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Mar 19, 2020

Precautionary Measures at the Court; Trials with Jury Postponed

Gavin Courtenay

Social distancing is a major recommendation as a preventative measure to halt the spread of COVID-19. The judiciary is taking no risks and has since postponed trials with jury until further notice.


Gavin Courtenay, Executive Member, Bar Association of Belize

“Even prior to the meeting, certain matters—particularly in the criminal court—the Chief Justice had already issued a notice that trials with juries had been temporarily suspended. So any trial for which somebody is charged with an offence and it has to be charged by a jury; that is being suspended until further notice. Those that are being tried by judge alone are still continuing; therefore, if any person who is accused will still be able to attend their trial if it is before a judge. And similarly, in the magistrate’s court, because we discussed measures that are going to be taken as well, the trials with multiple defendants have been temporarily suspended as well. But those with single defendants or in certain cases, one or two, those will still be disposed of as normal. And it is important to also just state that both at civil and criminal side, urgent matters will still continue to be heard.”

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