BELIZE CITY, Tues. July 21, 2020– The National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) has expressed deep concern over the appointment of two UNIBAM attorneys to the Supreme Court of Belize.
The release, which represents the collective viewpoint of the churches associated with the NEAB, calls the appointments an erosion of the free and independent judiciary and called on the proper authorities to “protect, preserve and to keep that important arm of government free from bias.”
The NEAB also claimed that an “ambitious billionaire” is currently pulling strings in an effort to secure the appointment of another UNIBAM attorney advocate to the Supreme Court. The association said that while judges have a right to their personal beliefs, it is important that they remain impartial and independent, and in cases where they cannot do so, they must remove themselves to avoid any bias or appearance of bias towards any individual, group, or cause.
The NEAB also said that the acting Chief Justice, Michelle Arana, has not yet been given security of tenure and that it fears that her stellar abilities will be “overlooked and overshadowed by the appointment of a Chief Justice who is biased or has an appearance of bias.”
Recently, it was announced that Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman and Trinidadian lecturer Westmin James will both be appointed to serve as Justices of the Supreme Court for the period of one year.
It must be noted that, as pointed out by the NEAB, both attorneys have been on the frontline of the UNIBAM legal battle and have represented Caleb Orozco, UNIBAM’s executive director.
These two attorneys delivered the arguments which resulted in the Chief Justice’s decision to amend section 53 of the Constitution back in 2016.