BELIZE CITY, Thurs. July 19, 2018– Lionel Olivera, 33, a major in the Belize Defence Force, will be sworn in as a magistrate by Chief Justice Hon. Kenneth Benjamin on Friday, July 27.
Olivera said he is going through the necessary training and as soon as he is ready, he will probably be working as a magistrate in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court. He also said that he was initially approached by Chief Justice Benjamin regarding the possibility of him becoming a magistrate because there is a shortage of magistrates.
“But besides the fact that there is a shortage of magistrates, I decided to take on the job because it will enhance my abilities and help me to give more reasonable advice to the Belize Defence Force Commander and the Belize Coast Guard Commander and by extension, the Ministry of National Security when called to do so in a legal capacity”, explained Olivera.
Olivera has been a member of the Belize Defence Force for over 13 years. He has been a practicing attorney for 3 years and during that time he has been conducting a paralegal course for BDF soldiers and members of the Belize Coast Guard.
He was promoted to the rank of major in 2015 when he returned from studying law. He holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of the West Indies and a Certificate of Legal Education from Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica.
“My intention is stay in the Belize Defence Force for as long as possible, and I also plan to work in the Attorney General’s Ministry and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions”, said Olivera.
After he graduated from St. John’s College Junior College and joined the Belize Defence Force, Olivera studied at the Standard Office School in Guyana and has done several courses in military law in the United States, including the military law development program and the legal aspects of combating terrorism and the legal aspects of defense support for civil authorities at the Defence Institute of International Legal Studies.