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Jul 1, 2015

Harvest Caye Attorney Pushes to Strike Out Case

Eamon Courtenay

While the association anticipates a positive outcome, the fact that the case is still proceeding seems to baffle Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay. We also spoke with him at the end of the arguments and it is his view that the B.T.I.A. case is not very strong and may be hopelessly faulty. According to Courtenay, even if the court were to agree with B.T.I.A., the removal of the EIA neither changes anything nor stops the project which, in any event, is well underway.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for Belize Islands Holdings

“When you challenge a project, when you challenge a decision, you must do it because you are serious. The witnesses of the B.T.I.A. came to the court repeatedly and said to the court that they do not oppose the project; they had never applied for an injunction to stop the project and so they have passed no resolution in opposition to the project. Hence the question, what is this all about? As I said to one of the witnesses, is this an academic exercise, a master class because they said they are concerned about procedure? Courts are not set up for teaching people about procedure. If they win this case, which is extremely unlikely I hope; if they were to win it, it will not stop the project. The project will continue. The environmental compliance plan which is the operating document is not being challenged so it is going to be our submission to the court, very strongly, that not only do they not satisfy evidence, they also have no relief that is going to be of any use to anyone. So we are going to ask the judge at the appropriate time to dismiss the case.”

 

Courtenay noted that the project continues without any application for an injunction by the B.T.I.A., which is hindered by the legal precedent set by the case of BACONGO and the DOE in 2003, among others.  He says that after the court hears from NCL vice-president Colin Murphy when the case resumes, in final oral arguments he will press for the case to be finally ended.  The case resumes on July seventeenth.  

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