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Oct 17, 2022

Parliamentarians Vote on Supreme Court of Judicature Act

During today’s house sitting, Minister of Education Francis Fonseca rose to expound on a Bill for an Act to repeal and replace the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, to provide for new positions within the judiciary to assist in the functions and administration of the senior courts. He explained that the Attorney General’s Ministry held relevant consultations with stakeholders in the judiciary and has also looked at the judiciaries of other countries before coming up with the proposed bill. There was a debate on the bill, and it did not get the support of Leader of the Opposition, “Shyne” Barrow and Corozal North Area Representative, Hugo Patt. Barrow explained the reason for his objection, and when he was finished, Minister of Home Affairs, Kareem Musa and Minister of Education Francis Fonseca shared their views on why the bill is necessary.


Moses “Shyne” Barrow

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition

“This government has not taken seriously its promise to promise to properly fund the Judiciary. It was a part of their PlanBelize and they have not delivered on it, Madam Speaker. So, to understand what this reconfiguration means, it’s not as simple as having the now Chief Justice oversee all of the other courts. It costs. This has more of a demand on spending than our current configuration and if we can’t finance our current judiciary as it stands, how can we undertake to reconfigure when it will cost more than we are currently spending.”


Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

“I wholeheartedly agree with him because I sat on that side of the House condemning the fact that we have underfunded our judiciary for thirteen long years. And let me say, Leader of the Opposition, and thankfully we have records that when we come to this honourable house next year for our budget debate I’m hoping that you give the same type of response when we increase the budget to allow for greater efficiency within our Judiciary.”


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“The Bill is all about putting in place a structure for the efficient, effective administration of justice in Belize. You have to start with a plan. You have to start with a structure and that is what this Senior Courts Bill achieves. It creates structure, it creates the plan for the efficient administration of justice in Belize – access to justice – that is right. We all agree that we obviously have to do more to allocate more funds for the Judiciary, we all agree on that point.”

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