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Court rejects newest BAD appeal

Anti-conscription campaigners are vowing to head to London’s Privy Council again after losing their latest battle in Bermuda’s Court of Appeal.“We are very dejected, but we are undeterred,” Bermudians Against the Draft founder Larry Marshall told The Royal Gazette yesterday after judges in Bermuda ruled against his group once more. BAD had been appealing against Puisne Justice Norma Wade-Miller’s April ruling that Government did not act unconstitutionally by conscripting Jamel Hardtman and brothers Larry Jr and Lamont Marshall.Appeal court President Edward Zacca and judges Sir Austin Ward and Sir Scott Baker dismissed BAD’s case on all grounds.Mr Marshall Sr said: “Despite being very discouraged by this decision, we still feel we have a very strong case. We do intend on taking it to the Privy Council.“If necessary, we will go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights. These issues are seldom settled at primary or secondary level. We are in it for the long haul.”The three appellants had argued their constitutional right to be protected from inhuman treatment would be breached if they had to do military service. BAD has 21 days to lodge an appeal with the Privy Council, which is Bermuda’s highest court of appeal.The Privy Council has previously rejected BAD’s claim the Island’s male-only draft is discriminatory under the Human Rights Act, repeating a verdict delivered in Bermuda’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.Mr Marshall said the financial hit of BAD’s second trip to London would be cushioned by lawyer Eugene Johnston’s offer to take the case pro bono. Mr Johnston, 32, is also fighting his conscription into the Regiment in his own separate case.