JET applies for judicial review of Goat Islands’ decision

(Jamaica Gleaner) -The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) says it has applied to the Supreme Court to start the process of judicial review of the government’s decision to deny it information on certain aspects of plans to develop the Goat Islands.

In October 2013, JET requested from the Port Authority of Jamaica information regarding the Memorandum of Under-standing between the Government of Jamaica and China Harbour Engineering Company for the proposed develop-ment.

However, access was denied in November 2013 and JET then filed an appeal to the Appeals Tribunal of the Access to Information Act.

The lobby group says it was awaiting a hearing date when it received notice that the Minister of Finance and Planning had granted a Certificate of Exemption, outlining that it would not be in the best interest of the country for such information to be released.


However, JET’s Legal Director Danielle Andrade says the organisation believes the Finance Minister erred in granting the Certificate of Exemp-tion.

She says JET is concerned that this act strikes at the letter and spirit of the Access to Information Act.

Andrade says JET is hoping for an early date for a hearing on the matter.

China Harbour Engineer-ing Company has proposed building a transshipment port on the Goat Islands located in the Portland Bight Protected Area.

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