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Jul 16, 2020

Vacancies on the Supreme Court Bench

Michael Peyrefitte

There is another appointment to confirm. As we reported last week, Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman has been appointed as a justice of the Supreme Court.  Along with co-counsel Westmin James, who has also been elevated to the bench, Shoman was instrumental in the constitutional challenge of Section Fifty-three which saw that portion of the criminal code being repealed to decriminalize carnal intercourse against the order of nature between consenting adults.  Shoman also played a key role in the I.C.J. campaign last year which resulted in a “yes” vote during the May eighth referendum for the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute to be taken before the International Court of Justice for resolution.  Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte on Wednesday also spoke about the reappointment of Justice Antoinette Moore who presided over the Danny Mason murder trial.

 

Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“She’s been appointed.”

 

Reporter

“So she can go ahead and deal with her outstanding cases, especially the sentencing for Mason, et al.  Okay, since we’re on judges, generally speaking, we do have quite a few vacancies, including the Chief Justice.  What’s the position with those?”

 

Michael Peyrefitte

“Well, it is what it is right now.  To be honest with you, we have an acting Chief Justice who is very capable, in my view.  We have two new justices that were just appointed, so we believe that we have a complement of judges in place to handle the cases that are before us.  So while indeed we want to look to have a permanent Chief Justice which may or may not be the same Acting Chief Justice, you know, we believe that we are doing very good at this point and we have every confidence that they’ve been put in place to administer justice how they see fit.”

 

Reporter

“Okay, those two justices are Senior Counsel Shoman and Westmin James, right?”

 

Michael Peyrefitte

“Yes.”

 

The National Evangelical Association of Belize, NEAB, on Wednesday objected to Shoman and James’ appointment asking the governor General not to sign off on the appointments. The appointment, however, has already been completed. 


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