LAPSSET COURT RULING
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND ORDERS
A. On the Question of Jurisdiction
i. The Court found that the case presented by the Petitioners is a hybrid one, where
majority of the issues raised involved the interpretation and application of fundamental
rights and freedoms which gives this court jurisdiction. In making the said conclusion,
the Court determined that the correct test to utilize is the “predominant purpose test” as
defined in paragraph 105 of this judgment.
ii. The Court similarly found that there is a narrow class of cases where the exhaustion
doctrine in environmental-related controversies does not mandatorily oust the
jurisdiction of this court as the first port of call for litigants. This is so where the
alternative fora do not provide an accessible, affordable, timely and effective remedy.
iii. The Court, in addition, made a finding that the controversy presented in this case is not pre-mature for the reason that the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the LAPSSET Project has not been concluded. The court also concluded that the proactive approach to environmental governance which includes the precautionary principle which this court is required by our Constitution to apply, makes the present controversy ripe for consideration even before the conclusion of the SEA process. Differently put, the doctrine of ripeness did not preclude this Court from hearing and determining this case.
In the result, it is our order that this Court is seized with the jurisdiction to hear and determine the Petition filed herein.