Highlights — 21 December 2012 — by Miriam Longsworth

Last week Oceana and the Government of Belize representatives met in Justice Michelle Arana’s court to continue trial on whether a national referendum will be held on the matter of offshore drilling in Belize. That case was adjourned to today, Thursday, December 20.

Oceana, Tom Greenwood and Audrey Bradley’s claim was struck out for failing to comply with the leave given on June 20, 2012. The file claim was to be submitted within a 14-day period. The deadline for the submission was on July 5, 2012, however the claim was submitted on July 11, 2012. Oceana asked for an extension, but because the leave was not complied with, there was no claim.

Oceana’s attorney Godfrey Smith said it was “not the decision we were hoping for, but we are seeking our options.”

Smith told the media that they are considering an appeal.

Oceana was seeking a judicial review of the signature rejection to allow Belizean registered voters to partake in a national referendum concerning the matter of offshore oil drilling in Belize. Over 8,000 petition signatures were rejected by the Chief Elections Officer, Election and Boundaries Department and the Governor General of Belize that would have triggered a national referendum on whether or not to proceed with offshore oil exploration and drilling.

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