Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2022. 10:12 am CST.
By Breaking Belize News Staff: The ceiling above Courtroom #4 at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court collapsed this week, halting service to the public and rendering the majority of the courtrooms unusable.
The roof over a significant portion of the courthouse had been blown off during Hurricane Lisa, and was not repaired. It had rained several times since then, making the problem worse, until the ceiling finally gave way on Monday.
Courtrooms 3, 4, 5, and 6 are all currently closed and efforts are underway to find ways of disposing of the matters before the Magistrates that operate those courtrooms.
Chief Magistrate Fraser said that she had informed the relevant entities including the Chief Justice and Attorney General of the situation, but the issue had not been addressed promptly given the level of disaster relief works being carried out around the country.
“Well, it’s a little frustrating, yes because as we speak I have to be accommodating the magistrates from that side to use my courtroom so we’re basically sharing courtroom, they do their matters, then I go in and do my matters, so that is where the frustration is,” Fraser said.
She went on to say that she hopes the matter will be addressed very soon.
Notably, several courtrooms of the Supreme Court were relocated to the National Bank of Belize building on Regent Street following the hurricane, as the Supreme Court had also been heavily affected by Hurricane Lisa.
The situation is expected to cause delays and further backlogs of cases to the judiciary, with no real timeline yet available as to when renovations will be made.
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