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Jan 16, 2019

Judiciary Receiving Less than 1% of National Budget

John Briceño

On Monday, the Supreme Court opened the legal year with the usual ceremonial fanfare in downtown Belize City. In his remarks, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin spoke of the budget afforded to the judiciary. According to CJ Benjamin for the fiscal year 2018/2019, a little over ten million dollars was allocated to the judiciary. This represents less than one percent of the national budget. Actually, it is a decrease from the previous budget. The judiciary’s meager budget causes challenges to resources and affects the delivery of justice system. In an interview on Tuesday, Opposition Leader John Briceño urged the government to increase the judiciary’s budget if need.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“I don’t think it is a matter of increasing just for increasing sake. I think that we need to look at what are the needs of the judiciary. If there is a need for more funding then I believe that we should give it to them because as it is right now, the whole basis of our democracy is that you are innocent until proven guilty and there are many instances when you keep Belizeans for a very, very long time in jail and that is going against a fundamental right of us Belizeans. So if the judiciary can present a need for more resources then I think we should give it to them.”


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