Premier Burt On Costs Of SSM Legal Appeals

December 15, 2018

The costs so far for the “drafting of the grounds of appeal and provisional advice to the Privy Council” for the same sex marriage legal case stands to date at £11,250 [$14,161], Premier David Burt said.

In answering questions in the House of Assembly on Friday, Premier Burt said, “I appreciate the question from the Honourable Deputy Speaker because it gives an opportunity to clarify information and misinformation which may be inside the public domain where there have been persons that have been quoting very large figures for the Government regarding the expenses in this particular instance.

“What I can confirm for the House is that for the original appeals, the Court of Appeal, the cost going to the public purse was £41,750, which equates to about $52,000 or $53,000 depending on the exchange rate, which, of course, depends on British politics daily.”

That is the cost for the legal services of British lawyer James Guthrie QC, and the Government previously stated that there was an additional cost of $7,848.21 for his travel and accommodation.

Premier Burt added that the costs for “drafting of the grounds of appeal and provisional advice to the Privy Council, that stands to date, Mr. Speaker, at £11,250.”

The audio of the question time is below, the SSM cost part starts at around 18 minutes in

The overall cost to the Government for the appeal is likely to also include the costs for local lawyers Mark Pettingill and Rod Attride Stirling, who successfully defended against the appeal, having represented the applicants of the original case.

Earlier this week Government confirmed that they applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal to the Privy Council in the UK concerning the recent court judgment in the same sex marriage legal case.

Bermuda’s courts have already, in effect, ruled in favour of same sex marriage on three occasions; same sex marriage was initially legalised following a Court decision in May 2017, the Court ruled in favour of it again in June 2018 when a challenge was brought to the Domestic Partnership Act, and in November the Court of Appeal dismissed the Government’s appeal.

The case now looks set to head to the Privy Council in England, which functions as the highest and final Court of Appeal for Bermuda.

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Comments (43)

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  1. Concerned Bermudian says:

    Time for No Confidence Vote on PLP

    • Law says:

      Agreed! Let’s march on them!

    • Jimmy R says:

      Completely agree, this is absurd.

      What are you playing at Burt?

    • PBanks says:

      With a super-majority in the House, that suggestion is wishful thinking at best. Unfortunately I think Bermuda is just going to have to ride this battered horse to the end, and just hope that eventually Govt’s priorities move towards Education and the other issues that need tackling.

    • LOL says:

      You really think the oba/UBP will win. Time for you to realize LOLOLOLOLOL

      • Kevin says:

        LOL you better be hoping that someone else wins the next election or soon there will nothing here to govern. the green machine are trying to protect there jobs …take a good look half of those collecting MP / minister paychecks their $80k + is their main income…the plp have for 16 years drained Bermuda and all of us have felt the pain ….but they play the race card and those green ones run to the polls and vote believing every word…..

    • I applaud the Government for taking the steps to fight this case to all the way to the Privy counsel, no matter which Government is in power, I support any Government that stands for truth, and not emotionalism to promote a lifestyle that is truly against the order of nature.

      I also state that Bermuda is not alone, there are other Jurisdictions that have stood flat footed against the bill in their Country, to legalize same sex marriages, and they won.

      So Premier Burt you must stand, and your Government must stand behind you, If God be for you, “WHO” can stand against you, and no matter what the final decision is, Don’t let it be said, that you did not take a stand as a true leader, and more importantly, a born again Christian Believer.

      Now before the critic’s start, let me balance out the fact, that we in the Church need to get our act together, and deal with the may filth’s among us, and discord, before we can really clearly see God move on our behalf, because we want to cast down a vote for same sex marriages, but bury our heads in the sand, at all the issues in the Church.

      Sin is sin, no mater what way you label it, Homosexuality is an abomination according to scripture, and the only sin listed as such, but please don’t play down the filth in the Churches, from the pulpit to the door.

      We all have to answer to Almighty God one day, and you can rest assure on this, but that don’t mean we waver our decisions in legislating it.

      • Avi says:

        Jesus preached nothing but love and acceptance and honestly the fact that His name is being used to justify your bitterness and hatred is more blasphemous than anything a same sex couple could ever do.

        We are living in the 21st century, not the 12th. There is meant to be a separation between Church and State. Your religion has no right to dictate the lives of others. Your relationship with God is yours and no one is forcing you to participate in a same sex marriage.

        Marriage existed before Christianity. And it will exist long after. Give me one argument against same sex marriage that has nothing to do with religion and maybe we can talk but until then you’re nothing more than a hatred filled, bigoted person.

        • @ Avi, You asked a very practical and logical question that I think deserves an answer, Question you asked was,give you one argument against same sex marriage,that has nothing to do with religion.

          Answer: We can all agree that we were born, and in order to do this, you need sperm from the male, to connect with the egg of the female, so if two males can have intercourse and reproduces another human life, then I have no argument, and the same can be said of two women having intercourse, if they can produce without the sperm of the male, then i have no argument.

          So the very act goes against the order of nature without having to include religion or it’s beliefs. So when two males or two females, can produce a child without the interference of science and naturally produce, there is no argument for legislating something that is totally against the order of nature,

          • PBanks says:

            Procreation =/= marriage. That’s the straightforward answer to this.

            Add to this the “we don’t ban elderly persons or infertile persons from getting married”, and the procreation argument falls to pieces.

          • Toodle-oo says:

            I don’t even know where to begin with this level of ignorance .
            It’s been debunked so many times but you’re still clinging to it.
            How many children would you have by now if every time you felt frisky it was god’s insistence that you ended up with another one ?

          • Family Man says:

            Actually the only thing that goes against the ‘order of nature’ is religion. There are numerous examples of homosexuality throughout the animal kingdom but humans are the only animal to have invented religion. Religion goes against nature.

            • PBanks says:

              Shoot, marriage is a man-made construct as well, so that’s two big and separate items that aren’t “in nature”.

          • Mike Hind says:

            So… seeing as you STILL haven’t offered a valid argument against legal Marriage Equality, will you admit that you have no argument?

            Or will you keep pushing this already debunked nonsense?

      • One Who Escaped says:

        Yep, sin is sin. Do you wear clothes spun of 2 different materials Leviticus 19:19? Do you know a person born out of wedlock who goes to church Deuteronomy 23:2? Do you know anyone with a tattoo Leviticus 19:28. Blah, blah, blah…..

      • One Who Escaped says:

        Oh, and while on the subject, Proverbs list about 7 other sins that are abominations.

      • Question says:

        The bible says you can keep slaves and beat them.
        But as it’s a work of fiction written in the stone age I think we safely ignore it.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Every time I read your nonsense on this subject Dwayne I’m reminded of the old truism that reformed smokers are the loudest opponents with the most advice.

      • Come Correct says:

        So if the government lose again can we call it the will of god, or just that he doesn’t actually exist?

      • Mike Hind says:

        This is a religious argument and the cases were lost LITERALLY because it is illegal for Government to favour one religion over us.

        What you are suggesting is against the law, Mr. Santucci.

    • Hair says:

      Totally agree!!!

  2. Deonion says:

    When schools do not even have working fire alarms $1 is too much

  3. Heyy says:

    Misinformation once again by the PLP.

    Declare the real total cost of all the cases, appeals, private funding needs to be disclosed too. A Government accepting private funding is being bought.

    The time and costs of all costs, including the costs of all lawmakers, all courts and the opportunity cost of doing something else with the time and resource should be included. We are talking millions in reality.

    Cost to draft something to date is pathetic politics.

    Can’t trust Burt. What happened to transparency?

  4. Reality Check says:

    The cost of the appeal is not the most important issue . The only objections to marriage equality are based on religion , and nobody should be subject to other people’s religious beliefs . Marriage , as regards the Government , is simply a legal contract between two consenting adults . It has nothing to do with religion .

  5. Let’s Go Bermuda says:

    …and Radio Silence on schools? SMH!!!!

  6. aceboy says:

    These are just costs for advice relating to the LATEST appeal to the Privy Council.

    So far.

    The case hasn’t begun.They just applied to ENABLE an appeal.

    What is the TOTAL cost please Mr. Premier, thus far, on ALL cases in relation to SSM? Let’s not try and spin it that the costs are low.

    The true costs are bound to be in the hundreds of thousands, and counting.

  7. Connected Community says:

    How do we measure the cost of all the opportunities lost as more of Bermuda and the world see a Government of exclusion and where issues of diversity are ranked?

    What is the cost of those quietly slipping away or not coming because they don’t want to live in a country where the current government states Parliament is supreme over their own constitution and that one religion rule regardless of the consequences on issues of Diversity and Inclusion?

    We are spending much more than money Bermuda.

  8. Sandgrownan says:

    Burt is nothing more than a disgusting PLP bigot. No different than all who have gone before.

  9. Hmmm says:

    “What I can confirm for the House is that for the original appeals, the Court of Appeal, the cost going to the public purse was £41,750″

    So who paid the rest??

    • Hmmm says:

      Seems to me that Government is fronting someone of some group? Is this in exchange for votes?

  10. eyes wide open says:

    Bermuda has splashed down all over the Internet and various other Media as a 3rd rate Country that cannot be trusted to look after it’s own people.

  11. March lol says:

    Did you say let’s walk on parliament? The interesting assumption is that only PLP want this to go to the privy council I am white and OBA and I was then and now against SSM. It speaks the general ignorance and bias for a group who are spouting tolerance.

    An overwhelming part of the voting populous did not want it. .

    • aceboy says:

      You are completely able to feel that way. But you do not have the right to FORCE your beliefs on anyone.

      You are sounding a lot like a PLP supporter though because there was NOT an overwhelming part of the voting population that didn’t want it.

      Check the numbers again.

      How does God feel about lying?

    • LaV says:

      “An overwhelming part of the voting populous did not want it. .”

      Not true, no need to lie to support your agenda.

      An overwhelming part of the voters did not want to end slavery, or allow interracial marriage. I’m sure you’re against the abolition of slavery as well, since you appear to be nothing but a hate filled bigot, whose opinion is worth s*!t.

  12. Rene' says:

    My biggest concern is what will the PLP party do to heal the rift between those who are ambivalent towards ssm marriage or support it and the religious groups who are vehemently against it, after the Privy council ruling whatever that may be.
    Will they be leaders or continue the diviseness they hold so dearly.Three strikes doesn’t seem enough but at some point crying children should be put to bed. Will the next ruling embolden the PLP party to stand up to bullies. The jury is out.

  13. spider says:

    One would have thought our esteemed “Premier” would have provided a comprehensive answer to the litigation costs but “no” skims over facts relevant to this entire saga. Why is just the QC cost relevant and not all the other lawyers, clerks etc. Are we supposed to be blind dead and dumb? Unfortunately now I don’t believe this is a party agenda to pacify just the electorate, why would you hide the facts, it seems to be more of a party agenda masquerading as an electorate agenda. We will see once the appeal is over then the PLP can’t say it was for their electorate.

    • One Who Escaped says:

      The premier probably doesn’t even know. He’s there for the pay cheque, end of story.

  14. One Who Escaped says:

    If the original bill has been paid, why can’t we have the exact amount? The exchange rate applies on the day the invoice was paid. Was it 52 or 53? Or does this mean they still have an outstanding bill? The whole thing has just turned into a farce. The government are like petulant children when they don’t get their way.

  15. newperspective says:

    Not only did the majority of Bermudian voters are opposed to same sex marriage, so did both houses of the legislature. The Government has legislated an alternative position, but still unacceptable to the minority.

    The only alternative is to take it to the highest court, Privy Council. This has become an issue for the courts to decide. The Constitution rules supreme!

    The Government is on the right track.

    • question says:

      “Not only did the majority of Bermudian voters are opposed to same sex marriage… (sic)”
      Not true.

    • PBanks says:

      I wonder if Govt, if it has exhausted this ‘final’ avenue, will try to find a way to again push forward Wayne Furbert’s bill. After all, the DPA was introduced by the PLP-led govt so that Furbert’s bill could be put aside.

    • Chris Nelson says:

      Your ‘alternative position’ is NOT EQUAL to marriage. Do you not see the problem there?