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Dec 8, 2021

Are Policymakers Taking Heed of the World Justice Report?

The report is for policymakers, civil society organizations, academics, legal professionals and the wider public as a tool to help identify strengths and weaknesses within each country. It is also hoped these will inform policy choices. UNIBAM Executive Director Caleb Orozco feels, however, the report has not had much impact on successive Belize governments. He points to the modification of Section Fifty-three of the Belize Criminal Code as it relates to the decriminalization of carnal intercourse “against the order of nature” as an example. Although the court has ruled that it is unconstitutional, two years later the offense is still in the law. 


Caleb Orozco

Caleb Orozco, Executive Director, UNIBAM

“In terms of relating the findings of World Justice Report to the actual issue of governance, it is a talk shop because no party has demonstrated they’re willing to look at policy and development and economic investment in an inclusive way. When you say you support the Sustainable Development Goals and Leaving No One Behind, but you are leaving people behind who are marginalised in your governance, your practice does not match your commitment to act, your words do not match your deeds and it is time for change in the way Parliament, Cabinet and the AG’s Office operate. When you have a legal decision around Section Fifty-Three telling you that you need to modify section Fifty-Three since 2019, but you don’t see it as a priority and you don’t see how the application of that decision applies to old laws and new laws so you’re resisting the application of that ruling. That tells me that you are not interested in upholding equal protection under the law; that tells me that you are satisfied with being mediocre in your governance and this holds true for both parties. It is my hope with the World Justice Report that mediocre is not the value, but acts as solidarity and inclusion in legislation is given life in meaningful way. Here is hoping that 2022 is different.”

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