In January the Government of Belize passed the Central Bank of Belize International Immunities Bill 2017.The “Anti Aschroft” Bill, seeks to protect foreign reserves held by the Central Bank of Belize in other countries. The passing of this bill is a direct reaction to the arbitration awards granted to Belize Social Development Ltd and BCB Holdings Ltd, two companies linked to British-Belizean billionaire Michael Ashcroft. When the bill was debated in the Senate, Lead PUP Senator, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, while voting in favor of it, said the bill makes him and his colleague liable to criminal prosecution. The legal challenge has commenced as explained by Solicitor General Nigel Hawke.
“In relation to the Courtney/Coye matter this is a matter where they are challenging the recent legislation that we passed in relation to the Crown Proceedings Act and the Central Bank Immunities Act of 2017 so they are challenging aspects of the law as being unconstitutional so that is what the matter is about . We will now proceed on the next occasion to get directions in relation to submissions and so on, deeds to submissions.”