First Look

GOJ concedes Certificate of Exemption wrongly issued in Goat Islands Case

Jamaica Environment Trust | 2014-10-23 00:00:00

The Supreme Court of Jamaica today heard submissions from the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) concerning the issuance of Certificates of Exemption under the Access to Information Act with regard to documents requested for the proposed Goat Islands port facility in the Portland Bight Protected Area.

The Certificates of Exemption had been issued in January and May 2014 by the Minister of Finance and Planning, the Hon. Peter Phillips.  JET's legal team, led by Hugh Small, QC, supported by JET environmental staff attorneys Danielle Andrade and Lisa Russell, successfully argued before the Hon. Mrs Justice Sharon George that the Certificates of Exemption were incorrectly issued by the Minister of Finance and Planning.

Carlene Larmond representing the Attorney General and the Ministry of Finance and Planning conceded the Minister had no authority to issue the Certificates.

"We are happy to settle this first point concerning the proper jurisdiction for issuing Certificates of Exemption," said Danielle Andrade, JET's Legal Director.  "We are anxious for the Court to rule on the other procedural and substantive issues in our case."

The issue of costs in relation to the case against the Minister of Finance and Planning is to be decided tomorrow morning and the case in relation to the Port Authority’s refusal to provide information will be heard on June 3rd and 4th, 2015.

The Certificates of Exemption issued by the Minister of Finance and Planning sought to declare the documents requested by JET exempt from disclosure under the provisions of the ATI Act.


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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