09 May, 2008

A-G's Chambers

The Power of the Attorney-General's Chambers. The way I heard it said, the A-G's Chambers have power. When the Queen says, "Stop", you can ignore her. When the Governor says it, you can pretend you did not hear. When the Court says it, you can keep right on going. But, when the A-G's Chambers say it, you better comply. Or else!

On Tuesday 6 May 2008, the High Court instructed the Dolphin Discovery people to obey the following order:

That all construction of all piers or structures or any encroachment on the foreshore or floor of the sea in whatever manner at the Sandy Point Beach or in the waters forming the Port at Blowing Point by any persons whether by themselves, their servants or agents, in violation of the requisite licensing provisions of the Beach Control Act and the Ports, Harbours and Piers Act cease forthwith until further order.

What happened the following day, Wednesday 7 May? Did the Dolphin Discovery people comply? No, they carried on working at full speed. The following photograph was taken on Wednesday. It appears to show the Mexican workers placing a new pole in place at the dolphin pen at Sandy Point:

And what was photographed the following day, Thursday 8 May? Did they obey the court order and stop work? No, construction work continued at full speed. According to my correspondent, at about 11:00 am there were five or six workmen carrying telephone poles, cutting steel rebar and drilling on the piers. Illegal work appears to have continued at night by the use of powerful lights. The work that was done at night must have been phenomenal. The aerial photographs presented in court showed the walkways unfinished. By today, Thursday, the walkways were all covered in boards making it easy to walk around the dolphin pens. My photographer was only able to shoot a couple of photographs during daylight hours. They show the following:

But, today, Friday 9 May, Mr Ivor Green, Senior Crown Counsel of the A-G's Chambers, attended at Dolphin Discovery at Blowing Point. The Mexicans were still hard at work on the illegal construction. Some tough talking must have taken place. All construction work appears now to have stopped. Here we see a couple of photographs of Mr Green first arriving at the work site and then meeting with the workmen and then apparently demanding that all work cease:

Thank God the A-G's Chambers carry so much weight. I guess the Order of the Court does not matter so much in Anguilla. It seems that the Court's Order can be safely ignored until the A-G's Chambers go into action in support of it!

I guess we are all now safe, basking in the rule of law? Do we not feel safe and comforted?

Have we not earned the right to “full internal self-government”?


  1. Again I ask, why has no arrest been made?

  2. This is a personal insult to the Judge, and the authority of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. These Mexicans have demonstrated their arrogance time after time yet our Government continues to insist they have brought us a valuable tourism facility that is contributing to the development of our island.

    I just don't understand it. Has Anguilla become another corrupt little banana republic where all that matters is who we pay off?

  3. Stop blaming the Mexicans, they only do what they are told to do. The question is who is in charge of the project.

  4. Holy cow!! What blatant disregard of a court ordered directive. Makes you wonder what other issues/(il)legalities are glared at with a blind eye. As they say, "Baby you've come a long way", but if the diaper still serves a purpose, it must be worn. Good pictures Mitch. - Scotty

  5. I think it is only fair that I intervene on behalf of the A-G's chambers and the police. No, it is not their responsibility to intervene. It would be completely wrong for them to get involved.

    When you get an injunction from the court, it is only you who can bring the necessary contempt proceedings. No one else can. You have to collect the evidence, file the proceedings, and take the matter back to court. If you have enough evidence, and can persuade the court that the order of the court has been flouted, you may be able to persuade the court to take action. That can include the court fining the defendant, ordering him to serve a term of imprisonment, ordering him to undo the damage he has done, and so on.


  6. Mr.Mitchell-

    If you want to be fair , you have to be fair to everyone including the Ministers of Government.

    Who is suppposed to explain to the Minister(s) that because of the new laws, old fashion "permission" is no longer valid and what is now needed is a formal document called a LICENCE?

    The minister is not a lawyer. He would have had to get his legal advice from the same AG.

    The tone of your posting is very misleading and unfair.

  7. The last poster can't be serious, can he? If any Minister of Government doesn't understand that he simply can't, on his own, give someone "permission" to use or build on Government owned property, then he doesn't deserve to be a Minister.

  8. Why can't you all stop your anti-government nonsense and deal with the issue? Dolphin Fantacies needed to apply for a LICENCE TO CONSTRUCT A PIER and they did not.

    No where has it been said that any MINISTER of Government on his own give someone "permission" to use of build on Government owned property.

    This is what the Judge said:-

    From the evidence adduced the following matters appear to be clear and uncontroverted.

    1. On the 12th June 2007, Dolphin Fantacies Anguilla, applied for permission to construct a dolphin pier in the water at Sandy Point, Blowing Point, Anguilla in Respect of Block 28309,Parcel 169.

    2. Planning approval was given by the Land Development Control Committee on 12th December 2007.

    3.The Anguilla Building Board gave approval for a building on 14th February, 2008.

    4. The MINISTRY OF LANDS gave the developer permission to commence building the pier, but no LICENCE has been applied for or granted by the Superintendent of Ports Harbours and Piers.

    Not too long ago a huge private pier/wharf was constructed not too far to the west of the Dophin Pier at the edge of the Pennisular. They did not have permission or licence to construct the Pier, even though they owned the land. The Project was stopped,for a while, not by the Court, but by the Planning Department.

    It is the responsibility of the Dolphin Fantacies and their agents to find out what all Licences they needed and to apply for them. The fact is that it now seems that in order to construct a pier a minimum of 3 or a Maximum of 5 licences are required:

    1.A licence under the Beach Protection Act
    2. A licence under the Ports Harbours and Piers Act
    3. A licence under the Beach Control Act.
    4. Planning Approval from the Land Development Control Committee
    5.Planning approval by the Planning Board.

    So now we know!!!!

  9. Government is equally at fault.

    At 11 a.m. on 22nd January 2008 there was a meeting of the Chief Minister, Victor Banks, Eric Reid, Public Relations Officer in the Chief Minister's office Curtis Richardson and Foster Rogers, Permanent Secretary in Chief Minister's office and Chairman of the Land and Development Control Committee.

    The Chief Minister advised that the proposal by Dolphin Discovery had been accepted and approved and that he has given them permission to commence construction.

  10. No Permission Was Granted
    Publishing date: 28.04.2008 08:56

    Following the recent ground-breaking ceremony for the Fairmont Project at the Forest Bay area, the developers undertook to carry out certain work, on the beach and the surf, involving the use of heavy equipment and the removal of sand reportedly for eventual replacement.

    The work was stopped when officials from the Environmental Department, Planning, the Land Development Committee and the Attorney General’s Chambers intervened contending that it could have serious ecological consequences and that the developers had no permission.

    Commenting on the matter in a general press briefing on Tuesday this week, Chief Minister and Minister of Lands, Osbourne Fleming, said it was his understanding that the work was also intended to facilitate a ramp for a barge. “Based on my information, no permission was requested, no permission was granted,” he stressed.

    Mr. Fleming said that the Attorney General’s Chambers was looking into the matter and probably in another week some information may become available.

    The Chief Minister added that persons must comply with the law and that the foreshore was the property of the people of Anguilla.

    No comment was available from persons associated with the project.

    COMMENT:-From this article and others we see that projects are stopped when they are undertaken without permission or license.

    Anguilla is truly a mature democracy-Yes?


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