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Case details

Integrity Commission (Appellant) v Kikivarakis (as official liquidator TCI Bank Ltd (in liquidation)) (Respondent) (Turks and Caicos Islands)

Case ID: JCPC 2020/0080

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal for the Turks and Caicos Islands

Case summary

Issue

This appeal concerns the power of the Integrity Commission to issue a summons to a third party to produce documents. Can this power be exercised generally to assist the Integrity Commission in carrying out its inquiries and investigations or can it only be exercised in connection with a formal inquiry? The appeal raises three issues:

  1. Are the restrictions the courts below placed on the power of the Integrity Commission to issue a summons inconsistent with the discharge by the Integrity Commission of its function as an institution protecting good governance under section 97 of the Constitution of the Turks and Caicos Islands?
  2. Did the Integrity Commission have the power to issue the summons?
  3. Does the Confidential Relationships Ordinance apply to confidential information given to or received by any person in accordance with the Integrity Commission Ordinance (the "ICO")?

Facts

The Integrity Commission is one of six institutions that protects good governance in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Mr Anthony Kikivarakis is the court-appointed liquidator of TCI Bank Limited (the "Bank").

The ICO requires certain past and present members of the Turks and Caicos Islands’ House of Assembly and senior government officials (together referred to as ‘Specified Persons in Public Life’) to file declarations with the Integrity Commission every two years, including financial disclosures. On 25 August 2015, as part of the Integrity Commission’s function to verify the financial disclosures made, the Director of the Integrity Commission wrote to Mr Kikivarakis (in his capacity as liquidator of the Bank) to request confirmation of any outstanding loans due to the Bank by 21 Specified Persons in Public Life. Mr Kikivarakis refused to provide the information without the consent of the account holders or a court order due to concerns about breaching the duty of confidentiality under the Confidential Relations Ordinance.

The Integrity Commission therefore issued a summons (under sections 20 and 22 of the ICO) which required Mr Kikivarakis to attend and produce documents to the Integrity Commission to assist its investigation into the banking relationship between the Bank and the Specified Persons in Public Life.

Mr Kikivarakis challenged the summons in judicial review proceedings before the Supreme Court of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Supreme Court decided in favour of Mr Kikivarakis and set aside the summons on the basis that the Integrity Commission had no power to issue the summons for a free-standing investigative purpose - a summons could only be issued to verify the declarations and other documents filed with the Integrity Commission in the context of a formal inquiry. The Court of Appeal of the Turks and Caicos Islands agreed with the Supreme Court. The Integrity Commission now appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Integrity Commission for the Turks and Caicos Islands

Respondent(s)

Anthony Kikivarakis (as official liquidator TCI Bank Ltd (in liquidation)

Appeal

Justices

Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Leggatt, Lord Burrows, Lord Stephens, Dame Eleanor King

Hearing start date

28 October 2021

Hearing finish date

28 October 2021