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Nov 22, 2017

C.C.J. Orders Belize Bank Payment for U.H.S.; Resistance is Futile

The Barrow administration has been dealt yet another crippling blow by the Caribbean Court of Justice, after losing an appeal in respect of a long-drawn-out matter involving the defunct Universal Health Services.  Earlier today, the C.C.J. reversed the ruling of the Belize Court of Appeal and ordered the Government of Belize to pay roughly eighty-eight million dollars, plus interest that has been accruing since 2013, to the Belize Bank Limited.  Litigation continued when government refused to honor a thirty-seven million dollar award that was handed down by the London Court of International Arbitration four years ago, which it maintains is, “offensive to the legal and constitutional order of Belize.” Nonetheless, G.O.B. is once again on the hook and is expected to dole out the hefty sum in the days ahead to avoid further action via the enforcement of that award.  Appearing on behalf of the Belize Bank this morning was Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay.  He provided the backdrop against which the matter was heard in the appellate jurisdiction.

 

Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for Belize Bank

“As you are aware, in 2013, the London Court of International Arbitration made an award in favor of the Belize Bank, that it could recover the amount due under a loan note.  That loan note had been challenged by the ACB all the way up to the Privy Council and the Privy Council ruled that the loan note was valid.  Notwithstanding the award and notwithstanding the decision of the JCPC, the Privy Council, the government objected to paying and therefore we had to apply to the court in Belize to enforce against the government.  The Supreme Court refused the application and in the Court of Appeal the majority refused the application.  Mr. Justice Blackman dissented and said that we could enforce, so we went to the CCJ.  This morning, the CCJ handed down its judgment saying that the Belize Bank can collect on the award from the Government of Belize and therefore we are supposed to write the government and the government is supposed to pay.  If the government does not pay then we begin the enforcement proceedings against the government.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What would the enforcement proceedings entail, do you have an idea?”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Yes.  The enforcement proceedings would be, first we would ask the registrar to issue a certificate in the amount that is due on the award.  After that amount is due we will serve it on the Financial Secretary and he will be required to pay it.  If he does not pay it then we will commence proceedings in the court for his imprisonment or the imprisonment of the Minister of Finance because the CCJ was very clear that the constitution provides in Section 115-3 that in circumstances like this there’s an obligation on the Minister of Finance to go to parliament, to get approval to pay the money, because the court has ordered that it should be paid.  And if they refuse to pay the order of the CCJ then there is no other recourse for us but to commence proceedings for their imprisonment.”

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1 Response for “C.C.J. Orders Belize Bank Payment for U.H.S.; Resistance is Futile”

  1. Belizean says:

    Where do you think this money will end up at? Most likely in the pockets of UDP.
    UDP has been dealt a blow? Sure, they have to suck out everything that they can, while they can.

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