The House of Parliament announced that at 4:30pm on July 21, 2022, a special lecture will be hosted on Separation of Powers and will be presented by Dr. The Hon. Lloyd Barnett, O.J, LL.B (Hons), LL.M, Ph.D. (London), LL.D(Hons)(UTech),LL.D (Hons)(UWI) in the Chamber of the House of Parliament.
“Separation of Powers” is an interesting topic as the concept is intended to create a system of checks and balances for governments, with the hope of preventing a concentration of power in any one area.
The typical separation of powers falls into three branches: legislature, executive and judiciary. Under Cayman’s constitution, the legislature consists of Her Majesty and Parliament. Subject to the constitution, Her Majesty and Parliament may make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Cayman Islands.
Our constitution also states that the executive authority of the Cayman Islands is vested in Her Majesty and, subject to the constitution, the executive authority of the Cayman Islands shall be exercised on behalf of Her Majesty by the Government, consisting of the Governor as Her Majesty’s representative and the Cabinet, either directly or through public officers.
In relation to the third branch of “separation of powers,” the judiciary is the system of courts that interprets, defends, and applies the law to the facts of each case in the name of the government. For emphasis, the judiciary does not “make law” (“making law” is a function of Her Majesty and Parliament discussed above). As to who leads the judiciary in the Cayman Islands, the Cayman constitution states that the Chief Justice is recognised as the head of the judiciary of the Cayman Islands.
Regarding the speaker visiting Parliament to discuss the important topic of the “separation of powers,” Dr. Barnett has a long list of achievements, having practiced as an attorney in Jamaica and several Commonwealth Caribbean countries and having been past President of the Jamaican Bar Association and the Organisation of Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Associations. He is also a former Senator of the Jamaica legislature and the author of The Constitutional Law of Jamaica (OUP) and The Jamaican Constitution – Basic Facts and Questions and has published several legal articles, particularly, in the area of human rights and public law. While Dr. Barnett is scheduled to lecture in Parliament on the important topic of separation of powers, it is also noted that, subject to the relevant work permit and limited admission being granted, Dr. Barnett has also been retained as lead counsel in a constitutional case filed against the Cayman Islands government, the initial hearings for which are likely to take place this summer. Persons who filed the constitutional complaint and challenging the government in that potentially high profile case include Alric Lindsay and others.