An Act for the Government of the Cayman Islands

[June 22nd, 1863]

Whereas certain Magistrates and other Inhabitants of the Island of Grand Cayman have, from time to time, in Vestry or otherwise, passed, or assumed to pass certain Acts or Resolutions for the Government of the Cayman Islands: And whereas doubts are entertained whether such Acts or Resolutions are of any effect in the said Islands, and by what authority laws may be made for the government of the same; and what laws are actually in force therein, and it is expedient that such doubts should be set at rest: Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-


1-- All Acts or Resolutions heretofore passed, or purporting to have been passed at any meeting of the Magistrates and Representatives, or of the Justices and Vestry, or of the Vestry of the Island of Grand Cayman shall, so soon as a fair copy of the same shall have been signed by the Governor of Jamaica, in verification thereof, be, and be deemed to have been, valid and effectual for all purposes whatever, within the said Cayman Islands, from the date at which the same shall purport to have been passed.

Island Acts valid.

2-- It shall be competent for the Legislature of Jamaica to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the said Islands, and by such laws to alter or repeal all or any of the aforesaid Acts or Resolutions; and also to give to the Justices and Vestry, or other body or bodies in the said Islands, such power of making Laws or Regulations for local purposes within the same, as to the said Legislature may seem fit.

Jamaica Legislature competent to legislate for Caymanas.

3-- Until it shall be otherwise provided by the said Legislature, it shall be lawful for the said Justices and Vestry, in their accustomed manner, or in such other manner as shall be prescribed, in writing, under the hand and seal of the Governor of Jamaica, to make such regulations as to them shall seem fit for the following purposes, that is to say,

Respecting their own constitution and procedure.

Respecting the powers and duties of public officers.

And especially respecting the powers, functions, and procedure of Justices of the Peace, and Officers acting under their authority.

And respecting appeals from the decisions of such Justices to the Supreme Court of Jamaica.

Respecting the establishment, maintenance, discipline, and powers of the Police.

Respecting the management, occupation, and disposal of the public property, or common land.

Respecting the abatement of nuisances, the construction of works of public utility, the making of roads, the cleansing of streets and houses, and other matters affecting the health or convenience of the community.

Respecting the custody of offenders and accused persons.

Respecting the imposition and collection of rates and taxes; and respecting the custody and expenditure thereof.

Provided always, that no Justice of the Peace shall, by virtue of any such Regulation, try any suit or action without the consent of the parties thereto, in which the value of the matter in dispute shall exceed one hundred pounds; nor take cognizance of any capital crime; nor sentence any offender to the payment of a fine of more than fifty pounds, or to imprisonment for a longer term than twelve months.

Cayman Islands may legislate.

Power of one Justice limited.

4-- No Regulation made by such Justices and Vestry, or other Legislative authority in the said Islands, shall take effect until the same shall have been signed by the Officer Administering the Government of Jamaica, in token of his assent thereto; and every such regulation may be disallowed by Her Majesty, by Order in Council, or through one of Her Principal Secretaries of State, and shall cease to be of any effect so soon as the disallowance thereof shall be proclaimed within the said Islands.

Legislative Regulation invalid till signed by Governor of Jamaica, &c.,

and may be disallowed by the Queen.

5-- Except as they may be inconsistent with the aforesaid Acts or Resolutions, and subject to any such alterations as may be made by, or by the authority of, the aforesaid Legislature of Jamaica and to such Regulations as may from time to time be made under authority of this Act, the laws now in force in Jamaica, shall, from the date of this Act, be deemed to be in force in the said Islands, so far as the same shall be applicable to the circumstances thereof.

Jamaica Laws applicable to some extent.

6-- The Officer Administering the Government of Jamaica shall have, as far as may be, the same powers and authorities in respect of the said Islands, as if the same had been part of the Island of Jamaica.

Governor of Jamaica to exercise authority over the Caymanas.

7-- The Supreme Court of Jamaica, and all Officers thereof shall have and exercise, in respect of suits, actions, questions, or prosecutions, arising in the said Islands, which may not be lawfully triable by any authority therein, or which in conformity with any Law or Regulation in force therein, may be referred for the decision of the said Court, the same jurisdiction and power as if the same Islands were part of the Island of Jamaica.

Supreme Court of Jamaica has jurisdiction over the Caymanas.

8-- It shall be lawful for the Supreme Court to entertain appeals from the decisions of a Justice or Justices of the Peace in the said Islands, within such limits as may be prescribed by any Law or Regulation in force in the said Islands; and, by rule of Court, from time to time to make such special provision as the said Court may think requisite for the proper hearing and determination of such suits, actions, prosecutions, and appeals as aforesaid: Provided, that no such rule shall take effect until it shall have been signed by the Officer Administering the Government of Jamaica, in token of his approval thereof.

Legislature of the Cayman Islands to prescribe appeals.