Lovell disappointed by Privy Council’s ruling but assures Barbudans of his Party’s solidarity

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REAL NEWS:        Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), is expressing disappointment that the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has dismissed an appeal by two Barbudans; but he says that, politically, this is something that can be addressed with a change of government. CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP.

Antigua and Barbuda’s final appellate court handed down its judgment Monday morning, June 13, at 6 a.m. local time.

Barbuda MP Trevor Walker and McKenzie Frank had challenged the constitutionality of the Paradise Found Act, 2015 all the way to the British court.

In its 21-page decision, the five law Lords and Lady outlined a number of reasons for its decision, and ruled that the claimants have no realistic prospect of succeeding in their claim under Section 9(1) of the Constitution.

It noted that the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal was correct to strike out that claim.

But Lovell opines that the claim was two-fold — that is, legal and moral/historical – and formed over the last two centuries.

Lovell says he has perused the judgment, but not read it in its entirety, and notes that the case has been decided on its legal perspective.

Accordingly, he says the Barbudans will now have to look at the facts and decide where they go from here.

Notwithstanding the adverse decision, Lovell says the UPP will stand in solidarity with Barbudans on their moral/historical claim.

It is obvious from the judgment that the Privy Council considered only the legal claim, which is what courts do, a source says.

The ruling should finally put to rest the contentious issue of land use on Barbuda and who has the right to issue leases, since Barbudans now have no other legal options to fight their centuries-old position.

The case hinged on Barbudans’ opposition to a major tourism development on the sister-island that involved the construction of a hotel resort by actor Robert DeNiro and his partners.

Walker, Frank and the Barbudan people felt that the 391 acres of land leased by the Government to Paradise Found LLC for 99 years – at a rental payment of US$5.2m on the signing of the lease – was unjust to them.

Under the Paradise Found (Project) Act 2015, there is also an option to renew the lease for a further 50 years, exercisable on completion of the resort, for a further rental payment of $1 million.

Walker and Frank were alleging that the lease infringes their rights under section 9(1) of the Antigua and Barbuda Constitution (1981), protecting them from deprivation of property.

They were hoping the Privy Council would have ruled that the Act is void and/or they are entitled to payment of fair compensation and vindicatory damages.

The defendant, Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, representing the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, had sought to strike out the claim as disclosing no cause of action and/or as being an abuse of process.

Prior to the judgment, both the Barbudans and the Government had expressed optimism about winning the case.

A source says he sees this ruling as a sad day in Antigua and Barbuda. He notes that the loss was hinged on the failure of the UPP Administration to entrench the Barbuda Land Act, 2007, in the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda.

Because of this, he says, the Paradise Found Act and any amendments to the Land Act would have been lawful based on the principles of the sovereignty of Parliament and the later Act of any Parliament superseding a previous one.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. While, I disagree with the development of Barbuda(reminds me of Mill Reef), Antiguans must have access to Barbuda’s lands and other resources, just like Barbudans do in Antigua.

    Ras Smood aka Jumbee Picknee
    Son of Mami_Wata & Papa_Elegba.

  2. The sentiments expressed by Harold Lovell are probably the most irresponsible I’ve heard in a very long time. He speak about “historical/moral” claims by Mr. Walker and Mr. Frank. There can be no historical/moral claim if the claim is grounded erroneous information. The “historical/moral” claim that was being made by the two gentlemen was found to be erroneous. That claim is that Barbudans owned the land in common. The Privy Council ruled that that claim has no basis in law! It is as simple as that. For Lovell now to be asserting that a change of government can fix that is the height of irresponsible behaviour because any government that seeks to reverse this would be acting contrary to Section 9(1) of the Constitution and this ruling sets the framework for such a law to be challenged and struck down. That is why Lovell’s statement is irresponsible and dangerous. I guess desperation leads to wild imaginings.

    • and he calls himself a LAWYER! Is this who the UPP really have as its “leader”???? A desperate, pompous, deceitful dimwit…hopelessly attempting to play on their “emotions” even after the FINAL Court of Appeal has spoken?

      rejoice loveLIE. you were anti-CCJ. dats y you foolishly chose Pearl to run on your ticket after her ramblings at multipurpose center.

      plenty chat and EMPTY head. quit clutching at dry grass!

      • Hmmmm why you guys like to propagate such lies? In the CCJ/PRIVY COUNCIL Referendum was Lovell anti-CCJ. Harold Lovell was pro-CCJ and he said he left it up to the members of the Party to make their own decision. I was also pro-CCJ. You guys must be more objective and stop propagating lies for politics sake.

        • Was Pearl Quinn-Williams pro-CCJ to? Didn’t she brag she was one leading the charge to vote against the CCJ? Tabor sometimes is best to keep quiet and leave things as they are. Trevor Walker and Frank lost the case not that there was one to begin with and it had to take the Privy Council to tell them something that they already know. The lands in Barbuda belongs to the government but they have the people bamboozled and fooled for all these years. Now they don’t know what to say so or who to clean the eggs from off their faces.

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  4. The ruling given by the Lords also applies to King Lyadd Lovell Limpy Joe and his childhood dream of becoming PM: ” NO REALISTIC PROSPECT OF SUCCEEDING…”

  5. The worst part is, if you read the opinion, you see how foolish and unpersuasive the claim was to begin with based on precedent. Sad this project got held up for so long on such a weak claim.

  6. Do not forget Ian MAGIC Hughes , and The Candidate from the EAST corridor accused of rape. The UPP is IMPLODING.

  7. JUST SAYING just for your elucidation the Privy Council decision was partly grounded in the Principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty. What that means Parliament can pass any law while it is not at variance with the Constitution. A Parliament can pass a law giving Barbudans communal rights of the land as the UPP did with the 2007 Land Act. The Act was not unconstitutional. However, it was not entrenched in the Constitution so the ALP government could pass legislation to repeal its provisions. If a succeeding government feels that because of the unique history of Barbuda that the land should be held communally, what is irresponsible about that. Ultimately, the resolution of the Barbuda Land issue might be addressed by secession.

    • charles why are u commenting on something wayyy out of your league? Remember a famous caller to Observer had this to say about you “next time get a REAL LAWYER please”

      Referring to the judgment in the court case with Wehner as “PERVERSE”

      Sitting on the UPP Executive yet take no umbrage with the likes of Ian Magic hughes speaking for the UPP on its radio station.

      You are a joke!

  8. Tabor don’t fool your damn self like Lovell. Nobody on here looking to you for legal advice/interpretation/clarity 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣

  9. Tabor don’t fool your damn self like Lovell. Nobody on here looking to you for legal advice/interpretation/clarity 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 humble ya self and tap in ya likkle yellow corner!!

    • Smh you see I am providing clarity to you already. My corner is Blue not yellow 😂🤣😀

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