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.
A recent decision of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Bermuda given on 23 November 2015, illustrates the importance of adherence to Human Rights’ provisions in the employment context. In what has been referred to as a landmark decision, the Chief Justice upheld a decision of a Board of Inquiry that Mr. Harkin (the “Appellant”) “was discriminated against on the grounds of his place of origin in that the promotion procedure was applied to him a prejudicial manner by virtue of his being a contract worker”.
In early July of this year, I wrote a blog post detailing two proposed Criminal Law Reform bills: the Disclosure and Criminal Reform Act 2015 (the “Disclosure Act”) and the Criminal Jurisdiction and Procedure Act 2015 (the “Procedure Act”). At that point, the Bills had been passed by the House of Assembly on 5 June 2015 and remained to be debated in the Senate.
For a diversity of reasons, many of us are unwilling to properly contemplate our own beliefs and preferences concerning the subject of end-of-life care. Some of us are young enough that we have no sense of our own mortality – we are invincible and have the advantage of a seemingly infinite time horizon to get serious about the serious stuff. Others of us are older and although we want to be responsible adults and save our families from the stress of making life and death decisions on our behalf, we also worry that we may be tempting fate by making plans. The same holds true for those of us suffering from chronic and/or terminal illness. At the end of life, whenever and however that may unfold, the best that we can hope to achieve is death with comfort and dignity, in whatever manner each of us conceives of that. There is quite possibly no more important issue about which to exercise self-determination. For this reason, for the purposes of enshrining our end of life preferences, so there may be no doubt of our wishes, everyone should have an “Advance Directive for Healthcare” or “Living Will”.
None of us likes to consider the possibility that we may one day find ourselves unable to manage our own affairs. It is a boon that we can expect to live longer, but longer life often involves a loss of independence, and the possibility of that loss of independence necessitates forward planning. It is essential to ensure that someone can take up your day to day responsibilities in the event that you lose physical or mental capacity and one of the simplest and most cost-effective tools available for these purposes is the Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPOA”).