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Apr 19, 2021

Estelle Leslie’s Appointment as Comptroller of Customs is Upheld by Supreme Court

Estelle Leslie

Former Prime Minister Dean Barrow has lost his first case since returning to private life as an attorney.  Barrow, along with co-counsel Darrell Bradley, represented Ian Haylock in a matter brought before Justice Westmin James, following the appointment of Estelle Leslie as Comptroller of Customs in early January.  Fifty-three-year-old Haylock was set to succeed erstwhile Comptroller of Customs Colin Griffith upon his retirement, but felt that he was snubbed when his colleague was chosen for the position instead.  A claim for judicial review was subsequently filed in the Supreme Court where government was represented by Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith, while Leslie was represented by Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck.  On Friday, Justice James handed down an oral decision in favor of Leslie and the Briceño administration.

 

Godfrey Smith

Godfrey Smith, Attorney for Government

“The decision was that Mr. Haylock’s application for judicial review of decision of the Governor General and the Prime Minister to appoint Estelle Leslie as the Comptroller of Customs should be dismissed.  In other words the judge found that there was nothing legally wrong with the decision of the Governor General to appoint Ms. Leslie as comptroller on the advice of the prime minister given after consultation with the Public Service Commission.  The judge also found or dismissed the argument that that decision was made in bad faith and he dismissed it because he found that there was no basis, no evidential basis to find that there was any fraud or dishonesty or any bad faith in appointing Ms. Estelle Leslie as the Comptroller of Customs of Belize.”


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