Conference On Bermuda Constitution On June 8

May 29, 2018

The Centre for Justice will be hosting a conference to reflect on the past and future of the Bermuda Constitution, democracy, fundamental rights and justice on Friday, June 8th between 9.00am and 4.30pm at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute in Hamilton.

A spokesperson said, “Centre for Justice is hosting a conference to reflect on the past and future of the Bermuda Constitution, democracy, fundamental rights and justice.

“When Centre for Justice was established in 2011, one of its long term goals was to review the Constitution’s chapter on fundamental rights to identify gaps and to campaign for the reform of those rights.

“Last year, we decided that in light of the Constitution’s fiftieth anniversary in 2018, the people of Bermuda may welcome the opportunity to reflect on its creation, its present effectiveness and whether it meets the present needs of Bermudians and society as a whole or should be reviewed in light of today’s realities and provide a sound foundation for Bermuda’s future.

The topics to be covered at the conference are:-

  • Rights, Democracy and Decolonization: An argument for ‘Bermudianizing’ the Constitution – Professor Nicola Barker
  • Beyond Westminster: Processes and Responsibilities – Dr. Caroline Morris
  • A view from the Isle of Man – Susie Alegre
  • ‘Creating a Modern Constitutional Basis for Bermuda’s Judiciary’: Why Judicial Independence Matters. – The Hon. Chief Justice, Dr. Ian Kawaley
  • How has the Bermuda Constitution fared with enforcing fundamental rights? – Peter Sanderson
  • Remedies for administrative justice – The Ombudsman, Victoria Pearman
  • Poverty and inequality in Bermuda – Martha Dismont, The Family Centre
  • Constitutional social and economic rights to address poverty and inequality – thoughts from the South African experience – Professor Beth Goldblatt

“We are very pleased to announce that the Premier and Minister of Finance, the Hon. David Burt, JP MP will make the opening remarks.

“The conference will be held in Hamilton at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute on Friday 8th June 2018 between 9:00am and 4:30pm. The conference is open to the general public, admission is free and light refreshments will be served.

“The conference is part of a three phase review of the Bermuda Constitution. The second phase will involve engaging the public in a consultative process with a view to preparing and publishing a report before the end of this year. The report will include a summary of the papers presented at the Conference and a summary of the results of the public consultation.

“We wish to make it clear that our aim is to raise public awareness and engage the people of Bermuda in necessary discussions so that they can determine what if any constitutional changes are needed. As such, other than addressing the inadequacies of fundamental rights and how they may be improved, Centre for Justice will not be making specific recommendations on governance issues and different models of constitutions.

“Centre for Justice has formed a constitutional subcommittee to organize public consultation and preparation of the report. The subcommittee is in the process of formulating the precise terms of public consultation – further details will be provided in the coming weeks.

“Members of the Centre for Justice constitutional subcommittee are Rod Attride-Stirling, John Barritt, Caitlin Conyers, Chen Foley [Chairperson of CfJ], Cordell Riley with Professor Nicola Barker from the University of Liverpool who will assist with academic research.”

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