Privy Council Hears Last Belize Appeal

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The London-based Privy Council heard its last appeal from Belize yesterday, one year after Belize formally signed on to the Caribbean Court of Justice as its final court of appeal.

“It is 30 years since Belize became independent,” said Lord Nicholas Phillips, one of the judges presiding over the appeal. “It has been a tribute to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council that Belize has chosen, over that period, to preserve its jurisdiction as the country’s final court of appeal.”

At the end of June, the CCJ rendered judgment in its first Belizean appeal, Attorney General of Belize v Florencio Marin and Jose Coye.

“We entirely understand that the time has come to cut the link with this jurisdiction, and we extend our warmest good wishes to Belize, and to all who will practice and administer the law of Belize in the years to come.

Phillips gave a much-talked-about interview in 209 to the Financial Times in which he said he wanted to see the number of appeals the court was hearing from the Commonwealth Caribbean reduced. [Amandala]