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Appointed Day: 6 November

HE the Governor, Mr. Stuart Jack, CVO

(The text of the Governor's Throne Speech is on the FCO's UK in Cayman website.)

His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Stuart Jack, CVO, announced this morning (Friday, 2 October) in the Throne Speech that the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009, with the exception of the Bill of Rights, will come into force on Friday, 6 November.

The Bill of Rights will come into effect on 6 November 2012, with certain provisions regarding the treatment of prisoners coming into effect on 6 November 2013.

On Friday, 6 November, which is referred to as the "Appointed Day," a formal ceremony at the Legislative Assembly will mark the commencement of the new Constitution.

Included in these proceedings will be the swearing-in of the Premier, the Deputy Premier and the Deputy Governor. Other events are also planned to celebrate the occasion.

"I am pleased to announce this historic occasion, which was preceded by considerable public debate and the first Cayman Islands referendum in May," said the Governor. "I encourage continued public involvement and awareness of the changes as the new Constitution is implemented."

The Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 was approved by Her Majesty The Queen in the Privy Council on 10 June, and was laid before the British Parliament on 17 June.

Since then, the Cayman Islands Government has been preparing for the new Constitution to come into force before the Governor's departure at the end of November.

Preparations, under the leadership of the Honourable Chief Secretary, include the merger of the Portfolio of Finance and the Ministry of Financial Services, which will accommodate the new posts of Minister of Finance and Financial Secretary. Preparations also include the amendment of certain laws to ensure compatibility with the new Constitution; and preparation for the establishment of several constitutional bodies provided for under the new Constitution.

Three of these bodies are the Electoral Boundary Commission; the Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy; and the National Security Council. To help guarantee a smooth transition to the Constitution, the Legislative Assembly is expected to deal with the necessary legislative amendments during October.

From the Appointed Day, a number of other bodies will follow, namely the Constitutional Commission; the Commission for Standards in Public Life; the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; the Human Rights Commission; and Advisory District Councils.

The Governor noted that in carrying out these reforms, every effort will be made to minimise operating costs - for example, through shared facilities and support staff for the new bodies.

The new Constitution, including the roles of the various commissions and posts, may be seen at www.constitution.gov.ky.