This month the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has made two ruling against the Government of Belize. On November 7, the CCJ also ruled against Minister Wilfred Elrington in his capacity as an attorney. The case was between Elrington’s Law Firm and Progresso Heights which surrounded a disagreement involving a real estate deal. In June 2010, Elrington filed a claim in the Supreme Court seeking an investigation of the company on the grounds that the other directors were deceitful and acted unlawfully. In October that same year, Progresso filed a counter-claim against Elrington and his firm, seeking repossession of land transfer documents sent to Elrington’s firm between September 2009 and June 2010. As a result, the CCJ ordered Elrington to return all the conveyance documents to Progresso Heights within a month. However, Elrington failed to do so claiming that he did not have those documents.The Progresso Heights Limited made an application that the court declares the documents lost and the court honored their request and ruled in their favor. As a result, the Registrar of Lands is tasked to produce the land documents, which Elrington must return. Elrington doesn’t feel justified by the CCJ’s ruling.
Attorney Wilfred Elrington
“I can tell you that the decision which they gave against me was wrong both in law and in fact and I’m not afraid to say that I’m bound to honor it but it’s completely and totally wrong. They seem to have been very hostile even before I was able to say a word and I formed the view that they really hadn’t paid any attention to the position I took. They seemed to have taken the position that one, you are an attorney and you know people tend to think that attorneys are less than honest and then you are a politician that is compounded because politicians are not looked at as being honest and so they just decided against me without really and truly listening to what I was saying and in fact looking at the arguments that I was putting forward so that has turned me off tremendously from any support that I had for the CCJ I am really really disappointed.”
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is the highest court of appeal for only Belize, Barbados, and Guyana. Ironically, Trinidad and Tobago where the CCJ is located does not use the CCJ as its final court of appeal.