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Feb 17, 2017

Sir Elihu Lauterpacht Passes; He Supported Belize Against Guatemala

Elihu Lauterpacht

News Five notes the passing of British international law attorney Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, who died on February eighth. He has represented many countries in land and maritime boundary cases including Barbados against Trinidad and Tobago, Bahrain, Chile, El Salvador, Israel, Malta and Namibia. He served as ad hoc Judge of the International Court of Justice and an arbitrator for international disputes, in addition to his academic work as a professor at the University of Cambridge. But in Belize, he is best known for supporting the Jewel in its fight against Guatemala’s unfounded territorial claim. An official statement from the Government issued today notes that he and Dr. David Bowett published the Belize: Joint Opinion on the claim in 1978, and in 2002 he was principal author and lead Counsel of the team of distinguished international lawyers that included Judge Stephen Schwebel, the late Professor Shabtai Rosenne, and Professor Orrego Vicuña, who prepared in 2002 the Legal Opinion on Guatemala’s Territorial Claim to Belize. That opinion concluded that Guatemala cannot validly question the sovereignty of Belize over the whole or any part of its territory; we possess good title to all that we administer within the limits set by the Anglo-Guatemalan Treaty of April, 1859 between Britain and Guatemala. In 2016, Sir Elihu donated his Belize Archives records to the local Archives and Records Service, to be used exclusively by those diplomats and lawyers engaged in seeking resolution to the claim, particularly if the matter is submitted to the I.C.J. He was subsequently awarded the Order of Belize for his services to the country. Lauterpacht was twice married and survived by his second wife and their four children. Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, dead at eighty-eight.

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