Despite objections from the People’s United Party, the Belize National Teachers Union and the Bar Association of Belize, Franze Parke was sworn in as a Justice of the Court of Appeals on October 16. The PUP has not only objected to the appointment but went even further by filing a lawsuit challenging Parke’s appointment. The leader of the People United Party, John Briceno, along with his attorney Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay filed the challenge. Today was the first hearing of the case and Courtenay spoke to the media about the case.
Eamon Courtenay, Attorney at Law
“Today was the first hearing for the matter of John Briceno against the Attorney General challenging the decision of the Prime Minister to advise the Governor-General to appoint Mr. Franze Parke to be a judge of the Court of Appeal. It was just procedural directions that were given. The parties are going to file all their evidence and their submissions so that the matter can be heard on the 11th of December.”
Courtenay went on to share what may happen if the court were to find Parke’s appointment unconstitutional.
Eamon Courtney, Attorney at Law
“If the court were to hold that the decision of the Prime Minister to advise the Governor-General to appoint Mr. Parke is unconstitutional then it follows that his appointment is unconstitutional and any matter on which he has sat would be affected by that unconstitutionality. As you know Mr. Parke was well aware that this matter was pending, the government was well aware that this matter was pending and they proceeded none the less to make the appointment so if there is a consequence they knowingly proceeded with a challenge pending in the wings.”