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CCJ sets nationalization decision for January 23

Caribbean Court of Justice

Posted: Friday, December 12, 2014. 10:40 pm CST.

Caribbean Court of Justice

Caribbean Court of Justice

Friday, December 12, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: This morning the five-judge panel of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago wrapped up a three-day session of arguments over the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited and Belize Electricity Limited.

The challenge to the nationalizations was taken to the CCJ by the former owners of BTL and Fortis Energy International.

The court proposed to accept additional written submissions on certain points by December 17 with three days allotted for the Government’s reply.

A decision is expected to be handed down on January 23, 2015.

President of the Court, the Rt. Hon. Dennis Byron, along with Justices Adrian Saunders, Jacob Wit, David Hayton and Winston Anderson presided.

Lord Peter Goldsmith, PC, QC, Edward Fitzgerald, CBE, QC, Godfrey P. Smith, SC, Eamon Courtenay, SC, Jose Alpuche and Pricilla Banner appeared for appellants Dean Boyce, British Caribbean Bank and Fortis International.

Denys Barrow, SC, Deputy Solicitor General Nigel Hawke and Naima Barrow appeared for the Attorney General and the Minister of Public Utilities in all cases.

The 2009 BTL acquisition had been ruled unconstitutional in the Court of Appeal in 2011, following which the Government sought to correct its mistakes.

The Supreme Court overruled both the 2011 acquisitions and the Eighth Constitutional Amendment but earlier this year a majority of the Court of Appeal sided with the Government and reversed the decision.

The Government is cross-appealing a section of the 2014 Court of Appeal decision.

It is expected that this will finally bring the saga of the acquisitions to an end, as multiple cases back home are depending on its outcome.


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