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#555083 01/19/22 05:25 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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The Supreme Court also had a number of vacancies in both the criminal and civil divisions after several judges either resigned or reached retirement age. Some of those vacancies became a live issue from as far back as 2019, but according to the Attorney General, 5 international judges have been identified to serve in Belize on 1-year contracts.

Here's what the AG and the Acting Chief Justice had to say about their imminent arrival to help the Supreme Court with case backlog created due to the vacancies:

Hon. Magali Marin-Young - Attorney General
"In 2019, three judges had resigned from the criminal division and two had retired from the Civil Division. I, therefore, found a Supreme Court experiencing a shortage of judges in both the criminal and civil divisions. We have, in the interim, secured the assistance of the Commonwealth Secretariat for four temporary judges who are scheduled to arrive this month to assist with the backlog of cases in both the civil and criminal divisions. With their help, we are hoping to clear the backlog of cases and to enable this court to have judges appointed on a permanent basis, once we have restructured the judiciary."

Hon. Michelle Arana - Acting Chief Justice
"As in the case of highly esteemed judges who previously served on our court, such as Sir John Muria, the Office of the Commonwealth assisted Belize by providing a list of applicants for vacancies. The Judicial and Legal Services Commission then review those applications, shortlisted and interviewed the applicants, and then selected Miss Susan Lam, Miss Patricia Farnese, Mr. Ricardo Sandcroft, and Miss Genevieve based on their qualifications and experience. These individuals hail from diverse Commonwealth regions such as Jamaica, New Zealand, and Canada. We welcome each of these new judges to our jurisdiction."

Iliana Swift - President, Bar Association
"At the end of 2020. The legal system was in a dire state with a lack of judges at all three levels, antiquated laws, and severely deficient registries. The bar has been encouraged by steps taken by the Office of the Attorney General to breathe life back into the legal system."

Justice Lisa Shoman, who was appointed last year on a 1-year contract has been appointed with tenure, and she will now sit on the Bench until she reaches retirement.

Today, 4 of those new judges were officially sworn in by the Acting Chief Justice. They are Canadians Patricia Farnese, Suzan Lamb and Genevieve Chabot, and Jamaican Rocardo Sandcroft.

Our information is that Justice Suzan Lamb is a former judicial coordinator and a senior legal officer in the courts of Cambodia. In the case of Justice Patricia Farnese, we are told that she is a member of the Canadian Agricultural Review Tribunal for the Government of Canada.

In the case of Justice Genevieve Chabot, she was a part-time Professor at the University of Ottowa.

Justice Ricardo Sandcroft's legal background includes consultancy in Child Law. He is a Civil & Criminal Court Advocate who started his private law practice in Jamaica in 2014. In 2013, he was a part-time Lecturer in Constitutional Law and Human Rights. From 2016 to 2019, he was a Lecturer in Law in Jamaica. Then, in 2020, he was appointed for 1 year as a high court judge in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Channel 7

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 7,051
This is very welcome news!

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