Today, Hon John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition, filed a claim in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of that Sarstoon Law (Statutory Instrument No 42 of 2016). This follows a decision announced on the 3 May, 2016 by the PUP’s National Executive. In the Claim, Briceño seeks relief against the Attorney General and the Governor General that the SI is
“inconsistent with the Claimant’s fundamental rights guaranteed by Section 10 of the Belize Constitution….[and that]…. the Regulations are unlawful and ultra vires the Public Safety Act, Cap. 142 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Rev. Ed. 2011;” The opposition leader is also seeking an order striking down the Regulations as being unconstitutional and unlawful. According to Briceño, the Governor General acted solely on the basis of the recommendation of the Prime Minister in making his determination that there was a risk of civil commotion, which could threaten public safety. A press release from PUP today says,
“Given that there was and could not have been any rational basis to determine that there was such risk, the acceptance of the Governor General that there was such a risk was irrational, unreasonable and/or disproportionate.”
The PUP says that arrangements are being made for the party members to travel to the Sarstoon River.