Has Government Taken Different Tack in Appointing Judges?
Replying for the Attorney General and Government of Belize, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow noted that at least part of the amendment is no longer of value, and that the Government believes that by establishing a specific term for the judges in question, it would be to their benefit rather than to their detriment. He also noted that the case of the Bar is dealing with a mostly hypothetical situation. Subsequent appointments, Barrow also noted, were different from the ones in question at this trial.
Denys Barrow, Attorney for Government of Belize
“In case there is, in future, a slip where a, quote unquote, defective, or at best unsatisfactory appointment is made.”
Adrian Saunders, Judge, Caribbean Court of Justice
“Have there been any other appointments to your knowledge, apart from President Mottley and Justice of Appeal Morrison, in which there was no time given – in which there was no terminology…”
“To the best of my knowledge – and I have looked – the answer is no. And in answer to the question raised from the Bench, I have made some electronic inquiries in relation to the new appointees, and Justice Hafiz, I am told – and this is what I am told – until the retirement age of sixty-five.”
Rolston Nelson, Judge, Caribbean Court of Justice
“Until sixty-five. But is the retirement age fixed in a statute?”
“Not for the Court of Appeal, as I understand it; it is fixed for the Supreme Court, or the High Court; there is no retirement age at all for the Court of Appeal. So whether the Government, as it seems, has latterly been guiding itself by reference to the Supreme Court age, is not something I can say as a fact; but this appears to be the case.”
The Court’s panel reserved its judgment in the matter.