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Aug 1, 2014

Measures in Place to Deal With Cases Backlog…

Courtney Abel

The Bar Association of Belize has been most critical about the delay in judgments for cases, primarily blamed on an overwhelming backlog. Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel says mediation will help, but not to any very great level. He says the Chief Justice is putting other measures in place to deal with that, though the escalation in criminal cases is a very serious and real concern.

 

Courtney Abel, Supreme Court Justice

“There are other strategies which the Chief Justice is employing to try and clear the backlog. One of them is trying to ensure that there is a full complement of judges sitting in the civil and the criminal division, and he has even increased, with the assistance of the Prime Minister, the complement of judges in the criminal division. So that’s an important part of it. Certainly I can say from my court and in the civil division I think the backlog is not as great now as in the past because of the measures that the Chief Justice has been employing and the judges have been employing and the mediation process, but the criminal division remains I think…I am not an expert on this and I really shouldn’t be speaking on this but everyone knows that there’s been an escalation in the number of criminal cases in a way that is of concern to everybody and you know we’ve tried to gear up the whole system and the Chief Justice is working on that right now to try and reduce the backlog there.”

 

While Justice Abel refers openly to an escalation in criminal cases, lately it seems that politicians and the Police blame the media for any such perception that crime is escalating. 

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