Attorney General of Belize calls on Bar to retract their position Print E-mail
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Thursday, 01 September 2011 00:00

Attorney General, Bernard. Q. PittsBelmopan August 26, 2011

As titular Head of the Bar in Belize, I feel obliged to comment on the August 25th press release issued by the Executive of the Belize Bar Association on the Belize Constitution (Ninth Amendment) Bill.

The Executive of the Belize Bar Association cannot claim that this press release represents the position of the members of the Bar,since no consultation has been held with the members regarding the release.

Also, the press release refers, in the context of the argument as to whether there can be a judicial fetter on the power granted by the Constitution to the National Assembly to amend the Constitution, to “the binding decision of the Supreme Court of Belize in Barry Bowen et al v Attorney General”. But that decision was expressly not followed by the Privy Council. And in the hierarchy of precedents a decision by the Chief Justice of our Supreme Court does not bind even another Supreme Court Justice, much less the Court of Appeal or the CCJ. The Bar Executive’s description of the Bowen case as binding is therefore inaccurate and misleading. As Attorney General, I call on the Executive of the Bar Association to acknowledge publicly that it did not consult the membership in issuing the August 25th release.

I therefore call on the Executive to withdraw the release and to refrain from making any further pronounce mention this matter without first calling a membership meeting of the Bar Association.
Press release