August 14, 2015
Attorney Fred Smith QC
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An outspoken QC was yesterday optimistic that an upcoming Privy Council case may set legal precedent over tactics employed by the Government and developers to “scuttle” court challenges.
An outspoken QC yesterday urged the newly-elected Davis administration to “take the leap” its predecessor did not and “open the floodgates” to realising Freeport’s “holy grail” as The Bahamas’ economic saviour.
‘HE DESERVES MORE’: Kenyan awarded $640k for six years of illegal detention seeks higher compensation
KENYAN native Douglas Ngumi is challenging a Supreme Court ruling that awarded him over $640,000 in damages for his unlawful arrest, detention and inhumane treatment at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre, arguing more compensation is needed for the wrongs committed against him.
An outspoken QC last night warned that “Know Your Customer (KYC) constipation” could undermine The Bahamas’ post-COVID revival, arguing that his law firm’s struggle to open a joint bank account “beggars belief”.
GHANA native Joseph Amihere is suing the government for $10.6m with interest for illegally detaining him for nearly seven years at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre, during which time he endured poor treatment where he was “physically, emotionally and psychologically abused”.
FRED Smith, QC, made an impassioned plea for government to cease further demolition until the Supreme Court has made its final ruling on whether a standing injunction, which bars the government from evicting shanty town residents and disconnecting services in their communities, will be extended to cover unregulated communities in Abaco.
A prominent QC yesterday argued that Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) will itself benefit from the legal challenge to its permits being cleared to proceed to a full Supreme Court trial.
Oil exploration opponents were last night faced with having to seek the Supreme Court’s permission for more time despite raising the $200,000 to cover Bahamas Petroleum Company’s (BPC) legal costs.
Oil exploration opponents are persisting with their Judicial Review challenge in a bid to “draw a line in the sand they will not back away from” over future drilling activities, a prominent QC is warning.
Environmental activists are urging the Supreme Court to permit a receiver to seize possession of Nygard Cay, which was last valued at $14m, and sell it to satisfy its owner’s Bahamian legal debts.
THE government will not seek security for costs from environmentalists in the judicial review proceedings involving Bahamas Petroleum Company’s exploratory oil drilling, drawing praise from attorney Fred Smith for removing a potentially significant obstacle.
Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) was yesterday warned "not to presume that Bahamians will collapse and sacrifice the world's most successful per capita tourism industry" even if oil is discovered.
A prominent QC yesterday urged the Town Planning Committee "to grab oil drilling by the horns" after it became embroiled in the escalating legal battle over exploration in Bahamian waters.
ENVIRONMENTALISTS will learn on Saturday whether Justice Petra Hanna-Adderley will grant their application for a stay of Bahamas Petroleum Company’s exploratory oil well drilling.
ATTORNEY Fred Smith said Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle should have encouraged local extradition proceedings against Peter Nygard over the sexual assault allegations he faces.
Environmental activists yesterday pledged to challenge whether Bahamas Petroleum Company's (BPC) agreements are legally watertight after remarks by the Prime Minister that were "music to our ears".
Environmental activists last night urged the Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) to "meet us on the battlefield" amid claims its oil spill response plan is insufficiently "offensive".
LAWYER Fred Smith, QC, said it is “astounding” that the government’s top attorney has claimed “ignorance” over the alleged illegal “appalling” detainment of several Cameroonians at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre.
OIL exploration opponents yesterday said their demands for a drilling halt are justified by a study showing The Bahamas must match almost 60 percent of US offshore crude output to fully offset all economic risks.
OIL exploration opponents last night said they have “no choice” but to apply for an injunction halting Bahamas Petroleum Company’s (BPC) activities as its drilling ship began its voyage to this nation.
A prominent QC yesterday blasted suggestions by Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) shareholders that opposition to the company’s oil prospecting was driven by “malice”.
Environmental activists last night threatened to initiate legal action against the Government and Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) within 14 days unless the latter halts its oil exploration plans.
A prominent QC yesterday charged "there's no sense in having the rule of law if you have to pay to play" as he seeks the Privy Council's go-ahead for an appeal involving an Abaco marina project.
INSIGHT: Maybe now you’ll understand - a little taste of dictatorship shows what generations of ‘others’ have endured
Loftus Roker’s infamous “reign of terror” as Immigration Minister in the 1980s is largely responsible for cementing in the minds of average Bahamians the idea that Haitians and people of Haitian descent are second class citizens – actually little better than vermin – and underserving of the same rights as everyone else.
An outspoken QC is urging the Government to force the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) and Hutchison Whampoa to fulfill their Freeport obligations by ending the tax benefits they currently enjoy.
An outspoken QC yesterday slammed a Court of Appeal verdict involving an Abaco marina development as “another nail in the coffin of public interest litigation”.
INSIGHT: Marchar Jean was her school’s star pupil - today she’s trapped by a nonsensical system which is a stain on our nation
Sadly, unnecessarily and illegally, the life of an innocent young Bahamian in waiting is in limbo!
A prominent QC yesterday said Freeport “would welcome with open arms” the billionaire philanthropist whose proposed North Andros free-trade zone was rejected by the Prime Minister at the weekend.
A prominent QC yesterday argued it would be “pure economic insanity” if the government permits a US billionaire philanthropist to develop a free-trade zone on Andros instead of basing his project in Freeport.
Tragically, police and Immigration abuse, oppression and brutality in The Bahamas remain systemic, ubiquitous, unreformed, unrelenting, unaccountable and unapologetic. PLP and FNM governments alike do nothing about it!
ATTORNEY Fred Smith declared yesterday that Peter Nygard’s alleged sexual assault victims “will have their day in court."
I have been an ardent environmental and human rights advocate since I could reason.
The Bahamas “will be a collapsed state” if Nassau suffers a Dorian-type hit within the next two years, a well-known QC warned yesterday, urging: “This is not the time for half measures.”
The irony of the November 2014 immigration policy launched by Fred Mitchell is that it largely targeted people who had never committed any offence under the Immigration laws.
ATTORNEY Fred Smith, QC, believes the government is acting outside of the limits of its powers through several measures designed to hammer down on shanty towns in Abaco, adding that in some respects, it has acted unlawfully.
ATTORNEY Fred Smith says the property rights of residents from The Mudd and Pigeon Peas survived Hurricane Dorian’s destruction of buildings in their communities.
Oban Energies “remains confident” in the environmental soundness of its $5.5bn oil storage/refinery project despite warnings it would be “insane” to proceed given the post-Dorian spill.
Hurricane Dorian’s catastrophic impact “demands that insurers take” a more conciliatory approach to how claims are handled, an outspoken QC urged yesterday.
An outspoken QC yesterday said a recent Court of Appeal ruling has “sounded the death knell” for public interest legal challenges to major Family Island developments.
The government was yesterday urged to develop a “KYC Once Act” to cut through the banking industry red tape that has “left customers dangling in their business and personal lives”.
The prime minister was yesterday warned he must urgently “take a knife and slice through the red tape” otherwise investors will “simply say goodbye” to The Bahamas.
A prominent QC yesterday said he “would not advise anybody to do business in The Bahamas right now” because of the “strangulation” caused by excessive red tape and client due diligence.
A Freeport-based QC yesterday urged the government to “pull the trigger” on making his city The Bahamas’ future capital rather than waste “billions and billions” on moving it to Andros.
INSIGHT – Arrest, detention and deportation has not worked for 70 years. It’s time to stop the insanity and try something else
Haitians aren’t coming to take over. Those born in The Bahamas of Haitian parents, our Citizens in Waiting, are not either. They aren’t conspiring to steal our jobs, destroy our public services, or breed us out of existence. They do not want to make The Bahamas a colony of Haiti.
It’s time The Bahamas grew up. If we want to be a big player like Singapore on the world stage and if we want to be in the First World category, then we need to embrace immigration for investment and development purposes. For far too long, the amazing potential of the Bahamas has been choked by oppressive, repressive, discriminatory and abusive immigration policies.
A prominent QC yesterday slammed as “below the belt” efforts by Grand Bahama Power Company’s owner to portray him as a “disgruntled” investor trying to extract a higher price for his shares.
The dark culture of police brutality is perhaps the most open of the many sordid secrets which define the modern Bahamas.
Attorney Fred Smith, QC, is opposed to a provision in a new immigration bill that would prevent people born in the Bahamas to non-Bahamians from becoming citizens if they are 19 and older.
An outspoken QC yesterday apologised to the government for previously blasting its decision to acquire the Grand Lucayan, and said: “They have pulled a rabbit out of Freeport’s hat.”
No one should go to prison for smoking a joint. No life should be ruined over a small amount of weed.
A well-known QC has urged the Government to use Freeport to test out further exchange control liberalisation and end Bahamians’ status as “second class citizens in their own economy”.
An outspoken QC yesterday warned that the Commercial Enterprises Act is “too restrictive” and needs to be expanded if Freeport is to become a true “technology hub”.
Carnival’s Grand Port project is shaping up as an ideal model for how development should occur in The Bahamas.
An outspoken QC yesterday argued that “the rationale for the Non-Profit Organisations Bill does not exist” because no such Bahamas-based group operates using foreign currency.
LIKE many I remain an ardent supporter of the FNM, but like many, I too am frustrated, exasperated and discouraged at the dissonance exhibited by my party.
ATTORNEY Fred Smith yesterday echoed concerns levelled by civil society over the proposed Non-Profit Organisations Bill, calling the legislation a complete invasion of privacy rights.
Among the many poignant testimonials following the loss of well-known pilot Byron Ferguson in a plane crash last month, one touched a particularly important nerve.
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama was the first “Anchor Project” ever conceived for The Bahamas. It remains the most ambitious in vision and scope, the most potentially game-changing for our economy and the only one we ever really needed in the first place. The Magic City was designed to be an experimental economic space, a cradle of ideas and inspiration where, cut loose from the cumbersome weight of government interference, enterprises of every conceivable size, shape and description could flourish and not even the sky would be the limit.
PETER Nygard has paid a $2.6m settlement to Save The Bays which has allowed him to retake possession of Nygard Cay.
This article, the second in a two-part series, deals with initiatives to strengthen rights and privileges of individuals and communities. The first instalment, ‘A few words of advice to help a government off course’, published on October 29, addressed the need to upgrade our economic system for the 21st century.
Bahamians need a “come to Jesus moment” on national development. Those who advocate employment opportunities at more risk of destroying thousands in the future, amounts to a deal with the devil At the same time, environmentalists must understand that people have to live, and they can’t eat sand.
It is difficult to understand what the FNM is trying to achieve with its increasingly extreme and desperate stance on immigration. Not mentioned at all on the campaign trail, the issue has somehow ballooned into a top priority, an urgent challenge – a crisis in fact! But a crisis of their own making and the source of repeated blunders and embarrassments which must rattle so insecure and self-conscious a government to its very core.
HUMAN rights attorney Fred Smith, QC, has asked Attorney General Carl Bethel and other government officials to agree in writing that they will not evict shanty town residents or bulldoze their homes until a looming class-action lawsuit is heard in court.
THE government’s efforts to eradicate shanty town communities have come under fire, with prominent attorney and human rights activist Fred Smith yesterday threatening a lawsuit to block any attempts to raze homes in these areas.
AN appellate judge has questioned whether a Supreme Court judge had the power to compel the government to cause Bahamas-born Jean Rony Jean-Charles to be returned to the Bahamas despite him having no right to remain in the country.
ALREADY drowning in a sea of hefty utility bills, high living costs, and archaic business-stifling restrictions, low to middle income Bahamians have just been smacked in the face with a sledgehammer in the form of a regressive, unexpected and misguided tax hike. It is far worse for Grand Bahamians where the economy remains mired in a quagmire of depression.
The Bahamas has a problem with human rights. Specifically, this society harbours a deep distain for two basic propositions:
THE Oban Energies Heads of Agreement is “illegal,” attorney Fred Smith said yesterday. His comment followed Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd’s admission that the Minnis administration did not follow the law with the HOA was contradicted by Attorney
Bahamians continue to suffocate under the weight of hefty utilities bills, an unnecessarily high cost of living and daunting bureaucratic hurdles to making their own way in the world. The last thing they want to hear is the government intends to oppress them further with the burden of new taxes.
INSIGHT: We treat murderers and rapists better than we treat people suspected of having ‘Haitian blood’
When people hear the term “ethnic cleansing” they tend to think of notorious historical genocides – mass exterminations of people under the most graphic and shocking of circumstances. References to “concentration camps” usually evoke images like the unspeakable horrors of Auschwitz, the huge death toll of the Soviet Gulags, mass graves in the former Yugoslavia.
Former Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell’s (PLP) November 2014 immigration policy explicitly targets people who are already here legally; not people who have violated the Immigration Act. The focus was on people being “documented”, “regularised” and having “papers”; not on whether they broke any laws. Having just come to office, Brent Symonette (FNM) seems intent on blithely continuing this heresy.
Bahamians must begin to think of the fight to protect immigrant rights as part of a larger battle to defend the rule of law for the benefit of all who reside in this country.
DESPITE continued immigration sweeps throughout the country, officials have yet to find any of the migrants who were believed to be on board a large empty sloop, which was discovered on the shoreline of Adelaide Beach last weekend.
The Bahamas’ leading human rights lawyer continues his analysis of the Minnis administration’s December 31 deadline for illegal immigrants to leave the country.
NAYSAYERS will never approve raising the salaries of parliamentarians, attorney Fred Smith, QC, said yesterday as he welcomed Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’ intention to increase the pay of MPs.
I continue to watch and listen with dismay to your proclamations on driving out illegal immigrants in what is now just 55 days time.
The attempted forcible buy-out of Grand Bahama Power Company by a 100 percent foreign-owned entity is nothing less than an aggressive hostile takeover which is clearly not in the best interest of The Bahamas.
Leading human rights lawyer continues his series of articles attacking the government’s new immigration crackdown
AT first glance, the Christmas “Minnis Manifesto” appears to be directed at persons who are illegally in the country. The Prime Minister commands them to voluntarily leave or regularize themselves by getting their papers straight or face aggressive arrest and deportation in the New Year. But, effectively, who is the threat directed at?
The 2017 general election has gifted us with a tremendous opportunity to strengthen and entrench crucial democratic principles in the political, social and economic life of The Bahamas.
Frederick Smith QC says the separation of powers between executive and judiciary is being threatened by ‘capricious’ parliamentarians over the Save The Bays email row . . .
The Government would help create a “far greater” number of “meaningful” Bahamian jobs if it abandoned its current development approach in favour of the ‘green economy’, a well-known QC believes.
FOX Hill MP Fred Mitchell was adamant yesterday that Fred Smith, QC, legal director of Save The Bays, has waged “war” on him through a series of court actions aimed to “bankrupt” him personally.
MINISTER of Immigration and Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell has threatened to file a formal complaint against Fred Smith, QC, to the Bar Association in connection with two Cuban men who were wrongfully imprisoned in the country for nearly three years and fled to the United States after being released.
GRAND Bahama Human Rights Association President Fred Smith, QC, said it is “completely unconstitutional” to jail or fine someone for failing to abide by their bail conditions and the GBRA is prepared to represent anyone who the courts attempt to “illegally” penalise.
HUMAN rights advocate and attorney Fred Smith urged the Christie administration to break its silence on the “vile and dehumanising” comments made by lawyer Wayne Munroe or run the risk of the remarks being perceived as government policy.
HUMAN rights advocates are deploring the fact that a man, who recently had charges of illegal entry dismissed in Magistrate’s Court, is being held at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre awaiting deportation.
FRED Smith, president of the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association, said yesterday he was “thrilled” that the courts are “not responding” to the government’s policy change to ensure harsher penalties for breaches of the Immigration Act.
AN outspoken lawyer has criticised the government for not yet passing the Freedom of Information Act, stating that the Christie administration has allowed the legislation to die “the natural political death of things that don’t have a priority in The Bahamas”.
GRAND Bahama Human Rights Association President Fred Smith yesterday challenged National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage to recant his “irresponsible and immature” comments regarding the judiciary and crime.
Politicians from all parties fear the power of a Haitian-Bahamian voting block and are complicit in the illegal and unconstitutional policies regarding citizenship in the Bahamas, Fred Smith argues
FREEPORT attorneys Fred Smith QC and Carey Leonard have been granted leave by the Supreme Court for a Judicial Review seeking a declaration against the government that the consultation process of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement Review Committee (HCARC) is illegal and “fundamentally flawed”.