Letter: BPM calls on prime minister to back off from judiciary

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Dear Sir:

In a recent statement to the media, the prime minister of Belize the Honorable Dean Oliver Barrow, called out and publicly excoriated Senior Justice Courtenay Abel for what he described as “ruling against the Government of Belize over and over and over again.”

The prime minister went on to state that the Senior Justice had on more than one occasion humiliated legal officers representing the government to the extent that those officers feel intimidated by him. According to the prime minister he has lodged a complaint with the chief justice against the senior justice Abel.

The Belize Peace Movement (BPM) strongly deplores the statement by the prime minister against Senior Justice Courtenay Abel. The Movement is of the opinion that the personal attack against the senior justice is unwarranted and made solely for the purpose of intimidating the judiciary to succumb to government’s demands.

This is clearly an example of judicial overreach by the executive. We wish to express our solidarity with Senior Justice Abel in professionally carrying out his functions.

The BPM strongly supports the independence of the judiciary as a fundamental constitutional provision of any mature democracy.

In this connection the BPM supports the demand for security of tenure for judges of our Supreme Court and for the government of Belize to get rid of its method of employing judges on short term contracts.

Bobby Lopez
Protem Chairman
Belize Peace Movement

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