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Feb 20, 2019

Is the Joint Legal Opinion Flawed?

Lisa Shoman

According to Senior Counsel Shoman, the 1859 Treaty serves as somewhat of a default setting and says that the argument in the Joint Legal Opinion is premature and flawed.

 

Lisa Shoman, Attorney/Former Foreign Minister

“One thing they have not considered is that Schedule One absolutely and completely references the 1859 Treaty at 1A.  So the first thing it says is our boundaries are those as set out in the 1859 Treaty.  Dat da numba one, and we all know dat dat da weh we gwein da court go base fu we argument dehn pan.  So I don’t see how any Special Agreement could be amending the Constitution because we gwein back to the same base, 1859.  It also says when it talks about the territorial sea at 1C that the maritime areas of Belize are those as set out by independence or by any law thereafter or otherwise.  This is exactly what otherwise means.  Otherwise means if you go to the UNCLOS court, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or if you go to the I.C.J. and there is any redefinition of maritime boundaries.  Remember you know, at one time we used to claim only three miles.  Now we claim twelve, except for that little portion in the south weh wi still di seh we’re reserving our rights.  But also, we’re claiming a two hundred mile exclusive economic zone and that needs to be put out there.  I am saying, A: the argument is seriously premature.  But even if it isn’t premature, it’s very flawed because it doesn’t take into account what Schedule One actually says.”

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