UK Privy Council to rule in British Overseas Territory same-sex marriage dispute

The UK Privy Council has reserved judgment in a case which could see same-sex marriage banned in the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, it has been reported.

The case comes after Bermuda approved same-sex marriage in 2017 but revoked the right six months later, triggering a series of legal battles through the territory’s court system.

The Privy Council of the United Kingdom is the legal advisory body to the Monarch. Its members, known as Privy Counsellors, advise on the extension and ratification of legislation in British Overseas Territories and act as the final Court of Appeal for the UK’s overseas territories and Crown Dependencies.

Reserving judgment in the Bermuda case, the five-member panel comprised of senior UK judges is set to rule if a clause in the 2018 Domestic Partnership Act (DPA) banning same-sex marriage is legal.

The legislation was passed after Bermuda’s new Government, known as the Progressive Labour Party (PLP), came into power, overriding a Bermuda Supreme Court ruling in 2017 that permitted same-sex marriage.

As Orders expressed by the Privy Council have force of law, its judgment will have legal implications across the rest of the UK’s Crown Dependencies and other Overseas Territories.

Same-sex marriage has been allowed in the UK since 2014.

For help and advice on related matters, please get in touch with Alison Green, Head of our Family and Relationship Team at Mackrell.Solicitors on +44 (0) 20 7240 0521 or at


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Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell.Solicitors in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010. Her expertise covers matrimonial work, including divorce and the associated financial and children issues; pre and post-nuptial agreements; co-habitation disputes; civil partnership agreements and the breakdown of civil partnerships.