Farewell to Jurist and Legal Stalwart Troadio Gonzalez
There is a development to report in respect of the judiciary, this time in the Supreme Court, which opens its 2017 session this coming Monday, January sixteenth. Several attorneys tell News Five that one of the stalwart figures of the Court and the Belizean judicial system for many years, Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez, has quietly retired from the Bench. This afternoon, we sought confirmation from the General Registry but they referred us to the judge himself, who is unavailable. As he is now retired, Justice Gonzalez may deliver already reached decisions in cases, but is not to hear new cases or do any other legal work. Sitting on the Bench since 1993, Gonzalez turned seventy-five this past December twenty-eighth. Under the Constitution, Supreme Court judges can retire at sixty-five, but if re-appointed may continue up to the age of seventy-five. Gonzalez had to take indefinite leave after his retirement status was questioned in 2008, but he was later re-appointed under various contracts. Gonzalez has been presiding judge in many sensational criminal cases, including the murder trial of Kirk Gordon, which later became the last Belizean criminal case to go to the Privy Council for hearing. His murder conviction was substituted for manslaughter after the London judges found the jury instructions given by Justice Gonzalez defective. Gonzalez received his Bachelor of Law from the University of the West Indies Law Faculty in Barbados and Jamaica, and went on to the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. He has also served as Director of Public Prosecutions, Chief Magistrate and Acting Chief Justice and tapped off his long career as a judge. .