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Mar 28, 2018

A.G. Spars with Mark Lizarraga

Michael Peyrefitte

“The Attorney General’s ministry will provide quality and innovative legal services to the government and people of Belize and will contribute to its development.” So reads the mission statement of that ministry as provided in the budget book. But in his budget presentation, business community Senator Mark Lizarraga publicly questioned the function and budget of Attorney General and fellow Senator Michael Peyrefitte’s ministerial portfolio and of course Peyrefitte took grave offense. Lizarraga noted that the Ministry of Finance will spend six point four million of its budget on legal fees – that’s a million dollars more than the total budget of the AG’s ministry which comes in at just over five million. But Peyrefitte says that five million goes a long way.

 

Mark Lizarraga

Mark Lizarraga, Senator for the Business Community

“This is a ministry that supposed to be and supposed to provide exemplary legal services to the government and people of Belize. Yet we spend on legal fees, more than his whole ministry. (Interruption) I’m not saying you spent it; I said we, as a country spend more than your budget on legal advice. But isn’t that what you are supposed to do? But you see, if you go back to page eighty-seven of the budget, it seems that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs is doing the same thing. So maybe that’s why we have this problem, because two ministries – if you look under the Strategic Priorities of the ministry of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs it says, “provide advice of bills and legislation, provide advice to the ministries and departments on legal questions affecting the business of government, undertake continuous law revision and reform, draft subsidiary legislation, ministerial orders and gazette notices and implement legislative programs for the year.” I thought that was what the ministry of the attorney general was supposed to do. Obviously, they are not doing their job, because we need to get it all over the place.”

 

Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
“I take great offence to Senator Lizarraga’s pronouncements or questions as to what is it exactly that we do. He seems almost perplex that the Attorney General’s Ministry even exists, wondering what is our purpose. Well, Madam President, he wouldn’t last a day in my job. All we do is write and see to it that all legislations are passed for the country, both acts and statutory instruments. We provide all the legal advice to all the ministries within the government. We provide legal advice and exchange of statutes and information through our ILA.”

 

The AGM also has responsibility for Justices of the Peace, the Family Court and the Vital Statistics Unit.

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1 Response for “A.G. Spars with Mark Lizarraga”

  1. UNCLE BENJI says:

    You are not alone Mark Lizarraga. Me too. I also question what the AG office does? Ever since Peyrefitte took over, I have not seen anything constructive come out of that office, except for the three “B”.

    Three “B”? Bombastic, Bufoonish and Bully.

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