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Nov 22, 2019

Who Presides Over the Case Against the CJ?

Andrew Marshalleck

Recent appointments, according to Marshalleck, have seen an obvious increase in the number of judicial officers from the Caribbean taking up posts in Belize.  This, he says, is deliberate.  But with a claim against the presiding judge of the Supreme Court languishing within the system, who will the case be assigned to and how does that process work?  That’s what we sought to find out in our sit-down with the bar’s attorney.

 

Andrew Marshalleck, Attorney, Bar Association

“From my own perspective as a member of the bar and a practitioner for the last twenty-five years, we’ve noticed and it’s readily noticeable that appointments have been dominated by people with Afro-Caribbean connections on the one hand and on the other hand by friends and acquaintances of ministers of government.  The idea behind establishing a commission was to have an independent body making these decisions.  The presence of the bar lends an independent voice and a unique perspective to these types of decisions.  The president collectively represents all the lawyers in the country who are members of the bar and they’re bringing their views to bear on these things.  When you take that view out of the equation you can easily see how decisions can be skewed and I think they have been.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Who does this complaint or this claim go before and how does that part of it work?”

 

Andrew Marshalleck

“Well that’s interesting because it’s been filed since October 22nd, 2019 and despite repeated requests, I can’t seem to get it back.  I’m hoping that it was not put before the Chief Justice for him to decide which of his judges get to decide the claim.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“…because then that would be a conflict of interest if he is one of the persons named in the claim, correct?”

 

Andrew Marshalleck

“Well, he’s taken an official position on it. The functioning of these bodies, these independent constitutional commissions are really critical to the proper functioning of the judicial system as envisaged by the constitution.  When we see these institutions being undermined in such a significant way, and I mean that because when you take away the voice of all lawyers in questions that go before the commission, what we get are really the voices of public servants dominating the issues I am not so sure that that works for us.”


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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