ECHR permits Bermuda Human Rights Commission to intervene in landmark same-sex marriage case


Strasbourg, France - September 18, 2009: European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg, France. ECHR is a international court established by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Earlier this year the European Court of Human Rights communicated the case of Ferguson and Others v United Kingdom to the U.K. Government. The case concerns the revocation of a right to same-sex marriage in Bermuda.

Same-sex couples were permitted to marry in Bermuda until a change of government in July 2017, which resulted in legislation that confined marriage to that between a man and woman. In the Bermudian courts, the legislation was found to be contrary to Bermuda’s constitution. However, the Privy Council allowed the Bermudian Government’s appeal and upheld the legislation (Lord Sales dissenting). As a result, several Applicants applied to the European Court of Human Rights, alleging a breach of rights under the Convention.

The Bermuda Human Rights Commission is Bermuda’s statutory National Human Rights Institution. Following the Court’s communication of the case, the Commission instructed Edward Kemp and Anirudh Mathur to apply to intervene in the proceedings. Edward and Anirudh are instructed by Joanna Ludlum and Luke Richardson of Baker & McKenzie LLP and are also working with Dr Suhraiya Jivraj (reader in law and social justice at University of Kent Law School).

The Court granted the application, so permitting the Bermuda Human Rights Commission to intervene.

The case continues.

For prior discussion of the issues and case in national and international press see: