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Oct 30, 2017

Trial in Franz Parke Case Set for December

Franz Parke

A trial date of December eleventh has been set in the fixed date claim filed by Leader of the Opposition John Briceño against the Attorney General, which concerns the appointment of Franz Parke as a Justice of the Court of Appeal. The appointment took place on October sixteenth, but objection had been raised by Briceño from late August.  Briceño, supported by the Bar Association and Belize National Teachers’ Union, questioned Parke’s credentials as he has not practiced in the Caribbean since 1980, despite graduating from law school with Prime Minister Dean Barrow in 1975.  Following the routine appearance before Justice Courtney Abel, we asked Briceño’s attorney Eamon Courtenay what happens to the cases which Parke hears at the Court of Appeal, while his appointment is being challenged. He indicated that it is part of the calculated risk the Government took in appointing him, which could backfire in their faces.

 

Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for John Briceño

“If the Court were to hold that the decision of the Prime Minister to advise the Governor General to appoint Mister Parke is unconstitutional, then it follows that his appointment is unconstitutional, and any matter on which he has sat would be affected by that unconstitutionality. As you know, Mr. Parke was well aware that this matter was pending and the Government was well aware that this matter was pending, and they proceeded, nonetheless, to make the appointment. So if there is a consequence, they knowingly proceeded with a challenge pending in the wings.”

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