Confused by Scott’s take on Bermuda’s ‘sovereignty’

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Dear Sir,

I am a tad confused here; or, perhaps, it’s Leah Scott whose comments are confusing.

Shall I test her comments made in Sessions House in Bermuda last Friday when she stated: “I had a client call me last week who has been stalked by someone who found his name on the register of directors and officers of Bermuda, his home address was listed and he has now had to have protection because he had somebody stalking him.”

If her client’s personal data is being made available to any international authorities outside international legal authorities and/or governmental authorities such as Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, then Bermuda has effectively opened its beneficial registries before Britain’s legislatively imposed deadline of December 31, 2020. So why would an international authority and/or law enforcement agency be “stalking” her client? Conversely, if her client’s information was found on the register of directors and officers, then shouldn’t she be querying why Bermuda’s authorities have released that information to the public?

Also, I do take exception to her alarmist statement of: “I have to applaud the Premier in terms of his efforts to keep the EU at bay with all of the things that they have been trying to impose upon us and I hope that as a jurisdiction that we can continue to try to withstand all of the pressure for as long as we can.”

Ms Scott, it is Britain not the European Union who can impose laws, and as a legislator you must beware that the EU deals with Bermuda via Britain, as we are not a sovereign nation, and the EU’s mandate requires it to deal with sovereign nations.

Point of clarification: the European Union cannot impose any laws, policies, programmes, etc, directly upon Bermuda. The laws, etc, must be extended to Bermuda via Britain via treaty. In other words, Britain will grant Bermuda permission, and the EU will exercise diplomatic and political pressure regarding Bermuda via Britain.

Then it was further stated in the House: “Ms Scott also took issue with the fact that private charities would be subject to the regime saying that was private money. Ms Wilson said the assessors identified private charities as a risk area and that Bermuda’s reputation was ‘paramount’.”Another crucial point of clarification: these are international charities, not “private” charities, and you should know the difference as lawyers, legislators and/or via your assessors.

Yet I don’t get the indignation of politicians such as Ms Scott and Kim Wilson, who take exception to international charities being able to scrutinise beneficial registries when these international charities have extraordinary access, timely contact and/or vital information in very vulnerable countries that can track illegal funds or their assets in the form of conflict diamonds, illegal arms sales, unscrupulous corporate boardroom dealings, corrupt international dealings and/or government collusion that can be translated into legitimate funds before being put into trusts, etc.

In closing, it is very troubling to observe legislators and lawyers who have not grasped some key critical differences in what is coming — very troubling indeed — as it is not the changes that should be in doubt but Bermuda political leaders’ ability to successfully manage that change.

It is to hoped that the new Deputy Governor has taken note.

VALIRIE MARCIA AKINSTALL

London, England

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Published Aug 7, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 6, 2018 at 8:35 pm)

Confused by Scott’s take on Bermuda’s ‘sovereignty’

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