The long awaited final judicial ruling of a case that has been heard by the Belize Supreme Court, then The Belize Court of Appeals, and now a final ruling at the highest court, the Caribbean Court of Justice has gone in favor of Belize International Services Limited (B.I.S.L) and against the Government of Belize.
The CCJ’s decision was explained in a short statement that concluded that the takeover of BISL by the Government of Belize was a breach of the agreement.
The following is the short version of the CCJ ruling, today, Tuesday, June 30th. 2020
“Although arriving at their decision for varying reasons, the CCJ judges all found that the government had breached its agreement with BISL and could not rely on the illegality defence to prevent BISL’s claim for damages. Strictly speaking, the payment structure of the agreement did not meet the constitutional and legislative requirements for payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, but this was not sufficient to prevent BISL from the recovery of damages. The CCJ ordered that the matter be remitted to the Supreme Court for assessment of damages. Costs were awarded in favour of BISL, to be taxed if not agreed by the parties. – end quote –
A complete reading of the entire 144 page judgement indicate that the 5 judges of the Caribbean Court Of Justice were unanimously dismayed by the actions of GOB and the manner in which the Government of Belize took over B.I.S.L were highly unusual and unlawful. The written ruling of the judgment contained a very harsh disciplinary tone, and a rebuke of the leader of the Government of Belize, Prime Minister Dean O Barrow, who was the prime minister in June 2013 when B.I.S.L was forcibly taken from its owners.
On Friday June 26th. the House of Representatives held a meeting to discuss several financial motions, shortly after the house meeting Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the media that the government won’t pay; can’t pay; end of story.
The case was argued at several sessions in 2019 before the Caribbean Court of Justice by senior council Mr. Eamon Courtenay and Ms. Priscilla Banner for the plaintiff (B.I.S.L) and Mr. Justin Simon, QC and Mrs. Samantha Matute-Tucker for the defendant (GOB).
Today’s decision by the judges was communicated VIA video conference from the Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad. The attorneys representing both parties were at their local offices and communicated with the court via live secured video conference.
At the conclusion of the reading of the judges decision, attorney Eamon Courtenay indicated to the court that there have been several other court rulings that has been ignored by the defendant G.O.B.
He asked the court to take additional steps to enforce the judgment.
Attorney Eamon Courtenay indicated that the previous court rulings that have been ignored were, the Universal Health Services (UHS) case in which the government lost and was ordered to pay damages, and the Cruise Solutions case in which the government also lost and was ordered to pay damages.
Very Serious Implications
In an interview on local TV, Channel 5, Attorney Eamon Courtenay implored the people of Belize to read the court’s decision, and to also realize that several hundred million dollars have been spent by the government without any accountability, and that the country is facing a list of huge financial burdens that may have been due to “malfeasance”
URL Reference: Summary Judgement of Caribbean Court of Justice decision
Referenced Questions: Why does the court document list “THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF BELIZE – RESPONDENT (defendant) – – –
Because under our system of government “THE ATTORNEY GENERAL” (currently Mr. Michael Peyrifette) will be the only entity that must enforce the court’s orders.
To be continued . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .* * * *. . . . . . . . . .
Written & Compiled by digitalCaribbean.Live – digitalBelize.LIVE staff reporter: digitalCaribbean.LIVE@gmail.com