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Nov 1, 2013

MLA to go to the CCJ

In July of this year, the Court of Appeal issued a complicated and hotly disputed decision in the counter appeal of the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) and the Government, affirming the Mayas’ rights to control communal land in thirty-eight Maya villages of the Toledo District. The decision was complicated because while it affirmed those rights, it also removed the Government’s duty to offer key protections such as a system of title. Both sides were determined to take the case to the highest court in the land, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), and today after a brief hearing, the Appeals Court gave them leave to do so. Today News Five spoke with Attorney Antoinette Moore about the importance of a new forum to air the case.

 

Antoinette Moore, Attorney for MLA

Antoinette Moore

“Myself and my clients are very pleased that the Court of Appeals has granted leave for us to proceed to the Caribbean Court of Justice. We do have the right to appeal so it was little doubt that we will be granted leave to appeal because this is a matter of constitutional interpretation. And it also involves a dollar amount that exceeds a certain amount in the rules. It is extremely important that the highest court in the land, now the Caribbean Court of Justice will hear this matter and will make a final decision at least with respect to the law. What the rights in terms of land are fro the Maya people and what the rights in terms of people protection, the law, and discrimination of the Mayan people. As you may recall on the Twenty-fifth of July when the court of appeal issued its judgment it basically gave a split decision, on one hand they affirm that the Maya people have the right of the land but on the other hand they rejected the relief that the former Chief Justice had granted. So there were no injuncted relief there was no other remedy that was granted or that is affirmed by the Court of Appeal. Now what is happening is that the government is appealing, is cross appealing that affirmation of customary rights but now the government is going to the higher courts just as they have to a trial court and the Courts of Appeals to say Maya have no rights to their land, no customary right to their land. That is what they are appealing that portion of the Court of Appeals judgment. We on the other hand are appealing the part of the Court of Appeal judgment that say there is no relief there is no protection of the rights.”

 

The formal appeal must be filed within twenty-one days and thereafter the court will set a schedule leading up to full trial sometime next year.

 

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2 Responses for “MLA to go to the CCJ”

  1. ricky malthus says:

    The Belize Court of Appeals and the Caribbean Court of Justice exist as an hyperbolic system of repression and injustice used to enhance and broaden black hegemony in the region. The indigenous peoples of the Americas own their lands from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego to the tip of what is called Argentina. The Mayas don’t stand a chance to reclaim their land rights against the oppressive black Barrow regime.

  2. maya says:

    Its a damn shame how the government treat the native people to this. If they cannot protect the maya people and safeguard their existence then there is no chance for any other belizean. How can you not protect their rights. That is outright prejudice if not racist to my people. I am so disappointed by the many things this government is doing. They can protect and pay gang leaders have meetings with them. I have to say WTF.

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