Pinder: Govt will proceed with appeal of citizenship ruling

Attorney General Ryan Pinder said the government will not discontinue its Privy Council appeal of a landmark Supreme Court ruling on citizenship.

“The government decided to appeal the ruling as the nature of the decision requires the ultimate court to make a determination,” Pinder said when reached for comment.

“The government continues to develop citizenship legislative proposals for the Cabinet to consider. Until a decision is made whether to alter the ruling or verify the ruling through legislation, the appeal will continue.”

Last year, the Court of Appeal upheld the 2020 ruling by Supreme Court 

Justice Ian Winder that every person born in The Bahamas shall become a citizen of The Bahamas at their date of birth if either parent, irrespective of their marital status, is a citizen of The Bahamas.

Winder’s ruling allows children born out of wedlock to Bahamian men and foreign women in The Bahamas to be entitled to citizenship from birth.

On March 15, Pinder said Cabinet will review proposed legislation that aims to criminalize marital rape and bring gender equality to The Bahamas’ citizenship laws.

He said Cabinet will make a decision on which of the more than 20 amended and new pieces of legislation to move forward with.

The following day, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said he told the prime minister that if his administration wants to demonstrate its commitment to gender equality, then it should discontinue its appeal to the Privy Council.

“They can start that by saying, ‘Stop wasting my money since I said I’m going to change the law,’” he said.

A 2016 referendum to address this matter and others concerning the ability of Bahamians to pass on their citizenship to children and spouses was overwhelmingly rejected by voters.

A similar exercise in 2002, when Ingraham served as prime minister, was also rejected.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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