Governor General swears in Acting Chief Justice Michelle Arana and Ombudsman Lionel Arzu

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

In a brief ceremony on April 7th, held at the Belize House in Belmopan, the Governor General, His Excellency, Sir Colville Young swore in Justice Michelle Arana as Acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Belize. This is a particularly historic event, as Justice Arana becomes the first female to take on this role in Belize.

Also sworn in for another term as Ombudsman was Mr. Lionel Arzu, who has served as Ombudsman since 2012. Upon his swearing in eight years ago, Mr. Arzu also made history as the first Garifuna to take such a post in Belize.

Acting Chief Justice Michelle Arana graduated from Birmingham University with an LLM (Master of Laws) degree in Commercial Law in 2004. She was named the University of Birmingham’s Alumna of the Year in 2006. Justice Arana also studied at Ball State University and at the Norman Manley Law School of the University of the West Indies.

In 2006 Arana was appointed to be a Justice of the Supreme Court of Belize, becoming the country’s first female Justice. Before her appointment as a Justice, Arana was Registrar General and Registrar of the Supreme Court of Belize and Court of Appeal of Belize.

Before taking on his role as Ombudsman in 2012, Mr. Arzu was a teacher at Julian Cho Technical High School in the Toledo District, where he resides. He previously served as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Belize, Toledo Campus; was Project Coordinator for the MesoAmerica Project, and held numerous other posts within the agricultural sector.

Arzu holds a Master of Science Degree in International Commerce and Policy from Valparaiso University; a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts with Management and Computer Science concentration from Knoxville College.


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