High Court Agrees to Hear GPH Case

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The High Court issued an order on Wednesday, granting leave to three claimants to apply for judicial review of the agreement signed between the government of Antigua and Barbuda and Global Port Holdings (GPH).

This means the matter will now go before the court, and it will make a

determination based on the breaches that the claimants allege.

On April 30, three claimants – Sir George Ryan, James Spencer and Clefrin ‘Chalky’ Colburn – sought leave of the High Court to apply for judicial review of the GPH agreement.

The claimants are challenging the agreement on the basis that certain laws in Antigua have not been followed. Those allegedly broken laws include the St. Johns Development Corporation Act, the Tenders Board Act and the Finance Administration Act.

Even further, the claimants are alleging that the government has acted in breach of the doctrine of the separation of powers which they say is a constitutional issue.

Since the government signed the GPH agreement several months ago it has faced stiff opposition.

Accusations have been leveled about the lack of transparency and the failure to consult and communicate with the major stakeholders. Demonstrations and pickets have also been staged to pressure the government into squashing the agreement in its entirety.

Opposition groups say the agreement failed to take several factors into consideration including the job security of some in the cruise sector, even though GPH officials maintain that no jobs will be lost.

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