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Apr 19, 2013

Amended Legal Act; will it be passed?

Eamon Courtenay

In early March, Attorney-General Wilfred Elrington launched what was considered in some quarters as a direct attack on the Bar Association. He proposed an amendment to the Legal Act which would mean that attorneys would not be required to join the Association in order to practice in Belize. Elrington used as his justification an assertion that the Bar Association does nothing for its members and nothing for the community. The AG at the time seemed hell-bent on pushing the amendment through the House at the earliest opportunity, but at least to the casual observer, his ardour seems to have cooled somewhat. Today News Five asked President of the Bar Eamon Courtenay for an update on the situation.


Eamon Courtenay, President of the Bar

“The Bar as you know had agreed to take an opinion. We are still awaiting an opinion from counsel on that matter. We have asked senior counsel Mister Rodwell Williams and senior counsel Mister Godfrey Smith to provide that opinion. We are awaiting their opinion. In terms of the Bar’s analysis and assessment of the proposed amendment, we have provided our report to the Attorney General. We have as we indicated written, suggesting that there should be other changes to the legal profession act and we offered to join the government and the judiciary in having a committee that would examine that. We have written, we have not had a reply and the executive met last week and said that we should follow up. We have written another letter following up; reminding the government and the judiciary that we would like to form a committee. We are awaiting a response.”


Mike Rudon

“We spoke to the Attorney General back then and he said that he will be taking this matter before the House very soon; he seems ready to push it through. Is it your feeling now that the government has taken a hold-off stand on that to see if some middle ground could be reached?”


Eamon Courtenay

“Well I hope so. As I said we haven’t had an opportunity to engage directly with the Attorney General, but every day that passes I think is better and hopefully they have taken some of the suggests that we had put forward. But we have no indication directly from the government.”


The Bar Association had refuted the claims of the Attorney-General’s office, and had proposed that the entire Legal Act be reviewed and analyzed with a view to reform. 

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 “Amended Legal Act; will it be passed?”

  1. Paint it black says:

    Of course. The fix is in, consider it law, natural law that is.
    PM has decided, cabinet rubber stamps, legislature obeys, courts be overruled poodle doggs.
    All is good, roll over. Not your problem any more, the best are in control. GOD’s will.

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