NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Environmentalist coalition Our Islands, Our Future has publicly expressed its objection to Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) allegedly attempting to join judicial review proceedings, claiming it to be a scheme to “price its opponents out of justice”.
A statement released by the group read: “During the process, it has also become clear that the Bahamas Petroleum Company does not want its opponents to win or lose on the strength of the case.
“No doubt fearful that the applicants will be successful, the company instead seems determined to price its opponents out of justice before they ever get their day in court.
“The judicial review matter is between oil drilling opponents and the government, and concerns whether or not officials granted various approvals for this project correctly.
“Attorney for the applicants Fred Smith, QC, made it clear that there is no objection to BPC being heard by the court as an interested stakeholder and also asked that the matter be heard as quickly as possible.
“However, BPC is not content to just be heard, but rather insists upon intervening by applying to become a party to the matter, even though no one is suing them.
“In many previous public interest judicial review proceedings, this move has been used as a precursor to apply for ‘security for costs’ — a bond, likely in the many millions of dollars, that drilling opponents would have to produce upfront in order to continue with their case.