BELMOPAN, Belize — Jamaican attorney-at-law and Children's Rights Specialist, Ricardo Sandcroft, has been appointed a Supreme Court judge in Belize.
Sandcroft joined three Canadian judges — Susan Lamb, Patricia Farnese and Genevieve Chabot — who were all sworn in by Acting Chief Justice of Belize, Michelle Arana, on Tuesday.
Justice Sandcroft has years of legal experience in Jamaica, working as a civil and criminal court attorney.
He also practised child law, where he advocated on behalf of and aided vulnerable children in Jamaica by working with several agencies, including the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) and Office of the Children’s Advocate.
The Jamaican also served as a lecturer at the University of Technology (UTech), and was later appointed as an acting master-in-chambers in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in 2019.
Sandcroft and Lamb have been assigned to the criminal division at the Supreme Court of Belize, while Farnese and Chabot will serve in the court's civil division, stated media reports from the Central Caribbean country.
The quartet will serve for a year in the first instance to assist with eliminating the backlog of cases.
According to 7News Belize, Attorney General, Magali Marin-Young, three judges resigned from the criminal division and two had retired from the civil division in 2019, leaving the Supreme Court experiencing a shortage of judges.
"We have, in the interim, secured the assistance of the Commonwealth Secretariat for four temporary judges... to assist with the backlog of cases in both the civil and criminal divisions," said Marin-Young on Tuesday.
"With their help, we are hoping to clear the backlog of cases and to enable this court to have judges appointed on a permanent basis, once we have restructured the judiciary," she said.