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Bar Association rejects Parke’s appointment to Court of Appeal

The Bar Association of Belize met on Tuesday to discuss the appointment of Franze Parke as a Justice of the Court of Appeal of Belize. After discussing the matter and reviewing Parke’s curriculum vitae, the Bar Association holds the position that Parke does not meet the requirements and thus is not qualified for the position. (VO STARTS) The Bar Association asserts that Park has not practiced law in the Commonwealth for 37 years. While Parke has practiced law in the United States of America as Assistant State Attorney, Assistant Regional Counsel and licensed mortgage broker, the Bar quote “does not consider that to be the experience contemplated by the constitution.” End of quote. In a statement the Bar Association of Belize says the constitution provides that a person shall not be qualified to be appointed as a Justice of Appeal unless he holds or has held office as a judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such court. In its statement the Bar refers to a CCJ case between the Bar and the Attorney General of Belize in which the CCJ referred to the Belize Constitution and stated that Section 101 (2) indicates that only a high caliber appointee may be considered.  The Bar says it is willing to further discuss the matter with the Government, opposition and all relevant stakeholders. Parke was temporarily appointed as a Justice of the Appeals Court back in 2015.