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Oct 30, 2018

A Timeline for I.C.J. Litigation is Set Should There be a ‘YES’ Vote

Dean Barrow

In the months leading up to the pending I.C.J. referendum, public discourse has been rife with reasons for and against a legal resolution of the Belize/Guatemala issue.  There have been few details of a schedule of events should Belizeans vote in favor of having the matter adjudicated at the International Court of Justice.  On Monday, Prime Minister Barrow shared a timeline going forward should there be a ‘YES’ vote come April tenth. 

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“As I have been advised, if Belize votes yes on April tenth, the ICJ submission process starts to run one month thereafter.  So Guatemala would then have one year from the May 10th, 2019 to submit its arguments to the court and to us.  We would then have one year after that to respond, then they would have another six months to reply to our response and we would have six months more thereafter for our rejoinder to their reply.  Surely, that kind of timetable is overly adequate for us to get everything fully and comprehensibly together before the hearing, before trial.  So there is no good reason to postpone and if we did, we run the risk of alarming all our international friends whose support for us has been key and whom we need to keep onside.  Now how the Leader of the Opposition’s party is proposing to vote is clearly causing the leader some serious internal difficulties.  We sympathize and we understand why he would therefore want to postpone what for him is turning into a gigantic headache, but the national, as opposed to the party interest, cannot countenance a postponement.”

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