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Dec 17, 2012

Dean Boyce/BCB withdraw application seeking Justice Awich’s recusal from nationalization case

Denys Barrow

In related news, the application for special leave to appeal to the CCJ against the decision of the Court of Appeal that Justice Awich didn’t have to recuse himself from the nationalization case was withdrawn this morning by attorneys for Dean Boyce, the Trust and the British Caribbean Bank. Godfrey Smith explained that they agreed to withdraw their application after the CCJ indicated that his clients right to pursue the issue of any apparent bias of Justice Awich would be preserved as a ground of appeal, if necessary, once the appeal reached the CCJ. Denys Barrow said it was positive development.

 

Denys Barrow, Attorney for Government

“That went very well as far as we are concerned. There was not any clear determination. Essentially what the CCJ did was to say let’s leave this if you want to bring it up if there is a substantive appeal against the main case itself; then bring it up in such an appeal. Do not proceed with it at this stage. That is essentially what they proposed and we all agreed that that would be an appropriate way to deal with the matter. It is a positive development. We are happy with it so to that extent, it is a win for us. Sometimes a win is simply that you hold your ground. In my submission at an early stage, I made precisely the suggestion which ultimately emerged, which is that there is the substantive case which comes on for judgment by the Court of Appeal. And let that judgment into the legality of the 2011 acquisition be decided. Let that judgment into the validity, the constitutionality of the eighth amendment; let that judgment issue and in any appeal from the judgment by either side, then the question of bias can be raised if they still want to proceed with that contention.”

 

Reporter

“What is your expectation regarding the handing down of that judgment in terms of time?”

 

Denys Barrow

“I have every confidence that the Court of Appeal is fully aware of the considerable public interest of that judgment. This is a judgment which is huge in terms of its implications not just for Belize but I think for the wider Caribbean; for wider commonwealth.”

 

Godfrey Smith

Godfrey Smith, Attorney

“In the middle of the presentation of arguments that the Court of Appeal ought to have asked Justice Awich to recuse himself, the Caribbean Court of Justice came up with a proposal which was to say to us that it we ought to consider allowing the writing of the decision to begin by the Court of Appeal on the substantive matter on nationalization, while preserving at the same time our right to take that point if needed—if we lose before the Court of Appeal—preserving the right to bring that same point on apparent bias before the Caribbean Court of Justice. So essentially they were recommending to us, there is a way of accelerating this. Get on with the business of the Court of Appeal writing the decision and you can always come back to us with this very same point. We took advice and we consulted with clients, went back and reported to the Court that we would accept that proceeding.”

 

Daniel Ortiz, Channel 7

“Obviously you clients thought that this was a more important issue to deal with now. Why did they feel so strongly about it?”

 

Godfrey Smith

“It is really the fact of not taking litigation as you have seen and are now away; can lead to some surprising amounts. We wanted to make sure that we were not in the position that it could ever be said of us: well you sat on your rights, you waived your rights; you didn’t appeal with when you could have. So we made sure we brought it fully to the CCJ. They are aware of that point and they have said to us look you can’t be prejudiced in any way; you can always raise that on appeal in front of us. And that has given us enough comfort and satisfaction.”

 

In the third of three related applications this morning, the British Caribbean Bank was given leave to appeal a decision of the Court of Appeal restraining the Bank from pursuing its arbitration under the Bilateral Investment Treaty with the United Kingdom. That appeal is expected to be heard by the CCJ in the second half of January.

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2 Responses for “Dean Boyce/BCB withdraw application seeking Justice Awich’s recusal from nationalization case”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    The government’s attorney is speaking foolishness. Hungry belly Belizeans don’t care about the defunct British Empire nor the vapid and insipid commonwealth. The gob attorney is simply deranged. How can he claim victory in defeat? But this is the stylishness of the Barrows but no substance. Get real Denys!! There are some Belizeans who far better wordsmiths than you and your pitiful, scoundrel pm brother.

  2. chaveli says:

    i agree

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