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FFOS vs EMA at the Privy Council on Monday 30th July, 2018

FFOS vs EMA at the Privy Council on Monday 30th July, 2018

Date: July 30th, 2018

Dear Editor/Newsroom,

Proceedings will be aired live online on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) website (https://www.jcpc.uk/live/court-03.html) Date – Monday 30th July 2018 Time -5:30 am Trinidad and Tobago time (10:30 am London time) On 29th September 2017, Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) commenced Judicial Review proceedings against the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) for issuing a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC 4952/2016) to the Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT),dated 22nd June 2017, for the “specific purpose of the establishment of a 5000 meter highway alignment commencing at a point 300 metres east of the Cumuto Main Road and ending at a point 600 metres west of Guaico Trace, Sangre Grande”.

This 5000 meter (5km) highway was being constructed on the southern boundary of the protected and designated Environmentally Sensitive Area, the Aripo Savannas, which supports endemic, rare, threatened, vulnerable, endangered and also the Environmentally Sensitive Species, (ESS) the Tiger Cat Ocelot. FFOS have submitted, that in our view, the CEC issued by the EMA to the MOWT is “unreasonable, illegal, procedurally improper, irrational, null and void and of no effect.”

On 20th April 2018, FFOS scored a landmark victory in the Court of Appeal when it was granted leave to appeal to the Privy Council, and an injunction pending the hearing of that appeal. The injunction effectively halted further construction work from continuing on the Cumuto-Sangre Grande Highway with immediate effect. The Court of Appeal found that the FFOS had a genuine and legitimate dispute with an arguable appeal which the Privy Council should hear. The Court stated that the damage to the Aripo Savannas Environmentally Sensitive Area would be irreparable and hence impossible to compensate. Ten (10) months after filing for leave for Judicial Review, this landmark case will be heard before the Privy Council on Monday 30th July 2018, 5:30 am Trinidad and Tobago time.

FFOS are being proudly represented in London by our hard working legal team led by Anand Ramlogan S.C., Richard Wald (junior advocate) , who are instructed by Alvin Pariagsingh. The EMA has retained British Queens Counsel Peter Knox to lead its legal team of Amira Rahaman, Ravi Heffes Doon and Jenelle Partap who are all personally attending and appearing at the hearing in London. The MOWT and National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO) are being represented by Ian Benjamin SC and Tamika Jorsling. Both Respondents are instructed by a team of UK solicitors from the firm of Charles Russel Speechlys. These proceedings will be aired live on the JCPC Website – https://www.jcpc.uk/live/court-03.html

The public is invited to view these proceedings online.
Gary Aboud
Corporate Secretary

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