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Bar Association gets new legal opinion on Guatemala’s claim Print E-mail
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Friday, 08 March 2019 00:00

In the middle of January, the Bar Association asked that Professor of International Law at the University of the West Indies, Stephen Vasciannie provide them with an updated legal opinion on the Guatemalan Claim on Belize. That legal opinion is now out and as no surprise it almost mirrors previous opinions on the matter, which the country has sought. The document explains that Belize has a strong case to take to the ICJ. By his take, Vasciannie explains that the court will look at international law principles that hinge on treaty, customs and opinions by scholars of international law. He goes on to state that Belize does not stand to lose anything as it relates to its entitlements of territory. The single weakness is our case is cited to be at the breach of Article 7 of the 1859 Treaty, where a cart road was not built by the British. Nonetheless, this does not nullify the demarcation of the boundary, which was arrived at by the treaty.

He also addressed the issue of the Sarstoon and the Guatemalans’ continuous advances in the area. In his opinion, Vasciannie states that as long as Belize protests these actions, our position remains strong.