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Dec 12, 2014

Lord Peter Goldsmith Submits on Behalf of Dean Boyce & B.T.L. Trust

Peter Goldsmith

Courtenay was followed by Lord Peter Goldsmith, Queen Counsel, who replied to the Government on behalf of Dean Boyce and the B.T.L. Employees Trust. 

 

Lord Peter Goldsmith, Queen Counsel, Dean Boyce & B.T.L. Employees Trust

“The next miscellaneous point I would like to deal with emerged really from the exchange between my learned friend and Justice Hayton yesterday which turns on the purpose and effect of Section 144, as added by the Eighth Amendment. And I would respectfully ask Your Honors to go back to it for a moment. The exchange was in the context of how Mister Barrow deals with the final part of that subsection. How can one say that that is anything other than the direction to the cause? My learned friend, Mister Courtenay dealt with that again this morning and I respectfully adopt his argument that the reference to section twenty means it has to be a reference to the court. Section twenty of the Constitution is the very provision which the court would operate to grant constitutional relief. So this is saying in terms, even if the court tries to give constitutional relief because of a breach of fundamental rights, you shall not give effect to it. That’s a very strong legislative direction, a very inappropriate breach of the separation of powers. And it gives the lie to any suggestion that this is just to do with a pledge or something of that sort. But Mister Barrow went on to say something else which was very revealing. He said that the purpose of this legislation is to stop a reversal of this decision. He said it is to make sure, Your Honors, that any subsequent parliament, this parliament or another government wanted to give this property back to the original owners, they would have to do it through a constitutional amendment. That is a surprising revelation; it is quite a shocking revelation because it indicates the depth of animosity, the size and the speed, the number of tons of explosive in Mister…”

 

Denys Barrow, Attorney for Government of Belize

“With respect Your Honors, I did not say that. I am objecting to that as an untrue statement.”

 

Lord Peter Goldsmith

“Your Honors, that’s what I understood he was saying.”

 

The CCJ will have a separate hearing before it gives judgment concerning consequential relief should the parties be successful.

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