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Jun 24, 2014

Government threatens the president of the bar and two former presidents


Eamon Courtenay

Government threatens the president of the bar and two former presidents. Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in Dominican Republic for a SICA summit, but just after six this evening, his office sent out a stunning, but lengthy release on comments made on the reappointment of Justice Samuel Awich. It is a most unusual release because the OPM threatens that the comments made may well be actionable by the Director of Public Prosecution. Last week, the President of the Bar, Eamon Courtenay, made strong comments on the Prime Minister in response to statements made by the PM in the House of Representatives. And prior to that, Courtenay had spoken out on a resolution passed by the Bar in which it said it did not support the reappointment of Justice Awich.  The government views the comments as attacks on Justice Awich calling them contemptuous and contemptible that seek the scandalize the Belize Court of Appeal by alleging bias on the part of a member of that court. In fact, the Office of the Prime Minister refers to a campaign led by current Bar President Courtenay, and former presidents, Jackie Marshalleck and her husband, Andrew Marshalleck.

Andrew Marshalleck

According to the government release, Courtenay represents the Ashcroft interests against the government. The release cites a recent decision involving the acquisition of B.T.L. and B.E.L. which concluded in favor of G.O.B. saying that it is that decision that provoked the ire of “the Ashcroft privies” because the leading judgment in the Court of Appeal was written by Justice Awich. While we have not heard any statements made by Jackie Marshalleck on the reappointment of Justice Awich, the release says that she is a lawyer in the employ of the Ashcroft Group. Government also refers to the recent resolution passed by consensus by the Bar. According to G.O.B., only eighteen Bar members attended the meeting when the resolution was passed and that in fact, it is a lie to claim that the law partner of the PM supported the resolution. The Office of the Prime Minister says that the appointment of the justice is now fait accompli and that it will be for seven years. It ends to say that Cabinet, “will actively consider a course of action that will address the situation in which a puny, eighteen-person minority can purport to speak in the name of all lawyers in Belize.”

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5 Responses for “Government threatens the president of the bar and two former presidents”

  1. Timber says:

    Barrow again! This is one arrogant so and so. It’s common practice for him to try to rule by intimidation. How come the other administration didn’t trample on his freedom of speech when he spoke out as the opposition? It was okay for him and his law firm to bilk millions out of Ashcroft and then turn around and stabbed him in the back like Judas in the end.

  2. oscar965 says:

    Truly it seems that the PM is riding a high horse…PM there are many voters who gave u an opportunity and when u got into power. You were given a clean slate, but PM the slate is no longer clean…and you seem to be riding a very high horse….I see a PM without boundaries… Not what I expected from you or your ministers…and I am sure I am not the only person who shares this opinion but on voting day the intelligent people of Belize will have their say!!!

  3. sickntired says:

    Man belize really di become wah ugly place now. I feel fraid when i see all we top educated people tangle so. Imagine di lee people pon di ground. Then when them rich educated people get enough them just pack up and leave. Di rest a we haffi stay behind and suffer. Belize only weh change when we stop vote fi the fancy talking people and vote in the hard working ones who really share with the rest of us and stop di tief fi themself and dem family.

  4. Karl says:

    This Government is broken morally there is no doubt about it, the list goes on and on. PUP is most likely the Government in waiting, but let’s be clear, their record was far from stellar when they were in power. This is about politics, both sides want an ally on the Judiciary, remember all are rich lawyers.

    To be more credible the leadership of the Bar Association should have recuse themselves from voting especially in situations where it could be look on as sour grapes. The same way the Government could be accuse of granting this appointment due a favorable ruling. The same argument could be made in the reverse, especially due to their current associations with the Ashcroft alliances. Belize needs better than this.

  5. CEO says:

    Our court system will never improve and get the respect it should until the electorate stops being the ones that get to decide which judge stays on the bench and which judge goes.

    This is crap and it should stop! Change the system!

    Barrow had much to say that made sense before he was elected; he still has much to say but now it seems like it is all intimidation and crap mixed with BS.

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