Court of Appeal for Bermuda Clarifies Test for Leave to Appeal to the Privy Council

Although an appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council lies as of right for money judgments in excess of $12,000, leave to appeal from decisions of the Court of Appeal for Bermuda involving non-monetary claims (for example, claims for declaratory or injunctive relief) are at the discretion of the Court. Bermuda law provides that appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for non-money claims will only be allowed for matters which raise questions of “greater general or public importance, or otherwise”. In a judgment dated 22 November 2019, the Court of Appeal for Bermuda has provided welcome clarification as to the application of this test, and confirmed that the “or otherwise” limb of the test cannot be used to seek leave to appeal decisions between private litigants involving the application of settled law Imran Siddiqui and Others v Athene Holding Ltd. (On an application for leave to the Privy Council) [2019] CA (Bda) 15 Civ.

Background
The application before the Court of Appeal for Bermuda (the “Court”) on 7 November 2019 (the “Application”) was an application for leave to appeal the Court’s earlier judgment of 20 September 2019 which had dismissed the appeal of certain first instance decisions declining to stay the proceedings on forum non conveniens grounds or to otherwise strike-out the action. By their Application, the appellants sought leave to appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (the “Privy Council”).

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Kevin TaylorManaging PartnerT +1 441 242 1510kevin.taylor@walkersglobal.com
Benjamin McCoskerSenior AssociateT +1 441 242 1521benjamin.mccosker@walkersglobal.com