Gov’t to repeal Barbuda Land Act

April 13 is the date that the government plans to repeal the Barbuda Land Act of 2007.

The Land Act has been a contentious issue for the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party administration, with its leader, Gaston Browne having previously said it should be repealed.

OBSERVER media reached out to Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin today and he argued that the law, which prevents Antiguans from owning land in Barbuda, is unconstitutional.

In early 2018, the government amended the Barbuda Land Act to allow Barbudans to have private ownership of land.

When the ABLP lost the Barbuda seat in the general election on March 21, the prime minister said he was now free to taking a firmer stance on governing the affairs of the sister isle.

Browne said that while he felt the land Act should be repealed, his government was only keeping it to gain the electoral support of Barbudans.

His attorney general also commented today.

Meanwhile, the minister of Information, Melford Nicholas, told reporters this morning that the government will go to Parliament in two weeks time.

That was information minister Melford Nicholas at this morning’s post-Cabinet media briefing.

The Barbuda Land Act was passed during the United Progressive Party (UPP) administration to give legal force to the system of communal land use which Barbudans have historically practiced.

Under the original Act, the land in Barbuda was vested in the crown to be held on behalf of the people of Barbuda.

Barbudans were only given the right to lease and occupy the land.