Welcome to Bermuda: please be nice!

In his judgment dated 28 April 2017 in the case of Ayo Kimathi et al v Attorney General for Bermuda et al [2017] SC Bda 30 Civ, Chief Justice Kawaley has dismissed an application for judicial review and constitutional relief brought by Mr. Ayo Kimathi, an outspoken American visitor to Bermuda, who complained about the fact that he had been placed on Bermuda’s immigration ‘Stop List’ by Bermuda’s Minister for Home Affairs.

Apparently, the Minister for Home Affairs was unimpressed by the contents of a lecture given by Mr. Kimathi in Bermuda, which seemed unequivocally designed to incite hatred against, and offend, white Caucasians, Arabs, Asians, gays, lesbians, other minority groups protected against discrimination, and pretty much anybody else who does not necessarily share Mr. Kimathi’s world view.

The 77 page judgment is worth a read in full, since it engages with the facts in some detail, and it also considers some very interesting points relating to human rights (including the right to freedom of expression) and Bermuda’s Constitution.

In summary, however, common sense seems to have prevailed, with the Chief Justice being just as unimpressed with the contents of Mr. Kimathi’s lecture as the Minister of Home Affairs had been.

The consequence, in short? Mr. Kimathi will not be vacationing in Bermuda any time soon.


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