Pettingill: Clause 6 Withdrawn From Amendment

June 9, 2013

Attorney General Mark Pettingill today [June 9] said that having considered submissions from various groups and following extensive consultation on amendments to the Human Rights Act, he has decided to withdraw clause 6 from the Human Rights Amendment Bill that was tabled in the House of Assembly on May 17th.

The Centre for Justice previously said they have “grave concerns” about the clause, which they said would, in effect, “allow the police to harass people.”

“Given that the legislation is apparently scheduled for debate in the House of Assembly soon, we urge Government to delete this clause from the Act’s amendment,” said the Centre, who also started an online petition.

“We do not in any way want to hold up the passage of the Human Rights Act amendment, which has been so long awaited. But it would be a sad day for Bermuda if the amendment went forward as proposed – on the one hand granting rights to a group who should have been included decades ago, and on the other potentially taking away the rights of other groups.

Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda [CURB] said they strongly agreed with the Centre, and said “as a human rights organization focused on racial justice we also have serious concerns about Clause 6C Subsection (3) of the Human Rights Act amendment, which clearly appears to exempt the Police Service from being held responsible for harassing people by discriminatory behavior or racial profiling.”

“We agree with the Centre for Justice that the Human Rights Act amendment Clause 6C Subsection (3), appears to be unconstitutional as it allows discriminatory behavior and profiling by the Bermuda Police without recourse by those harassed.”

The Bill is expected to be debated in the House of Assembly on June 14th.

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Comments (12)

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  1. dough says:

    Why does institutionalized racism always seem to show its ugly face under white governments?

    • here's a thought.... says:

      that is the stupidest thing i have heard all week. and look around, it’s not a white government. grow up. evolve. do SOMETHING other than being asinine and predictable.

    • Hudson says:

      UMMMM.. other than trying to stir the pot, can you please explain your statement? Have you read subsection 3 of section 6c? How on earth do you move from deleting this section to your statement above about institutionalized racism? Is this just a catch phrase you heard and want to use it? There are plenty of examles – this just doesn’t happen to be one of them.

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      I thought the story said he’d listened and changed it. But that doesn’t fit your racist agenda does it.

      And, by the way, it isn’t a “white government”.

    • Bermy Boy says:

      Dough, you certainly live up to your name. Move on ugly racist, its a black/white govt like we are a black/white country. Celebrate it!

  2. JONO says:


  3. Jus' Askin' says:

    Quick to defend OBA, the ones who tried to ‘Trojan Horse’ this amendment with other serious issues.
    But why was it included in the bill in the first place?
    What if it was not spotted by The Centre of Justice?
    What if it was not brought to the attention of the public?
    These sorts of things should really bother you about the OBA.
    The Anti-PLP people will continue to back the OBA at the expense of everyone’s FREEDOM ;-)

    • JMad says:

      Funny if it was trojan horse it would never been revelaed and/or available for feedback.

      It would’ve just been passed.

      Too bad none of you felt the same way when numerous groups appealed to the former Ag, Mr. Perinchief, to repeal the stop and search laws in PACE and he responded that it was an effective clause/law.

      But I digress. Carry on.

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      Too bad the previous government didn’t listen when the opposition pointed out problems in the drafting of Road Traffic Act amendments. Maybe drunk drivers wouldn’t currently be able to get off scott free.

  4. lynne winfield says:

    I would like some clarification. The press release from Minister Pettingill says he will remove “Clause 6″. This is not what the Centre for Justice and CURB asked – Clause 6 has some excellent sections in it. It is Subsection (3) of Clause 6C that is the problem.

  5. lynne winfield says:

    CURB has previously called for Equality Impact Assessments prior to the passing of any Act. This will ensure that all clauses are checked to ensure no unfair negative impact on any segment of the population.

  6. Suspicious says:

    Sadly for you dough your racist attitude will consume you and never allow you to enjoy life.