Work on Barbuda international airport halted by interim injunction

Friday 3 August 2018

The High Court of Justice of Antigua and Barbuda has granted a group of Barbudans leave to move for Judicial Review of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda’s decision to construct an international airport on the island and an interim injunction stopping all work on the airport. The full Judicial Review is listed for 26 September 2018.

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Leslie Thomas QCMarc Willers QCThalia Maragh and Tihomir Mak of Garden Court Chambers are instructed on this case.

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The case was heard at 10am AST on 2 August 2018 at the High Court of Justice of Antigua and Barbuda, and was successful in its demand for the immediate shut down of the development of the airport on Barbuda.

The injunction was granted after the case was lodged outlining concerns about environmental damage that the Barbudans who brought the case, John Mussington and Jacklyn Frank, believe the project will cause. Department of Environment documents obtained by Mussington and Frank's legal team revealed that the authorities had been warned about ecological as well as archaeological risks.

Leslie Thomas QC of Garden Court Chambers, representing the Barbudans, said:

“This is the first time the Barbudans are going to get real answers to some of their burning questions on the airport development. It is just a pity it had to be with the threat of the court armed with an interim injunction”.

The case, expected to be closely followed throughout the Caribbean region and international community, including environmental and human rights communities, could set the stage for similar action across the islands regarding sustainable development planning and ethical government conduct, both critical areas of public interest.

This is the latest in a series of legal actions being taken by Barbudans against the Government of Antigua and Barbuda surrounding the attempt to force changes to the land tenure system and introduce unsustainable and speculative developments on the island of Barbuda.

For full details on the background of the case please see our press release dated 2 August 2018: Barbudans take legal action against Government of Antigua and Barbuda for unlawful development of an international airport.

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