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Aug 1, 2011

Bar President says 9th prevents judicial review

As we said, the controversial ninth amendment seeks to prevent judicial review of any changes to the constitution.  The Prime Minister last Friday in an open letter said that access to the court would not be denied, but the president of the Bar explains that you can still go to court but the court cannot review your claim in respect to the changes the supreme law of the land.

Jacqueline Marshalleck, President, Belize Bar Association

“You can go to the court still but when you get to the court, what the court is going to do is check to see if all the procedural requirements have been met and once those procedural requirements have been met they will dismiss your case and send you back through the door.”

Marleni Cuellar

So they cannot address the content of what is being changed. They can only at the process; the step one, two, three, four, five checklist.

Jacqueline Marshalleck

Jacqueline Marshalleck

“Correct. So you have freedom of expression as a right in the constitution. If the National Assembly changes that to say, however, you can no longer make any negative or derogatory statements about the Government of Belize “full stop” in the constitution, the media would definitely have a problem with that as would other citizens. You would then want to file a claim in the court, asking the court to verify whether or not this amendment that says you can no longer say anything negative about the government, is in compliance with your rights and freedoms in the constitution. The court will look at that, consider it and say you know what that derogates from the freedom of expression right, that then is void and inconsistent with  the constitution; no effect.  That is a fundamental change for us and the bar Association will have to consider whether or not we are gonna challenge this legislation because as I said, we already have challenges before the courts. If this goes through, that claim goes through the window. That’s not something that the Bar can accept. We’re supposed to be there, we understand that it won’t always be that the people understand the significance of the constitutional amendments, but we do and that means the responsibility is on us. So if it’s there to be challenged we have to do what we have to do.”

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5 Responses for “Bar President says 9th prevents judicial review”

  1. Liberty and Freedom says:

    As a free people, Belizeans have the right to free speech and to seek justice in the court system. The proposed changes have a far reaching impact on freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution. This is just the first step toward a totalitarian state. Chavez did this several years ago, now, he has become a dictator. “Freedom of speech” is controlled by the government of Venezuela.
    Do not let Barrow become the next Central American dictator.

  2. ivan cal says:

    he is ALREADY A DICTATOR,since he came to power,see he had to fire the ex-chief justice Dr.Abdulai Conteh for ruling against the dean barrow government concerning a land issue dean barrow had with Sir Barry Bowen then, and another judge from the appeals court resigned in protest against dean barrow dictatorial orders,that just shows us how ignorant and arrogant he has become,his whole ministers are arrogant and ignorant,and now he is changing the constitution that the national assembly /dean barrow is bigger than the constitution and the courts,our country is no longer a democratic country under dean barrow dictator rule.’

  3. fight for justice says:

    he is ALREADY A DICTATOR,since he came to power,see he had to fire the ex-chief justice Dr.Abdulai Conteh for ruling against the dean barrow government concerning a land issue dean barrow had with Sir Barry Bowen then, and another judge from the appeals court resigned in protest against dean barrow dictatorial orders,that just shows us how ignorant and arrogant he has become,his whole ministers are arrogant and ignorant,and now he is changing the constitution that the national assembly /dean barrow is bigger than the constitution and the courts,our country is no longer a democratic country under dean barrow dictator rule.’

  4. fight for justice says:

    dean barrow can fool Belizeans once but not twice,make him continue fooling himself,thanks God Belizeans are waking up against this dictator. ……God SAVE BELIZE.

  5. ivan cal says:

    dean barrow can fool Belizeans once but not twice,make him continue fooling himself,thanks God Belizeans are waking up against this dictator. ……God SAVE BELIZE.

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