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Mar 27, 2015

Sedi Says CJ Has Not Requested Additional Allocation

Wilfred Elrington

Day two of the budget debate, for the most part, was as unremarkable as day one. The Opposition side criticized every aspect of the Budget and the government side criticized the Opposition and praised the Budget. This morning’s opening presentation was done by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney-General, Wilfred Elrington. He explained that while the allocation under his portfolio could certainly have been more, it is enough to get the job done. One of the greatest criticisms Elrington has faced is the allocation to the Judiciary, which remains minimal despite consistent entreaties for more. Interestingly, Elrington claims that government is committed to do much more to enhance the delivery of justice, but he says that as far as he is aware, the Chief Justice has not made any request for a greater allocation.

 

Wilfred Elrington, Attorney-General

“At the opening of the Supreme Court session, the last time in January, I informed the Chief Justice that in fact the Government of Belize was very willing and very ready to buy whatever necessary resources he may require to help to expedite the disposition of outstanding cases and judgements. I have not received any requests from him; I don’t know if he had sent any to the Ministry of Finance, but the government has indicated to him that it is prepared to do whatever is required of him to help him to try to expedite the resolution of cases and to ensure that justice is not delayed and people are able to resolve their matters whether it is criminal or civil matters. So, the fact that there might not be more than what is seen in the budgetary allocation, we know the Judiciary…what appears here does not tell the whole story. We get assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat for legal drafts person to prepare legislation, we are working with CARICOM, we are working on draft legislation, model legislation. We are working with the University of the West Indies through the Canadian, with Canadian resources, to provide other assistance for our Judiciary. So as far as I am aware, the Judiciary has not made any request for any further allocation and the Chief Justice I know is very active in sourcing funds and assistance to help to provide for whatever needs that in fact he deems to be urgent and necessary for the Judiciary.”

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