Former Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Governor Ric Todd acted legally and reasonably when he changed a regulation that makes decision-making about a proposed dolphinarium clearer for the TCI government, the Supreme Court has ruled.
On 17 September the TCI Supreme Court dismissed an application for judicial review brought against the governor by a local consortium. Their suggestion that the then governor had acted illegally in changing a regulation under the Fisheries Protection Ordinance was rejected. The judge remarked that Todd’s actions had actually helped improve the law, which she regarded as vague.
The court found that the governor acted reasonably in the exercise of his discretion by making the amending regulation.
“This decision is further vindicated by the fact that the current TCI government is supportive of building a dolphinarium in the Islands,” the Attorney General’s Chambers said on Wednesday in welcoming the ruling.
It was also made clear that the governor's evidence showed extensive consultation within TCI government and the reason for making the change when he did was based on improving the economy and also to ensure the dolphin proposal would remain open for proper political and public consideration: any decision would be subject to the full extent of the TCI planning process.
“Importantly too, in court attorney Peter McKnight withdrew his and his clients’ assertions that the Governor acted in any way improperly, making very clear that these claims were retracted by them,” the AG’s Chambers added.
A group of local organisations, represented by Chuck Hesse (as Applicant), including the Turks and Caicos Society for the Prevention Cruelty to Animals Ltd, Pride Ltd, Turks and Caicos Reef Fund and Providenciales Chamber of Commerce brought this action.
The court’s written reasons for the announced decision will be provided by the court once the written reasons are delivered to the parties.