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Mar 6, 2019

Did the Senate Really Validate Special Agreement in 2016?

While some argue that the Special Agreement is legit because it went to the Senate, Bradley and the legal team are of the view that Foreign Minister Elrington did not have the power to sign such a treaty without prior legislative approval.

 

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, Attorney-at-law

“I learned that the Special Agreement signed in December 2008, when it was taken to the senate in late November or December 2016, that that in fact was an application to the senate to seek the authority to ratify the Special Agreement, turning it into a treaty and that changes the legal complexion of the matter.  If it was a regular treatment there is no problem, the Minister of Foreign Affairs can sign treaties, the government can enter into treaty.  But the difference with a treaty like the Special Agreement is that wherever the executive signs and wants to ratify, ratifies and is bringing in a treaty which is a law on the international level, we are now bound in a treaty with Guatemala over this matter.  It’s a treaty.  So the law changed in 2017 and our research has shown that the Special Agreement which was signed by our executive branch of government through the foreign minister that that does a number of things which are not permissible in law.  You can’t enter into a treaty which affects the domestic law of the land, neither can you go and enter into a treaty which is going to infringe or affect the rights of the citizens of the land without going to the lawmakers, without going to the parliament, and by parliament…”

 

Isani Cayetano

“How would the Special Agreement impinge upon the citizens’ fundamental rights?”

 

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley

“Okay, what is happening is one, we have a Referendum Act.  That Referendum Act says that any proposed settlement to the dispute with Guatemala must be brought to the citizens so that in a referendum they can indicate whether they support it or they do not support it, whether they agree with it or they do not agree with it.  That is in our law.  The Special Agreement tek the Referendum Act and throw that eena di waste basket and put een fi dehn own referendum.  Fi dehn referendum is that you must say whether you want to go to court.  That’s all you wahn seh, you noh got nomo say eena dis matter.  You noh have the slightest idea what is it you’re going to court over.  So that disregards our Referendum Act.  That tramples upon the rights of us to have a say in the final, in the proposed settlement.”

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