Barbuda Land Act suit to be heard in January 2019

The government is preparing itself to challenge a law suit that has been brought against it by several members of the Barbuda Council.

The suit which was filed in the High Court on October 18th

It challenges two pieces of legislation which make the long standing communal practice of land ownership on Barbuda null and void.

The amendment was met with much opposition from the Barbuda Council when it was repealed in parliament earlier this year and replaced by the Crown Lands Regulation Amendment Act 2018.

The chairman of the Barbuda Council, Trevor Walker said then that they would contest the government’s decision to pass this bill.

AUDIO – Kamalie on land act

The lawsuit for the Barbuda Land Act is expected to be heard for the first time on January 15th 2019.

Attorney at law Justin Simon QC has moved on behalf of Trevor Walker, Wayde Burton, Mackenzie Frank and the rest of the Barbuda Council to file a lawsuit against the Antigua and Barbuda Government.

The suit claims that the changes which were made to the Barbuda Land Act 2007 are illegal.

They are therefore asking the court to maintain that land in Barbuda which is vested in the Governor General, be held on behalf of Barbuda people and that these lands be once again owned in common by the people of Barbuda.

They say the Crown Lands Regulation Bill violates sections of the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda, which negate the independence of the Barbuda Council in the exercise of its duties, powers, and functions.

But Attorney General Steadroy Cutie Benjamin tells ZDK their claims hold no basis. In fact he says he is surprised by the lawsuit which he claims are without any merit.

The government will be represented by Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan and Carla Brookes Harris, the Deputy Solicitor General.