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Feb 19, 2019

Special Agreement Needs 2/3 Parliamentary Approval

According to Attorney Anthony Sylvestre, since the Special Agreement commits Belize to hold a referendum with the intention to settle the dispute at the I.C.J. which will rule on Belize’s boundaries and borders, such agreement needs to two-thirds majority approval from the National Assembly.


Anthony Sylvestre

Anthony Sylvestre, Attorney

“Until and unless the provisions or the terms of the Special Agreement are incorporated into law or enacted into a law, a special law, then it cannot be implemented. So for instance one of the terms of the Special Agreement is holding the referendum and so base on sound cases that have been decided by the UK Supreme and indeed out Caribbean Court of Justice that you cannot have an agreement which has the effect of chancing and altering rights or laws. You cannot have such an agreement be implemented or enforce until and unless the National Assembly steps in and gives its approval by way of having its say in the House of Representative and Senate and passing by a required majority of that law. Now in the case of the proposed boundary redefinition or re-determination because as you know our boundaries are already defined in the constitution.  So in order for the country’s to be redefined, the National Assembly has to give that authority to the I.C.J. but as is the case presently that has not been done. All that has occurred is that the government has on the international plane, agreed that that will be done. Now what has to happen domestically is that the National Assembly has to be engaged. It has to give its authority and since it involves a constitutional change because the boundary determination is effectively a constitutional change, that will require a bipartisan approach because at least a two-thirds majority will be required.”

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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