And in other news from the AG's Ministry, as we told you last night - there's a major change that's going to happen at the Supreme Court. It's going to be called the High Court - and the person in charge will be the Chief Justice who will preside over Bothe the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal - and can also sit on both.
Senior Crown Counsel Randall Shepherd explained to the press today at the Government House in Belize City:
Randall Sheppard, Assistant Solicitor General
"A change in name of Supreme Court to High Court and you might ask why are we doing this. Well, this is really somewhat of an anomaly. When you hear the word supreme you are thinking that this is the highest-level court for the jurisdiction. But in Belize's case that is not the scenario. The highest or the apex court for Belize is actually the Caribbean Court of Justice and so as to remove any misperception we have decided that the name has been change from supreme court to the high court. So, one of the first changes, an additional change I should say is that we are now changing the structure when it comes to the administration of the courts. The reason for doing this and one of the problems that we have been facing in Belize is that we have had at disconnect between what is being done between the supreme court and what is being done at the court of appeal. This disconnection for example would be the supreme court over the years have embrace technology, but the same has not been done for the court of appeal and so in order to have both courts going simultaneously, moving forward, we've decided that instead of having separate administrative heads, there is going to be a chief justice who acts as the head of the judiciary and so the new structure is that you will have the chief justice who sits as the head of the judiciary who will also be able to sit on matters that would be before the high court or as well as the court of appeal. The chief justice will be supported by 2 new positions which will be senior justices that will head either division of the supreme court which are the civil division and the criminal law division."
"The position of the presidents of the court of appeal remains, but as I said earlier the chief justice will now be the head of the judiciary and control the direction that both these courts are heading. Another new feature is we are now allowing for additional divisions of the supreme court. So currently and as I said earlier in the presentation, there is the civil division of the supreme court and the criminal law division of the supreme court. We are now going to allow for subdivisions of the civil division which will include a constitutional and administrative law division, a commercial law division as well as a family and trust law division."
The bill for these changes is expected to be introduced at the next sitting of the House of Representatives.