Tue | Sep 21, 2021

Cayman chief justice backtracks on barring Wildman

Published:Thursday | April 22, 2021 | 12:17 AM

Cayman Islands Chief Justice Anthony Smellie has reversed a recent decision barring Jamaican attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman from practising in the country.

Wildman was admitted to the Caymanian Bar on Wednesday at a Zoom hearing.

The attorney is to represent 46-year-old Jamaican Rohan Gidarisingh, who was convicted in 2017 of rape and sentenced to 13 years.

High Court Judge Cheryll Richards, who is a Jamaican, admitted Wildman following an application made by British lawyer Robert Wheeler, who is practising there.

“I am humbled by the chief justice’s decision to overrule himself and allow me to represent the convicted man,” Wildman told The Gleaner on Wednesday.

“CJ Smellie has reconsidered. He has now approved your admission,” is the message Wheeler sent to Wildman on Tuesday after the decision was made.

In turning down the application last week, Chief Justice Smellie, also Jamaican, had raised concerns as to Wildman’s application that he should be regarded by virtue of his long standing at the Bar and his experience as equivalent to that of a Queen’s Counsel.

The jurist said then that the court was entitled to know if Wildman had applied to become a Queen’s Counsel in Jamaica. He had also suggested that affidavits from judges should have been submitted to support Wildman’s application.

Wildman disclosed that he had applied up to October last year but had not received a response.