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Apr 2, 2019

Gian Gandhi said Possibility of Territorial ‘Adjustment’ by the I.C.J. Cannot Be Ruled Out

Eight days from now the public will vote either YES or NO to determine Belize’s next step to address Guatemala’s claim over the country. As the day nears, opposing camps are intensifying their campaign.  A few legal opinions have been penned including one by the late Gian Gandhi.  During Open Your Eyes this morning, attorney Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley revealed that one of Belize’s most respected public officers had fashioned a response to Professor Sir Eli Lauterpacht’s 2002 legal opinion on the matter. According to Bradley, Gandhi who served in various capacities, including Crown Counsel, Director of Public Prosecutions and Solicitor General before his passing in 2015, point out to Prime Minister Dean Barrow in 2009 that the possibility of some territorial adjustment by Belize by the I.C.J. cannot be ruled out.

 

Richard “Dickie” Bradley

Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Attorney & Activist

“Sir Eli is saying that Belize has an exceptionally strong case when it comes to Guatemala making claims. Those are powerful words for a lawyer to use. And then he goes on to say that do not believe that Guatemala can possibly establish a valid claim to any part of the territory of Belize. Of course the court is not always predictable and I could be wrong. Gian Gandhi in March of 2009 comes from India and took this country as his beloved country. He stayed here and worked with change of governments. What’s the word? He is an exceptionally good public officer. Mr. Gandhi wrote advising the government of Belize, the Prime Minister of Belize in the twelfth of March 2009, no matter what the strength of Belize’s case may be under international law the possibility of some territorial adjustment by Belize cannot be ruled out. In fact it would be surprising to the point of incredibility, if the I.C.J. adjudication were to result in a wholesale rejection of Guatemala’s claim. Given the nature and the composition of the International Court of Justice it follows that the possible alteration of Belize’s existing boundaries as set out in schedule one of the constitution consequence of an I.C.J. adjudication is a live issue and must be fully address before any steps are taken to ratify the Special Agreement. After seeing Sir Eli’s response Mr Gandhi wrote on the thirteen of March 2009, that he thought that that view was over confidence of Belize’s case. He pointed to Sir Eli’s admission that ‘there is always a risk of losing in court proceedings’. In Mr. Ghandi’s view, it would not be enough to tell the Belizeans that Belize has an exceptionally strong case and the merits. Belizeans would want a cast iron guarantee that there would be loss of Belizean in any circumstances. Sir Eli, Gandhi says, candidly admits that the court is not always predictable and that he, Sir Eli, could be wrong.”


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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