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Jan 19, 2017

The Arbitration Bubble Will Burst, Courtenay Warns

Eamon Courtenay

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the Government’s appeals against arbitration awards upheld in lower courts in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited and Belize Social Development Limited are claiming between them one hundred million dollars in judgments handed down by the London Court of International Arbitration – judgments in which the Government did not participate and of which Prime Minister Dean Barrow has said he will not pay a penny. But does he have a choice? According to Eamon Courtenay, who is familiar with the arbitration results, things are already in motion and the Prime Minister needs to pay up.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Senior Counsel

“I think the big picture here is whether or not Belize as a country obeys the rule of the law. The Prime Minister keeps saying that he’s not going to do this and he’s not going to do that; or he is going to do this and he’s going to do the other thing, and then the courts rule against him. Belize nor the Prime Minister is above the rule of law, and it is a very, very expensive lesson that the Prime Minister is putting this country through. Millions upon millions are being spent in legal fees; interest continues to rack up, and courts just continue to rule against us.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, as an eminent attorney, can you comment then on the point that was raised about calling into question the CCJ as a result of this case?”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“You know, again, the Prime Minister knows better than that. The Prime Minister knows better than that. The C.C.J. is the highest court for Belize; the U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court for the United States; the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the supreme court of the United Kingdom. They ruled on U.S. public policy; the C.C.J. ruled on Belize public policy – it is two totally different jurisdictions.”

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