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Feb 21, 2019

PM Praises Joint Legal Opinion, But Says It’s ‘Unpersuadable’

Attorneys Anthony Sylvestre, Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, and Kareem Musa say the 2008 Special Agreement is invalid. The trio of lawyers published a thirty-eight-page Joint Legal Opinion that calls into question the legality of the Compromis. According to the lawyers, the Joint Legal Opinion sets out the legal bases why the Special Agreement is unlawful and contrary to the Constitution of Belize. They say that special legislation needs to be passed by the National Assembly in order for the April tenth, referendum to be lawfully held. In response to this legal view, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says the document was well researched but for him, it is entirely ‘unpersuadable’.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The fact that these three gentlemen have done what appears to me to be an extraordinary amount of work and must congratulate Anthony Sylvestre who I gather is the person who is doing most of the heavy lifting because the case, I didn’t in any great detail but as I saw it, was well set out. It was well researched. Ultimately to me, entirely unpersuadable but as an academic exercise, as a piece of well written legal scholarship, again let me congratulate Mr. Sylvestre and his cohorts and as well to make my point, I will not be cutting, I will not be dismissive of, I will not be over critical of the efforts. I am taking it so seriously that we are going to get a legal opinion unfortunately from a professor I think from UWI; not from local. But we do this, in that way we show respect to the position that they are arguing. We also, I hope, reassure the Belizean public that we take nothing lightly, we take nothing for granted. We dismiss nobody’s point of view, argument. We are going to try therefore by way of this opinion to respond fully to what it is that these gentlemen have said.”

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