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Nov 29, 2017

P.M. Says ‘Extremely High Risk’ That Payment Will Not Go Through

According to the PM, the mandate of the CCJ does not extend to parliament so it can be struck down by a majority vote.  In this case, he says the debt will remain unpaid because the CCJ cannot compel parliament to pay.  This scenario will be a first for Belize for government to table a motion to fail. 

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Implicit in the very action of going to parliament is possibility that a bill, any bill, may not pass.  Parliament is free and indeed mandated to pass fair and correct laws, but it is equally free and just as mandated not to pass laws that aren’t fair and aren’t correct.  And when it comes to the particular matter of a law to provide payment of judgment debt which, though legally valid, morally reprehensible, it is the essence of a country’s sovereignty and parliament’s authority that a decision can be made not to approve the law, not to pay the debt.  Indeed, that is a principle inherent in the very constitution which prohibits the payment of any money, for a judgment or otherwise, from the Consolidated Revenue Fund without a positive parliamentary decision and approved allocation.  When we had the settlement with B.T.L. in which we agreed that in turn for their dropping the claim to get back the company, we would honor the arbitration panel’s decision as to the amount of the compensation.  They insisted that we pass a law making it plain that the tribunal’s award would form a charge on the Consolidated Revenue Fund because they knew from then that in the absence of that and in the absence of the any vote from parliament, your debt, your judgment debt against the government and against the Crown runs the risk, in this case I would say the extremely high risk of remaining unsatisfied, remaining unpaid.”

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