“We will use every legal option at our disposal to protect our democratically elected system,” Hamilton Mayor Charles Gosling said today, after the Corporation of Hamilton lost their legal bid against legislation that would bring municipal elections to an end.
“We believe that there are a number of grounds on which we could launch an appeal,” the Mayor added.
This after Chief Justice Narinder Hargun rejected the City’s argument that the Municipalities Amendment Act 2018 was unconstitutional.
In the ruling handed down this morning, the Chief Justice said the Corporation’s constitutional could not succeed.
“In these proceedings the Corporation has charged the Government that its legislative proposals concerning the municipal corporations are irrational, arbitrary and unfair,” he said.
“The Court reminds itself that its jurisdiction in relation to Acts of Parliament and proposed legislation is limited to consider whether legislation infringes fundamental rights and freedoms set out in the Bermuda Constitution.
“Beyond that, the merits of any legislation belonging to the realms of politics are not the proper subject matter of judicial determinations.”
Hard on the heels of the ruling, a City spokesperson said: “The legal case involved several matters; in particular a decision by the Government to convert the Corporation to a ‘quango’ and a Bill to achieve that end.”
Mayor Gosling added: “Although we are disappointed that the Court did not rule in our favour today, this decision is not entirely unexpected. Respectfully, despite the ruling, our legal advice has not changed and we have not been dissuaded or discouraged from our position.
“We will use every legal option at our disposal to protect our democratically elected system. We have met with our lawyers and we believe that there are a number of grounds on which we could launch an appeal. Our lawyers and internal team are in the process of reviewing the judgment.
“The Corporation has a legacy of success when it comes to running Hamilton’s affairs and we stand firm with our position.”