Court: Order That Tweed Must Leave Is Quashed

June 5, 2017

[Updated with videos + response] The Court has ruled in favour of Reverend Nicholas Tweed, saying that the Minister’s decision that he must settle his affairs and leave must be quashed, stating that “this decision ought not to have been made without first allowing him to make representations to the Minister about his personal residential connections with Bermuda.”

In a judgement handed down today, the Court said, “The Minister’s involvement in the application process from the outset was not based on own her own idiosyncratic desire to ‘interfere’, but because her predecessor had directed that any future work permit applications in relation to the 2nd Applicant should be decided by the Minister.

“Subsequently the 1st Applicant was expressly told that its application was going to be considered by the Board. In fact the Board only acted in an advisory capacity and the Minister made the substantive decisions.

Rev N Tweed

“This legal and factual confusion infected the entire process which culminated in the Minister refusing the applications for an advertising waiver and a work permit without the work permit application being considered on its merits.

“This institutional bug caused procedural irregularity and unfairness which obliges this Court to grant an Order of certiorari quashing the Minister’s decisions to refuse the advertising waiver and the work permit application and remitting the matter to the Minister for reconsideration.

“The Minister also decided that the 2nd Applicant should settle his affairs and leave Bermuda. This decision ought not to have been made without first allowing him to make representations to the Minister about his personal residential connections with Bermuda.

“Those connections are not insignificant as he is the father of a Bermudian child and the foreign husband of a Bermudian wife, albeit living part from her.

“On May 30, 2017 at the end of the hearing, the Minister was unable to oppose my granting a declaration under section 29 of the Human Rights Act 1981 that, in effect, the 2nd Applicant was potentially able to claim under section 27A of the Act residential rights in Bermuda on the same terms as the foreign wife of a Bermudian male under section 27 of the Act.

“The decision that 2nd Applicant must settle his affairs and leave must also be quashed and remitted for reconsideration on the same basis as the work permit decision.”

Update 2.08pm: The Attorney General’s Chambers said, “The Supreme Court has released its judgment today in the case of Nicholas Genevieve-Tweed’s work permit application.

“The Chief Justice rejected the argument put forward by Reverend Genevieve-Tweed that the Minister was biased in how she dealt with his work permit application. According to the ruling, the Minister “clearly attempted to deal with the work permit application in a principled manner.”

“However, the Chief Justice did find that there were some procedural issues with the way the Minister and Department of Immigration handled Reverend Genevieve-Tweed’s work permit renewal application. He has accordingly asked the Minister to retake the decision afresh.

“His judgment also made clear that a statutory power to delegate the Minister’s functions in respect of work permits to the Immigration Board has never been made.

Update 5.11pm: Reaction from Home Affairs Minister Patricia Gordon Pamplin

“This has been the case since the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 was first enacted. This lack of delegation caused there to be an ‘administrative law muddle and confusion’. The Chief Justice did recommend that this delegation be made, and the Government will be considering the recommendation.

“The Minister will now reconsider the application in accordance with the relevant legal principles as identified in this judgment.”

The full court ruling is below [PDF here]:

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