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Jul 5, 2010

Bar Association not amused by PM’s refusal to discuss CJ

Tension between the Bar Association of Belize and PM Dean Barrow over the appointment of the next Chief Justice, went up a notch last weekend.  About two weeks ago, the Bar wrote to the PM requesting to be consulted on the appointment of the next Chief Justice, as well as any new Justices of Appeal.  In a curt response, the PM flatly turned down the request. Last week, the Bar President, Jackie Marshalleck, again wrote to the PM insisting that the Bar, as stakeholders in the justice system, be consulted.  She reminded the PM that CJ Conteh had been appointed in consultation with the Bar. The PM flatly refused the request, pointing out that he would not be answering any more letters from the Bar. The Bar is on record saying that it should have a say on such a critical appointment. The PM, apparently stung by the Bar’s last press release criticizing his treatment on the retirement of the Chief Justice, has decided to freeze them out. The former attorney general, Wilfred Elrington, is on record saying that his choice would be Court of Appeal Judge, Manuel Sosa.  Sosa briefly served as CJ in the days leading up to the 1998 elections.

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19 Responses for “Bar Association not amused by PM’s refusal to discuss CJ”

  1. conspiracy theorist says:

    Oh, Dean O., what you are doing to our beloved country, we know.

    The humble elected public servant now turns up at us his nose.
    Sad will be his days of reckoning, for he shall experience many woes.

    On the eve of general elections will begin his many afflictions.
    And humility to him shall have returned
    But the voters… the voters will have already learned.

  2. rod says:

    people of belize bar association lawyers judges we need to get rid of this pm lets start asking for his resignation he is useless ever since he became pm this country has gone downhill he is useless with everything going on in belize especially with crime all your children are dieing for no reason just because he will not honor the wishes of the people bring back the hanging penalty lets march on this impotent gov and demand this pm resignation before it is too late for your family march belizeans march demand the hanging penalty demand the resignation of this pm who is useless.

  3. Charles Payne says:

    Where was the bar association when the PUP was ruining our country???



  5. Humble citizen says:

    Lets not jump the gun people, there is a much deeper reasoning behind the PM’s decision to refuse discussion about the CJ’s fate. Firstly as the elected Prime Minister of Belize he was given the right to make the final decision in certain aspects as he see fit for the further development of the country. the CJ just recently granted the “maya” land rights, he went against the government to issue a order that was not thoroughly investigated and you people are quick to jump down the PM’s decision to refuse discussion into his employment?

    - the so called ‘mayas’ are not stopping there, the 33 villages which was granted to them by the CJ is only the tip of the iceburgh which these individuals are seeking to make claim to.

    - a slight dissatisfaction with the PM by the CJ or the Bar is by all means just personal vendetta and under the table dealings.

    - dont be easily fooled by minor coverage of information my fellow citizens, for if the PUP administration didn’t first sell off rights to our oil and grant more than one oil concession to oil companies; for them to exploit and rape the country of ITS PEOPLES wealth, then the newly elected PM wouldnt be going through what it is today….

    and that is simply trying to get back the country on its 2 legs

  6. Abuelo says:

    Where was the bar when musa, francis fonseca and dickie bradley conspired to remove the chief justice sosa from power. Such a blatant illegal move against the judiciary remains unprecedented in Belize and the whole free world.

  7. conspiracy theorist says:

    “Humble citizen”, you are the one who seems to be jumping to conclusions without questioning what is happening. Don’t put your faith on the PM that he is just trying to fix what the previous government did. Consider this: when the PUP were in power, Dean O. and Lois were energetically rallying behind the Maya of Toledo against the government over land rights. Now that they are in power they are doing the same thing to the Toledo Maya. Dean is not trying to fix anything; he is continuing exactly from where the previouos government left off. And he doesn’t care if he ends up being a hypocrite and a traitor. This hat fits on Lois’ head as well. You talk about “personal vendettas and under the table dealings”. Consider this probability: Dean is the one carrying on with “personal vendettas and under the table dealings” with the oil people and other investors (rapists, rather), even if he has to backstab the Mayas of Toledo, the Bar, etc. Oh, but Dean and Lois have to eat, and they have to eat only the best and maintain their extravagant lifestyles along with their families, even if it is at our expense. It is good to be humble, my friend, but don’t be too humble; it leads you to complacency.

  8. Ordinary citizen says:

    The Bar Association should continue to keep all their concerns private as they’ve done in the past. They have remained mute and inactive in the face of just about all the issues that the people of this country care about.

  9. Concerned citizen says:

    The PM cannot even discuss how to fix the police, the crime situation, the economy or BTL.. Why can we expect him to do any better with the CJ situation.

  10. CEO says:

    Charles and the rest of you (above) who seems to subscribe to the fact that because the last government did a bunch of mess that it is ok for this Government to be able to do the same: last I checked, Barrow did not run on the platform that he would go there and run things the same way. He promised to make a change and be transparent and to end this sort of mess that they themselves are now apparently part and parcel of.

    If our court system will be looked at in the international community and fair and legitimate elected officials need to step away from controling the court the way they do. If Barrow really wnat to make a difference he needs to man up and make a change like this and let the Bar and/or the house or representatives question judges for the high court the way it is done here in the US and them make then serve a period of time to their descression.

    In the high court we need wisdom and experience and judge at age 65 has just made it to this point. Mandetory retirement for judges needs to be abolished.

  11. Humble citizen says:

    Lmao, don’t for a second misinterpret my name to that of complacency my fellow citizen. First of all, the “Maya” of Toledo are not even one to call themselves that, furthermore further investigations into their historical origination has revealed that most of them are not even from this country, just immigrants some even came here at an older age… there is a lot more than meets the eye.
    Secondly in no way am I a PM fanatic; it is just common sense that all of the problems Belize is faced with today did not manifest over night, this administration has just recently gotten into power so am almost certain that the issues from 2007 didn’t seize to exist after the UDP came into power.
    - If you failed to educate yourself about the running of a country a Prime Minister who was elected by his people to be the keeper of the country’s finance, natural resources and the management is by all means at right to decide whether or not a CJ who is at the age of retirement.

    So “conspiracy theorist” I will look forward to seeing you up at the election booth where I shall check the box next to your name for the PM’s position since you seem to have such an input into the dealings of this country.

    Your Humble Citizen

  12. Porkeater says:

    @ Abuelo – read your history before you state that of which you are obviously IGNORANT.

    It is the one and only Dean Oliver Barrow, constitutional lawyer, who as Deputy PM/ Attorney General and Minister of Everything who on August 26th, 1998, in the closing day — of the UDP administration – THE DAY BEFORE GENERAL ELECTIONS, in contravention of all accepted constitutional convention. THAT was the blatant illegal act against the independence of the judiciary which REMAINS unprecedented in the annals of Belize.

    Dear Abuelo, History will record that Mr. Justice Sosa was not thrust aside wantonly, but was WITH HIS CONCURRENCE, appointed a JUSTICE OF THE COURT OF APPEAL by the same administration you now slander.

    Fool di talk…but da no fool di lissen.

  13. Porkeater says:

    Forgot to say – Barrow was the one who got his PM to appoint Justice Sosa on 26th August, 1998. Sadly, Sosa accepted.

  14. Charles Payne says:

    I guess I feel the need to respond to the idiom called CEO…..I think you missed the point ….you need to re-visit the last performance of the previous administration especially their LEADER then weigh the facts and then make your comments. Furthermore, the US system is not a good template to base any judicial system on, as we have also seen from their past experiences. We should judge people based on their past or present performance and their intent to do the right thing….Let me clarify this point…I am not a UDP or a PUP…I am a BELIZEAN and as such I want the best for my people and country….Today I believe the present administration is doing a better job than the previous and lets not forget the quagmire they assumed from the previous….thus, the reason why I am vocal these forums. Hope I have not offend the innocent in my comments.

  15. Abuelo says:

    ..The laws of this country indicate that you are in Government until you are constitutionally removed. That means that any valid act done even during your very last day in office is just as valid.

    You are obviously a biased, ignorant and stupid pup. Maybe that pork you eating doing you bad. Try eating something healthy for a change. you old fool.

  16. melinda says:

    Listen up there. First i hate this Maya rights thing that the judge ruled on. you can see why the government dont want him, he is a spiteful, churlish man.
    What about the mayas living in other parts of the country. will they go to PG or will they also claim, where they now reside?
    what about mayas in guatemala, will they come over to claim a piece of land too? how stupid can a judge be? get out of my country, you are trying to divide us as a people. every belizean is entitled to a parcel of land but no ethnic group should OWN a town, village or distrcit. thats bloody follishness with this foreign judge. come september mek him gone outa here

  17. Irieas says:

    Pobrecito Abuelito, confundido y perdido. Let’s see if I can help you.

    Once the National Assembly is dissolved, prior to Nomination Day which by law is at least 21 days before a General election, the Government has no business making major appointments like Chief Justice. Barrow and Esquivel were FLAT OUT WRONG. It flies in the face of every legally enforcible constitutional convention. Barrow KNEW this and advised Esquivel anyway. That it was done the DAY before elections only compounded the already flagrant nature of the wrongdoing.

    What was sad was that Mr. Justice Sosa had to have known , but went along anyway…mayhap that’s why he agreed to his elevation to the Court of Appeal. Don’t cry for him, Abuelito, he’s paid more, works less, and if he sits tight, in a few he’ll probably be President of the Court of Appeal if his buddy PM Deano has ANYTHING to do with it. No hay mal que por bien no venga.

    I truly believe not that you are what you eat, but that you are what you say. You spout bitter bile and ignorance…

    Call ME, PUP if it makes you feel better, but it won’t hurt me, and it will not cloak the nakedness of your rhetoric.

    Peace be unto to you, Tatito…

  18. David.E.A. Jenkins says:

    How many MAYANS villages were in the Toledo District in 1950? Was it 5, 25 or 32?

    I think that the Mayans have found a way to take over the country through the back-door.


  19. Charles Payne says:

    Folks…..there is no need to be personal……..The point in issue was…. the bar association’s wanting to be involved in the Choosing Process for CJ…..Again I will reiterate…..where was the Bar Association under the PUP rule, when we the people could have used their help?……MAYBE WE AS A COUNTRY WOULD NOT BE INVOLVED WITH ALL OF THESE COSTLY LEGAL BATTLES WITH EVERY TOM, DICK AND HARRY! I have worked around lawyers for many years and have found almost all of them to be self-serving. One therefore has to ask one’s self…what is in it for them? Under the PUP there were no interferences from the Bar…..was it because they were part and parcel of the PUP, the same gang? Was it because they stood to gain by being silent? What NOW are the Bar’s motives?

    We the people voted in the UDP government…….we did not elect any Bar Association to run our country! We therefore need to give the UDP a chance to prove to us that they are worthy of our trust……..if not, then we make our feelings and intentions known to the politicians at the next elections through our votes. It is common practice that when a new government comes into power they appoint the people they believe can best serve their government…..and one thing in life is certain…….and that is CHANGE!

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