The public policy case against retroactively applying new trust law

Charles E. Rounds, Jr.
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The Supreme Court of Bermuda by statute amendment (Dec. 11, 2015) has been granted a power to declare that the rule against perpetuities shall not apply to a trust instrument executed before the amendment’s effective date, unless entrusted land situated in Bermuda is involved. The Court has now issued its first such declaration. See In the Matter of the C Trust, [2016] SC (Bda) 53 Civ (16 May 2016). Here is a link to the case: https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/Reasons%20for%20Decision-Re%20C%20Trust%20%28Perpetuity%20Period%29.pdf. In the decision there is what I consider to be some dictum that ought to be overly broad as a matter of public policy: “…(3) the fact that extending the duration of the trust will dilute the economic interests of existing beneficiaries will ordinarily be an irrelevant consideration.” Cf. Loring and Rounds: A Trustee’s Handbook §8.15.71 (The constitutional impediment to retroactively applying new trust law) [particularly page 1283 of the 2016 Edition].

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