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Jun 14, 2013

But how does G.O.B. continue to defy court orders?

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

The ministry has also proceeded to issue maps indicating areas currently being held by various companies, including Princess Petroleum and Providence Belize Energy, for oil exploration.  The Petroleum and Geology Department recognizes the aforesaid companies despite the nullification of their contracts under the ruling.  Furthermore, it cited an existing lawsuit in Saint Lucia for which RSM Production Corporation is claiming damages in the sum of five hundred and sixty million U.S. dollars for canceling an oil exploration license.  Matura responded to both issues.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Vice President, Oceana in Belize

“They are putting in action their belief that only us the government hold an unlawful contract with them but they, the company, have a lawful contract so we will display that on a map and a map issued by the Petroleum and Geology Department but what people need to understand is the significance of that.  In our constitution it says that all oil is vested in the Government of Belize as trustees, that the government, the Petroleum Act says, are the only persons or is the only entity that can enter into a contract. The truth is there is a declaration that says the contracts are unlawful, null and void and when a government is issued a declaration of that nature the courts are clear that you, as the ultimate upholder of the law and the rule of law, must obey.  And the reason we don’t need to coerce you and twist your hand into obeying is that we expect you to lead by example and that’s not happening in this case.  The audacity to then cite a case in St. Lucia which has absolutely no similarity other than it’s about oil.  The difference is [that] in the St. Lucia case one government was in power and they gave the contract, another came in and they removed it.  The same one that gave it is back in power and the people are saying so what will happen.  They went to arbitration, the oil company took it to arbitration because there was an arbitration clause that says you must go to arbitration first.  There hasn’t been a ruling on the arbitration.  In our case we didn’t go to arbitration, we went to a court, a court with inherent jurisdiction and power in this country, when they give a ruling the ruling stands.  So, you’re trying to mix up things here and say, “oh look how they’re taking the government of St. Lucia to court for money.”  The people never got a declaration that said that those contracts were unlawful, null and void.  The government that removed those contracts from existence held that those had expired.”

 

Interestingly, the ministry’s release ended by stating that if OCEANA believes its spin on the Supreme Court ruling, that it invalidated the rights of the oil companies under the contracts, the organization would have applied for an injunction to cease continuing exploration activities long ago.

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1 Response for “But how does G.O.B. continue to defy court orders?”

  1. Rod says:

    The whole thing is that this corrupt pm and gov do as they please with no consequences because of the people of this country who the sleep walk unu Betta wake up belizeans or you will be slaves soon they even kill babies and have the nerve to tell you they have no apology.

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