Case details

Attorney General for Bermuda (Appellant) v Ferguson and others (Respondents) (Bermuda)

Case ID: JCPC 2019/0077

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal for Bermuda

Case summary

Issue

Whether Bermudian legislation providing that only marriages between a man and a woman will be recognised as such in law infringes the Bermudian constitution.

Facts

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.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Attorney General for Bermuda

Respondent(s)

Ferguson and others

Appeal

Justices

Lord Reed, Lord Hodge, Lady Arden, Lord Sales, Dame Victoria Sharp

Hearing start date

3 Feb 2021

Hearing finish date

4 Feb 2021

 
Watch hearing
3 Feb 2021 Morning session Afternoon session
4 Feb 2021 Morning session Afternoon session