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John Briceno on Frank Park’s appointment

Today Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno confirmed that Prime Minister Dean Barrow wants to appoint Frank Park to Belize’s Court of Appeal.  Briceno expressed concerns over Park’s appointment.

John Briceno – Leader of the Opposition

“The Prime Minister in following the Constitution in this case, he has written a letter consulting with the Leader of the Opposition, myself, that he is making this recommendation to appoint Frank Clark to the Belize Court of Appeals.  We view that recommendation with much concern. We are very concerned because more than anything else this gentleman, which I don’t know, has only practiced law up to 1980 in the Caribbean. Since 1980 he has been out of the Caribbean living in the United States, operating in a completely and totally different jurisdiction than the Caribbean. I am very concerned as to why is it that he is making that recommendation. Now I am told that the Prime Minister knows him for a long time, they went to school together, maybe he knows him back then. I don’t know him but I am concerned.  When I look at his CV, it is a very thin CV, you would expect that you would want to as the Constitution sets Section 101(2) is saying that the appointment    of judges to the court of appeal must be people of high caliber.  In effect, I don’t think, respectfully to Mr. Park that he meets that criteria that is set in the Constitution so we are concerned and unless the Prime Minister can provide more information, it is very difficult for us to be able to accept the recommendation that the Prime Minister is making.”

In related news, Love News has confirmed that Magistrate Sharon Fraser has been selected to replace outgoing Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Yesterday was Smith’s last day as the Chief Magistrate.