Barrow Loses Again!

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Jul 5 2020 Cover: Notice to public and all ads customers, printing resumes next issue. 671-8385

“Abused State Power”

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Excerpts of the CCJ Ruling of BELIZE INTERNATIONAL SERVICES LIMITED v ATTORNEY GENERAL OF Belize [2020] CCJ 9 (AJ) BZ

[369]

In these circumstances, the omissions by the Government to take any reasonable steps to try and resolve its issues with BISL collaboratively and amicably, together with its unilateral and high-handed actions to take over the Registries were contextually arbitrary, inconsistent with the standards of good governance, in breach of the duty of good faith, contractually unreasonable, fundamentally unfair, an abuse of State power, and therefore contrary to the rule of law. Taken together these all constitute a serious threat to, and undermining of, fundamental and core constitutional values and principles. They also weaken the integrity of the legal system, especially if the government is permitted to enjoy exemption from its failure to comply with its rule of law obligations in this case. And as well, left unaccounted for they diminish constitutional faith and public trust, and hence democratic legitimacy.

[369]

As a direct result of the Government’s actions, BISL, through no fault of its own, was deprived of its share of the income that it would have received between June 2013 and June 2020, had the Government not arbitrarily, unreasonably, unlawfully, and forcibly taken control of the Registries. It has suffered great loss and damage. For this the Government must be held accountable. Which raises the question, how so?

[370]

Using State power arbitrarily, unreasonably, and/or unlawfully in the commercial sphere erodes trust and confidence in doing business with government. Such actions impair the credibility of the State and undermine public, private, and international faith and assurance in the political and economic conditions for doing business in a jurisdiction. They are injurious economically and developmentally.