Will Judgment be Binding in the End?
Courtenay maintains that government took the decision of the CCJ to the U.S. jurisdiction and requested that the enforcement not be granted. Barrow, on the other hand, says that the decision of the high court is being undermined by the actions of the Belize Bank attorney.
Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for Belize Bank Ltd.
“My clients did not seek re-litigation. It is the government who took the CCJ judgment to the United States and asked the United States court not to give enforcement based on the CCJ judgment. It is the U.S. courts who considered the government’s argument on that and determine whether or not it would be bound by it. So it wasn’t we who went to try to undermine or enforce the CCJ judgment. It was the government who took it, they were the ones who sought to litigate the CCJ judgment in the U.S. and the U.S. courts said, which all arbitration courts say, that if one jurisdiction says yes or no that that is not binding on another and that is what we were arguing about for the last two days.”
“Is your client exhausting the court on an endless matter which has been settled, in our jurisdiction at least?”
“Right, but it has been settled in our jurisdiction. You are aware that the English high court says that it can be enforced in England. So it has been settled in England, the government didn’t appeal that so that was a win for my clients. My clients lost in Belize. My clients won in the U.S. So if you are keeping count, that’s two-to-one in favor of my clients. It’s a matter of going from jurisdiction to jurisdiction until you get paid.”
Denys Barrow, Attorney for Government of Belize
“The question is this: what will the Belize court do with you since you ‘belongs’, in Creole, to Belize? Are you allowed to say to the Belize court, “well you have said what you want but we are not taking you on?” We instead are going to another court who we expect will have a different decision from you and we wahn just ignore your decision and go with the decision of the foreign court.”
“Doesn’t that undermine the existing system nonetheless?”
“It undermines the existing system which is why we argue in favor of what is called the doctrine of res judicata which is one a thing is determined, all parties who were party to that decision, the determination of that decision, are bound by it.”
The decision of Chief Justice will be handed down on April twelfth.