David Comissiong speaking to the media after leaving the Supreme Court today. (Picture by Xtra Vision Photography)
THERE ARE HINTS, says attorney and CARICOM Ambassador-designate David Comissiong, that the Barbados Labour Party Government will concede on the Hyatt case.
And if that is done, he said, it would mean a victory not just for himself, but for the people of Barbados.
Comissiong, who is the claimant as well as the attorney in the suit against former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who had responsibility for town planning matters, made the comments as he addressed a media conference at the Clement Payne Centre yesterday.
He had applied for judicial review in a bid to stop the 15-storey beachfront hotel from being constructed in the island’s World Heritage Site at Bay Street, The City.
He said the law demanded that an environmental impact assessment be carried out before any decision could be made by the Chief Town Planner or the Prime Minister. This, said Comissiong, was not done and neither the Chief Town Planner nor Stuart responded to his correspondence.
Comissiong said the judge had ruled in his favour and the Stuart administration had signalled its intention to appeal. He added the new Mia Mottley-led Government would have to decide if it was going to proceed with that appeal.
“I have received hints that the Barbados Labour Party is not a backward administration and that it will not be continuing with that appeal against the right of Barbadian citizens to challenge the decision . . . .
“That will be not only a victory for me; that would be a victory for all citizens of Barbados, because it would have confirmed our right as citizens to apply for judicial review,” he said.
“I have also received hints that the Barbados Labour Party administration may very well concede that a project of this nature required the holding of an environmental impact assessment, and if they come to that position, that would not surprise me.”
The social activist, who said he was Prime Minister Mottley’s cousin, added he would be looking to approach the new administration with a view to brokering settlements in the suits arising from the Arch Cot tragedy, in which five members of the Codrington family lost their lives when their apartment collapsed into a cave in 2007, and the Campus Trendz fiery inferno, set by two now-convicted killers, in which six girls died in the Tudor Street store in 2010.
“I have spoken to the other attorneys because five cases have been filed in this (Arch Cot) matter on behalf of the young ladies and their families. [Those attorneys] have all agreed that this litigation has been lingering too long,” he said, explaining the civil suit had to wait on the outcome of the criminal trials against the two men. As a result, eight years had passed.
“So we have decided as lawyers we will be writing to the new Government saying to them that we want you to take a fresh look at this matter. Let us sit down around a table, let us discuss all of the parameters and let us see if we cannot resolve it in a mutually acceptable manner. (HLE)
Read the full story on Page 15 in today's Midweek Nation, or in the eNATION edition.