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In 2004, the International Division was formally implemented with the advent of the Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Law (2004 Revision) (CJICL). The current Revision is the 2015 Revision, Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Law (2015 Revision). This new law enables mutual legal assistance to be provided at the investigative stage of a matter where the conduct would constitute an offence in the Cayman Islands. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions may provide assistance to those countries that are party to the Vienna Convention as well as countries which are listed in the Schedule to the Law. The nature of the assistance offered may be in the form of restraint/confiscation and forfeiture applications as well as gathering of evidence and extradition.



Making An Application Under The EPOJ

Letter Of Request

Designated foreign countries may request the assistance of the Cayman Islands under the EPOJ.

The letter of request must originate from a Court or Tribunal exercising jurisdiction in a country or territory outside the Cayman Islands.

The requesting court or tribunal must forward the letter of request to the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands through the Central Authority as defined in the Hague Convention.

In practise the request is sent through diplomatic channels to His Excellency the Governor of the Cayman Islands, Government Administration Building, George Town, Grand Cayman, British West Indies.

In preparing the Letter of Request the requesting court should ensure that the nature of the proceedings commenced against a person or entity (whether civil or criminal) are described in detail, and in the case of criminal proceedings the precise criminal charge brought against the accused person should be particularised.

The request should specify in detail the precise nature of the evidence sought (e.g. specific information on X's bank account #00000 at Q bank), why the evidence is relevant to the proceedings and the issue in the proceedings which the evidence will seek to prove.

NOTE: Requests that do not satisfy the above criteria may be returned for additional details.

Civil Proceedings

The letter of request must originate from a Court or Tribunal exercising jurisdiction in a territory outside the Cayman Islands.

The evidence that is being requested must relate to civil proceedings instituted before the requesting court or whose institution before that court is being contemplated.

The following orders can be sought in a request under civil proceedings:

  • the examination of witnesses, either orally or in writing;
  • the production of documents;
  • the inspection, photographing, preservation, custody or detention of any property;
  • the taking of samples of any property and the carrying out of any experiments on or with any property;
  • the medical examination of any person;
  • the taking and testing of samples of blood from any person.

A person cannot be compelled to give any evidence under an order that they would not have been compelled to give in civil proceedings in the Cayman Islands or in the country where the requesting court exercises its jurisdiction.

For information on the restraint of property, please refer to the "POCL" page.

Criminal Proceedings

The letter of request must originate from a Court or Tribunal exercising jurisdiction in a territory outside the Cayman Islands.

The evidence that is being requested must relate to criminal proceedings instituted before the requesting court. Evidence cannot be requested in criminal proceedings at the investigatory stage under this law.

The following orders can be sought in a request under criminal proceedings:

the examination of witnesses, either orally or in writing;

the production of documents

A person cannot be compelled to give any evidence under an order that they would not have been compelled to give in criminal proceedings in the Cayman Islands or in the country where the requesting court exercises its jurisdiction.

Any documents ordered to be produced must be particular documents specified in the order. For example, in the case of U. S. v Carver (1982) the Court of Appeal in the Cayman Islands held that "all correspondence, ledgers, day books and account books used (by the bank) in the ordinary course of business" for recording the transactions concerning the receipt of particular sums of money on particular days were particular documents as specified in s.2(4)(b) of the Schedule to the Order. Whereas, asking for the examination of "all other books, documents and papers" was too vague and would lead to fishing expeditions.

The jurisdiction and powers of the court to make an order under the EPOJ are subject to the relevant local legislation.

International Proceedings

His Excellency the Governor may by order direct that the EPOJ also apply to international proceedings.

An order under this section may direct that sections 89 to 95 inclusive of the Penal Code shall have effect in relation to international proceedings to which the order applies as it has effect in relation to a judicial proceeding in a tribunal of a foreign state.

International proceedings means proceeding before the International Court of Justice or any other court, tribunal, commission, body or authority (consisting of one or more persons) which in pursuance of any international agreement or any resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, exercises any jurisdiction or performs any functions of a judicial nature or by way of arbitration, conciliation or inquiry or is appointed (whether permanent or temporary) for the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction or performing any such functions.

Processing Of Request

Upon receipt of the request by His Excellency the Governor in accordance with the Convention, the request is transmitted to the Attorney General who will then instruct counsel in his Chambers to make the application under Order 70 of the Grand Court Rules.

The application is made by way of an Originating Summons with supporting affidavit (prepared by Crown Counsel) and usually accompanied by a Draft Order setting out the nature of the relief sought and the manner in which the evidence sought is to be obtained (e.g. receipt of documents or taking of deposition).

  • If the application is granted by the Grand Court judge, the procedure identified in the Order of the court will be followed and, in due course, the evidence will be transmitted by the Clerk of the Grand Court directly to the requesting Court.

In some instance, after the order has been made by the Grand Court, the parties who are subject to the order must apply under s.4 of the Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law to the Grand Court for directions within the time specified before any confidential information can be disclosed or any evidence given. The Grand Court will determine to what extent and under what conditions the confidential information can be given or produced.

Last Updated 2018-12-10