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Mar 19, 2013

Is the bar Association P.U.P.?

 

Eamon Courtenay

Earlier in the newscast we showed you the response from Bar Association President Eamon Courtenay to criticism that the Bar is inactive, a waste of time, and does nothing for its members or for the community. But there is also that other matter which comes up time and time again, and always from U.D.P. politicians that the Bar is P.U.P. or that it has a P.U.P. agenda. In the normal scheme of things, and in an ideal world, political affiliation is nobody’s business but in Belize it’s a horse of a totally different color. Even the Prime Minister thinks it’s a big deal, even as Courtenay says its total nonsense.

 

Eamon Courtenay, President, Bar Association

“The decision taken by the bar yesterday, the decision taken by the Bar with respect to the ninth amendment; the decision taken by the Bar with respect to commencing litigation challenging an amendment to the constitution which we believe weakens the independence and integrity of the judiciary; the decision of the Bar with respect to complaints against judges who do not deliver judgments on time have all, each and every single one of them been taken by unanimous decision. I can recall one in which one member said, I support but would like to abstain for a particular reason. It has been apolitical in the decision-making; the discussions have been robust, but what we do is we put up on the board or however we write out, the text of what is to be agreed and it is negotiated and then nobody leaves until the Bar has reached a consensus or a position. So I reject the suggestion that the Bar is P.U.P. controlled. I reject the suggestion that it is somehow divided along political lines. The truth of the matter as far as I am concerned is that we have to go a little bit beyond what is personal and look at this as an Association. If you don’t like what is happening, seek to change; put forward your suggestions; bring like-minded people to meetings and as I say, we go through a rigorous process of trying to reach a consensus. I don’t know Jules, to be quite frank, what are all the things that the Attorney General has said or done that the bar has not implemented. What I will say is this, unfortunately, according to the law of this country, he is a member of the general legal counsel, I don’t think he has ever attended a meeting. According to the law of this country, he is a member of the executive of the bar; I don’t think he has ever attended a meeting. so it is very difficult for us—those of us who attend, those of us who participate, those of us who lift our hands and try to do something—to hear these criticisms from the Attorney General, from Godfrey Smith, from whomever, if they are not going to participate. And so the decision of the bar yesterday is to say let us draw line and let us try to move forward and to engage in a constructive way for the betterment of the association and the wider profession and wider public.”

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2 Responses for “Is the bar Association P.U.P.?”

  1. ceo says:

    Is there any time Belizeans can rise above politics? My question is so what if they are PUP? I think it is of more importance to know if they are qualified?

  2. Storm says:

    Wise observation, CEO.

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