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Aug 29, 2014

What’s the P.M.’s Position on Supreme Court Judgment Justice Samuel Awich?

Samuel Awich

It is rare, but the Supreme Court has handed down a decision in respect of one of its own, Justice Samuel Awich. The background is that a complaint was lodged back in 2012 by Dean Boyce and the British Caribbean Bank Limited as well as Lord Michael Ashcroft challenging the legality of a decision by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission not to refer the complaint to the Belize Advisory Council. Justice Awich was elevated from the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal in June of this year and the claimants are seeking to have him removed from the Court of Appeal for misbehaviour and/or inability to perform the functions of the office.  The PM held his corner in respect of the judge.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I think it is quite wrong. My understanding is the Ashcroft Alliance was urging this alleged misbehavior on the part of Justice Awich as a basis for seeking his removal as a judge of the Court of Appeal. But the alleged misbehavior was, according to them, something that occurred while he was a judge of the Supreme Court. I don’t see how on earth you can say when you were a judge of the Supreme Court, you misbehave and that is a ground for removing you as a judge of the Court of Appeal. You would have to urge that as a Court of Appeal there is misbehavior; otherwise it is illogical, it is absurd. I haven’t read Justice Able, Abel—I’m not sure how you pronounce his name—I haven’t read his judgment, but I am certainly sure that my understanding of the facts obliges me to say that that is a wrongheaded decision.”



“But doesn’t it speak to the pattern of behavior if indeed it is proven that there has been misbehavior while as a Supreme Court judge that it could transfer on to him being a judge of the Court of Appeal?”


Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“That’s not…to remove a judge for misbehavior, you have to allege that there is misbehavior with respect to his tenure as a judge of that particular court. So you ask me the question; I would ask you back, “Isn’t it illogical to say you can remove a man for the wrongdoing in the performance of his office as a Judge of the Court of Appeal when you allege that the wrongdoing took place when he was a judge of the Supreme Court? That doesn’t make sense.”



“Sir could it have implications for the decisions that he made during his tenure as a justice of the Supreme Court particularly those in relation to the government of Belize and the nationalizations?”


Dean Barrow

“I don’t see how because there is no question of removing him as a judge of the Supreme Court. He has demitted office. And the argument isn’t that he should have been removed as a judge of the Supreme Court. they are arguing about his tenure now as a justice of Appeal. So I think they are utterly confused. I believe that when they sought to challenge the Court of Appeal’s decision supporting Justice Awich’s position that he would not recuse himself as the Ashcroft Alliance had asked and when they went to the CCJ to try to get that turned. The CCJ said you can bring that up as part of your appeal. But during the back and forth, the CCJ said are you questioning the instrument of appointment or the manner of the justice’s appointment to the Court of Appeal? And they had to say no. That is not for the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; that is for the Prime Minister. They perhaps ought to have directed their fire to my appointment and try to see whether there was anything on the face of it that was not preoperly complied with.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “What’s the P.M.’s Position on Supreme Court Judgment Justice Samuel Awich?”

  1. gerald underwood says:

    It’s just a political game on part of the PUP same thing they did with justice George Meerabux after he refuse Said Musa Application on the house of representatives power he was an automatic target

  2. Ricky Malthus says:

    Both Awich and Barrow are scoundrels from the hood. Dress them up in any fancy clothes and at the end of the day they are the same, they cannot change who they are- corruption merchants given to perversion of justice and the justice system.

  3. Ali BaBarrow, sez it all says:

    “misbehaviour and/or inability to perform the functions of the office. ”

    A entry requirement to be UDP.
    Every ministry has a scandal to prove it!

  4. Business as usual says:

    “If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.”
    – Abraham Lincoln,16th U.S. president

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