Monthly Archives: December 2015

The proposed amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act 1997 (POCA) (and related legislation) under the Proceeds of Crime Amendment Bill 2015 require careful reading. The amendments proposed in this Bill introduce several important amendments in a piece meal fashion in relation to several distinct statutory régimes. The form and content of the amendments are difficult to follow because you have to read them alongside the existing legislation, and the amendments are not readily comprehensible in the wider context of the existing provisions. Eventually the various Acts which are to be amended by this Bill will be published in a revised form that includes the amendments and deletes the sections that are to be repealed and replaced. Until then, make sure you have all relevant legislation open in front of you when you read the Bill.

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In an update to my post from January, ‘Another Step in the Right Direction: Bermuda Solvency II Equivalence‘, Bermuda has now been awarded full equivalence under the tough EU Solvency II regulations by the European Commission. After years of work, the Island is now one of only two non-EU jurisdictions to be recognised as in line with new insurance rules. For further information, please see this news article in the Royal Gazette.

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As of 29 February 2016, same-sex partners of Bermudians will have the same right to reside and work in Bermuda as spouses of Bermudians. This is following the landmark decision of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Ian Kawaley, in Bermuda Bred Company v The Minister of Home Affairs and The Attorney-General handed down on 27 November 2015. The Chief Justice held certain provisions of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 (the “Immigration Act”) to be inoperative to the extdent that they discriminate against same-sex partners of Bermudians in stable relationships on the right to reside and employment rights when compared with spouses of Bermudians under those provisions.

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Prior to 2011 immigration appeals from decisions made by the Minister were dealt with by the Appeal Tribunal within the Cabinet. In 2011, the Immigration Appeal Tribunal (the “IAT”) was established as an independent body by the Bermuda Immigration & Protection Amendment Act 2011. However, it was only following the implementation of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection (Appeal) Rules 2013 (the “Appeal Rules”) that the IAT was convened.

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Following the July 2015 ruling in Bermuda Press (Holdings) Ltd. v Registrar of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice subsequently issued a Practice Direction (No. 23 of 2015) regarding access to court records in civil cases. In the Bermuda Press case, discussed in this post, the Chief Justice had noted that access rights would still be subject to any valid objections from the parties in the case concerned. The Chief Justice had also specifically noted that the discretionary power will “rarely if ever” apply in ordinary civil or commercial cases where only private interests were in play.

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