP may use the title of JP after his or her name on a business card or letterhead.
    1. Conduct and integrity
    1. Financial and personal benefit
    1. Knowledge and competence
  1.                                                i.     A JP must be familiar with and follow the instructions for JP services outlined in the law, regulations and handbook.
  2.                                               ii.      When providing JP services, a JP must clearly indicate his/her full name and signature on the document.
  3.                                             iii.     A JP must never witness a document unless the JP is satisfied as to the identity of the person and the JP has seen the person sign the document in the JP’s presence.
  4.                                             iv.     Where the Laws of the Legislative Assembly provides that a declaration or instrument be signed or attested by a JP, the JP must do so in accordance with any instructions under that law and any requirements on the declaration or instrument.
  5.                                               v.      A JP must not offer legal advice in his or her capacity as a JP
  6.                                                i.     The Clerk of the Court must notify the Governor in writing as soon as practicable of a JP :
    1.  being convicted of a criminal offence
    2. being found to have acted dishonestly by any tribunal
    3. becoming bankrupt or applying for relief of a similar nature
  7.                                               ii.     The Commissioner of Police must notify the Governor in writing as soon as practicable of a JP being charged with a criminal offence.
  8.                                             iii.     A JP must provide written notification to the Clerk of Court of a change of his/her:
    1.  name
    2.  postal and/or email address
    3. telephone number on which the JP can be contacted in relation to JP services.
    1. Notifications
  1. Training

All existing JPs shall undertake training within a year of the regulations coming into force, failure to do so without a valid reason, may result in removal of the JP from the Roll of Justices.

All JPs shall be required to attend update training every three years.

  1. Dismissal, Suspension or Resignation
    1. Dismissal

The Governor will establish a Tribunal, chaired by the Chief Justice or a Grand Court Judge as designated to conduct a hearing. After a fair hearing in which each party is given the opportunity to respond to the evidence against them, the Governor may direct a JP to be removed from the Roll of Justices acting in his or her discretion for inability to discharge the function of the office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) or for misbehaviour or from contravention of the code of conduct. In the event of removal on the basis misbehaviour of contravention of code of conduct the use of the designation shall not be used. The Governor shall direct the Clerk of Court to gazette the removal.

    1.  Suspension

A JP who is charged with a serious offence that carries a penalty of imprisonment or may bring the office into disrepute may be suspended pending the outcome of the court case.

    1. Resignation

If the JP wishes to resign, he or she shall do so in writing to the Governor, on receipt, the Governor shall instruct the Clerk of Court to gazette the removal.

If the JP on retirement has served for minimum 10 years, he or she can request to retain the JP designation. The Governor may award the JP (Retired) designation by letter to the retiree. The Governor’s decision shall be gazetted.

  1. Record Keeping

JPs shall keep a written record of all signatures witnessed land transfers witnessed and warrants issued and all occasions when JP services are refused, giving reasons on the prescribed form in Schedule 3. These records shall be submitted to the Clerk of Courts on an annual basis and on dismissal or retirement of the JP the records shall be secured by the Clerk of Court.

  1. Complaints

Any person may make a complaint about the conduct of a justice of the peace to the Clerk of the Court. If the complaint is not frivolous or vexatious, the Clerk of the Court should bring the complaint to the attention of the JP concerned. The complaint and the response from the JP shall be forwarded to the Attorney General with a recommendation of whether an enquiry is necessary.

If the Attorney General advises the Governor that an enquiry is necessary and the Governor agrees with the recommendation, the Governor may instruct the Chief Justice to appoint a Magistrate to chair a tribunal which would also include two JPs nominated by the JP Association.

The Chair of the tribunal shall submit a report and recommendation to the Governor within 30 days.


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