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Feb 20, 2019

Lisa Shoman says Special Agreement is Indeed Legal

A thirty-eight page document presented as a Joint Legal Opinion on the legitimacy of the Special Agreement signed between Belize and Guatemala in 2008 has been put forward by a trio of venerable attorneys.  Kareem Musa, Anthony Sylvestre and Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley have examined the validity of the Compromis through their legal lens and have concluded that there is basis to challenge its lawfulness in the high court prior to the referendum date of April tenth.  Their argument in summary is that the Special Agreement was never taken to the House of Representatives, as they say it should have.  Today, former Foreign Minister Lisa Shoman, herself an attorney-at-law, weighed in on the matter following a cursory view of the document.  She asserts that the Special Agreement is recognized as a treaty of sorts between both countries and that it was ratified by upper parliament in November 2016.


Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman, Attorney/Former Foreign Minister

“The Special Agreement went through legal processes in both Belize and Guatemala.  Weh ah mean by that?  Guatemala presented this to its congress and got it ratified and so did Belize.  The Special Agreement is a kind of treaty and so because it‘s a treaty, under our law it has to be presented to the Senate and it was on November 30th, 2016.  So that has been done and as far as I am concerned this means that what needed to be done legally to then hold the referendum has been done.  But these legal arguments that have been presented by my brethren say that this Special Agreement is challengeable in law, yoh need fu ker it da court because ih got serious problems with it.  What are the problems?  They are saying first of all that the terms of the Special Agreement are going to change Schedule One in the Constitution that, for instance, describes our boundaries.  They say that if we‘re voting yes, there‘s a lot of ifs so hold on to the ifs with me and follow, if the referendum is held, which it will be, if people vote yes, if we then refer it to the I.C.J., if the I.C.J. looks at all the arguments and if the I.C.J. makes any changes to our boundaries as described in Schedule One then the Special Agreement would have, by implication, changed the Constitution.  Now that is a lot of ifs and those ifs are by no means certain.”

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