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Sep 19, 2017

Eamon: I Will Challenge Franz Parke if Appointed to Court of Appeal

Franz Parke

Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, himself a former president of the Belize Bar Association, has raised serious objections to the proposed appointment of Franz Parke as a justice on the Court of Appeal bench.  Courtenay joins the chorus of the legal fraternity in soundly criticizing the recommendation of Prime Minister Barrow to appoint Parke as a judge in the appellate jurisdiction.  Their reason for strongly objecting is Parke’s lack of experience in legal work within the Commonwealth.  This morning, Courtenay went a step further and threatened legal action challenging Parke’s qualification should he be allowed to hear any legal matter involving his clients. 

 

Eamon Courtenay

Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, Attorney at law

“If Mr. Parke appears in the Court of Appeal on anything that I am involved for any client, I am going to object and I am going to commence proceedings challenging him sitting on that court.  Why?  Marleni, stop and think about what we are talking about.  If you had a case in Belize today and you lost it in the Supreme Court and you wanted to appeal, would you pick up the phone and call Mr. Parke in Florida and say, listen, I have a case in Belize.  I know you don’t know any law in Belize.  I know you have not practiced for over twenty years in the Caribbean.  I know you are an expert on the law of Florida, but I have a Belize law case, would you come and represent me in Belize?  I am sure you wouldn’t.  If you are involved in a matter, let us say a murder case, you’re convicted of murder.  Your appeal goes before a man who, you ask yourself, when last he practiced in Belize?  Never.  When last he practiced in the Caribbean?  1980.  What has he been doing since then?  Well he has been an accountant, he has been working in the private sector and he has been practicing Florida law.  Do you believe that he is in a position to understand as an expert and deliver justice; to hear your case fairly and deliver justice to you?  The answer is emphatically no and there is no argument to be made to the contrary.  When you look at the gentleman’s curriculum vitae, it is thin.  It is on a page and a third, double spaced in font fourteen.  He has not distinguished himself; he does not enjoy the confidence of the bar, of the Opposition.  He does not enjoy the confidence of the N.G.O.s of this country.  And the reason is clear; he only came to the attention of the prime minister because they were classmates back in 1975.”

 

The Bar Association has registered its discontent with the prime minister’s recommendation.

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