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Nov 4, 2014

Attorneys Say Case is Far From Frivolous

Andrew Masrhalleck

In response to the claim filed, government has unleashed a storm of political ads accusing the Opposition of being unpatriotic, and boasting of the largesse of the governments with hundreds of millions at its disposal. At a press conference last week, PM Barrow also scoffed at the claim, saying it has no merit. He referred to it as frivolous, a legal fig leaf which will be soundly defeated in court and in the public domain. The Opposition’s dream team disagrees, and for good measure, threw one of the PM’s favourite terms back in his face. Who’s the malignant tumor now?

 

Godfrey Smith SC, Attorney for Legal Claim

“You know that’s the Prime Minister’s stock answer to every legal challenge that is brought against any of his government actions. But he doesn’t stop there. When the judgements go against him, he also publicly rebuffs the judges who make the decisions. So we are not at all surprise and I’m sure neither are you that he has characterised wrongly this action as frivolous. It is anything but frivolous.”

 

Andrew Marshalleck, Attorney for Legal Claim
“The Prime Minister and his Cabinet is making decisions that properly belong to the National Assembly. But it is not only that the decisions have been made; it’s also that they have been acted upon and acted upon for a number of years. This kind of problem, this kind of usurpation of legislative function is precisely the problem that arose and that the Caribbean Court of Justice was so critical of in the Belize Bank case and gave rise to the very quote that the Prime Minister is so fond of—and I know you all know which one I am talking about. And it says, and it was from Mister Justice Saunders. Prime Ministerial governance, a paucity of checks and balances to restrain an overweening executive; these are the malignant tumors that eat away at democracy. No court can afford to encourage the spread of such cancer. In our judgement, implementation of the provisions of the deed without legislative approval and without the intention on the part of its makers to seek such approval is indeed repugnant to the established legal order of Belize. I know that that sounds familiar because the Prime Minister loves to rely on it.”

Party Leader Francis Fonseca states that while there is clearly a criminal element to the breaching of the Finance and Audit Reform Act, they’re not pursuing that avenue just yet. 

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1 Response for “Attorneys Say Case is Far From Frivolous”

  1. CEO says:

    A serious matter, but when the PM gets to decide which judge stays and which judge goes how can there be a fair trial on matter as serious as these?

    Barrows comment was so…now how can you tell the judge indirectly that this will be “soundly defeated” in court?

    The other comment about being ‘defeated in the public domain’ this is a legal matter what does public opinion has to do with a completed violation of the law?

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