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What Next On Road To ICJ? #536334
05/15/19 06:04 AM
05/15/19 06:04 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 62,008
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Tthe Government of Belize is getting very ready to go to the ICJ by repealing sections of the the Maritime Areas act and appointing Assad Shoman its Agent at the Hague.

And while they're moving fast to lodge the case at the ICJ, things will slow down once the case is lodged. The timeline is that the Guatemalans have one year to file what is known as their memorial, and then the Belize side has another year to file its counter memorial.

In March, Judge Stephen Schwebel - who is a former president of the court explained the process to us at his home in Vermont:..

Jules Vasquez, reporter

"Would you explain that process of arriving at a judgement?"

Judge Stephen Schwebel - 19 years onICJ, President 1997-2000

"It's not a simple one. In this case the governments of Belize and Guatemala have prepared what is called a Special Agreement which submits the case to the court for its judgement.And that special agreement sets out that each party shall have 6 months to prepare its pleadings.The first pleading is called a Memorial, and the counter pleading which would come 6 months later is a Counter Memorial.And then there may be further pleadings in writing if the parties so choose.The judges of the court after the conclusion of the submission of written arguments are charged with studying those written arguments."

"The judges read all that material.And then there's the phase of oral argument in which each party has appointed a team, led by an Agent who represents the government and he has a flotilla of supporting lawyers and the most practiced among them will be chosen to argue before the court."

And then the court retires. It will hold a preliminary deliberation, just among the members of the court, with the registrar of the court present, and look at a list of questions which the President of the court prepares as a guide to the deliberation. And each member of the court will express his views on those questions.And after a debate among the judges of the court, after they've all participated in the deliberation, the most junior judge, the most recently elected, the youngest is the most junior, speaks first, which is often a bit frightening to the new judge. And the President of the court speaks last.And at the end of that deliberation, one can see which direction the court is moving."

Judge Schwebel recalls a relevant border dispute, the the Libya Chad case.

Libya was in occupation of an enormous area in the north of Chad, which Chad claimed was territory of Chad.There was a treaty which delineated the boundary between the two.Libya came up with all sorts of creative arguments as to whether that boundary was not the boundary that the court should apply. It had brilliant counsel. led by Derek Bowett of Cambridge University, a colleague ofSir Elihu Lauterpacht. In the end, the court, virtually unanimously decided that the governing treaty settled the dispute.

Judge Stephen Schwebel

"And there are a. number of cases in international law which give immediate and lasting effect to a boundary agreed upon by the parties even though there may not be succession to the treaty which created the boundary. Once the boundary is agreed upon, proclaimed, there it is. It is a disposition to give it continuing force independent of the life of the the treaty itself which settled the boundary."

That is the courts' preference for boundary stability:

Judge Stephen Schwebel

"Well, if you look at the jurisprudence of the international court of justice, it has given primacy to the importance of the stability of international boundaries for one strong and obvious reason, If boundaries are not respected the prospects for warfare among states of the world are that much greater."

So, on the current timeframe, Guatemala is expected to file its memorial in late May or early June 2020.

Channel 7


Re: What Next On Road To ICJ? [Re: Marty] #536374
Yesterday at 06:08 AM
Yesterday at 06:08 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 62,008
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

PUP agrees to Unified fight to the ICJ

Last week Tuesday, the Cabinet also approved the appointment of two agents to represent Belize at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Ambassador Assad Shoman will take the role of agent and Ambassador Alexis Rosado as his Co-Agent. The official role of the Agent is to represent Belize at the (ICJ) and to monitor and coordinate Belize’s lawyers and experts. The PUP will not be left out in the cold. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has appointed a bipartisan committee of four members. Foreign Minister and the Attorney General represents the Government. Leader of the Opposition John Briceno told us that the PUP is nominating Senator Eamon Courtney and attorney Leslie Mendez to represent the party.

John Bricenio – Leader of the Opposition (PUP):It is not the PUP or the UDP that is going to the ICJ. It is Belize and I think that all of us, political parties, NGO’s, and citizens have a responsibility to be able to work together on this issue. It is not about scoring political points but it is about ensuring that we put our best face front that so we could put the best case possible to ensure that we protect every single square centimeter of what rightfully belongs to Belize. The Prime Minister has proposed a bipartisan committee of four where the Government is appointing two persons, two members. As you all know the Foreign Minister is the Chairman of the Committee along with the Attorney General. I presented to the Parliamentary Caucus that I am nominating Eamon Courtenay to be our lead in that committee and also I am asking Leslie Mendez, a young lawyer to also be part of it. It is important for us to start to get our younger generation involved in this, intimately involved so that they can carry on. We are not going to be here forever and so it is important for us to be able to reach out to young dynamic intelligent, hard-working, determined persons that can be apart of the process. I have also spoken to Ambassador Assad Shoman, we were to meet this morning but unfortunately, I couldn’t. I will meet with him face to face when he comes back but he has met with Senator Courtenay and has assured me that this committee that as co-agents they are going to be working directly with this bipartisan committee. They are going to be reporting to them every step of the way, there is going to be complete transparency with the committee and accountability. The Prime Minister also when we have spoken a few times over the phone has also assured me that he wants us to be able to work together on this issue, every step of the way to ensure that when there is the change of Government that we expect shortly that we will be able to continue the work that has already started.”

Jose Sanchez – Reporter: “For the avoidance of doubt, is the country now unified going forth to the ICJ?”

John Bricenio – Leader of the Opposition (PUP): “As far as I am concerned yes, it is not a political issue, the people have decided that they want to go to the ICJ. We have to do everything possible to put our best foot forward to ensure that we can defend every single square centimeter that rightfully belongs to Belize.”

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