| The constitution and laws of Belize
27. The Cabinet shall be the principal instrument of policy with general direction and control of the Government of Belize and shall be collectively responsible to the National Assembly for all things done by or under the authority of any Minister in the execution of his office. It shall consist of the Prime Minister and such number of Ministers as may be appointed by the Governor-General.
28. The Governor-General shall appoint as Prime Minister the member of the House of Representatives who is the leader of the Party that commands the support of the majority of the members of that House. In the event that no party has an undisputed majority, he shall appoint the member who is most likely to command the support of the majority of members of the House.
29. The Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister shall appoint Ministers responsible for any business of Government including responsibility for any department of Government from among members of the House of Representatives or the Senate, except the persons holding the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate. Where a Minister has ben charged with responsibility for departments or subjects of Government the Minister shall exercise general direction and control over the departments or institutions relating to the subjects in his portfolio. A Minister may also be designated Deputy Prime Minister to whom the functions of the Prime Minister may be deputed from time to time by the Prime Minister. The Minister of Finance shall be a member of the House of Representatives.
30. The Attorney- General, who must have been qualified for at least five years to practice as an advocate, shall be the principal legal adviser to the Government of Belize and shall also be responsible for the administration of legal affairs in the country. Legal proceedings for or against the State shall be taken, in the case of civil proceedings, in the name of the Attorney-General and, in the case of criminal proceedings, in the name of the Crown.
31. If the House of Representatives passes a motion declaring that it has no confidence in the Prime Minister, the Governor-General shall remove the Prime Minister from office if the Prime Minister does not within seven days either resign or advise the Governor - General to dissolve the National Assembly.
32. The Prime Minister shall also vacate his office if he is informed by the Governor-General that he is about to re-appoint him as Prime Minister or to appoint another person as Prime Minister or if for any reason other than a dissolution the Prime Minister ceases to be a member of the House of Representatives.
33. The office of every Minister shall become vacant upon the appointment or re-appointment of any person to the office of Prime Minister; if the Prime Minister resigns or is removed under paragraph 31; if his appointment is revoked by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister; if for any reason other than a dissolution of the National Assembly he ceases to be a member of the House of which he was a member when he was appointed Minister; if after a general election he is not a member of the House; or if for any other reason he is required to cease to exercise any of his functions as a member of either House.
34. Whenever the Prime Minister in unable to perform his functions by reason of illness or absence from Belize, the Governor-General may authorize any other Minister to perform the functions of the Prime Minister. This power shall be exercised by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister, but in the event that it is impracticable to obtain such advice owing to the Prime Minister's illness or absence, the Governor-General shall act in his own deliberate judgment.
35. There shall be provision for the appointment of Deputy Ministers and temporary Minister.
36. The Prime Minister shall so far as is practicable attend an preside at all Cabinet meetings, and in his absence any other Minister that he appoints shall preside.
37. Except at times when there are no members of the House of Representatives who do not support the Government, there shall be a Leader of the Opposition who shall be appointed by the Governor-General. He shall be the member of the House of Representatives who, in the deliberate judgment of the Governor-General, in best able to command support of a majority of those members who do not support the Government, or if there is no such person, the member who commands the support of the largest single group of members opposed to the Government.
38. The Leader of the Opposition shall vacate his office if for any reason, other than a dissolution of the National Assembly, he ceases to be a member of the House of Representatives; if he is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the House; or if his appointment is revoked by the Governor-General because he is no longer able to command the support required for his appointment.
39. The office of Permanent Secretary shall be a public office. He shall be responsible for the supervision of any department or institution of Government assigned to him. Two or more Government departments or institutions may be placed under the supervision of one Permanent Secretary.
40. There shall be a Belize Advisory Council which shall consist of a minimum of six members appointed by the Governor-General, four or more on the advice of the Prime Minister after consulting the Leader of the Opposition, and two on the advice of the Prime Minister with the concurrence of the Leader of the Opposition. All the members of the Advisory Council must be citizens of Belize (except as may be necessary in respect of serving or retired Judges) and must be persons of integrity and high national standing. The membership of the Advisory Council shall include at least two members who hold or have held public office of high standing; one serving or retired
Judge of a Superior Court of Record; and one person who is an eminent member of a recognized profession in Belize.
41. The office of a member shall become vacant at the expiration of 10 years or such earlier period as may be specified in the instrument of his appointment; when he attains the age of 75 years; if he resigns; or if by a two-thirds majority of the House of Representatives he is declared unable to perform his functions as a member of the Council by reason of his absence or infirmity of body or mind or by reason of a breach of paragraph 106.
42. One of the Council's functions shall be to advise the Governor-General on the exercise of the royal prerogative of mercy. Other functions and duties of the Council shall be those conferred or imposed upon or under the Constitution or any other law. In the exercise of its functions the Council shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.
43. The Council shall be summoned by the Governor-General in the circumstances envisaged in the Constitution and otherwise by the Governor-General acting in his own deliberate judgment. He shall, so far as is practicable, attend and preside at all meetings of the Council.
44. On the advice of the Prime Minister after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition, the Governor-General shall appoint one of the members of the Council to be the Senior Member who shall preside over any meeting of the Council at which the Governor-General is absent. If at any meeting of the Council the Senior Member is absent, the members present shall elect one of their number to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Senior Member at that meeting. In the event that the Governor-General, shall have a casting vote in addition to his deliberative vote.
45. In any case where the Council is summoned to discharge its duties under paragraph 82 and 85 it shall be presided over by a member who holds or has held judicial office deputed by the Governor-General acting in his own deliberate judgment. A quorum of the Council shall not be less than five members. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Council may regulate its own procedure. The question whether the Council has validly performed any function vested in it by the Constitution or by any other law shall not be questioned in any court.
Constitution of Belize
Chapter I - The State And The Constitution
1. The State
Chapter II - Protection Of Fundamental Rights And Freedoms
Chapter III - Citizenship
Chapter IV - The Governor-general
Chapter V - The Executive
37. Prime Minister
42. Attorney General
45. Deputy Minister
Chapter VI - The Legislature
The House Of Representatives
Powers And Procedure
Chapter VII - The Judiciary
Chapter VIII - The Public Service
109. Auditor General
Chapter IX - Finance
117. Contingencies Fund
119. Public Debt
Chapter X - Miscellaneous
121. Code of conduct
122. National Symbols
125. Removal from office
130. National Seal
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