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Feb 6, 2019

A Challenge to the Validity of the Compromis Soon to be Filed

In the next few days, a group of attorneys are set to file a constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court. The group will be challenging the validity of the Compromis, signed between Belize and Guatemala to end negotiations and take the territorial dispute between both countries to the International Court of Justice for final resolution. On December eighth, 2008 Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington and then Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Haroldo Rodas, as well as O.A.S. Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza, signed on to the special agreement at the O.A.S. Headquarters in Washington. Back then, like now, there is outcry over the agreement which had the support from both major political parties. Attorney Richard “Dickie” Bradley says that the Executive did not have the legal authority to sign the binding document without parliamentary approval.

 

Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Attorney-at-law

“The process that occurred with the matter of the Belize compromis is a matter that is unlawful.”

 

Duane Moody

“Unlawful in what sense, sir? That it did not get parliamentary approval?”

 

Richard “Dickie” Bradley

Richard “Dickie” Bradley

“Something like that. It didn’t follow a proper procedures; it infringes on the rights of the citizens of Belize. It is messing around with the sacred right of the constitution and the responsibility of elected members of our parliament. Let me give you a corollary argument with this matter, whatever the law is finally decided to be. Do you think in a democracy, the Executive Branch, through a minister representing his colleagues in cabinet, can sign a document, turn it into a treaty and that that treaty can deprive you and me of our rights? That the executive Branch can go out, whether with Guatemala or any other country, and sign something that can take away our sacred rights and smash up our laws in this country? And then, although this is not a legal approach, this matter was never ever debated in the parliament?”


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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