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Government announces big change to judiciary – judges must deliver judgments within a time limit

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Posted: Friday, December 4, 2020. 2:22 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Today, the Government of Belize (GOB) announced a major change coming to the judiciary, that Supreme Court Judges will be legally required to deliver judgments within a time limit.

GOB noted that the practice is already in place throughout the region, and will be implemented alongside measures to improve the infrastructure that judges operate and, where possible, increase the budget of the judiciary.

“The delay in the delivery of judgments has become a perennial problem in the administration of justice in Belize, which has significantly impacted Belizeans in their quest for justice, and has weakened the confidence of the public in the judiciary,” GOB said. ” The delay in the delivery of judgments has become a perennial problem in the administration of justice in Belize, which has significantly impacted Belizeans in their quest for justice, and has weakened the confidence of the public in the judiciary.”

GOB said that it hopes the new measures will positively impact the lives of Belizeans.

There have been two notable instances over the life of the former government administration, where delays in supreme court judgments had gotten to the point where the Bar Association of Belize had to get involved to spur the judge into action. The first was with Justice Samuel Awich, which the Bar Association noted in 2009 had judgments that were as much as six years overdue. Similarly, in 2017, the Bar Association threatened to file for the removal of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, who had over 30 pending judgments, some of which were as much as eight years overdue.

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