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Cayman Islands To Replace 'Secrecy Law'

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
08 July, 2016

A bill to replace the Cayman Island's controversial Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law, often referred to as its "secrecy law," has been submitted to the territory's legislative assembly.

The proposed Confidential Information Disclosure Law revises the circumstances in which a person may be authorized to disclose confidential information without the express consent of the person to whom the duty of confidentiality is owed.

It also clarifies the local competent authorities to whom information can be disclosed and under what circumstances.

The criminal sanctions that are part of the current Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law have been removed but the new bill retains the common law civil liabilities.

Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton said the Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law had been negative for the jurisdiction's reputation and said replacing it would detract unwanted and unfair criticism.

He said the removal of the controversial criminal sanctions clause of the "secrecy law" was not something he felt was necessary. He added that the clause "had never actually been utilized, no one has ever been charged with a criminal offence under this law in terms of the unlawful disclosure of information."

Panton assured the legislative assembly that the new law would not put the Cayman Islands at an international disadvantage.

Under the current legal framework, anyone who divulges, willfully obtains, or attempts to obtain confidential information covered by the scope of the law could face a fine of KYD5,000 (USD6,100) and face imprisonment of two years.

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