The Court has dismissed an “application for judicial review and constitutional relief” in a case brought about the Covid testing policy in schools, in effect ruling on the Education Ministry’s side.
The ruling said, “These judicial review proceedings relate to the decision by the Minister for Education [“the Minister” or “the Respondent”] to [i] require pupils to undergo a Covid-19 test prior to each return to school and [ii] not to open schools unless a certain percentage of pupils have submitted to a Covid-19 testing.
]”The Applicant, a pupil at an aided or maintained school, established under section 15 of the Education Act 1996 [“the Education Act”], seeks a declaration that this decision by the Minister was unlawful. The Applicant seeks an order of mandamus requiring the Minister to allow the Applicant to attend school regardless of whether she has submitted to a Covid-19 test.
“The Applicant also seeks an order of prohibition, prohibiting the Minister in closing the Applicant’s school on the grounds that insufficient children have submitted to a Covid-19 testing. The Applicant also seeks to challenge the Minister’s decision as being in breach of her fundamental rights set out in section 7 of the Bermuda Constitution Order 1968 [“the Constitution”].
The ruling said, “The Court is satisfied that it can properly review the discretionary decisions of the employers, including the Ministry of Education, in relation to the implementation of the Covid-19 testing policy.
“It is not the case that the authority granted to employers, including the Ministry of Education, in this context amounts to an unfettered power. It follows that the legal authority granted to employers under section 3 and 4 of OSHA accords with the principal of legality.
“For the reasons set out above, the Applicant’s application for judicial review and constitutional relief in respect of the decision of the Minister is dismissed.”
The full judgment follows below [PDF here]: