Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, Regional / International, Trials » CCJ hands down judgment on challenge to an amendment to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act
Jan 27, 2014

CCJ hands down judgment on challenge to an amendment to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act

But in the regional Caribbean Court of Justice, a judgment was handed down last Friday concerning a challenge to an amendment to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act.  The parties to the CCJ appeal were the Attorney General of Belize as well as Philip Zuniga and others as respondents and the BCB Holdings and others as interested parties. According to a media release by the CCJ, the matter arose from a dispute between the Government of Belize and the respondents relating to a 2005 Accommodation Agreement with Belize Telemedia Limited and Government’s subsequent attempts to restrain the respondents from enforcing an international arbitral award. Based on a summary of the judgment published on the CCJ’s website, the legislation created an offence of knowingly disobeying or failing to comply with an injunction (particularly an anti-arbitration injunction). The legislation also prescribed severe penalties for the offence, including mandatory minimum penalties of a minimum fifty thousand dollar fine and minimum sentence of imprisonment of at least five years for an offender convicted under the new offence. Although the CCJ found that the creation of the offence was constitutional, it held that the minimum fifty-thousand dollar fine and the minimum five year sentence were grossly disproportionate and bore no reasonable relation to the scale of penalties imposed by the Criminal Code for more serious offences. As a result, the CCJ upheld the law, but struck down the minimum penalties. The CCJ was divided as to the consequences of removing the harsh minimum penalties. Three of the five CCJ judges believed the law could survive with the minimum penalties being excised. However, two of the five judges believed that the law could not survive after the removal of the harsh minimum penalties as the central purpose of the legislation was to introduce a harsh penalty regime for offenders. All be told, the law was upheld but the harsh penalties were thrown out. 

Be Sociable, Share!


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

1 Response for “CCJ hands down judgment on challenge to an amendment to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act”

  1. sickntired says:

    ???? Why unu put this pon the news without explain if govt or telemedia win? If the reporter neva understand then imagine what we got fi think bout this piece a news.

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*