Begging for mercy

What a bunch of idiots. And that's being kind.

After dropping some serious change on a foreign lawyer (I guess the guys who crow about being pro-Bermudian have no faith in their own lawyers) to handle their appeal in the GoldenEye case, the Minister realizes that he's about to get his ass kicked a second time and begs for mercy.

The Minister feigned concern that a precedent would be set (ie. he was going to lose his appeal) and called off the appeal, allowing his impotent policy to stand...for now:

The impact of events on other Bermudians who may wish to sell their top-of-the-market homes to foreigners remains unclear. Mr. Jowell told the Appeal judges that the declaration that the policy was unlawful related entirely to Mr. and Mrs. Marshall who, he found, had their legitimate expectation to sell GoldenEye breached. He said that while that did not technically set a precedent for other people there are others who would like Mr. Froomkin to establish that they, too, had a legitimate expectation to sell their homes on the international market.

"The Minister is concerned that we don't in any way endorse the notion of a legitimate expectation," he said, explaining that the Government wishes the policy to stay in place. Mr. Froomkin said "anyone can bring a case at any time. The declaration is personal".

So, to be clear, the only reason the policy stands is because the decision overturning it has been stayed, not because it has withstood a legal test. No matter how they dress it up, Government completely and unequivocally capitulated.

I hope someone has informed the hapless Minister that a precedent has already been set. The next person who wants to sell will make the exact same case of legitimate expectation, and win; the Government's own Solicitor General was unable to argue successfully against that case, and it's obvious the big-money foreign lawyer they hired was about to suffer the same fate.

The lawyers must be salivating over the easy money they're going to make bringing case after case against the Minister.

We'll be back in November presumably, to revisit the appeal if Goldeneye isn't sold by then. Why did they defer it? Bad press? Imminent election?


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