Belize’s Denys Barrow now CCJ judge Print E-mail
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Thursday, 08 June 2017 00:00

Denys Barrow, a senior counsel who is well known and well respected in Belize and in the Caribbean, has been sworn in as a judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). He becomes the first Belizean jurist to be elevated to the highest court in the region.

Denys, the younger brother of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, has been at the top of the legal profession for more than 20 years. He has been practicing law since 1977, and in 1990, he was elevated to the status of Senior Counsel, which was around the time that he went on to start his own law firm, Barrow and Company.

He served as a High Court Judge in St. Lucia, Grenada, Belize, and the British Virgin Islands between 2001 and 2005. He was appointed as a Justice of Appeal for the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court from 2005 to 2008. From 2010 to 2012, he served as a Justice of Appeal at the Court of Appeal in Belize.

For 9 years, beginning in 2005, he served annually in Geneva, Switzerland, as a member and then the rapporteur of the International Labour Organization’s Committee of Experts. This organization was responsible for monitoring the application of international conventions on labour and human rights law. This post itself was a mark of distinction because the members of this committee are selected from all across the world from candidates who distinguished themselves as judges and professors of law.

Also, in 2007, Barrow was selected by the Belize Bar Association for its prestigious Custos Justitiae Award, for excellence in the practice of law. In 2012, he was awarded with the insignia for Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his distinguished service to Belize in the field of law. So, his years of experience on the bench and the bar are adequate for him to serve competently on the CCJ.

Barrow’s fellow judges flew down from the seat of the Caribbean Court of Justice in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to be a part of the swearing in ceremony. That happened on Thursday, June 1, and a prominent feature of the proceedings was in tribute to Barrow’s many accomplishments as an officer of the court.

The swearing in was conducted by the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young, and the President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Sir. Dennis Byron. From the Biltmore Plaza Hotel, the celebration of his accomplishments continued in the court room of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.

The Chief Justice himself commented, “Today is a proud day for Belize. The Bar of Belize is justifiably filled with pride as one of its senior ranks ascends to the apex of the judicial system… It augurs well for the reputation of the Bar and the destiny of Belize that a true prodigy of the soil has risen to the high office of a judge of the CCJ, from among aspirants globally, purely on the basis of merit.”

Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte told his peers, “It comes as no surprise to me that Justice Barrow, My Lord, based on what I observed from the first day I saw him, has risen to the pinnacle of the legal profession in our country and our region.”

Discussing the distinct honor with the press, Justice Denys Barrow said, “When you have this kind of outpouring of support of goodwill and of high regard, when people feel impelled to come and share with you, it lifts your heart, it gives depth and meaning to an occasion.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 June 2017 16:52