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Feb 14, 2017

Explaining the Lawsuits Filed by Courtenay and Company

Eamon Courtenay

Courtenay says that the Crown Proceedings Amendment Law, which was passed at the same time as the Central Bank International Immunities Law, is not only unconstitutional, but a direct attack on his profession. Two lawsuits have been filed against both pieces of legislation.  Courtenay explains that his firm is counsel in one of them, on behalf of Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited against the Government, challenging the Central Bank Act.  A separate lawsuit, filed by the Courtenay law firm Courtenay Coye LLP, is challenging the Crown Proceedings Act. Courtenay explains the necessity of both lawsuits and their importance for both the practice of law and the profession itself.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney/Lead P.U.P. Senator

“There are two lawsuits, one filed by Lord Ashcroft’s company, Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited, and one filed by my law firm—two separate things. And we are counsel in the one for Lord Ashcroft and we are bringing the other one on our behalf. I had specifically said in the Senate first of all that the law that was being proposed was directed at me and that I was personally and professionally affected by it. You will recall that I also spoke in the senate about the fact that to the extent that there was a belief that there was a need to protect the reserves that should be done and there is absolutely no need for any criminal legislation dealing with this matter. I practice law as the constitution guarantees me. I have attorneys in my office who practice law and who have advised and who will advise in the future. And they, like me, are at risk of criminal prosecution by this government. And the CCJ has already declared that the provision that they have relied on is unconstitutional. The Constitution of Belize says specifically in section six that you cannot create a criminal offense in relation to things that have happened already and that is what the law does. I have an obligation to ask the court to strike down that law, to challenge that law, as long as I believe that I am affected by it and as long as I believe that people around me may be affected by it.”

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