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Oct 21, 2010

Sober views of the unsettling state of affairs in the Judiciary

Eamon Courtenay

We have been reporting on the tenuous situation in the judiciary. In the last eight months, three eminent jurists have had their tenure cut short. In the case of the former Chief Justice, Abdulai Conteh, the government denied him a request to even conclude cases on his docket and he was put out at the end of September. At the Court of Appeal Justice Boyd Carey and now and the former president Justice Elliott Mottley, had their security of tenure of lifetime appointment drastically reduced to one year and they resigned. Indeed only this Wednesday, Justice Mottley at a special sitting of the Court of Appeal said that in August he discovered that the terms and conditions of his appointment had been “unilaterally altered without his knowledge and consent.” and he resigned. This morning, attorney Eamon Courtenay gave a sober view of the unsettling state of affairs in the judiciary.

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney

“The prime minister is saying that the purpose of all of this is to regularize the appointments Mr. Justice Morrison and Mr. Justice Mottley. Less than two weeks later, his Attorney General, Bernard Quinton Augustus Pitts goes to the president of the Court of Appeal in his office and says to him that your tenure will come to an end on the eleventh of April 2011 and I’m here to tell you that you will not be reappointed. Understand, the government of Belize sending its attorney general to the president of an independent court to say to him we amended the constitution to give you one year. The prime minister says that it is to regularize the situation and in fact, in the quiet of Mr. Justice Mottley’s office, he is being told that he is not going to be reappointed. That is a direct assault in an unconstitutional way on the independence of the judiciary.

Let us not forget what happened to Justice Carey. Justice Boyd Carey served for more than ten years in the court of appeal. Last year the Solicitor General of this country, the journalist, Oscar Ramjeet went to the office of Boyd Carey and said to him that the government wants you out. Here is Justice Carey, who has an instrument of appointment, giving him lifetime appointment and the government sends its solicitor general to the judge and says the government of the day want you out. Mr. Justice Carey refused. But, like the Chief Justice, like Mr. Justice Mottley, he said you know something I won’t stick around, I won’t be a part of this and he tendered his resignation at the end of March this year and left in a dignified way. That was a direct, unconstitutional assault on the independence of the judiciary by the executive. It is a pattern of behavior that is manifested by direct assault on the judiciary.”

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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12 Responses for “Sober views of the unsettling state of affairs in the Judiciary”

  1. Earl Grey says:


  2. rod says:

    the problem in this country of belize is that there is no kind of patriotism no one is proud of being a belizean and thats because their is no kind of leadership when you have a pm and gov that is as corrupt as this one it turns into a free for all like it is right now we need a real and true leader who first of all is proud of being a belizean and who loves his country someone who can instill patriotism in the people and have them be proud of who and where they live,belizeans have some of the smartest people in the world even today and if you add in all the smart belizeans around the world this would be the greatest country in the americas but instead we have a pm and gov. that is instilling fear death destruction corruption incompetence stupidity and traitorous behavior ,this is why we need to get rid of this tyranical gov now no wait now. some one who is connected to his people rich or poor even more so for the poor but instead we have a pm who travels around the world spending the hard earned money of the poor on the best luxuries he can and we wonder why this country is going to hell wake up my belizeans wake up climb out of your winter sleep spring is in the air time to show the world that belize is the best country in the world.

  3. Edith says:

    Mr Barrow will bring unwanted intervention by an outside source with all the crap he’s doing. He cannot continue to do what he’s doing n leading this country on the path of self destruction.

  4. RadicalBelizean says:

    Actually there have been four short swift departures if we count Elizabeth Purcell. Yes, we are puzzled by this particularly because we cannot relay on our courts to bring justice to the people. With an ever increasing number of home grown ‘qualified’ legal professionals in Belize why is it we still seem to need assistance from outside? Is it because we are so corrupt we need outsiders to keep an eye? Little wonder there seems to be this tendency from the same people to support foreigners first and foremost. We cannot and will never progress because we have people who think red or blue and never what is in the best interest of the people of Belize.

    My question is even though we have had all these highly qualified experts from abroad working in our Judiciary in the past decade, we can produce hundreds of people who can come forward and tell us that justice was not served. So I am not sure this is a bad thing. Is this just politics in the judiciary finally just showing its ugly head.

  5. EL CHE says:

    this are the kind of belizeans right here(lawyer)that have belize in deep …..

  6. Cayo Buay says:

    A sad day for all Belizeans. We must see these acts for what they really are, many will have different interpretations but the underlying facts remain the same. These are works of a power hungry system that will go to any means to get their wants.

    We need to stop and think about what is going on in our nation and become the change we wnat to see for our nation. Far too long have we allowed politicians to do as they please and that must stop now. We cannot afford for these people we put there to manage Belize in the best interest of all Belizeans to do as they please and destroy our nation and what it stands for.

  7. alberto lagos says:

    One recomendation let’s hire Christofer Walken and made ‘THE DOGS OF WAR’ again and see if we could clean our country once for all.The big problem is that have separated our path with GOD. I don’t hear anything from the churches seems that the pastors and priests are all very comfortable what is happening in our country.

  8. Sasha says:

    So sad GOVERNMENT AND JUSTICE TO RUN THE COUNTRY AND NEITHER ONE can even stand up to defend their own citizens. YOU ALL MUST DEPART!!!!!!!!

  9. Earl Grey says:

    alberto lagos & BM……………. You noticed that THE CHURCHES HAVE FAILED US…. and they are our ONLY HOPE right now.



  10. Creole says:

    Fu we prablem da dis. We di pen pan man, we di trus eena man. We figet God. God? Who dah hi? Weh he gat fi du eena dis? Dat da weh sum a unu wah seh out deh. Money change wa person. Das wy all a dis di happen. When di plane dem di pitch da airport, prably big money di fly. Wen di kriminals deh di get aff, prably big money di fly roun. We no hear no mo bout dem pills eena containa. Unu figa dat lukrative bisness stap? Deh poor judge and thing deh di get frustrated sum way a di adda. Di way tings di look, we no gat no betta fi get. Blu na Red. Dis worl wa get mo korupted dan eva. We di head da di end a di worl. Di ony hope left da fi tun to God. Baal and halla all we waan. E no wa get betta. Unu out deh, tri fi find God. Si unu wa nex time.

  11. Global Perspective says:

    Cutty Ligiyaba: Only yesterday I read a discussion between you and Common Sense where you called in to question our PM being referred to as a dictator. Having lived for a short period under a dictator I can reassure the people of Belize that they are definitely not being ruled by a dictator. A dictator would never leave the country as many times as our PM as spent outside Belize this year anyway. The authorities would also know everything about each and every household. Be careful what you wish for people

    Look I haven’t got an opinion about these foreigners being sent home, but what I will say is like RadicalBzn, all these people who are resigning or told to leave the country have been in Belize for sometime and they have played a part in the deterioration of our judiciary under the PUP and now the UDP government. Maybe we do need a total overhaul to the judiciary starting with getting politics out of the judiciary and changing a few people. Obviously we cannot sent the Belizeans culprits anywhere although we may like to.

    BM: You are right our society is running out of people with morals, too many of them possess the
    7 deadly sins of Pride (pompous), Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Lust, Envy, and Gluttony. The sad thing is they know but don’t seem to care to change.

  12. Cutty Ligiyaba says:

    Global Perspective —–I understand what you are trying to say—Ok- we are not living under a

    dictatorship–so tell me what’s going on in Belize–Tell me that you agree with the situation and

    current movements of Telemedia. Tell me that you agree how the movements in the judiciary

    system is going. Tell me that you agree with what occurred in the cover of dark at the Belize Port

    of Entry-Tell me that you agree with the situation of criminals getting off due to missing evidence

    or instructions from MR. That to cover up facts and rule in their favor, tell me that you agree with

    all the injustices that a lot of Belizeans are experiencing due to there status or non affiliation…

    beside most dictators have powerful friends–IDI AMIN had a blast in Europe–Senor Chavez–is

    having a blast in Iran–Fidel and his brother is very much a part of China and Russia— I have

    been wishing for a better way of life and if I should be careful wishing for goodness then

    something is wrong somewhere—Global Perspective one question are you a BULLY?

    Besides, would you like for your boss to come to your cubicle or office and tell you–GET OUT-

    YOU ARE FIRED–even though you got a contract for additional years of service. Remember, you

    have been doing your job diligently and without favors..I believe Global Perpective that you are

    the kind of individual that would force water down someone’s throat even though they just told

    you that they are not thirsty— Your time in a dictatorship environment must have left you

    traumatize and you never got help for that bad experience—Check our Belizean society and you

    will find a lot of people living with nightmares and severe trauma—WHEN WILL THE HELP


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