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Oct 20, 2015

Supreme Court Finds In Favour of Stake Bank Developer

Rodwell Williams

Major decisions were handed down today by the Supreme Court. Justice Courtney Abel issued a judgment largely in favor of developer of the Stake Bank cruise port Michael Feinstein today. It is hoped the court decision will clear the way for the building of the all-important tourism installation without interference from the standing port of entry, the Fort Street Tourism Village, which Feinstein was previously a partner in. The development has been stalled as a result of the intervention of the FSTV, which has been trying to protect its financial base as the sole port of entry for cruise ships in the Belize District.  Feinstein’s legal team argued in court that provisions in the amended contract of operation of FSTV between its owners, the Government and the Belize Tourism Board had the effect of ensuring a continued source of revenue and satellite development through the Stake Bank project. But the two will now have to either work together or compete separately for tourist dollars. Attorney for Fort Street, Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, says Justice Abel, settled most, if not all, of the issues at dispute, but it is too early to tell how it will all shake out.

 

Rodwell Williams, Attorney for FSTV

“What I understand so far, there was a claim for five declarations and he granted two declarations out of five. He refused three and granted two declarations so kinda like a split decision I would want to think and then there was some cost orders. To answer the question that you posed, I don’t know the answer. But I would hope and expect that negotiations can now earnestly begin. But I don’t have an answer as to the implication for that particular project.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, but the point we are trying to get at…”

 

Rodwell Williams

“The case did not deal with that project. The case dealt with the lawfulness of certain provisions and certain benefits granted in the agreement. And then there was a piece of legislation which did not really cure all the issues the case dealt with, except with regard to put in the head tax—so to speak—on a proper legal fitting. And hence the reason why, as Mister Marshalleck did in fact say, of the five reliefs, two were granted.”

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