BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 26, 2018– The Belize Bar Association held elections of officers last Wednesday night, February 21, and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, S.C., emerged in the top post as president.
This is the first time that a person who holds the office of Director of Public Prosecutions is heading Belize’s legal fraternity. The vice president is Robertha Magnus Usher, S.C.; Jose Alpuche is treasurer, and Illana Swift is the new secretary.
Today, Monday, Amandala asked President Vidal to describe the direction in which she plans to take the Bar Association.
Vidal replied that she did not think that she should speak at that time, because the executive of the association is yet to hold a meeting to go over their plan of action.
“The whole point of having an executive is that the Bar Association speaks with one voice,” Vidal said.
“What made you accept a leadership role in the Bar Association?” we asked Vidal.
“I think that government attorneys, historically, have felt that the Bar Association is for private practitioners, and I don’t think that is true. I think that the Bar Association has to be inclusive. It’s not for the elite members of the bar; it’s not for a certain class of attorneys; it’s for every single attorney who belongs to the Bar,” Vidal pointed out.
Vidal added, “When I was first asked to be in the executive of the Bar, it was first as a Bar committee member, and then last year I was vice president; I felt that it would be good for members of the public Bar to have a voice in the association.”
Vidal, who is a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Bar and was also called to the Bar in Jamaica, said, “I have my own views of what a Bar Association should do. And I know what is done by the Bar Association in those jurisdictions, and I don’t really see it replicated here.”
“I am actually very excited about being the president of the Bar Association, and I have a really good team with me. We have very new blood, we have intermediate age blood and we have old blood. I think we have an opportunity to do a lot for the membership and make the association relevant for the membership. I am really approaching this with vigor. I am really looking forward to this challenge,” Vidal said, adding, “I am not going to be a president who will just make the time.”