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Oct 19, 2010

Bar Association to honor Justice Mottley on his resignation

elliot mottley

In other news, the government issued a press release saying (quote) “The President of the Belize Court of Appeal, Justice Elliot Mottley, will be retiring from the Court effective thirty-first December, 2010.” That was on Friday, but today the Bar Association, issued its own, saying it is having a special sitting of the court to honor Justice Motley on his resignation, not his retirement. Reports reaching News Five are that Justice Mottley has been forced out by the Government. Impeccable sources report to us that Attorney General B.Q. Pitts visited Justice Mottley last week and told him that because of the amendment to the Constitution, his term of appointment has been cut from life to one year. He was reportedly told that the amendment means that he would vacate office in March 2011 and wouldn’t be reappointed. We are further told that Justice Mottley sent in his resignation shortly thereafter.

This version of events clearly contradicts the government’s press release and we couldn’t get comments from the Prime Minister who is away in Mexico. Prominent attorneys we spoke to today point out that there is no provision in the Constitution for judges of the Court of Appeal to retire and all reports are that the treatment of the President of the Court of Appeal is causing much concern in the Bar. We recall that Justice Boyd Carey was also reportedly visited by the Solicitor General last year and he eventually submitted his resignation in March of this year. One attorney told us that members of the Bar are waiting to see what Justice Dennis Morrison will do as his tenure has also been shortened. The special sitting of the Court of Appeal will be held on Wednesday afternoon to pay tribute to Justice Mottley for his twelve years on the Belize Court of Appeal. He will then travel on Thursday to Barbados where we understand that he will be conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of the West Indies in recognition of his excellence in the law in the region.

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1 Response for “Bar Association to honor Justice Mottley on his resignation”

  1. Robert says:

    Justice should be as neutral and even as humanly possible. Short-term appointments are highly susceptible of corruption and improper influence.

    We need checks and balances — judges appointed for life or long terms, AND approval by a large majority of the Assembly and Senate. AFTER PUBLIC CONFIRMATION HEARINGS.

    And there should be a provision for referendum or some other public vote to remove the worst of the worst.

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