Home » Judicial Committee of the Privy Council revives suit to block Antigua and Barbuda airstrip construction over environmental concerns

Judicial Committee of the Privy Council revives suit to block Antigua and Barbuda airstrip construction over environmental concerns

by Derek Andrews
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The court docket of final resort for Britain’s abroad colonies and a few Commonwealth nations revived a lawsuit looking for to dam the development of an airstrip in Antigua and Barbuda over environmental issues on Tuesday. The UK-based Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) concluded that the plaintiffs within the swimsuit have standing to problem the airstrip’s constriction, despite the fact that it had already been accomplished.

The case pertains to the development of an airstrip on the island of Barbuda, which started in 2017 with no allow. Marine biologist and conservationist John Mussington visited the development website in November of that yr and confronted the builders about whether or not they had the correct permits and had carried out an environmental impression evaluation. Mussington feared the airstrip’s development would adversely have an effect on the native fauna’s feeding and breeding grounds. Antigua and Barbuda’s airport authority subsequently utilized for a development allow inside a month of Mussington’s go to, which was granted in 2018.

Mussington and retired instructor Jaclyn Frankchallenged the airstrip’s development that yr earlier than the Japanese Caribbean Supreme Court docket’s Excessive Court docket of Justice, the place they argued that the respondents violated the nation’s Physical Planning Act 2003 by commencing development with no allow. The plaintiffs received an injunction in opposition to the airstrip’s development, later quashed by the Court docket of Attraction.

The excessive court docket subsequently declined to challenge a second injunction. Following a cross-appeal, the Court docket of Attraction found that the appellants didn’t have standing below the Japanese Carribean Supreme Court docket’s civil procedure rules to hunt judicial assessment. The appellants then took the Court docket of Attraction’s resolution to the JCPC.

The query earlier than the JCPC was whether or not the Supreme Court docket erred in concluding that the appellants didn’t have standing. The JCPC concluded that the Supreme Court docket erroneously disregarded a UK case about standing to sue over street development and located that the appellants had “adequate curiosity” to deliver the case. The court docket reasoned that as a result of the Bodily Planning Act was not adopted and since the appellants’ space may face environmental harm, the appellants are “considerably affected” by the airstrip.

The JCPC’s resolution famous that Antigua and Barbuda are signatories to the “Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean,” which goals to make sure public participation in environmental choices.

Hurricane Irma devastated Antigua and Barbuda in 2017, damaging or leveling 90 percent of Barbuda’s constructions, however development of the Barbuda airstrip at challenge started simply weeks after the hurricane landed. In 2021, a bunch of UN consultants called on Antigua and Barbuda’s authorities to guard Barbuda’s wetlands after developing a luxurious resort in a weak space.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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