Belize government succeeds in securing lower interest rate on BZ$36m Award

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Belize government succeeds in securing lower interest rate on BZ$36m Award

(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – The Attorney General of Belize has succeeded before the CCJ in his application to reduce the interest rate contained in a certificate issued by the Court.

The certificate was made following an arbitral award made against the Government. A rate of interest of 17% compounded monthly was initially awarded in the 2013 arbitration award of BZ$36m made by a tribunal of the London Court of International Arbitration against Belize in favour of the Belize Bank. In November 2017, the CCJ gave permission for the Bank to have the arbitration award enforced as if it were a judgment.

Following the CCJ’s 2017 ruling, the Bank requested a certificate under s 25 of the Crown Proceedings Act from the CCJ’s Registrar to detail the amount of money owed to the Bank by Belize. The certificate was duly issued in January 2018. According to the certificate, the debt stood at BZ$91.6M as at 15 December 2017, with interest “continuing to accrue at 17% compounded monthly until the date of payment”.

The Attorney General applied to have that rate reduced from the date of the certificate. The Attorney General argued that the applicable interest rate was the 6% permitted under Belize law on all judgments in Belize. The Bank countered by suggesting that the CCJ’s November 2017 order was final.

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