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Nov 30, 2016

Warning: Don’t Expect Miracles After Ratification of Convention

Eamon Courtenay

A working group has been established to smooth the path to ratification. That group has planned a number of events leading up to the actual signing of the Convention on December ninth at the Prime Minister’s Belize City office. It features membership from Government and the Private Sector, but not the Opposition, which lead Senator, Eamon Courtenay complained about. Government Senator Carla Barnett responded as to what happens next and what to expect. But while that did not detract from the People’s United Party’s support, Senator Courtenay did note that there are holes that need to be filled.


Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“[The] United States of America has a long reservation. Canada has a long reservation. This convention proposes criminalization of certain things and Canada is very clear. It says article 42(2) provides that a state party may establish jurisdiction based on nationality. Given that Canada has effective and broad territorial jurisdiction over corruption offenses, Canada does not intend to extend its jurisdiction in case of an offense committed by a Canadian national beyond that existing territorial basis of jurisdiction. Canada is saying that even though the convention wants you to establish criminality on the basis of nationality, regardless of when crime is committed, Canada is not going to do that; it is going to confine its criminality to its territory. What is the position of the government of Belize, when passports are being sold around the world illegally? What position will the government of Belize take? We are not told. Mister President, article 44 deals with extradition. Article 44 expressly contradicts our extradition laws. But there are many countries, like El Salvador, who has entered a reservation with respect to extradition. And it says, with respect to the provisions of article 44, the republic of El Salvador does not regard the above mentioned convention as the legal basis for cooperation in connection with extradition. With respect to article 46, paragraphs thirteen and fourteen, the Republic of El Salvador states that the central authority as regards to El Salvador is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the acceptable language is English. And it goes on to say that it will not extradite its nationals. So there are countries, at least ten of them, who have taken exception to the provisions in the convention dealing with extradition. What is the position of the government of Belize when it comes to extradition? Will Citizen Kim be brought to Belize? We don’t know and they are asking us to give our blind approval to this Convention.”


Carla Barnett

Dr. Carla Barnett, Government Senator

“I want us to recognize that efforts to combat corruption, to improve governance, management of public resources and public assets; it is not a thing that you do and it comes to an end. It is a continuing process, it goes on and that every stage of the game, we are seeking to improve what we are doing. I also want to emphasize that the direction in which we go and the effectiveness that the steps that we are going to take will have—the effectiveness of all of this—will depend on not only government—far from it—it will depend as well on the roles that are played by all the stakeholders including the Opposition Party, including labor, including the business community and the churches…including all stakeholders in the process.”

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.

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1 Response for “Warning: Don’t Expect Miracles After Ratification of Convention”

  1. ned says:

    Eamon Courtaney you have my vote, I join the Canada and the USA with reservations about UNCAC.

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