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Jul 27, 2022

Bar Association Further Explains Senior Courts Bill

The coming together of various branches of the judiciary to form what will hereafter be known as the Senior Courts, succeeds a piece of legislation that was introduced in parliament earlier this year.  The proposed Senior Courts Bill will rescind the Supreme Court of Judicature Act and replace it with the Court of Appeal Act.  This will seek to enhance the function, as well as the administration of the Supreme Court to be renamed the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal of Belize.  While Attorney General Magali Marin-Young has gone to great lengths to explain the new configuration, the Bar Association also found it necessary to elucidate the changes.  This morning, News Five spoke with Vice President Hector Guerra, following the release of a fifteen-page document put together by the association.


Hector Guerra

Hector Guerra, Vice President, Bar Association

“Since the election of the new executive, we found it our responsibility to assist with educating the wider public so that you found that we issued previously a paper on the bill that addresses the legalization of cannabis, the use of cannabis.  And so, in keeping with that mandate, we found it appropriate to issue a paper on the Senior Courts Bill. And that’s how we, in keeping with that mandate, that’s why we’ve published another paper.”


Isani Cayetano

“Give us some details with respect to the document itself, in terms of the system and how it sets out to work.”


Hector Guerra

“Indeed.  So what the proposed Senior Court Bill is intended to do is to redefine the role of the Chief Justice. The bill seeks to do this primarily by putting the Chief Justice in charge, squarely, of the direction and management, administration of both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.  I say primarily because there are other changes, but in the first instance the Chief Justice is put in charge of the administration of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Other changes include the introduction of posts such as a Master of the Supreme Court which will help in unburdening the court, for example, because that person will then be able to dispense with run-of-the-mill applications.  There’s the introduction of a post for judicial assistance who will be key to assisting judges in carrying out necessary research, et cetera.  And so, on a whole when one considers these new posts, the end result that it is seeking to achieve is to effect greater efficiency on the administration of justice and primarily the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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