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Feb 6, 2019

Should Belize Go to the I.C.J., Not Knowing the Extent of Guatemalan Claim?

The challenge comes less than two months before the April tenth referendum when voters are to decide on whether or not to take the claim to the I.C.J.  It’s been eleven years since the agreement was signed, the document went through an amendment and the referendum delinked with Guatemala. Despite a low turnout, Guatemala held its referendum in 2018 and voted to go to the I.C.J.  Bradley, who is known to oppose going to the I.C.J., explains his concerns with the Compromis and not knowing the extent of the Guatemalan claim.

 

Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Attorney-at-law

“The prime minister is elected to do everything he can to better the country and the people of this country within the law, not outside of the law. He is subject to the law. He is subordinate to the Constitution of Belize, which is the supreme law of the land. He can’t sign anything that he wants to and turn around and tell us it is for your good so I do it. He must follow the law.”

 

Reporter

“Are those persons that are challenging the Compromis, are they expecting for a ruling before April tenth?”

 

Richard “Dickie” Bradley

Richard “Dickie” Bradley

“Most certainly. It would have no consequence if everything finishes on April tenth. They would more than likely—and I understand in the next few days, they will speak to the media—they will more than likely ask the court. The court may say yes, the court may say no; if the court says no, it will go to a higher court. This is a very important matter, you know, for citizens in Belize. Follow the law because if you start to go down a route of doing unlawful and illegal things, you will get the nation in trouble. There is a right way and a wrong way.”

 

Duane Moody

“Sir but that too, if the court sides with these persons challenging the Compromis, it puts a wrench in taking the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice.”

 

Richard “Dickie” Bradley

“What is more important? Listen we di talk about going to the International Court of Justice and you’re seeing right here we start off on the wrong foot; we noh di follow the law. Isn’t some of the people who are concerned is that they might not get a proper ruling from the court and all dehn kinda thing?”

 

Duane Moody

“So they are essentially saying no to the I.C.J.?”

 

Richard “Dickie” Bradley

“No, they are saying we want the law to be followed because when you start to step outside the law, you will start to create problems. Do you know that you have no say in what is the final decision by the court? You don’t even know what it is they will decide. You don’t even know what is the issue that will go before them, but dehn di tell you let’s go dah court. You woulda come dah court and noh know what dah di charge against you? You would make somebody sue you and say yes, I gwen dah court and you noh know what dehn di sue you for?”

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