Wednesday, June 17th, 2015. BMG: A disagreement between the Bar Association and the Government of Belize led to a court battle between the two parties which resulted in the reversal of a decision in the Court of Appeal on Monday, June 15th.
The disagreement stems from the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, passed in 2008, which sought to close the gap for judges whose instruments did not specify how long they were to sit on the Court of Appeal but the bar argued that, hence the reason the court case is ongoing.
For context, back in 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Bar but the government promised to fight against the decision in the Court of Appeal, selecting Senior Counsel Michael Young to represent G.O.B. And Yesterday, Michael Young spoke to the media about the case, saying: “The amendments which were comprised in the Sixth amendment of the Constitution were for the particular circumstance, where Judges of the Court Appeal were appointed without a specific period of the duration of the office being inserted into the instrument of appointment.
There were cases in which this was done and it raises questions as to whether the appointments were defective and that in itself could have some very serious consequences and thus the legislature plugged the loophole by providing that in such cases the appointments would be deemed to be for a certain term.” Young went on to say that the bar association took negative positions in relation to that because they claim two Justices were terminated by those amendments. Young stated, “So, we made our arguments before the court, they made their arguments and the court has reserved this decision”.
Photo courtesy of Channel 5.
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