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Ashcroft Alliance will challenge new law that protect Belize’s foreign assets

Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017. 12:39 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The Ashcroft Alliance is moving to have the Supreme Court of Belize strike down the recently passed law which protects Belize’s foreign assets.

In a recent release issued by Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited (CIHL), the company is filing a constitutional challenge that “intends to bring a claim in the Belize Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of the Central Bank of Belize Act and the Crown Proceedings Act, which received the support of both the government and the opposition in the House of Representatives and the senate”.

CIHL said that the law was a deliberate attempt to restrain the company from pursuing its right in legal proceedings that the Government of Belize has lost. The company is seeking to collect over US $50 million in arbitration awards, granted by courts in London and upheld by the United States Supreme Court.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow emphasized that Belize would not pay the awards, and presented the new act to parliament to ensure that Ashcroft could not go after Belize’s assets overseas. Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte had explained that the law criminalizes any attempt to attach the Central Bank of Belize’s assets, such as  filing the relevant papers, making a board resolution; or compelling any Belizean company or individual to do the same.

CIHL had highlighted in its release that GOB made a similar attempt to secure assets in 2010; however, the Caribbean Court of Justice overturned that decision in 2014.

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