Jamel Hardtman. *File photo
Jamel Hardtman. *File photo

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4: The Supreme Court rejected the application of anti-conscription Bermudian Against the Draft this afternoon as to why they shouldn’t serve in the regiment.

Puisne Judge Norma Wade-Miller rejected the six arguments put forth by the group through its lawyer Eugene Johnston.

Mr Johnston said he would appeal the ruling.

“I know going by the fact that she rejected everything, there must be some legal ground to appeal it on”, he added.

The complainants in the matter were Jamel Hardtman, Lamont Marshall and Larry Marshall Jr.

The six arguments put forth were:

-       The men’s right to be protected from forced labour was violated

-       The exemption tribunal doesn’t comply with the constitution

-       That their manifest beliefs were violated

-       They were deprived of their liberty

-       Lamont Marshall should have been discharged

-       They were subjected to inhumane or degrading treatment

The men have said they are conscientious objectors and should not be required to be conscripted.

But Mrs Wade-Miller said: “Individuals who wish to establish that they are conscientious objectors apply to the exemption tribunal for it to be considered whether they are conscientious objectors.

“In my opinion, the tribunal is properly constituted as it was established in accordance with the legislative requirement.”

She continued: “I have asked myself where in all the circumstances of the case, any real danger of bias or apparent bias individually on the part of any member of the tribunal of collectively on the part of the tribunal in the sense that he or they might unfairly regard or have unfairly regarded with favour or disfavour an application before the tribunal.”

All three men have failed to appear before the tribunal and have previously said the tribunal is biased.

But Mrs Wade-Miller said being a member of the group doesn’t fill the “constitutional requirement” and the men would have to appear before the tribunal to state their case.

Mrs Wade-Miller also rejected the forced labour argument

Mr Johnston declined to comment on behalf on his clients.

All three men were out of the jurisdiction at the time of the hearing.