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Judge to Decide on Shantytown Appeal Application

A Supreme Court Justice will decide on an appeal to a ruling, extending its shantytown injunction to the entire island of Abaco.



NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A Supreme Court Justice is set to make a decision on an application made by the Attorney General’s Office to appeal a ruling handed down in June, extending its shantytown injunction to the entire island of Abaco.

Kyle Walkine has the latest.

Justice Cheryl Grant Thompson has reserved her ruling for leave to appeal for a later date as lawyers for the Attorney General’s office seek to take the matter to the court of appeal.

Back in June, the Supreme Court Justice extended the court’s Shantytown injunction to all of Abaco, preventing the then government from destroying Shantytown communities without bringing evidence of a breach of the law to court first.

The substantive judicial review of the shantytown matter is still under review by the court, with parties awaiting the judge’s ruling.

Fred Smith, QC, the attorney representing the applicants, questioned, “What is the vendetta and the utility of the appeal and why is the Attorney General’s Office continuing with the application while the court is making its decision?”

He said the justice’s decision was plainly justified. The previous government had demolished several illegal housing structures in shantytown communities on Abaco.

In court, Kayla Green-Smith, representing the AG’s office said the matter is of public interest for the court to examine as there are very arguable grounds with a possibility of success. She also argued that it interfered with the work of the disaster reconstruction authority.

However, Smith argued that the DRA didn’t even exist when the government bulldozed homes in the Mudd Shantytown.

He said the last government’s policy of destroying people’s homes in those communities is inhumane and degrading. He called the AG office’s pursuit of the application premature and a waste of time as the only people being hurt are the poor.