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Jun 26, 2020

PM Dean Barrow Says Ex-CJ’s Ruling Against G.O.B. is a Non-Decision

“It is a non-decision” – that is what Prime Minister Dean Barrow stunningly said today during the Sitting of the House of Representatives in Belmopan. PM Barrow was speaking on the former Chief Justice’s ruling on January thirty-first, 2020. The then CJ, Kenneth Benjamin, ruled in favour of the Opposition and against the Barrow Administration, declaring that one point five billion dollars in government expenditure was unconstitutional.  In an oral ruling, Benjamin said that the Minister of Finance illegally spent one point five billion dollars from the public purse. Benjamin ruled that the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance breached the Finance and Audit Reform Act when he spent the monies without parliamentary approval.  He also ruled that the consequence will be postponed until after six months, giving time to the government to amend the constitution. The contract of Benjamin was not renewed and he went into retirement without a written judgment.  PM Barrow is now concluding that Benjamin’s ruling is a non-decision and of no consequence. 

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“He is functus. That is the end of it. The people can start all over again if they wish. But no, you cannot get anything from the ex-chief justice. The judgment doesn’t happen until it is reduced to writing, signed by the judge and it receives the sort of seal of the Supreme Court. I have checked myself personally.”

 

Reporter

“So it is like it has never happened and the government will not proceed to make the changes that were recommended?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“There you go. You obviously came first in you journalism class.”

 

Reporter

“But can you answer the question?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Sorry, what was the question? I thought you were making a statement?”

 

Reporter

“No it is a question. The government will not proceed to implement the changes that were, you are saying as if it never happened?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Which changes? I don’t know of any changes. What the chief justice said was—I don’t even remember precisely what he said. He had suggested…”

 

Reporter

“…that it is unconstitutional spending and there needed to be amendments.”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“That, I utterly and completely disagree with. And I said it in the House already, I’ve looked at the constitution and I read it, there is nothing to change. The most that could have been said was that there was a breach of the Finance and Audit Act, which, hypocrites that they are, the Opposition will not accept was par for the course. It doesn’t make it right, doesn’t escape the charge of being slip shot—both administrations. But that it was unconstitutional, no I find that absolutely unacceptable.”

 

Reporter

“One of the things that they said that it just needs a signature for it to be perfected and the man is still in the country.”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Ma’am I am telling you. That it does not, he is functus. He doesn’t have any judicial authority anymore.”


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