Topic Archives: Bermuda Government

With effect from 1st October 2016, the governmental departments responsible for the oversight of the aviation and shipping sectors became “quangos” newly titled as the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority and the Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority.

The aim of granting such status is to boost revenue from the registration of both vessels and aircraft, by making Bermuda more competitive in the global shipping and aviation markets.
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The employment tribunal system was established to provide an employee the regime in which to make a formal complaint that their employer has violated the Employment Act 2000 (the “Act”). The process was designed to encourage the parties to settle their differences wherever possible. If the parties cannot reach an agreement and there are reasonable grounds to suggest the employer may have violated the Act, the parties proceed to the Employment Tribunal for a hearing which lacks the sometimes daunting formalities of the courts. The trouble with the process in Bermuda is that over the course of the last several years, the Act has been interpreted in such a way as to limit the role of the Employment Inspectors, pushing many, if not all complaints, through to the Employment Tribunal. This erodes important principles of justice and the pendulum has swung so far toward due process for the employee that parties are no longer on equal footing.

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Background

The Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”) was enacted on 15 July 2016. However, it is not anticipated to come into force until 2018. This is to provide organisations with time to prepare for PIPA’s implementation. An independent Privacy Commissioner is due to be appointed shortly to assist with this process and ensure compliance with PIPA once it is in force.
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A Bill to protect the personal information of Bermuda residents – the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) – has been passed in the House of Assembly.

Last year the Government of Bermuda, under the Ministry of Economic Development, introduced a Draft Model Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) that fortified privacy protection rights for all residents. The PIPA Draft Model was sent out for public consultation from July 10th to August 17th, 2015. It covered personal information in both the online and offline environments (ie. filing cabinets), including provisions for the protection of children’s personal information, the use of “sensitive” information such as details about one’s race, religion, sexual orientation, etc, and access to medical records.

This very timely and important piece of legislation passed in the House on Friday July 15th.
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In The Allied Trust and Allied Development Partners Ltd v Attorney General and Minister for Home Affairs [2015] SC Civ (Bda) 61, dated 24 August 2015, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Bermuda ruled in favour of our client, the Minister of Home Affairs, and struck out a constitutional claim made by the Allied Trust and Allied Development Partners Limited (the “Applicants”) in relation to the voiding of the Waterfront agreements. Following a Notice of Motion for Leave to Appeal filed in September 2015, the Applicants were granted leave to appeal by the Chief Justice on 20 November 2015.

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