Bermudians Against the Draft have failed in their fight to get conscription outlawed.

Judges at the Privy Council unanimously dismissed the group’s appeal to get the policy abolished.

The judgement was announced today – nearly three months after BAD took their case to the Privy Council

The group claimed that the draft was discriminatory as only men were conscripted to the Regiment.

They maintained that conscription was only lawful if volunteers could not be found –and that required the Governor to take reasonable steps to recruit men.

BAD also cited three further grounds under which they claimed that the policy of conscription was unlawful.

But judges sitting at the Privy Council rejected all five grounds of the appeal.

Attorney General, Senator Kim N. Wilson, said the Government of Bermuda is naturally pleased with the ruling of the Privy Council in upholding conscription in the Bermuda Regiment.

The judgment was delivered in the UK this morning. “We’ve won on all points,” the Attorney General said. “On the discrimination argument, the Privy Council held that the Appellants were stretching the language of sections 6(1)(a), (e) and (g) too far.

"On the argument that we did not show that we had taken all reasonable steps to recruit volunteers, they found that the Chief Justice may have gone too far in accepting the Appellants’ submission as to the extent of the duty on the Governor to see that reasonable steps had been taken to get volunteers and the evidence, scant though it was, was enough to show that he had.” Senator Wilson said the Board also rejected the contentions on the duty of candour.

“The Appellants’ next argument was that we had proceeded on a mistaken basis in law. The Board held that we had not and that the evidence showed that we had proceeded on the basis of what the Appellants claimed the law was, so we won there, too. The quota argument got short shrift on the basis that establishing a quota would have done nothing to help fill the ranks, even if it existed.”

Senator Wilson pointed out that the invalid notice argument was rejected because the Carltona principle applied – the Administrator of the Defence Department was clearly the alter ego of the Deputy Governor. “We should, of course, get our costs,” the AG concluded.