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Oct 12, 2017

The Case Against Franz Parke for Court of Appeal

Franz Parke

As we reported on Wednesday, a fixed date claim form filed at the Supreme Court pits Leader of the Opposition John Briceño against the Attorney General and Prime Minister Dean Barrow over the appointment of Franz Parke of Florida to be a Justice of the Court of Appeal. Despite questions over his thin resume and a reported allegation of misconduct while in the Florida legal system, the Prime Minister has overridden the objections of the P.U.P., Bar Association and Network of Non-Governmental Organizations to advise the Governor General to appoint Parke for five years. Briceño told us today that with no other recourse after their concerns were brushed aside, they have filed the claim seeking to block the appointment.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Well yesterday, the party and I filed a challenge to the appointment of Mr. Parke as a justice to the Court of Appeals.  We have been very clear for some time that we believe that Mr. Parke does not meet the qualification to be a justice of the Court of Appeals.  His resume is very uninspiring.  We have seen that he has almost no experience in the Caribbean.  He has left the Caribbean since 1980 to live in the United States, so he has no prior experience for us to name him as that.  We don’t believe that he meets the criteria that the Caribbean Court of Justice has set up.  The Bar Association has pointed out that they cannot support his appointment.  The Belize Network of Non-governmental [Organizations] has also stated that and our party, at the National Party Council, passed a resolution feeling strongly that we must object and we must challenge the prime minister’s appointment of Mr. Parke as a justice of the Court of Appeals.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Insofar as this proposed appointment, you’ve already stated that Mr. Parke does not necessarily fit of someone to sit at the highest court in the country.  Outside of this legal challenge, should the court rule to uphold his appointment, is there any other recourse that can be followed?  I know that the only other person or individual who would have been consulted by the prime minister in reference to this matter would have been yourself, as the Leader of the Opposition.  Is there any other recourse outside of the courts or within the judicial system?”

 

John Briceño

“There’s no other recourse.  The only recourse is for us to challenge that appointment.  We wrote to the prime minister and we were very clear in our concerns.  In the first letter that we got, I wrote to him telling him that what he has given us, we don’t believe it’s enough.  That there is not enough information for us to be able to make a learned position on the appointment of Mr. Parke.  The prime minister’s response was very curt, you know, almost rude, pointing out that there’s nothing more to say.  As far as is concerned, he believes that Mr. Parke meets the qualification and in effect he’s just going through the motions as the constitution requires him to consult with the Leader of the Opposition.  So in his mind he has consulted and he is going to do what he wishes and he has proceeded with that appointment.”

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