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May 17, 2012

Barrow says King’s contract not tied to Public Service

Denys Barrow

Denys Barrow, attorney for King, says that it is quite the contrary. He explains that there would only be grounds for disqualification if King’s contract was directly linked to the public service. Barrow contends that there is no other law in Belize that disqualifies a public officer from being elected to office.


Denys Barrow, Attorney for Mark King

“The judge accepted all of the submissions that we made, which as was mentioned on one of the stations, amounted to a tracing of the history of this provision and ending up with the point today’s constitutional provision which is to make a determination as to what the constitution intended to capture in relations to contracts. And it is clear, from what the judge has now decided that the constitution does not intend to disqualify anybody because you have just the fact of a contract with the Government of Belize; the constitution intends to capture a limited class of contract. Therefore this contract, as the judge has indicated, does not fall within the scope of that constitutional disqualification. It will be only a contract which has the effect of putting a person directly within a contractual relationship with the civil service of the country that would be captured by the constitutional disqualification. As you would appreciate and I heard somebody ask the question a number of times about the fact that there does exist a contract. As it were, the question has been how can it be that such a contract is not caught. Well the reality is that the constitutional provision allows you to have any contract whatsoever, including with the civil service, as long as before hand, you publish a notice in the media saying that that contract exists. So there is nothing wrong with having a contract. The problem or the requirement is that you must disclose it in advance and it is only those contracts which are caught by the constitutional provisions which need to be disclosed. Therefore a contract to build a building, a contract to provide security services, a contract to create a sculpture; none of these things would be caught by the constitutional disqualification. And to my mind that makes manifest obvious good sense. This law has always been regarded as obscure; it has been described as obscure, it has been described as having ridiculous results in England and yet we still have the vestiges of it. So that’s where we are.”


Marion Ali

“The appellants are saying it is not over till it is over. Do you still feel there is another stage?”


Denys Barrow

“They do have that constitutional right. I support their right to go ahead and appeal—if this is what they consider—it is their choice. I will not comment on the wisdom or the folly of such a course.”

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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1 Response for “Barrow says King’s contract not tied to Public Service”

  1. CEO says:

    All those interested in public office should be made to declair all their assets and income for at least five years before they run and made to do so every year they are in office. Then there would no need for this back and fort.

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