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November 27
08:00 2018
News Staff, - Nov. 27th. 2018

This is the International Court of Justice (ICJ) where disputes between countries are settled peacefully by a panel of 15 international judges.

This is where Belize and Guatemala will come to settle our longstanding land conflict if Belizeans vote “Yes” in next April’s Referendum. Cases that wind up before this Court do so only when both sides consent to have the matter resolved here.

Tune in for full details later on and the Reporter newspaper on Friday.

THE REPORTER: News Staff, - Nov. 26, 2018

As part of a special two-part project organized by the US Embassy, eight Belizean journalists and a cameraman are in Amsterdam, Netherlands to report back home on the role of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The objective of the assignment dubbed, “From Fear to Facts; Demystifying the ICJ” is for us to get a better understanding of how the ICJ works, what types of disputes it presides over, how disputes are settled, and who are the parties that can come before the Court. The assignment comes a few months before Belizeans will vote in the April 2019 Referendum, on whether they want to take our border dispute with Guatemala to The Hague for final settlement.

To help us to better understand the elements of this important process, the US Embassy in Belize has set up a series of meetings and interviews this week between the journalists and people who have knowledge in this area or are currently involved in the role the Court plays.

Today the journalists have an orientation meeting with the US Embassy’s Legal Team at The Hague, after which they will meet with the Chilean Ambassador to The Hague, Her Excellency Maria Teresa Infante. Chile and Peru, like Belize and Guatemala, had a dispute which the ICJ dealt with in 2014, when it awarded Peru parts of the Pacific Ocean but kept rich fishing grounds as Chilean territory. In 2008, Peru asked the ICJ to rule on the matter, saying the border was not legally set. The Court gave Peru around 7,700 square miles and control over a further 10,800 square miles of ocean currently in international waters.

Later this week, the journalists will take a tour of the Peace Palace at The Hague and meet with international law professors and ICJ law clerks, as well as with Belize’s Ambassador to the European Union, Dr. Dylan Vernon. The Reporter will have updated reports on these meetings throughout the week on our Facebook page, our website at: and in our printed edition later this week.

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