Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he is not entirely sure whether he will be calling a House of Representatives meeting later this month where it was expected that the motion for the disbursement of the 90 million dollars that the Caribbean Court of Justice ordered the Belize Government to pay to the Belize Bank would be tabled. This morning he explained why.
Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize
“The Ashcroft Alliance, the Belize Bank, they filed an application for an enforcement order. The hearing of that has now been fixed for March 14th. The government also filed two applications; one concerning the matter of Post Judgment Interest, it is our contention that as of the date of the CCJ decision in favor of the bank,interest ought to have stop running at 17% and ought to instead of run at the statutory rate of 6% so that’s as well before the CCJ and is to be heard at the same time as the Bank’s application. The government also filed another application saying that the banks application ought to be dismissed because there is a want of jurisdiction on the part of the CCJ to enforce its own decisions that because of the peculiar nature of the treaty provisions, the Constitution of this country and other laws, judgments of the CCJ can only be enforced by the Supreme Court in the contracting parties , alternatively in that same application the government is saying in any event how can the bank ask for an enforcement order and an order of Mandamus against the Minster of fiancé when it is quite clear that our constitutional arrangements as well as the Provisions of the Finance and Audit Act proscribe, prevent any kind of payment of a judgment debt that is not already provided for by way of the Annual Appropriations Act prevent payment except parliament votes the money. We are taking advice from the lawyers representing us as to whether in terms of the date having now been fixed for the hearing of all those applications and in particular that last one; we still ought to proceed with the vote on the 16th of February. As soon as we have clear from our lawyers what their advice is what their recommendation is and that would have been discussed in cabinet we’ll indicate to the public what the position is.”