The Caribbean Court of Justice, acting in its role as a court of appeals, found in favor of attorney Joel Nagel and Caye International Bank (CIB) against Tommy Lynn Haugen in Appeal No. BZCV2019/004. The court decided that there was no basis for Mr. Haugen’s claim of fraudulent misrepresentation nor was there any reason to require that attorney Joel Nagel should pay Mr. Haugen a sum of USD 200,655.
The case originated at the level of the Supreme Court of Belize with a claim filed by Mr. Haugen against Nagel and CIB for breach of contract and fraud. A decision issued by Justice Courtney Abel found against Mr. Nagel and the bank, citing that Mr. Nagel’s witness statement was invalid since it was made by electronic media, even though Mr. Nagel had received permission to do so. A subsequent appeal by the bank was also denied.
Following those cases, attorney Joel Nagel and Caye International Bank appealed to the Caribbean Court of Justice, which understood that there were no signs of any fraudulent, nefarious, illegal, immoral, or unethical conduct or activity by Mr. Nagel. Additionally, the court ruled that the prosecution should compensate the bank for 80% of its legal fees. The CCJ panel consisted of the Hon. Justices Wit, Anderson, Rajnauth-Lee, Burgess, and Jamadar.
The Caribbean Court of Justice essentially acts as two courts in one. In what is known as its original jurisdiction, it serves as an international court with exclusive jurisdiction to interpret and apply the rules of the Revised Treat of Chaguaramas (RTC), which established the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). In what is known as its appellate jurisdiction, it replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council so as to further develop Caribbean jurisprudence through the judicial process. Attorney Joel Nagel’s case was decided by the court in its appellate jurisdiction.