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Jun 30, 2020

Eamon Courtenay Calls IMMARBE Takeover Roguish and Thuggish

Eamon Courtenay

The comprehensive judgment included the views of every judge of the C.C.J., who came to the same unanimous decision.  Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, who represents B.I.S.L., spoke with News Five following the ruling.  He describes the government’s takeover seven years ago as both roguish and thuggish.


Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for B.I.S.L.

“Belize International Services Limited managed the International Business Companies Registry and the Ships Registry on behalf of the Government of Belize from 1993.  In 2013, the current government forcibly, and this is what the court held, forcibly without court order, went in and took over the registries.  There was still seven years left on the agreement, the management agreement and therefore in 2013, B.I.S.L. sued the government for damages on the basis that the takeover was unlawful.  The government succeeded in the Supreme Court and in the Court of Appeal and the matter went to the C.C.J. and today the Caribbean Court of Justice delivered its decision, ruling that the way in which the government took over the registries was unlawful, unconstitutional.  In fact the judges have used some very harsh language to criticize the government.  I would describe it as roguish and thuggish behaviour and the type of behaviour that does not inspire confidence in any investor or any Belizean.  If you have an agreement and somebody has a dispute with it, you go to court to have it resolved.  Our government decides that it is going to take it by force and now the court decided that that was unlawful and it has been sent back to the Supreme Court for the damages to be assessed.”

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