On 22 December 2014, counsel for the Corporation of Hamilton (the “Corporation”) initiated proceedings to challenge the constitutionality of certain amended sections of the Municipalities Act 1923 (the “Act”) (the “Proceedings”).
On 26 January 2015, the Minister of Home Affairs (the “Minister”) exercised his right under section 7B(6) of the Act and provided notice to the Corporation that he intended to assume temporary stewardship of it (the “Stewardship”).
In Canada, the Access to Information Act provides the public the right of access to information under the control of a federal government institution. In the USA, the Freedom of Information Act allows for the disclosure of documents controlled by the United States government to the public. In the UK, the Freedom of Information Act gives the public the right to obtain access to information held by public authorities. In the Cayman Islands, these rights fall under the Freedom of Information Law. In Jamaica, the relevant legislation is the Access to Information Act. In Trinidad and Tobago, it’s the Freedom of Information Act.
Bermuda has moved closer to equivalence under Solvency II (Directive 2009/138/EC) and the retention of EU market access for Bermuda commercial (re)insurers. The encouraging news follows the recent consultation paper published by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) which is focused on the equivalence assessment of the Bermuda supervisory system (EIOPA-CP-14/042). EIOPA has endorsed certain key aspects of Bermuda’s regulatory and supervisory regime subject to certain caveats. A notable area of required improvement includes those rules applicable to the supervision of commercial life (re)insurers. It is, however, acknowledged that the BMA has implemented, or plans to implement, rule changes to address these concerns. EIOPA’s advice is limited to the commercial class of (re)insurer being 3A, 3B, 4, C, D and E and (re)insurance groups. This is significant as it preserves the Bermuda Monetary Authority’s (BMA) risk based and proportionate approach to the regulation of the commercial market as distinct from its captive market.
2014 also saw the introduction of the Trustee (Special Provisions) Amendment Act 2014 (the “Act”) which provides statutory clarity and certainty with respect to the powers settlors can reserve or grant over a trust without calling into question the validity of the trust structure. The powers enshrined in this legislation are expected to attract a wide class of settlors from both North America and Europe and further enhance Bermuda’s reputation as the offshore jurisdiction of choice for trusts. The Act amends the Trusts (Special Provision) Act 1989 by inserting a new section 2A which sets out an express list of certain interests and powers that can be retained by a settlor or granted to a third party, including the following: