Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019. 11:37 am CST.
By BBN Staff: The Government of Belize (GOB) announced today that it has officially made its submission to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to take the Guatemalan territorial claim to court.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, signed the notification letter which was delivered by hand by H.E. Dylan Vernon, Ambassador of Belize in Belgium, to the Registrar of the ICJ in The Hague, Netherlands.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said that the notification letter was sent in accordance with the Special Agreement signed between Belize and Guatemala in 2008. Under Article 8 of the Special Agreement, the countries need to notify the court a month after the referendum in each country approved taking the claim to court. The MOFA explained that Guatemala notified the ICJ of the Special Agreement after it successfully held its referendum on April 15, 2018.
“Belize’s notification, therefore, perfects the consent of both parties to the jurisdiction of the Court to determine Guatemala’s legal claims in accordance with Article 2 of the Special Agreement,” the ministry said.
Following the notification by both countries, Guatemala will have one year to submit its memorial to the court within a year and is expected to do so no later than June 7, 2020. GOB will then have a year to respond.
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