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Jun 27, 2002

Meerabux appeal dismissed by Court of Appeal

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On Wednesday afternoon former Justice of the Supreme Court George Meerabux received the news that the appeal of his removal from the bench was unsuccessful. In upholding the decision of the Belize Advisory Council and subsequent ruling of Justice Christopher Blackman, the Court of Appeal has left Meerabux with just one alternative: a further appeal to the Privy Council. Today we asked attorney Denys Barrow, who led the team supporting the judicial expulsion, for his perspective on the decision.

Denys Barrow, Lead Counsel

“The decision I think is extremely strong in law. Subsequent to the hearing at the high court level, when the appeal was lodged and we started doing the research, and in fact at the very latest stages we found a number of very, very strong cases from the English House of Lords and the English Court of Appeal on this specific matter and on the specific matter of public hearing, which made the law so much more clearer than when we were before the high court. I have the strongest doubts that that they could get off the ground at the Privy Council. One would not be guilty of the arrogance of presuming that the side that one represents is the side of the angels or it is the only strong side. They have their views and one has to respect that, but having said that, I’m very, very strongly convinced that they don’t have a case.”

Ann-Marie Williams.

“What made this situation go on for so long, both the UDP’s and PUP’s knew of the situation, if you want to put it on a political front, and the Bar Association knew too of Meerabux’s behaviour, why did it wait to fester?”

Denys Barrow

“I think the will to do something about it did not really coalesce. There were a significant number of individuals who were incensed about it from way back when. You recall the famous Bar Association Resolution calling upon the government to invite Meerabux to resign. And I think that was the starting point of action. But it was a situation where people were simply…I don’t think they were able to get a proper grasp of how to go about doing this. I think it was such an extraordinary thing to do that lawyers I think didn’t get to grips with it properly until really was too late.”

Meerabux was represented by Wilfred and Hubert Elrington, while joining Barrow was Derek Courtenay, Solicitor General Elson Kaseke and Crown Counsel Minnet Hafiz.

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