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Apr 15, 2019

G.O.B. Wants I.C.J. Interim Injunction Discharged

Lisa Shoman

The first hearing of the Opposition’s suit against the Government of Belize with respect to the writ of referendum was scheduled to be heard today in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. But since the granting of the interim injunction which essentially stopped the April tenth I.C.J. referendum, there have been important developments. The most crucial is the Belize Territorial Dispute Referendum Bill, 2019. Coupled with the fact that April tenth has come and gone, government’s position is that there should no longer be an injunction because the writ of referendum is date specific. The government this morning was prepared to file an application to have the injunction discharged as explained by Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman.

 

Lisa Shoman, Attorney for Defendants

“As you know the injunction was placed on very specific writs and it enjoined the proposed referendum. In the head notes of the case, the proposed referendum has a date, April tenth, 2019. So what we are saying to the court is that this is not an open ended injunction. It was meant specific to stop the h0lding of the April tenth referendum. That is not in question or an issue any longer and we therefore believe that the injunction be discharged. So he will hear us on the matter on the twenty-ninth of April.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“In terms of the substantive matter when it comes to the writs of referendum, I think that the Prime Minister explained last week that it is date specific. So how does that play in terms of the first hearing?”

 

Lisa Shoman

“Well this is the point, of the writs in which the injunction was given were date specific and were meant for specific writs. Those writs are no longer in existence right now so what are you enjoining? There is no referendum being held under those writs. In fact there are no longer any writs, they are expired. That would be the heart of our contention.  The bill has not yet been passed by the Senate. Once it is passed in the Senate it then has to get ascent from the Governor General and it has to be passed into law before any request for any writ has been made. So at this point there is no writ, no writ exist.”

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