Responsible Development for Abaco denied leave to appeal to Privy Council

Responsible Development for Abaco denied leave to appeal to Privy Council

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The appellate court has denied an application from Responsible Development for Abaco (RDA) Limited to seek leave to appeal to the Privy Council.

The move reaffirms an order granting a quarter of a million dollars in security for costs in favor of the respondents, who include former Prime Minister Perry Christie and several members of his administration.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the company’s appeal in August 2019 and upheld Justice Hanna-Adderley ruling for the applicant to provide costs in respect of its application for judicial review of certain decisions of the nine government respondents in connection with the developer respondents’ proposed investments in Abaco.

The respondents include, former Minister of Works and Urban Development Philip Brave Davis; former Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin; former Minister of the Environment Kendred Dorsett; the Town Planning Committee; the South Abaco District Council; then Acting Director of Physical Planning Charles Zonicle; Acting Director of the Department of Lands and Surveys Richard Hardy; Port Administrator for Abaco Marques Williams; Abaco Club Investments LLC; the Abaco Sporting Club Limited and Winding Bay Development Limited.

The matter was ruled on by Justices Sir Michael Barnett; Jon Isaacs, and Roy Jones.

The judicial review began in March 2016.

According to the appellate court, Responsible Development for Abaco conceded in its submissions the order of the trial judge requiring to pay security for the respondents’ cost was an interlocutory order and the appeal had nothing to do with the issues raised in the substantive action.

“In the exercise of our discretion, leave should not be granted to the Privy Council against an interlocutory order unless it can be demonstrated that there is an arguable case to succeed on appeal and that the appeal involves a point of general or public legal importance,” the court said.

It continued: “When exercising the discretion to grant leave the questions to be considered are whether the applicant has an arguable case and whether the appeal involves a point of general and public importance.

“This is an application for security for costs in an action for judicial review.

“It involves no principle of law; it is simply the exercise of the discretion of the trial judge whether to require the applicant to provide security.

“None of the issues intended to be raised are issues of general or public importance.”

The Court of Appeal accepted it may be an arguable ground on whether the amount of security the applicant was ordered to provide the developer respondents ought to have exceeded the amount ordered to be provided as security for the government respondents.

It expressed reservation as to why the amounts differed, but said the actual amount of the respondents’ cost, which the applicant will be required to pay “will be resolved on taxation”.

Attorney Fred Smith, QC, appeared for the applicant.

Attorney Franklyn Williams was counsel for nine of the respondents.

Higgs & Johnson Global Managing Partner, Oscar Johnson and Partner Tara Archer-Glasgow were council for Abaco Club Investments LLC and Winding Bay Development Ltd.