Bermuda: Question of conscription goes to highest court
The Privy Council, Bermuda's highest court, will hear a case against conscription brought by Bermudans Against the Draft (BAD) next year in February. BAD first launched the court action in late 2006. They lost their first hearing in the Supreme Court in March 2008 and lost again in the Court of Appeal in November 2008. However, the Court of Appeal gave permission to take the case to the Privy Council because it agreed it is of sufficient public importance to be considered further.
The campaigners have listed several grounds upon which they say the policy, which sees male conscripts picked through a ballot to serve in the Regiment, is unlawful.
The conscripts claim the policy is discriminatory against men under the Human Rights Act because women are not forced to serve, and that the establishment of a quota for women should have been explored.
They further claim that insufficient effort has been made to recruit volunteers before resorting to conscription, and that the men's call-up notices were invalid for technical reasons relating to the way they were published.
Source: The Royal Gazette: Privy Council to hear BAD case in February, 28 October 2009