GOVERNMENT’S STATEMENT ON COURT OF APPEAL’S RULING RE REX GRENADIAN HOTEL
Written by GIS on December 21, 2017
Like most of the public, only today has the Attorney-General’s Chambers in the Ministry of Legal Affairs learned of a decision of the Court of Appeal delivered on Friday the 15th December, 2017 regarding the Government’s application to that Court to have set aside or remove an interim Order made by Justice of Appeal Davidson Baptiste on the 22nd February, 2017 directing the Government not to take steps to enforce its rights as owner pursuant to compulsory acquisition of the property in December, 2016, and permitting the Rex Grenadian Hotel to continue to remain in possession until the determination of an appeal against the decision of the High Court on the 20th December, 2016 which paved the way for the Government to acquire the Hotel property.
What the Court of Appeal has decided is to dismiss an application made by the Government of Grenada seeking to set aside or remove the interim Order granted by Justice of Appeal Baptiste on the 22nd February, 2017 and nothing else.
The issue regarding Government’s acquisition of the Rex Grenadian Hotel property is still incomplete; so this ruling by the Court of Appeal is not the end of the matter.
The substantive matter before the Court of Appeal is still pending. That matter concerns Rex Grenadian Hotel’s appeal against the judgment of Justice Roberts in the High Court which allowed the Government to employ the proper procedure to acquire the Hotel premises by compulsory acquisition process effected on the 31st December, 2016. The legality of that acquisition is not in question. The lawfulness of the Government’s acquisition of the property in December, 2016 is not the subject of this recent Court of Appeal decision either.
There is therefore no question of the Government’s ownership of the Rex Grenadian Hotel property, neither is the validity of the compulsory acquisition of the property by the Government of Grenada in December, 2016 in issue.
The effect of the ruling just handed down is that the Government, whilst it is the owner of the property, cannot assume physical control and possession of the Hotel property until the appeal process in completed.
The ruling of the Court of Appeal only serves to delay the inevitable.
The government remains committed to ensuring that the property now known as Rex Grenadian is developed to full capacity and industry standards, for the benefit of the workers currently employed there, and the Grenadian taxpayer.