Barbudan plaintiffs plan to take airport runway case to Privy Council

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By Theresa Goodwin

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The two Barbudans who are seeking to halt ongoing work on a runway on the sister island are remaining resolute despite a recent defeat at the level of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) on October 19th.

Jacklyn Frank and John Mussington said they intend to apply directly to the Privy Council, through their legal team, indicating that they are not pleased with the recent judgement handed down by Dame Janice Pereira.

On Tuesday, the ECSC denied the application made by the two Barbudans for a judicial review to take the matter to the Privy Council.

Frank and Mussington secured an injunction in the High Court in 2018 to prevent construction on the runway on the sister island, claiming that the work was causing major damage to wildlife and the islands ecosystem among other factors.

This after the Development Control Authority (DCA) granted approval to the developer who was expected to make several improvements to the plan. The injunction was subsequently lifted by the appeals court.

A new application was made in September of the same year at the High Court that sought to restrain some key party’s from granting permission for work to continue pending the outcome of a judicial review.

That injunction was denied last February and attorneys for litigants appealed to the supreme court on six grounds but that was also denied. They then filed for permission to take the case to the Privy Council, however, on Tuesday the matter was denied as the judge refused the application.

Meanwhile, in reacting to the latest development from the court, Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin said he was not surprised by the decision.

He said the construction on the airport has never stopped and will continue in earnest. The minister also expressed optimism that the matter will be dismissed if it is taken to another stage.

“In my mind that matter has no merit, it is frivolous and vexatious,” Benjamin said.

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