Ruling clears up grey area over ‘belongers’

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  • (photo by Glenn Tucker)

    (photo by Glenn Tucker)

A Supreme Court ruling has cleared up a grey area that affected the rights of Bermudian “belongers” to own land, control local companies and benefit from local trusts.

Lawyer Peter Sanderson said the case had implications for “perhaps a couple of hundred people” — mainly holders of permanent resident’s certificates.

Belongers, a category that includes Bermudians themselves, also covers naturalised British Overseas Territories citizens, as well as the spouses of Bermudians and UK Overseas Territories citizens.

Mr Sanderson said the judgment by Ian Kawaley, the Chief Justice, had not been contested by the Government, and was “not particularly controversial in that sense”.

The case, known as A versus the Attorney-General, concerned an applicant originally from the UK and now belonging to Bermuda.

Belongers are cleared of restrictions under the Bermuda Constitution and the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act from the 60/40 rule for the ownership of local companies, as well as restrictions on land ownership that discriminate between people with Bermudian status and those who belong to Bermuda under the Constitution.

The full October 23 ruling has been posted on the Supreme Court’s web site.

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