Attorney General for Bermuda (Appellant) v Ferguson and others (Respondents) (Bermuda)
Case ID: JCPC 2019/0077
Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal for Bermuda
Whether Bermudian legislation providing that only marriages between a man and a woman will be recognised as such in law infringes the Bermudian constitution.
The Bermudian Parliament passed the Domestic Partnership Act 2018, which provided for same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships and declared that a marriage is void unless the parties are respectively male and female. The Respondents, being individuals affected by the legislation and a Bermudian church which supports and conducts same-sex marriages, applied to the Supreme Court of Bermuda for a declaration that the provisions of the 2018 Act which purported to revoke same-sex marriage contravened the Bermudian constitution.
The Supreme Court of Bermuda ruled in favour of the Respondents, holding that s. 53 of the 2018 Act contravened sections 8 and 12 of the Bermudian constitution. The Court of Appeal for Bermuda allowed the Attorney General’s appeal only in part, holding that s. 53 of the 2018 Act contravened section 8 (but not section 12) of the constitution, but the Court also held that s. 53 was void on the grounds that it was enacted for a religious purpose. The Attorney General now appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The Respondents are seeking to cross-appeal for a declaration that the 2018 Act contravenes section 12 of the constitution.
Attorney General for Bermuda
Ferguson and others
Lord Reed, Lord Hodge, Lady Arden, Lord Sales, Dame Victoria Sharp
Hearing start date
3 Feb 2021
Hearing finish date
4 Feb 2021