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CCJ Orders Investigation into Saint Matthews University School of Medicine Limited

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Tuesday ordered that an investigation takes place into Saint Matthews University School of Medicine Limited. St. Matthew’s University is a part of the Global University Systems group of companies and according to a 1997 government press release, the university established a charter in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The CCJ allowed the appeal of Dr Jeffery Sersland and Seferino Paz Jr against the decision of the Court of Appeal of Belize. The issue concerns whether the appellants had sufficient shares in the respondent company to have the authority in law to bring an action to investigate its affairs. Back then the Court of Appeal of Belize had decided that the appellants could not bring an action for the appointment of an Inspector to investigate the affairs of the university. The CCJ disagreed. Reading the ruling was Madame Justice, Maureen Rajnauth-Lee.

Hon. Mme. Justice Rajnauth-Lee: “The Caribbean Court of Justice allows the appeal of the appellants Dr.Jeffrey Sirsland and Mr.Sefarino Paz Jr. against the decision of the Court of Appeal of Belize in this matter. The Court of Appeal had decided in the judgment dated the 27th of November 2018 that the appellants could not bring an action for the appointment of an inspector to investigate the affairs of St.Matthew’s University School of Medicine Limited the respondent company pursuant to Section 110 1B of the Companies Act chapter 250 because they held less than one tenth of the issued shares of the company. This court is of the view that the Court of Appeal erred in its interpretation of Section 110 1B of the Companies Act. The court orders pursuant to Section 110 of the Companies Act that an inspector be appointed by a judge of the Supreme Court identified by the Chief Justice and on such terms as the said judge of the Supreme Court shall stipulate to investigate the affairs of the respondent company the inspector shall submit a written report to the said judge of the Supreme Court, the appellants shall bear the fees and costs of the inspector.” 

As for cost, the CCJ ruled that the respondent pay the appellants’ costs in the courts below and at the CCJ. Attorneys Nadia Chiesa and Darrell Bradley appeared for the appellants and Attorney Iliana Swift appeared for the respondent.