First Look

Court gives JET permission to file case against Min. Of Finance and Planning and Port Authority

Jamaica Environment Trust | 2014-05-28 00:00:00

On May 22, 2014, the Supreme Court gave permission to the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET)  to file an application for judicial review challenging the decision of the Minister of Finance and Planning, the Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips to issue a Certificate of Exemption to exempt agreements and proposals on the proposed transshipment port from public disclosure. In its application for judicial review, JET is also challenging the refusal of the Port Authority to disclose this information. Attorneys for the Minister and the Port Authority did not contest JET's application for the Court's permission. The Minister is represented by the Attorney General and the Port Authority is represented by Dr. Lloyd Barnett, OJ. JET is being represented by Hugh Small, QC.

Since the announcement of the proposed port last year, JET has submitted several requests for information to relevant government agencies including the Port Authority. Even though the Access to Information Act grants all citizens the right to obtain official documents held by the government, the Port Authority had refused to disclose the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CHEC and the Port Authority, the Addendum to the MOU and CHEC's proposal for the port claiming that the information is exempt for commercial and confidential reasons. Additionally, that disclosure may have and adverse effect on the economy. On January 22, 2014, the Minister of Finance and Planning issued a Certificate of Exemption purporting to exempt these documents from public disclosure claiming that premature disclosure would or could have a substantial effect on the economy.

At the next hearing date on June 18, 2014, the Court will make orders for the filing of the application.


Posted By :Jamaica Trust

Company Name : Jamaica Environment Trust

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Company Address : 11 Waterloo Road Kingston 10 Jamaica

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