Attorney Vanessa Retreage was recently appointed to the post of Attorney General last year. She takes the responsibility away from the former Attorney General Wilfred Elrington. In her address at the opening of the legal year 2016, Retreage took a position totally different from her predecessor. It was no secret that Elrington was not fond of the Bar Association. Just last year, the Government passed a bill that eliminated the requirement of attorneys to join the Bar. In her address this morning, Retreage, spoke on a number of matters highlighting the importance of the Bar Association of Belize.
“The Bar Association is mandated by law to fulfill certain essential functions within the legal infrastructure. In addition to these statutory functions the Bar serves a greater purpose in ensuring professional development of its young members. My own personal experience as an active member of the Bar association has instilled in me a sense of paternity and a deep appreciation of the impact an attorney can make on all aspects of the administration of justice. Though no longer a legal requirement I encourage, urge all attorneys and in particular newly enrolled attorneys to recognize the importance of the bar and of becoming active members of the association. The Bar Association will be what its members make it to be. Change in the association will come not through avoidance but when members decide that such change is necessary. It is my intention to engage with the Bar’s membership to build upon the foundation laid by my predecessors and based on this commitment I have already conveyed to Madam President of the Bar Association.”