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Feb 17, 2017

What About Judges for Belize Supreme Court?

Richard “Dickie” Bradley

While on the subject of justices, himself a top notch criminal lawyer, Attorney Bradley reflected on the state of affairs in the Belize judiciary.   Bradley echoed the CJ’s statement at the opening of the Supreme Court in January noting that there is a shortage of judges. Bradley says that hundreds of accused persons are behind bars unable to come to trial because of the prevailing situation in the courts.

 

Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Attorney

“The Chief Justice has complained at the opening of the Supreme Court in regards to the shortage of judges in the country. He has called on the government; he has called on Donald Trump to help out with three temporary judges and we are at the end of February now and there are no judges. There are hundreds of human begins in prison who cannot get a trial because of the system failing to this extent. This is a very, very serious matter you know. I heard on the radio somebody saying this morning that we had almost four hundred million dollars of Petrocaribe money and we don’t have one dollar left. And not a dollar has been spent on the judiciary of the country; we need more judges, we need more prosecutors, we need more court staff. Now it is worse than that because Justice Gonzalez has retired from December and there is no replacement. Supreme Court session has been opened, nothing has happened in that court because there is no judge. Judge Herbert Lord is on sick leave so Orange Walk and Corozal Supreme Court are closed down. Justice Hanomansingh is doing Punta Gorda and Dangriga; Justice Moore is doing Belmopan and the rest of Cayo and that’s it. There is only Judge Lucas in Belize City right now. This is really a tragedy. But what I want to come back to is, the loss is to Belize. Denys Barrow should be a judge in our court, a judge in our Court of Appeal. Yes it helps to have a judge at the Caribbean Court of Justice, but in the meantime we are very, very short of judges and some emergency action is needed to bring the Supreme Court up to the level that is required to deal with the matters.”

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