7News has learned that the Prime Minister wants to name a new judge to the Court of Appeal. He is Franze Park, a defense lawyer based in Miami who specializes in Federal and State Criminal cases. He also has a degree in accounting.
But the Leader of the Opposition - who has to be consulted on the appointment- doesn't like the selection and he told us why today:...
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition
"We view that recommendation with much concern. We are very concern because more than anything else this gentleman which I don't know has only practice law up to 1980 in the Caribbean. Since 1980 he has been out of the Caribbean living in the United States operating in a complete and different jurisdiction than the Caribbean. So I am very concern as to why is it that he is making that recommendation. Now I am told that the Prime Minister knows him for a long time. They went to school together and maybe he knows him back then. I don't know him, but I am concern. When I look at his CV, it's a very thin CV. You would expect that you'd want to as the constitution said, it's I think section 101-2, the constitution is saying that appointment of judges to the court of appeal must be people of high caliber. In effect I don't think respectfully to Mr. Park, that he meets that criteria that is set."
As we understand it, Briceno and Barrow are in discussions - but ultimately, the PM does not need the Opposition Leader's agreement or consent - once he has consulted, he can proceed to advise the Governor General to make the appointment.