Global Legal Action Network joins fight against construction of Barbuda’s airport

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Two Barbudans who raised environmental concerns about the construction of a new airport on the sister island, have teamed up with a global non-profit organization to further propel their fight and halt a new airport construction project.

John Mussington and Jacklyn Frank are receiving support from the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) and are seeking the public’s assistance through pledges as they move to appeal the latest court decision in the matter.

“Our fight is not over. We have several appeals to go through and that takes money and so in order for us to set this precedent and to make a difference in terms of how we approach, bearing in the mind the decade of environmental damage the UN has declared, we need civil society to come on board. One of the ways that you can do so is logging on to Global Legal Action Network account funding page and support us in our action we are taking in terms of making a difference,” Mussington, an environmentalist and educator, told OBSERVER.

GLAN is a unique non-profit organisation that pursues innovative legal actions across borders, challenging states and actors involved with human rights.

A message on the website said Barbudans are in need of help to fight a crucial legal battle to protect their environment and resist

the construction of a vast airport and resort on communally-held land which has now been taken away from them.

Acting on behalf of the people of Barbuda, Mussington and Frank filed an injunction in the High Court in 2018 to halt the construction of the airport, pending a judicial review, claiming that the work being carried out was causing major damage to the island’s wildlife and ecosystem.

On March 7th 2019 the High Court granted an application, submitted by lawyers representing the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority (ABAA), for it to be removed as a party to the suit which was brought against the government by the Barbudans. 

The two Barbudans said they intend to file an appeal for the ABAA to be rejoined as a respondent in a case. Mussington said the Airport Authority’s involvement in the case is important for many reasons.

According to Mussington, the case is still tied up in procedural issues which must be cleared up before the real case can begin.

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