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Jun 4, 2021

A Bill for the Expansion of the Court of Appeal

Sheena Pitts

A bill for the expansion of the composition of the Court of Appeal also went before the Senate today. Here’s what Senators Sheena Pitts, Michael Peyrefitte and Eamon Courtenay had to say on that bill at today’s sitting of the senate.


Sheena Pitts, U.D.P. Senator

“This bill is a bill that is much needed. I wonder if on the other side a part or in addition to having simultaneous sittings with six judges we can go even further to consider having a full time Court of Appeal as is the case in other jurisdictions in the Commonwealth. My only concern is that we invite into our territory on the basis of the best available legal minds.”


Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, Lead U.D.P. Senator

“I guess you can say that the flaws with the law that existed before was that it said you should have the President and four; unfortunately there was a ceiling but fortunately there was a floor, four. When you replace four with such, I mean it is kinda crazy to contemplate but you wouldn’t even want to contemplate it, in my view. Couldn’t we have a proviso or something to indicate to indicate that you have the President and such others provided you will have no less than four? But when you read it here when you replace four with such you could have ten if you want but if you put such then you could also have one if you which is clearly not the intent of the amendment but I think if you have a proviser to just make sure you have a minimum in mind and that you could have such others that go way beyond that minimum but not below.”


Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Senator for Government Business

“I think we can be confident, first of all, that the bill has a title and it says to expand the composition of the Court of Appeal and therefore any interpretation will be in that context that it was intended to expand. With respect to the floor, all I will say that any government that seeks to reduce the number of judges in the Court of Appeal below the current four and if the six that are appointed below the then six they will be the subject of the wrath of the people of Belize and the legal profession, led I am sure, by Senator Pitts.”

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