Barbudans lose application to halt controversial land Bill

SOURCE: caribflame.com

The High Court has refused to intervene in the work of Parliament, at least at this stage, by denying several applications by six Barbudans who wanted Justice Clare Henry to halt the debate of the controversial Barbuda Land Management (Amendment) Bill of 2017. The six applicants who took the matter to court are: Nadia Josyanne Farrah Harris, John Mussington, Trevor Walker, Devon Warner, Lilrose A. Burton and Frances Beazer.

Justice Henry struck down all four applications made, which included: “Leave to commence judicial review proceedings against Prime Minister Gaston Browne and the attorney general (Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin;” and “an interim injunction restraining the Prime Minister and members of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda from promoting and/or progressing the adoption of the Barbuda Land Management (Amendment) Act 2017 into legislation.”

The group made those applications on the grounds “that there has been no consent given by the Barbudan Council or the people of Barbuda, as is required by Section 31 of the Barbuda Land Act 2007, and the Barbuda Land Management (Amendment) Act 2017 is therefore unlawful and ultra vires.” The other two applications were: “A declaration that the Prime Minister and members of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, in tabling the Barbuda Land Management (Amendment) Act 2017 as preparatory steps to enact this Bill into law have acted in breach of the Barbuda Land Act Section 32 and in breach of the Constitution Sections 3, 9 and 19,” and lastly, “a declaration that the Prime Minister and members of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, in tabling the Barbuda Land Management (Amendment) Act 2017 as preparatory steps to enact this Bill into law have acted unreasonably, contrary to the principles of Natural Justice and Democracy and have deprived the people of Barbuda a legitimate expectation to be consulted on matters affecting their rights to land under the Barbuda Land Act 2007 and section 3, 9 and 19 of the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda 1981.”

(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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