What did the CCJ consent order say? Print E-mail
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Written by The Guardian   
Thursday, 21 January 2016 00:00


1. The judgment of the Court of Appeal of Belize is affirmed insofar as it holds that Maya customary land tenure exists in the Maya villages in the Toledo District and gives rise to collective and individual property rights within the meaning of sections 3(d) and 17 of the Belize Constitution.

2. The Court accepts the undertaking of the Government to adopt affirmative measures to identify and protect the rights of the Appellants arising from Maya customary tenure, in conformity with the constitutional protection of property and non-discrimination in sections 3, 3(d), 16 and 17 of the Belize Constitution.

3. In order to achieve the objective of paragraph 2, the Court accepts the undertaking of the Government to, in consultation with the Maya people or their representatives, develop the legislative, administrative and/or other measures necessary to create an effective mechanism to identify and protect the property and other rights arising from Maya customary land tenure, in accordance with Maya customary laws and land tenure practices.

4. The Court accepts the undertaking of the Government that, until such time as the measures in paragraph 2 are achieved, it shall cease and abstain from any acts, whether by the agents of the government itself or third parties acting with its leave, acquiescence or tolerance, that might adversely affect the value, use or enjoyment of the lands that are used and occupied by the Maya villages, unless such acts are preceded by consultation with them in order to obtain their informed consent, and are in conformity with their hereby recognized property rights and the safeguards of the Belize Constitution. This undertaking includes, but is not limited to, abstaining from:

a) issuing any leases or grants to lands or resources under the National Lands Act or any other Act;
b) registering any interest in land;
c) issuing or renewing any authorizations for resource exploitation, including concessions, permits or contracts authorizing logging, prospecting or exploration, mining or similar activity under the Forests Act, the Mines and Minerals Act, the Petroleum Act, or any other Act.
5. The constitutional authority of the Government over all lands in Belize is not affected by this order.
6. The Court shall determine the remaining issue in this case, namely the Appellants’ claim for damages.
7. There shall be liberty to apply.
8. The Appellants’ costs of this appeal and in the courts below shall be agreed by 30th April2015 or taxed.
9. The Court retains jurisdiction to oversee compliance with this order and sets 30th April2016for reporting by the parties.