Govt recruits lawyers to fight shanty town action

Attorney General Carl Bethel.

Attorney General Carl Bethel.

THE government has hired a team of high-powered lawyers to fight the legal action meant to stop the Minnis administration's eradication of shanty towns, Attorney General Carl Bethel said.

The legal team is led by Harvey Tynes, QC, to assume carriage of the judicial review action against the government. Robert Adams, from Graham Thompson in Grand Bahama, is also on the team.

"The government views this challenge with the utmost seriousness and I want to assure the Bahamian people that the government intends to meet this challenge in a vigorous, timely and appropriate manner, towards which end we have appointed and retained a team of expert attorneys who are particularly experienced in the judicial review matters and constitutional matters before our courts," Mr Bethel told the Senate.

The Supreme Court previously ordered the government and utility providers to halt any planned service disconnections or evictions in shanty towns pending a judicial review of the Minnis administration's policy to eradicate those communities.

Supreme Court Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson granted the interlocutory injunction blocking evictions and service disconnections just days ahead of the government's August 10 deadline during a telephone conference with human rights attorney Fred Smith, QC, and Mr Bethel on Saturday.

Leave for judicial review - filed on behalf of 177 shanty town residents from both New Providence and Abaco, and non-profit group Respect Our Homes Ltd (ROHL) - was granted on Friday.

A date for trial has not yet been determined.

Despite the injunction, the government is pushing ahead with surveys of shanty towns in the Family Islands.

Labour Minister Dion Foulkes told reporters on Tuesday the injunction only applies to the shanty towns in New Providence, adding task forces on Family Islands are either being established or already underway.

The Shanty Town Action Task Force yesterday conducted a survey of the Farm Road shanty town in Treasure Cay, Abaco.

Mr Foulkes told The Tribune the task force's survey of the island was 90 percent complete, and identified Eleuthera as its next stop.

Mr Foulkes said yesterday: "Eleuthera has 11 shanty towns, most of them are very small but there is one big one on Russell Island, next to Spanish Wells. And then, there is a medium-sized one in Andros at the San Andros airport.

"So those are the remaining ones, we are in the process of establishing subcommittees of the task force in Eleuthera and Andros. We should have those completed by the first week in September."


Future 5 years, 6 months ago

Obviously our government does not run the country, as they are being told what to do. Tell me why there are two sets of rules. Why do Bahamians have to comply but illegal Haitians do not? When they come checking for permits, Bahamians need to start telling them, "daddy, I illegal Haitian. I no need permit."


bogart 5 years, 6 months ago

EXCELLENT for any government to bring back law and order and wid firn steadfast determination protect national interests reestablish control of unregulated ateas. Now at the same time all persons who were employed by government and allowed these shantytowms to establish, grow and now taking legal action to their claim all officials needs to be charged with slackness.....an..an....an make the pore taxpayers pay ...pore people aint paying for more slackness...dem days over..35 to 4 !!!!


TalRussell 5 years, 6 months ago

There is ocean waters difference in the way the 91,409 comrades voting red shirts 10 May, 2017 have come see job being done by AG Carl Wilshire - and to say how he sees he self's ministerial performance - lacks clarity as to what exactly is the Imperial red shirts cabinet's stated position on Shantytowns. To say AG lacks brungin' transparency,,,,,,,, would be putting it mildly. . .


SP 5 years, 6 months ago

Carl Bethel is totally incompetent as Attorney General dealing with this shanty town dilemma and Dion Foulkes has been caught in so many lies, backtracking, and turnarounds, he makes "no collusion-Donald Trump" look like a saint!

QC Harvey Tynes should have been appointed lead counsel for the government to deal on par with Fred Smith and article 7 of the Constitution from the very beginning.


Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 6 months ago

And we taxpayers are going to get stuck paying a very hefty QC Tynes bill because AG Bethel and Minnis's entire cabinet are a bunch of incompetent dimwits!


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