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Jan 13, 2020

Guatemalan Nominates Judge for I.C.J. Territorial Dispute Case with Belize

Wilfred Elrington

Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington confirmed to the media today that Guatemala has nominated a judge who will sit on the bench to hear submissions on the territorial, insular and maritime dispute between Belize and Guatemala. May eighth 2019 became a historic day after Belizeans overwhelming voted in favour of taking the longstanding dispute to the International Court of Justice for final adjudication.  A bi-partisan committee of four persons including Foreign Minister Wilfred Sedi Elrington, Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney Eamon Courtney and Attorney Leslie Mendez was formed. Elrington says that Belize has contracted its legal team. 


Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“That aspect of the dispute’s legal activities is being handled exclusively by Assad Shoman and Alexis Rosado. They are fully in charge of it. And the last report that I got from them is that we have been doing all that we have to do to put ourselves in readiness for us when it is time for us to make our submissions to the court. I want to suggest or to think that the Guatemalans might have another three months before their time runs out. I think they made their first presentation about April. I think by the end of April we would then have to make our submissions.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Have the lawyers been identified?”


Wilfred Elrington

“Yes, a team a lawyers was put together and contracts were entered into by them but the people who would give you details on that again would be Assad Shoman and Alexis Rosado.”



“There has been a suggestion made by other parties particular those who oppose going in the first case that there is provision in the court’s rule for potential settlement of the case. Has that been brought up in any way?”


Wilfred Elrington

“That is not in the cause. I have not heard anybody raise that issue. What has been raised is that Guatemalans have appointed their judge because they have the chance to nominate somebody to be the judge. Both countries will have an opportunity to nominate a judge on the bench that will sit to hear the case. The Guatemalans have identified someone. They notified us of that sometime ago but then again to get the precise details of that refer you to Mister Shoman.”

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