Cayman Islands |
GDP: $2.35 billion, GDP per head: $48, 704
Key industries: financial services, tourism
Associate Member of CARICOM
471. The three Cayman Islands are situated 180
miles north-west of Jamaica in the Caribbean Sea and 150 miles
south of Cuba. Grand Cayman, which is much larger than the others,
lies 80 miles to the west of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, which
are separated from each other by a channel five miles wide. 94%
of the population lives on Grand Cayman, with around 1,822 people
residing on Cayman Brac and some 115 on Little Cayman. Offshore
reefs and a mangrove fringe surround most of the Islands' coasts.
472. No country attempted to colonise the islands
before 1670, when Spain ceded the Cayman Islands and Jamaica to
Britain by the Treaty of Madrid. After 1863 the Caymans formally
became a dependency of Jamaica and the legislature of Jamaica
had the final say over the locally passed laws of the islands.
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman were not settled until 1833, and
it was not until 1887 that a formal administrative connection
between them and Grand Cayman was achieved. In 1959 the Islands
ceased to be a dependency of Jamaica and became a unit territory
within the Federation of the West Indies. When the Federation
was dissolved in 1962, the Cayman Islands chose to remain under
the British Crown.
473. The Cayman Islands have a large measure
of self-government. The Governor retains responsibility for the
civil service, defence, external affairs and internal security.
The present constitution, which came into effect in 1972, provides
for a system of government headed by a Governor, a Cabinet and
a Legislative Assembly. Unlike other Caribbean Overseas Territories
there is no Chief Minister, but a Leader of Government Business.
The Legislative Assembly comprises the Speaker, who acts as President,
three official members (the Chief Secretary, the Financial Secretary
and the Attorney General) and 15 elected members. The Cabinet
consists of the Governor as Chairman, three official members and
five members drawn from the elected members of the Assembly. A
wide constitutional review started in 2001. It was put on hold
early in 2004 pending elections that year. A new four phase constitutional
review programme began in March 2007. A referendum on a draft
constitution will be held in July 2008.
474. The People's Progressive Movement (PPM)
are in government and the United Democratic Party (UDP) in opposition.
The next elections are due to be held in 2009.
475. The Committee received seven submissions
from the Cayman Islands, including from the Leader of Government
Business and the Complaints Commissioner.
476. The Committee heard oral evidence from the
Leader of Government Business in December 2007.
477. A delegation of the Committee visited the
Cayman Islands in March 2008.
- We recommend that the Government
should closely monitor the conditions of prisoners, illegal immigrants
and migrant workers in Overseas Territories to ensure rights are
not being abused. (para 268)
- We conclude that although extending voting rights
to non-Belongers will be politically difficult for Overseas Territory
governments, the Government should at least encourage local administrations
to review this issue with regard to non-Belongers who have resided
in an Overseas Territory for a reasonable period. We recommend
that the Government should propose that non-Belongers' rights
be an agenda item for the next OTCC. (para 275)
- We recommend that the FCO should encourage Bermuda,
the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and Gibraltar
to continue to make progress in improving financial regulation,
in particular in arrangements for investigating money laundering.