Case date 2022-03-22
Case type Public Law
Practice area Litigation
Delroy Duncan KC and Ryan Hawthorne were instructed by the Attorney General and Governor of Bermuda in the Court of Appeal. The Corporation of Hamilton was represented by Sir. Jeffrey Jowell KCMG KC. The appeal involved a number of significant constitutional issues such as: (1) the enforcement of section 1 of the Constitution; (2) the scope of protection of the law within section 1 of the Constitution; (3) the significance of the rule of law when applying the Constitution; (4) the scope of the right to freedom of expression and whether it incorporates the right to vote in a municipal election; and (5) the scope of the deprivation of property provisions in section 13 of the Constitution.
The Court of Appeal applied the doctrine of precedent and provided clarity on an inconsistent line of Bermuda cases, ultimately finding that section 1 (and the protection of the law provision) of the Constitution is not independently enforceable in Bermuda and that there was no Privy Council authority that undermines that position. The Court of Appeal also found that the right to freedom of expression did not incorporate the right to vote in a municipal election. The Corporation of Hamilton has appealed to the Privy Council.