It is important that the judgments of the courts are made publicly available, as they form part of the law of the land in relation to the principles they decide. The “precedents” established by court decisions have to be followed by future courts and it is therefore crucial that they are collected together and the most important ones published and thoroughly indexed. They are in daily use by the Cayman courts and by the attorneys who practise before them.
The Cayman Islands Law Reports (‘CILR’) were first published in the mid-1980s. They now contain reports of the most significant decisions in Cayman law from 1952 to the present day (with notes of some earlier cases back to the start of the 20th century). Coverage is given to precedents created by the modern courts — the Grand Court, the Court of Appeal and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London — and also to older cases in courts to which Cayman appeals no longer lie, the Supreme Court of Jamaica, the Court of Appeal of Jamaica and the Federal Supreme Court.
Searching the CILR on The Law Courts’ website has been made more versatile by offering different searches to suit the needs of users with different experience:
From the CILR search page, it is possible to search the CILR by pre-defined criteria such as legal subject category and sub-category, date of judgment, names of the parties, name of judge, name of court, etc.
From the same page, you can search the content of the reports by entering your own words or phrases into the free-text search box—which delivers results which are not restricted to the criteria listed above.
The user who prefers to browse will be able to find judgments by using the drop-down lists, which will give access to cases by name (Cases Reported & Cited), by volume (Cases by Volume), by subject-matter (Subject-matter Index), by Cayman and overseas statutes considered (Legislation Construed), and by reference to the courts’ use of the procedural rules (Grand Court Rules Construed).
Hard copies of the CILR may be purchased by non-Cayman residents directly from the publishers in the United Kingdom (Law Reports International, Eden House, 2 St. Aldate’s Courtyard, Oxford OX1 1BN) or by Cayman residents through the secretary to the Chief Justice at (345) 244-3835 or Patricia.Palmer@gov.ky
The Law Courts’ website makes available, in electronic form, judgments taken from the printed CILR.
For other court records, please see at Frequently Asked Questions.