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Apr 1, 2019

Does Special Agreement Empowers I.C.J. to Amend Belize’s Constitution?

Lisa Shoman

The attorneys for the P.U.P. did not give comments after the hearing; instead opting for after the decision to be delivered on Wednesday by the Chief Justice. In his arguments to the court, Courtenay also submitted that there is the question of irreparable harm. He contends that his clients’ rights as members of the executive have been violated as it relates to the legislative process. Shoman disagree, saying that his clients have no such claim since the treaty was taken to the Senate for ratification.


Lisa Shoman, Attorney for G.O.B.

“We have not misrepresented the claim. It is simply that he takes a different view of the points of law that we advance and we want to say. This is why lawyers end up arguing in court because we have differences of interpretation of what the law is and what it isn’t.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Mr. Courtenay argued better safe than sorry.”


Lisa Shoman

“I agree, better safe than sorry. Let’s hold this referendum. If there is any issue that is unconstitutional or not binding or anything like that we will have then gone through a process but we would not have wasted that money in vain to prepare for it. Better safe than sorry to means let us hold this referendum because the greater harm is in not holding the referendum on April tenth.”


Hipolito Novelo

“He says that the executive through the Special Agreement is empowering the I.C.J. to amend schedule one of the constitution…”


Lisa Shoman

“We absolutely do not agree on that point. A, nobody has voted to go to the I.C.J. yet. But, if you look at schedule one it absolutely says that our boundaries correspond to the 1859 Treaty and it is equally likely that the courts and I mean the I.C.J. will uphold that 1959 treaty.”


As we said, the decision will be handed down on Wednesday afternoon. Later in the newscast, we’ll hear from P.U.P. supporters who came out for many reasons.

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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