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Government pushes on with Lawyers’ Bill after meeting fails to materialise

Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin says government will continue its fight to modernise the Legal Practitioners Bill even after Government failed for a second time to secure bi-partisan discussions on Monday (March 13.)
Opposition Leader Hon McKeeva Bush, who had initially suggested bi-partisan talks that were turned down, says more work needs to be done before he can support the bill.

“It is not our intent to withdraw the bill. We believe a bill, a law is critically important to Cayman,” Mr McLaughlin said.
The Premier is pushing forward with the Bill after attempts to meet with members from the other side of the aisle fall flat.

“Members of the House ought to be able to sit down to discuss these issue so we can narrow them. We cannot always reach consensus but that we can improve the process,” Mr McLaughlin said.

However the Opposition Leader said he saw little value in Monday’s meeting as it would not have addressed the real concerns.

“I cannot support the bill the way it is. It is madness, there is a 136 amendments from the opposition side and 60 with Government,” Mr Bush contended.

He says issues of discrimination pointed out in the debate should be addressed and the bill in its present form does not do that. But Premier McLaughlin said those cases of discrimination occurred under the current status quo.

“So if anyone believes the absence of a bill is somehow going to improve the lot of Caymanian lawyers they are making a huge mistake. We have to get to a new modern piece of legislation,” Mr McLaughlin said.
To this end Mr Bush is proposing passage of only the areas requiring regulation of the industry and those for the Caribbean Action Task Force Assessment later this year.

The other areas, he said, should be deferred to the new Parliament.
We reached out to the Independent bench for comment on the meeting. We were told a statement would be released on their position.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 16 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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