Despite growing opposition, this morning Governor General Sir Colville Young proceeded with the appointment of Jamaican-American Franz Parke as a Justice on the Court of Appeal.
On Wednesday October 11th, Opposition leader John Briceno requested the Court’s permission to seek a constitutional challenge of the appointment. In his affidavit, Briceno called on the Court to review the appointment and declare it improper, unconstitutional and therefore null and void.
Briceno indicated that he opposed the appointment as he did not believe that Parke was duly qualified to be appointed to the Court.
The Opposition Leader is not the only one who is against Parke’s appointment. From as far back as September 6th, the Bar Association, which is made up of a majority of the attorneys in Belize, declared its position that Parke does not meet the requirements for the appointment under section 101 of the constitution.
And as recent as Friday, October 13th, the Belize National Teacher’s Union also voiced their concerns in a press release indicating that the appointment is a violation of the requirements established in the constitution. The BNTU went even further, to question the Prime Minister’s motive in the selection and his subsequent insistence that Parke gets the job.
So what will happen with the appointment considering the mounting opposition? The Opposition Leader’s court claim could be a critical move. The Court has the power to review the appointment of judges, and based on precedence, can declare them unconstitutional. The Court has not declared if the application will be allowed.