Corporation adamant it has the right to clamp vehicles
The Corporation of Hamilton has hit back at the Island's Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner who said on Monday that the municipality has no legal authority to clamp vehicles within city limits.
“The Municipalities Act clearly states that the Corporation of Hamilton is authorised to regulate and control off-street and on-street parking,” said Corporation Secretary and Chief Operating Officer Ed Benevides.
“The Road Traffic Act 1947 clearly state the Municipality has the authority to prohibit and regulate parking within the boundaries of the City.”
Mr Benevides added: “The Corporation of Hamilton resolved in 2007 and gave public notice of the main terms of the Hamilton Pay & Display Parking Vehicle Wheel Clamping Ordinance 2007 and would have supplied a full copy to anyone who asked.
“The Corporation at the time considered that sufficient publication, the purpose of the publication being to ensure that the citizen has knowledge of and if necessary access to the law as it applies to him, and that purpose having been served by what was done.
“In addition, all City car parks have signage advising the public they will be clamped for parking violations.”
However, the Centre for Justice claims no such publication of the ordinance was ever issued properly at the time, as required by the Municipalities Act 1923.
The issue with the Corporation's claim, according to the Centre for Justice, is that while the 2007 ordinance was passed by the Corporation it is a prerequisite that the ordinance is published for it to come into force.
The Centre for Justice claims that a news article in the Bermuda Sun — the official Gazette at the time — had been used to inform the public of the ordinance in 2007, instead of an official Government notice with the ordinance replicated in full and in print.
“This is the standard practice for all legislation which requires publication as a precursor to lawful effect,” the spokesman added.
“That the Corporation now says they ‘would have supplied a full copy to anyone who asked' is neither here nor there. The onus should be on the lawmaker to bring the law to the citizen, not the other way round.
“Our researchers have poured through archival copies of the Official Gazette since 2007 and have been unable to find evidence of the ordinance being published in full.”