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Dec 5, 2017

Jesus for Court of Appeal? Franz Parke Didn’t Cut It

Court of Appeal Justice Franz Parke abruptly stepped down from his seat on the bench on Monday, having tendered a letter of resignation to the Governor General that same morning.  Parke’s departure preceded a lawsuit filed by the People’s United Party challenging his qualification for the post to which he was appointed by his former schoolmate, the prime minister.  That nomination was also met with objection from the Bar Association of Belize and the Belize National Teachers Union.  In the wake of Parke’s resignation, Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte has weighed in on the process going forward.


Franz Parke

On the Phone: Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“With him stepping down, we are going to need to replace him, so the same process will occur again.  The prime minister will need to nominate somebody and then he would seek the advice of the Leader of the Opposition and then go from there.  The same process pretty much starts all over again, and we need a person to replace Justice Parke because we are already short at the Court of Appeal and so we will have to do it as quickly as we possibly can to get him in place so we can hopefully have a judge in place for the March session that’s coming up next year.”


Isani Cayetano

“Is there a concern on the part of government that it may perhaps meet with the same opposition, if I may, in terms of the bar association objecting to another person being named or appointed by the PM and or the social partners?”


On the Phone: Michael Peyrefitte

“I have no doubt that if Dean Barrow were to appoint Jesus Christ, the opposition and the bar association would have objected.  No matter who he appoints or tends to appoint they will object, so we just have to deal with that.  For example, Justice Parke, I didn’t see the need for him to resign.  I am disappointed that he did resign because he was doing his job, but he didn’t want to subject himself to any cross examination on frivolous accusations.  He could have easily batted those down but he didn’t want to subject himself to that.  So whoever we appoint next, not only will have to be qualified like Justice Parke, but would have to be tough to stand up to some attacks from the P.U.P. and the bar association because, like I said, I do think that whoever this current prime minister appoints will be met with support from the Leader of the Opposition and the bar association.  I think that we just have to appoint or attempt to appoint whomever we think is the best possible person and then just let the chips fall where they may.”

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