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Jan 16, 2015

Justice Byron Says Belize Cases Significant Regionally

Dennis Byron

Again, while he could not divulge details of pending local matters, Justice Byron says that past cases from Belize have been very significant in setting legal precedence within the Caribbean jurisdiction, a topic he would later discuss during the law conference.

 

Sir Dennis Byron, President, Caribbean Court of Justice

“In every country people only publish those issues in relation to cases from their own country.  So we have taken, we have tried to disseminate information about the court in that way but somehow or the other the press doesn’t seem interested in writing up about issues which don’t affect their own country.  So opportunities, for example, when I was invited, for example, to participate in this conference to answer questions which you might have, it seemed to be a good opportunity to address issues and concerns which you might have about which you might not have had any other means of getting information about.  And so I came here with that objective, providing information about the work of our court.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, in terms of, since you can’t discuss the pending cases, there have been past Belize cases that have gone before the court and, like you said, people don’t tend to be generally interested in cases that don’t directly pertain to their country.  Perhaps, as in the case of Shanique Myrie from Barbados’ case, if they can see where a case could set legal precedence or build a legal jurisprudence in the region where it could apply to their own state perhaps they would have a wider appreciation of the value of these cases, in particular in relation to the Belize cases that you have had the opportunity to sit on.  How do you believe that these cases have helped to build legal jurisprudence for the region?”

 

Sir Dennis Byron

“Well I think these cases have been very significant.  Belize cases, many of them, have raised very important legal precedence.  That’s the subject of my talk at lunchtime today.  Mr. Courtenay gave me a very hard task because he asked me to address this topic but he only gave me fifteen minutes.  But nonetheless, I was hoping to develop just that theme today, to demonstrate the way in which jurisprudence deriving from the cases in Belize have made an important contribution to developing jurisprudence in our region.”

 

One of the cases that the CCJ recently concluded was that of Janae Matute for medical malpractice. The court upheld a three million dollar judgment in her favor. 

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