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Sunday 21 July 2019
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Privy Council reserves ruling on FFOS Manzanilla highway challenge

JUDGMENT has been reserved by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) in the appeal by Fishermen and Friends of the Sea over the construction of the Churchill Roosevelt Highway extension to Manzanilla.

In March, the appellate court dismissed the FFOS’ challenge of the permission given to the State to begin the multi-million dollar highway extension.

They appealed to the JCPC and the case was expedited before Lords Reed, Wilson, Carnwath, Lloyd-Jones and Lady Black.

After extensive submissions by the FFOS and the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and the Ministry of Works and Transport, at the Privy Council yesterday, the law lords reserved their decision.

FFOS was represented by Anand Ramlogan,SC, while Peter Knox, QC, represented the EMA and Ian Benjamin,SC, argued for the ministry.

In their ruling in March, Justices of Appeal Gregory Smith, Judith Jones and Andre des Vignes did not agree on the merits of the FFOS’ case, but they all agreed that the reliefs sought by the environmental activist group would be prejudicial to good administration and the third-party rights of the contractor, KallCo.

The FFOS had challenged the process used by the EMA for granting a CEC for the $400 million phase one of the project between Cumuto and Guaico, claiming it was procedurally flawed and failed to consider alternative routes which would have less impact on the environment and communities.

FFOS also argued the work was affecting the Aripo Savannas forest reserve, which the EMA declared an environmentally sensitive area in 2007.

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