The newly elected Bermudian Government is planning to end military conscription, a government official revealed at a speech last month.

Speaking on behalf of the new Progressive Labour Party government, Governor John Rankin said: “The Government will amend the Defence Act 1965 in consultation with the Governor to officially end conscription to the Royal Bermuda Regiment within this legislative session.”

Anti-conscription campaigners are vowing to head to London’s Privy Council again after losing their latest battle in Bermuda’s Court of Appeal, the Royal Gazette reported on 9 November 2011. Bermudians Against the Draft (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. The three appellants had argued their constitutional right to be protected from inhuman treatment would be breached if they had to do military service.

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.


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10/09/1998 1 Conscription

conscription exists

Conscription is enshrined in section 4 (3) (b) of the 1968 Bermuda Constitution Order.

The legal basis of conscription is the 1965 Defence Act.

Military service is performed within the Bermuda Regiment, which has four roles: supporting the police in the preservation of public order, assisting in times of natural disaster, particularly hurricane relief, performing ceremonial duties and defending Bermuda from external threat.

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