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Jamaica-born jurist resigns as Court of Appeal judge in Belize

Published:Tuesday | December 5, 2017 | 2:40 PM

Jamaica-born jurist Franz Parke has resigned as a member of Belize's Court of Appeal amid controversy over his appointment.

CANA News reports that Belize's Office of the Prime Minister late yesterday acknowledged receipt of Justice Parke's resignation, a copy which was sent to that country's Governor General Sir Colville Young.

The brief statement from Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow said it understood the decision of Justice Parke to resign is in a bid to spare the court from any exposure that a trial on the issue of his tenure would create.

Opposition Leader John Briceño, who was among persons opposed to the appointment, has since said he would be withdrawing his claim before the courts on the issue.

The opposition to Mr Parke’s appointment included claims that he had not practiced in the Caribbean since 1980, despite graduating from law school with Prime Minister Barrow in 1975.

In September, Barrow told reporters that he genuinely did not see the issue with the fact that the bulk of Justice Parke’s practicing experience had been in the United States.

The Belize Prime Minister said he did not see that as grounds for disqualification.