The European Court of Human Rights has communicated the case of Ferguson and Others v United Kingdom concerning 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’s Government’s appeal and upheld the legislation (Lord Sales dissenting).
A number of applicants have now sought remedy in the European Court of Human Rights. Among other things, they argue that the revocation of same-sex marriage distinguishes the case from past case law (in which it has been held that there is no right to the introduction of same-sex marriage). They argue that the revocation of that right constitutes a breach of Articles 12 and/or 14 (read with Articles 9 and/or 12) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Court has now communicated the case here
In the absence of settlement, the Government of the United Kingdom will be required to respond to the case.
Sarah Hannett KC and Nathan Roberts represent the applicants in the European Court of Human Rights on the instruction of ASW Law. The case is co-written by Professor Nicola Barker at the University of Liverpool who substantially developed the arguments in the application.