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GOB to seek its own legal opinion on the special agreement

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Posted: Friday, February 22, 2019. 3:17 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Following the release of a legal opinion by three attorneys from the People’s United Party on the validity of the 2008 Special Agreement signed between Belize and Guatemala, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the Government of Belize will be seeking its own legal opinion.

Barrow said that the 38-page legal opinion, prepared by Kareem Musa, Anthony Sylvester, and Richard “Dickie” Bradley, was well put together and commended the attorneys for doing the level of research that they did.

He said that he personally did not think the document was persuasive, but that GOB will not be dismissive of anyone’s efforts to advance the dialogue on taking the claim to the ICJ in the face of the upcoming referendum.

“I am taking it so seriously that we are going to get a legal opinion. Unfortunately, from a professor of UWI, so not from a local. But we do this, in that way we show respect to what they have said to the position they are arguing and we also, I hope, reassure the Belizean public that we take nothing lightly,” Barrow said.

Barrow also said that GOB will not entertain any delay of the referendum for any reason other than a natural disaster.

Attorney and former Foreign Minister under the PUP, Lisa Shoman, also addressed the legal opinion drafted by her peers this week, noting that the document may have had several fundamental errors in the arguments posed.

She maintains that any legal challenge to the Special Agreement would be on a purely academic basis and does not have a high likelihood of success in court.

 

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