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Jan 18, 2011

Supreme Court opens with pomp and circumstance

The judiciary and members of the legal community were out in full force and regalia this morning for the traditional opening of the Supreme Court. The Acting Chief Justice Samuel Awich reflected on the number of cases and the rise in crime last year while the President of the Bar sought a commitment for the efficient disposal of cases. Today’s proceedings started with an invocation at St John’s Cathedral. News Five’s Isani Cayetano, picks up the court’s opening as the procession made its way to the Supreme Court.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The procession of members of the judiciary led by Acting Chief Justice Samuel Awich along Regent Street this morning followed closely the marching band at its front as it made its way to the Supreme Court building across from Battlefield Park.  There an inspection of the guard of honor was conducted to complete pomp and circumstance.  The exercise was part of the itinerary to mark the commencement of the Supreme Court session for the new legal year.

While today’s activities ushered in the schedule of cases to be heard for 2011 Acting Chief Justice Awich reflected on the number of cases presented before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal last year including those that were elevated to the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Samuel Longole Awich, Acting Chief Justice

Samuel Longole Awich

“A few months after joining the full jurisdiction of the CCJ we have already had one appeal case heard by the CCJ.  Two others are in the process.  In 2010 in the Court of Appeal twenty-one criminal case appeals and forty-four civil case appeals were registered.  Twenty-five criminal cases, criminal appeal cases and sixty civil case appeals were concluded.  The number of cases concluded included cases registered in previous years.  Completed appeal cases compared to registered appeal cases were eighty-five point seven percent and ninety-six point six percent respectively.  These are very high rates of completion.”

Despite the fact that the judiciary was efficient in trying both civil and criminal matters last year president of the Bar Association, Jacquelyn Marshalleck reiterated the fact that judgment for cases should be prompt.

Jacquelyn Marshalleck

Jacquelyn Marshalleck, President, Bar Association

“A commitment to give one hundred percent to your chosen field to improve the operations of the Supreme Court Registry so that our courtrooms are actively and efficiently disposing of cases throughout the course of the entire workday can make a perceptible difference.  Ensuring that decisions can be delivered within three months of the conclusion of any hearing and that those decisions are rendered fairly and impartially in accordance with the judicial oath would definitely improve the fate of our people in our judicial system.”

The number of murder cases for 2010 were also at a record high, significantly increasing its future workload.

Samuel Longole Awich

“The most worrisome occurrence of 2010 was of a general concern to the judiciary and the general populace.  It was the surge in crimes of violence, most troubling about it was that the perpetrators of crimes of violence became comfortably daring.  Very many times they attacked and killed in broad daylight in the view of many people.  One such killing took place within the presence of one of our courts.”

Taking time to formally welcome fellow attorney Rodwell Williams back to the courtroom after falling victim to gun violence last year was Attorney General B.Q. Pitts.

B.Q. Pitts

B.Q. Pitts, Attorney General

“Before I start I wish and I know from the bottom of your hearts you’re joined with me in saying welcome and for the further recovery of the health of our brother Rodwell Williams who is here with us and probably quite stronger than most of us, myself included.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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4 Responses for “Supreme Court opens with pomp and circumstance”

  1. rootsman says:

    Nice colorful procession did not see the kangaroos though they must have forgotten to include them, what a joke of a court they sure had a bunch of clowns though.

  2. Josie says:

    nice to see some tradition is still going in Belize

  3. EL CHE says:

    All belizeans know that the biggest criminals in the tiny country in belize are lawyers,and t them belize owes the missery it lives/

  4. vigilante justice 316 says:

    Some ppl have their head so high in the clouds they can’t see $hit on the floor until they step in it. Hopefully from Mr. Awish’s statement they have seen what the common man has to deal with and start keeping criminals behind bars.

    If not I hope that karma bite them in the @$$!

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