On July 10, 2014, the Centre for Justice presented a conference entitled “Justice Today: Human Rights Since Emancipation” which commemorated the 180 years that have passed since Emancipation in Bermuda.
The conference was organized as part of the Centre’s mandate to promote education in the areas of human rights, civil liberties and administration of justice and to foster civic engagement.
The Bermuda statistics on aging in Bermuda should be a wake-up call to all of us that our senior citizens require greater legal protection than our laws currently offer. By 2020 there will be 30 seniors (aged 65 and over) for every 100 persons of working age (aged 15 to 64). By the same year, there will be 75 men for every 100 women. Many senior Bermudians have relied on rental income from real estate to supplement their pension income. As we know, the Contributory Pension Fund is vastly underfunded, the rental property market is soft and seniors are being “encouraged” out of the job market. At the same time, many seniors are also providing for their children and grandchildren, who themselves are feeling the financial pinch. The combination of parental generosity, coupled with an aging parent’s increasing vulnerability, can have devastating consequences.
There was further recent evidence that Bermuda’s revolutionary approach to updating its funds regime has attracted a great deal of interest and support from those working in this business sector. Invaluable feedback received from New York decision makers in round table meetings in May 2013 prompted the collaborative efforts of the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), Government of Bermuda, Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) and key members of Bermuda’s funds community to amend Bermuda’s fund legislation, thereby making Bermuda a more competitive and desirable jurisdiction for funds. The changes, driven by this vital input from the US funds industry, led to the launch of two new user-friendly, exempt fund classes which can be registered and launched on a fast-track basis using the BMA’s online system (ERICA).
The Companies Amendment Act 2014 introduced new provisions with regard to the ability of local and exempt companies to acquire land in Bermuda. It should be noted that consent is still required from the Minister of Economic Development in relation to corporate landholding; however, the Minister’s decision will be guided by the provisions of the legislation and the accompanying policy.