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May 3, 2013

Professor says Belize should go to ICJ to settle unfounded claim

Warwick Gullett

The special agreement that would have formed the way to the International Court of Justice is still intact, but both Belize and Guatemala have cast aside plans to go to the ICJ for the time being. But the discussion on the best plans to end Guatemala’s unfounded claim continues. A professor with expertise in international maritime law visited Belize this week as part of a partial agreement between the University of Wollongong and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). News Five spoke to Professor Warwick Gullett about Belize’s chances at the ICJ.


Jose Sanchez

“Professor, regarding Belize’s land boundary with Guatemala and sovereignty, should Belize go to the ICJ?”


Professor Warwick Gullett, Dean, University of Wollongong

“Briefly looking at Guatemala’s claim, I don’t see any basis for it in international law. The key reason is the international right of self determination and the whole basis of that is that people are governed, should be governed by their consent. And the whole southern area of Belize is possessed and occupied by Belize with Belizeans there rather than occupied by Guatemala. To my mind, Guatemala’s claim is inconsistent with the way the world has been going for many decades. With not having colonial powers anymore and countries splitting rather than taking over other countries. One recent example is Sudan; when South Sudan split away from the rest of Sudan. So the fact that Belize has been independent for more than thirty years and is recognized as a fully fledged member state of the United Nations and recognized worldwide, I can’t imagine any of the older stranger items on Guatemala in the early treaties being giving attention in international court. So it is in my mind that Belize has no reason to fear the ICJ and the territorial dispute. There are two possible ways to benefit Belize to go to the ICJ and that is whether it creates certainty in ownership of the southern areas of Belize. So that you can develop that area as you see fit. The second area is you need to have absolute confirmation where the land boundary is; where it touches the sea. You need to have that sorted out to then move on to having defined the boundary with Guatemala in the ocean. And so if the land boundary issue is found with the boundaries where it is now, then that is a firm basis for them arguing for Belize’s claim to the ocean off the coast.”

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7 Responses for “Professor says Belize should go to ICJ to settle unfounded claim”

  1. depressed too says:

    You sir, you know nothing on this issue! I know it’s freedom of speech but there are times when you just have to know when not to speak.
    Take your expertise elsewhere, where it’s needed!

  2. Liberty & Freedom says:

    Please look at Professor Gullett’s curriculum vitae. He is an educated man. Amongst his many designations he has a PhD, which means “Pile it Higher and Deeper”. He has an opinion which we should treat as with any other opinion. The definition of opinion is compared to your anus, everyone has one and they all stink. His opinion stinks. The ICJ is part of the One World Government movement. Belize has an established identity. We do not need the blessing of the international elites whose sole purpose is to consolidate countries into the One World Government umbrella. It has been tried in Europe (European Union) with little success. Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Ireland and other EU countries are at the brink of economic and social collapse.
    Is Belize a member of the ICJ? The answer is NO; and we will never be a member. It is like an international court comes to Belize to ajudicate local crimes. We will take care of our own business.

  3. concern citz says:

    To Depressed.. u really talk like a depress individual. negative!!!

  4. lucas says:

    Our political masters want but the problema is that the Guatebads do not want to. The only solution to this problem, as I see it and as many of my fellow Belizeans do, is war. If I understand correctly, and I stand to be corrected if wrong, King George never granted independence to North America, however, Britain accepts that the U.S.A. is an independent sovereign nation. The U.S. lost nearly all the major battles but, they won the war simply because Parliament refused to vote more money requested by King George to continue the war. The U.S. did not win the war of 1812. The Americans invaded Canada just to have their bottom whipped. The Brits sacked the City of Washington and even burned the White House which was not reduced to ashes simply because it rained that night. It is true that General Jackson won the battle of Lousianna but the war had already ended. The importance is not so much who lost or who won these two wars; the point is that the U.S.A. had the guts to stand up and twice take head on the most powerful military of the time. The U.S. may have lost all the major engagements but inflicted such pain to England who came to realize that invading the U.S. carried such a price too heavy to pay. Belize should built a well organized, well discipline and well equipped army not to invade Guatemala, but to inflict them such pain too painful to bear that in time Guatemala will accept that Belize is a sovereign and independent nation. QUE DIOS SALVE A BELIZE Y BENDIGA AL PUEBLO DE BELIZE.

  5. Bear says:

    @Lucas is a good history teacher. I’ll add another, popular unhappiness with the costs of war forced the USA to pull out of Vietnam, even though the inflicted huge casualties on the Vietnamese.

    A small nation like ours CAN fight a defensive war and defeat a larger one by fighting smart, always trying to inflict casualties on the enemy, and at the same time being careful to avoid major, all-out defeats. “He who fights and runs away, will live to fight another day.” Gen. George Washington used that strategy for 8 years to defeat King George.

    It’s in Guatemala’s DNA to lust to devour Belize. We must prepare to fight smart to preserve our independence. The first generation that lets down its guard will be the last generation of free Belizeans.

  6. Common Sense says:

    Liberty and freedom. Thank you.

  7. Belize says:

    As one of the comments said that the only choice that is left between belize and guatemala despute. Is to war. That is not a logical solution since our population is the amount of the army of guatemala, if we ever fight we would not have even a chance of winning.

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