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Finding the Law in Bermuda The Low-Tech Way by Karen Skiffington.

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Presentation on theme: "Finding the Law in Bermuda The Low-Tech Way by Karen Skiffington."— Presentation transcript:

1 Finding the Law in Bermuda The Low-Tech Way by Karen Skiffington

2 Application of English law All common law, doctrines of equity and Acts of the Parliament of England which were in force on 11 July 1612 shall be, and are declared to be in force within Bermuda Supreme Court 1905, s. 15

3 What isnt included Law of Property Act 1925 Land registration legislation Most consumer protection legislation PACE

4 Sources of Bermuda law Acts Statutory Instruments UK Legislation extended to Bermuda Government Reports Caselaw

5 Acts Public Acts Bills pass after 3 readings in the House of Assembly 3 readings in Senate Assent by Governor Operative date may be Gazetted Acts are published by the House of Assembly, often several months behind

6 Private Acts Limited application – usually a company or partnership Published separately from Public Acts since the 1950s Not available electronically

7 Statutory Instruments Also called BRs (Bermuda Regulation), previously known as SR&Os (Statutory Rules and Orders) Printed in Official Gazette (this year tendered to Bermuda Sun newspaper) weekly, then compiled monthly. Monthly compilation quite far behind.

8 UK Legislation extended to Bermuda Usually treaties Should be Gazetted, but there have been omissions Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order is an example, also UN Sanctions Good source is Multilateral Treaties (Bowman & Harris)

9 Government Reports Planning Reports City of Hamilton Plan Bermuda Planning Statement Annual Budget Speech Manpower Survey Census Consumer Price Index Usually available at a cost from relevant Government Department

10 Caselaw Remember that Bermuda caselaw is authoritative; UK & Canada is persuasive Bermuda has the oldest continuing court system in the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1620 First written judgments of our Supreme Court date back to We now have 55 volumes of Supreme Court & 38 volumes of Court of Appeal judgments

11 Caselaw (cont.) Supreme Court judgments prior to 1985 are not indexed. Index to 1985 onwards is electronic at Court of Appeal judgments were indexed by former Chief Justice Austin Ward in 5 volumes from 1966 – 1984 Criminal Injuries Compensation Board Reports filed with Cabinet Office annually.

12 Books and articles There are no Bermuda law books. Articles on trusts and company law are published in several UK/Offshore journals. Law firm websites are a good resource

13 Collections of materials Supreme Court Library Public & Private Acts House of Assembly Public & Private Acts; recent Bills; Journals of the House of Assembly No one keeps the Explanatory Memoranda Cabinet Library Private law libraries Government Departments

14 Useful links Revised Laws of Bermuda Government of Bermuda Bermuda Bar Association You may also wish to see Skiffys Legal Links at


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