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Feb 22, 2018

G.O.B. Insists It’s Taking Communal Land Rights Seriously

Solicitor General Nigel Hawke was a busy man at the court’s environs today, with cases before the Caribbean Court of Justice and Magistrate’s Court. The latter is the aborted return of Andrew Bennett to face extradition proceedings which was adjourned and which we will tell you more about shortly. But upstairs in the C.C.J., there was a further hearing to Monday’s appearance, concerning the setting up of a dispute resolution framework between the Maya communities and the Government. Hawke also addressed from the Government’s perspective Monday’s report to the C.C.J. on the perceived lack of progress in implementing the April 2015 Consent Order on communal land rights. He assured that Government has not abandoned the process, but is adhering to the Court’s order of further consultation on the draft work plan for implementation.

 

Nigel Hawke

Nigel Hawke, Solicitor General

“The Government and the Maya Land Rights Commission have done a lot of work. What really happened was that a draft work plan was prepared; it was shared with the other side, they made their comments, and it was indicated to the court. What the court suggested was we should have had, probably, a second consultation with them, and they asked us to meet again with them so we can finalize that work plan and have it sent to the court before the fifteenth of March – in fact, it’s supposed to be sent by the ninth of March. So it’s not to say we haven’t done any work. The work plan is to take us through the implementation of the Consent Order, so it’s a very comprehensive document. And we have consulted; it’s not that we had it there and didn’t involve the other side. The court saw it fit to say we should have another meeting and come back to us.”

 

Aaron Humes

“Also today there was a further meeting to discuss a draft dispute resolution framework between the two sides; how did that go?”

 

Nigel Hawke

“The court just outlined the suggestion of what they think the parties can look at a possible dispute resolution structure and framework, so we have to go back and consult, and then we get back with the other side to see whether we can come up with a workable plan for a dispute resolution framework. One thing the court emphasized this morning that we try to keep it as a tribunal or the nature of an authority that is accessible, that is cheap, reasonable and that is fair. So we both have to go back now and we have to consult with our superiors as to our position on that matter.”

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