Premier: “An Affront To Elected Government”

April 25, 2018

“An affront to the elected Government of Bermuda,” Premier David Burt today after the Governor announced Narinder Hargun as the new Chief Justice, with the Premier saying that the Governor is required to consult with the Premier, and the Governor did consult with him and he “shared with him that this Government could not support the recommendation.”

The Premier’s statement follows shortly after Governor John Rankin announced the appointment of Mr Narinder Hargun as the next Chief Justice, with Mr Hargun set to succeed Chief Justice Dr Ian Kawaley who announced last year he would be stepping down in July.

According to Section 73[3] of the Bermuda Constitution, “The Chief Justice shall be a person qualified for appointment under subsection [5] of this section and shall be appointed by the Governor, by instrument under the Public Seal, acting after consultation with the Premier who shall first have consulted the Opposition Leader.”

The Premier said, “Under the Constitution the Governor is required to consult with the Premier, who in turn must also consult with the Leader of the Opposition.

“This consultation should ensure that the individual chosen to lead the judiciary in this country enjoys the confidence of the widest cross section of people he or she is to serve.

“In this case, the Governor did consult with me and I shared with him that this Government could not support the recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Services Committee.

“We were elected to represent the people of Bermuda and to bring meaningful change to this country. The views we express are founded in the convincing mandate to govern which was given to us by an overwhelming majority of the people.

“Every Bermudian should be concerned that this mandate can be ignored and discarded by a process that cannot be molded to reflect their will through the existing consultative process.

“Bermudians must feel that fairness, equity and above all justice can be found in all our courts. After fifty [50] years of this constitutionally sanctioned disrespect, this is the latest example of this modern era of democracy being frustrated by the application of standards from the last century.”

The Premier added: “It is now for the new Chief Justice to discharge the duties of the office fairly and justly; and in so doing he will have this Government’s support.”

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Comments (86)

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  1. Um Um Like says:

    “Bermudians must feel that fairness, equity and above all justice can be found in all our courts”

    That’s right. Fairness, equity and justice can be found in our courts. Unfortunately these qualities can’t be found in the House.

  2. WSP says:

    Premier we had to deceive you.Get over it.

    • 24 - 12 says:

      Well the Governor he had to give the obaUBP something because the election was a landslide. Jeff Baron has left and many more obaUBP to follow. LOLOLOL

      • Anbu says:

        Thats it? Thats all u got? Smh lmao. The usual response from the uneducated disenfranchised party…….NEXT!!

      • wahoo juice says:

        Perhaps he felt he had to give Bermuda something to safeguard all our interests.

      • yup says:

        What makes you think the OBA like this guy? How is this a win for OBA? Lol

      • Ya, like we gave them Somers Day after Emancipation Day.
        F!@#ing Pathetic.

      • Kim Smith says:

        Not true.

  3. Kevin says:

    Burt is upset he didn’t get a puppet as the Chief Justice….so sorry you won’t be able to control that position Mr Burt. What the Public should really be concerned with is the attitude expressed by the PLP and its leader. They may have the election but you don’t get to do as you wish. Get on with growing the economy ….oh yeah I forgot you don’t know how …..
    I didn’t vote for them

    • That makes you part of de minority, majority won.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Says the guy who b!%@hed and whined for the entire time the OBA was in power.

        You really are a hypocrite. You rail against supremacy and privilege, but the INSTANT you get a drop of it, you crow and strut about, flaunting it.

        You need to take a good look at yourself and what you think you stand for.

        Do better. Please. I’m begging.

        What you’re doing now is bad for Bermuda.

      • Anbu says:

        And you are still at the bottom apparemtly. So what exactly did you “win”?

  4. bosun rumbum pink panther says:

    petty lil cry baby, i didn’t get what i want, boo hoo you were consulted you sir are NOT the be all and end all holler than thou. the elected party is an affront

  5. Justin says:

    The PLP don’t like him because he made Derrick Burgess look dumb during the COI. ‘He beat me down like a slave’ – Derrick Burgess. Hahahaha. Talk about deflection.

  6. Your joking says:

    “In this case, the Governor did consult with me and I shared with him that this Government could not support the recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Services Committee.

    So why could you not support the recommendation ?…

    • Just a suggestion says:

      100% agree. The PLP have this great skill of world flipping. Explain the reason you oppose? It is 100% acceptable for you to say you oppose. But why?
      If you are the leader and we are to follow explain?
      Don’t be a Burch. You are better. Get it together, what happened to the pledge of transparency.(cow pat sniff emoji)

  7. hmmm says:

    Whenever the Labour Government goes into power. the Governor strengthens all of the governmental and governance controls he is responsible for. It is the way to keep colonial control and in Bermuda’s case keep the Authoritarian rule and Oligarchy power in place.

    This has been seen before.

    You will see this with the appointment of an Overseas (British) Commissioner of Police.

    Mark the date and time, and remember you heard it hear first.

    • mixitup says:

      And this is it…. But not only the Govenor. NOTE the comments of the other posters.. Them too.

      And you are correct on the New Police Commisioner, just wait and watch.

      • Anbu says:

        But it would be cool for them to put whomever they wish in right? You just cannot see the hypocrisy in your statement. So tell us then, who is more qualified than the man selected? It always has to be some kind of attack on the plp and their supporters. Like it or lump it, this man is now chief justice. How on earth is it fair to have a chief justice alligned with one party in charge. Dont even try to spin it either, you know full well burt would have endorsed a crony that would do anything and everything he said.

    • Kevin says:

      and to be honest we need one …. not saying that a Bermudian can’t do the job , but we need to expand our knowledge and experience and also need to hold all officers accountable and enforce our laws…. its a necessary every 10 – 12 years just to keep us up to date

    • Politricks says:

      The Governor simply rubber stamps the nominee put forward by the Judicial and Legal Services Committee. People on this Committee who are well versed and elders of their profession. They would have a much better idea as to who is qualified for the position as opposed to a politician.

      Why would anyone want to see political interference in our independent judiciary? And what is your objection tho this particular appointment?

      • Kim Smith says:

        It would seem to me that if outgoing Chief Justice Kawaley is so well respected (as he is and should be) put this candidate forward, his nomination would have been well-reasoned and justified.

    • Patricia says:

      Who else they gonna put as Commissioner.

    • SMH says:

      “Whenever the Labour Government goes into power.”

      so, twice…in over 400 years.

      • .am says:

        Given that they were only formed in 68, be a tad difficult to have had one in the years prior, no?

  8. hmmm says:


  9. Mark says:

    What?!? Please tell us WHY you couldnt support this mr premiere?!? Do you dare expose yours and this government’s overt thoughts? Me thinks not…

    • Legalgal says:

      There are other highly qualified judicial nominees with years of experience on the Bench. Not that they are the PLP’s chosen one. But this needs to be beyond political, and Bermuda Bar, interference.

  10. Kevin says:

    Thank goodness winning an election doesn’t get you control over the Governor. Mr Burt upset that he didn’t get a puppet as Chief Justice…The Public should be very concerned that the PLP feel like they deserve that right. Please get on with growing the economy and prioritize our Education system …but hell I must be mistaken as they ( PLP) have no clue how do to either ….

    • Infidelguy says:


      You’re right, all they want is a puppet. Look at what they did to Dr. Freddy Evans and Gaming Commission Chairman Alan Dutch. They couldn’t control them like puppets so they got rid of them. But they cannot remove the Chief Justice so they’ll have to live with it. The government, especially this PLP government, need to be kept in check. Look at the way some of mouth-off in the House of Parliament over the fact that won by such a large margin. My hat is off to Governor Rankin for making a very wise choice as Mr. Hargun is eminently qualified.

      “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men…” —John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

      Remember that Premier Burt!

    • Stand For Truth says:

      Kevin: It is more like winning the government does not give you control of a group of people who try to play the role of god on a global level and think they know what is best for humanity.

      When they are the ones who are responsible for the injustice, inhumanity, suffering, genocide and economic terrorism/apartheid.

      And there is one group of people who have used their patriarchy and male domination throughout the world and has effected millions.

  11. Warwick Beaches says:

    LOL whatever Burt

  12. Rich says:

    Why, praytell Mr Premier, would you be opposed to Bermuda’s pre-eminent legal jurist and top litigator becoming CJ, when his name was put forward by the Judicial and Legal Services Committee, a Committee chaired by the current Chief Justice?

  13. Family Man says:

    I’m sure the Governor was just practising the plp version of consultation.
    You know 632 to 2.

    • Warwick West says:

      Family Man
      you win the internet today! Ha ha ha….PLP version of consultation…you know..632 to 2.
      Love it.

  14. Bermudian Thinker says:

    I think this is exactly the right thing. It says consults. This is your opinion or opinion of the government, just because you do not like it doesn’t mean that is the decision that is made. This is exactly why laws like this exist, check and balances and governance.

    Crying because you didn’t get your way, and I also agree if you objecting on behalf of the government aka Bermuda, you should provide a reason for it.

  15. Mark says:

    This government ia an affront to our democracy. We should march and shut down parliament.

  16. just wondering says:

    The Premier is living in a total dreamworld. He fails to say who he thinks would have been a better choice and why- he seems to prefer to do the political equivalent of stamping his feet rather than set out a rational basis of why one of the top litigators on the island is not an obvious choice as CJ. Get over yourself

    • wahoo juice says:

      He knows that only 12 out of 36 understand what is going on and that is why it is scary for democracy. The 24 out of 36 listen to sound bites put out. Still trying to win an election they already won…..Divide and distort.

  17. Stevie says:

    Burt. The Governor has more authority than you or any premier does. Sour grapes possibly because one of Burts mates didn’t get the job.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      And that’s exactly what it’s all about.
      Just like the dismissed members of the gaming commission and Freddy Evans and there’s one more that I can’t call right now either.
      We’ll see lots more of this as time goes on .
      ‘If you’re not one of us you’re either out or you’re not getting picked , regardless of how good or qualified you are.’

  18. Quinton B Butterfield says:

    Why doesn’t he have the support of the government? Just saying he doesn’t have it doesn’t justify this response. If the PLP indeed represent us, tell us why? It shouldn’t be this opaque.

    • Onion says:

      He embarrassed the PLP during the COI by asking for the truth.

      Also this is a good opportunity to push conspiracy theories about the governor.

  19. Politricks says:

    Why does the Premier object to him so vehemently? He never actually states what his problem is with this man.

    And the judiciary should always be independent from political interference.

  20. Watcher says:

    Very petulant statement which doesn’t address the governments main issue, if you couldn’t support this recommendation then why not?

  21. WSP says:

    We are still waiting for this “meaningful change” you speak of burt.

  22. Cow polly says:

    was it really necessary for the Premier to throw his toys out of the pram grandstanding about not getting his way and then admitting that the new Chief Justice would get the Governments support? surely the more mature thing to do is to voice your displeasure to the Governor behind close doors allowing the citizens of Bermuda to feel secure about their judiciary?

  23. jt says:

    I’d appreciate Burt being more specific (although I am sure the vagueness is quite intentional).
    1) Why is Hargun a poor choice that the plp disagree with?
    2) Who do the plp feel is better qualified?

  24. chart says:


  25. Politricks says:

    It makes me somewhat uncomfortable that a politician believes they should have the ability to interfere with our independent judiciary. The CJ has to adjudicate by the laws of the land which are determine by the legislative branch. Why does the Premier believe this won’t be the case? The retiring CJ did that very well and issued several rulings against the previous government and never was there a cry about him contravention they elected governments ‘mandate.’

    • Politricks says:

      *conflicting with the Government’s ‘mandate.’

  26. Joe Bloggs says:

    “An affront to the elected Government of Bermuda,” Premier David Burt today after the Governor announced Narinder Hargun as the new Chief Justice, with the Premier saying that the Governor is required to consult with the Premier, and the Governor did consult with him and he “shared with him that this Government could not support the recommendation.”

    But why? Yes, he is a status Bermudian, but his application for status was supported by his good friend Julian Hall. It was Julian Hall who brought Narinder Hargun to Bermuda. What more could you ask for?

  27. Legalgal says:

    It wa never the Governor’s decision. He merely rubberstamps the recommendation of the JLSC. Rather than turn this into a political/race/Bermudians only fight, look at who the other, perhaps more appropriately experienced nominees were. This is the second time this has happened.

    • Cow Polly says:

      Legal gal – Can you remind us of the first time please?

  28. Paul says:

    Thank the Lord we are still a British Territory!!!!

    • Stand For Truth says:

      Paul: the word British territory is used in place of colonized people to make it acceptable to the masses.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        But Bermuda wasn’t colonized as there was no-one here in the first place . We were settled .
        So we ARE a BOT

  29. Beverley Connell says:

    Affront: a personally offensive act or word; deliberate act or display of disrespect; intentional slight; insult: an affront to the king.

  30. Anon Ymous says:

    Consultation process seems fair enough – ask Col. Burch how that works.

  31. Me says:

    Thank goodness we need someone to deal with the rising crime

  32. Question says:

    The Chief Justice is supposed to be free of influence from all of us, including you Burt.

  33. Warwick West says:

    Why? Tell us why. You cannot make such divise comments about a VALID reason. So I ask again WHY?

  34. Deadhead says:

    Can someone please remind me anything positive this government has done since taking office.

  35. facts of the rock says:

    The Guv has the Final word,not you Burt

  36. Puma says:

    You were “not” elected to bring change allbeit meaningful “or” otherwise.You were elected because the other crew slept at the helm,

  37. Puma says:


  38. Aware says:

    Premier Burt you should be bigger and better than this. Please rethink your objection.

  39. bosun rumbum pink panther says:

    dear Mr Burt, are you and your party in consultation with Kim Il Jong Li of China or Castro on how to become a DICTATORIAL self serving NON DEMOCRACY.

  40. Former Union Member says:

    Premier Burt would go a long way in silencing many of the critics on this site by simply explaining why he objects to the appointment and who he would have preferred. It is called transparency.

  41. pisspotical non ferundum says:

    the actual affront Mr Burt is your parties antics and actions and self serving interests. so one of your wannabe yes persons didn’t get the job??

  42. sandgrownan says:

    I didn’t even know Davey Bitcoin was still Premier. Who knew?

  43. Harold says:

    It is possible that our Premier finds himself in a challenging and unique position compared to some of his predecessors in that he represents a very real chance for us to actually be progressive by coming together to show ourselves as self, community, island and world worthy by our actions. He is young, well-educated, forward thinking, statesmanlike and enthusiastic yet I would hope to at least some extent frustrated by what is difficult to characterize as other than demonstrably unbalanced positioning (‘my way or the highway’) proudly exhibited by way too many of his party’s MoP colleagues.

    This latest expression may well be his own but to me it sounds more like the ‘my way or the highway’ mantra. Either way it is disappointing as if the former then the positioning could be seen to be leaning towards more/absolute power (some may see a trend evolving from the House) and if the latter a reasonable cause for risking some loss of very hard earned respect in terms of individualism.

    Good luck to him to actually get things done for the betterment of us all rather than appear to be wasting himself as a the valuable resource I believe him to be on apparent hollow political rhetoric in front of the island and a very connected and observant world.


  44. BDAGIRL says:

    3 Bermudians submitted their resumes for the job, and a Bermudian was chosen. Because he was born in India and not of the Premiers choice it’s a problem. Remember he was granted Bermudian Status so he a Bermudian. And the judiciary should always be independent from political interference. We watched the current Government remove Mr. Dunch from an independent body. We watched the support of the current Government for Rev Tweed who is a non-Bermudian husband get the right to stay here and work even though he was estranged from his Bermudian wife. Looks like the current Government can choose what they want to fight for. Stayed tune for more takeovers.

  45. You don't say says:

    Oh but I beg to differ Mr. Facts of the rock. The fact is, we the people of Bermuda have the final word. Would you like to know what that word is? How about I enlighten you.


    Read it, learn it and weep, or do what ever it is that you do. Get it in your head. It’s coming with the stroke of a pen.

    • Politricks says:

      Not going to happen anytime soon. If it did I hope your enjoy yourself independent fantasy in dire poverty cause the real financiers of this island will be gone before the ink is dry.

      Pride always comes before the fall.

    • Anbu says:

      Lmfao. And thats something you want right? God you really cant fix stupid. Ive said it before, you lot want independence then go ahead and get it, but dont you dare ask for the “enemy’s” help when this country goes belly up, as it will.
      You all refuse to see it but it will happen. Trust. Hopefully your all knowing and all powerful dictator will have a quick fix. Doubt it tho. Bunch of hams in this country. Nobody will be rich when your dollar isnt worth the paper its printed on. Lol.
      Carry on.

  46. Rockfish# and#2 says:

    More deflection.
    The Premier really should spend more time answering the important questions surrounding the decisions made by his Ministers.

  47. Kris Fann says:

    I’m just glad Charles-Etta didn’t get it! Larry would have been just as bad! I’m happy!

  48. Alan says:

    Indeed, especially when there was a similarly well qualified born Bermudian who applied for a Supreme Court vacancy recently, the esteemed Mr. David Kessaram – and was not chosen to replace the retiring Justice Norma Wade Miller.