As I sat in my hotel room in New York in the early hours of Wednesday, 9th November 2016, having been awoken from my slumber by the screaming and cheering from across the road at the Hilton’s Trump Election Party, my first thought was that the world in which we live will most certainly change once President-Elect Trump vacates his golden palace for a White House early in the new year.
Change for sure, but for the better? And, if so, who is most likely to benefit? Much closer to home, what does it mean for us here in Bermuda?
In an important decision in November 2016, the Insurance Appeals Tribunal (the “IAT”) published in the press the text of its decision in relation to the jurisdiction to award costs in an appeal from a regulatory decision and appeal to the IAT under the Insurance Act 1978 (the “Act”).
Normally in civil litigation the rule is that costs follow the event, and the substantial winner is entitled to an award of costs representing the costs reasonably incurred in the prosecution or defence of the proceedings. The issue arose after the unsuccessful appeal of a party who had been sanctioned by the Insurance Tribunal as to whether the same general rule applied under the statutory formula , which is worded in a wider and more permissive way, allowing the IAT the power to award costs as it “thinks fit” under section 44 D (1) of the Act.
This Act was passed in the first quarter of 2016 but has not yet become effective. It is a lengthy Act with a number of separate and detailed statutory mechanisms which work in conjunction with one another. The purpose of the Act is to address a situation where all or part of a bank’s business encounters financial difficulty or is likely to encounter such difficulty. The Act seeks to provide a mechanism for enabling the orderly transfer of the assets of a distressed bank, and the protection of deposit holders’ interests in keeping with international standards.
The 2015 POCA Amendment Act came into force on 1 January 2016 except for the operation of section 25 in relation to the Register of Directors, which was later brought into effect and operative so that the public Register of Directors must be completed by 31 December 2016.
Our property is ours to give. This belief forms the foundation of the common law principle of testamentary freedom - that by the terms of your last will & testament, you may leave whatever you choose to whomever you choose. In Bermuda, the Wills Act 1988 enshrines this principle at clause 5(1): “...every person may dispose, by will executed in accordance with this Act, of all real estate and all personal estate owned by him at the time of his death.”. Nevertheless, this freedom was never seen as entirely divorced from the context of family obligation, as was eloquently expressed by Chief Justice Cockburn in his judgment in the case of Banks v Goodfellow (1870) 5 LR QB 549, 563-565: