Bar to apply to join nationalization case at CCJ

Bar Association of Belize

Thursday, October 1, 2015.  Aaron Humes Reporting: Members of the Bar Association of Belize, which met last night in Belize City, have given unanimous approval to a resolution of the association which reads, in short, as follows: “Now be it resolved… (that) The Bar Association take such steps as are necessary to make application to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in the pending consolidated
appeals for leave to intervene in the proceedings as an interested party and make written representations as to why the consolidated appeals should not be stayed to the extent necessary to secure in the public interest decisions from the CCJ on the declarations sought in the appeal challenging the validity of the Eighth [Amendment to the Constitution] in particular and the Acquisition Acts or so much thereof as the Court might consider appropriate in the public interest.”

The appeals referred to are those of Dean Boyce, Trustees of the BTL Employees Trust, British Caribbean Bank Limited and Fortis Energy International (Belize) Inc. all against the Attorney General and Minister of Public Utilities, concerning both nationalizations of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL).

The Bar says it is not interfering in the agreed upon settlements for both companies; it only seeks the Court’s judgment on the public law aspects of the case, particularly the validity of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which excludes amendments to the constitution from invalidity and seeks to enshrine the ownership of all public utilities in the Government and people of Belize.

We are currently seeking comment from the Association and will have more on this story later on.

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