The Executive

The Executive

The constitution and laws of Belize

THE EXECUTIVE

CABINET

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.

PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTERS

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.

TENURE OF OFFICE

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.

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

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.

PERMANENT SECRETARIES

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.

THE BELIZE ADVISORY COUNCIL

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

Preamble

Chapter I - The State And The Constitution


1. The State

2. Constitution Is Supreme Law

Chapter II - Protection Of Fundamental Rights And Freedoms


3. Fundamental Rights And Freedoms

4. Protection Of Right To Life

5. Protection Of Right To Personal Liberty

6. Protection Of Law

7. Protection From Inhuman Treatment

8. Protection From Slavery And Forced Labor

9. Protection From Arbitrary Search Or Entry

10. Protection Of Freedom Of Movement

11. Protection Of Freedom Of Conscience

12. Protection Of Freedom Of Expression

13. Protection Of Freedom Of Assembly And Association

14. Protection Of Right Of Privacy

15. Protection Of Right To Work

16. Protection From Discrimination On The Grounds Or Race, Etc

17. Protection From Deprivation Of Property

18. Provisions For Periods Of Public Emergency

19. Protection Of Persons Detained Under Emergency Laws

20. Enforcement Of Protective Provisions

21. Protection Of Existing Laws

22. Interpretation And Savings

Chapter III - Citizenship


23. Person Who Become Citizens On Independence Day

24. Person Born In Belize On Or After Independence Day

25. Person Born Outside Belize On Or After Independence Day

26. Registration

27. Avoidance Of Dual Nationality

28. Citizenship Legislation

29. Interpretation

Chapter IV - The Governor-general


30. Establishment Of Office

31. Acting Governor-general

32. Oath To Be Taken By Governor-general

33. Deputy To Governor-general

34. Exercise Of Governor-general's Functions

35. Governor-general To Be Informed Concerning Matters Of Government

Chapter V - The Executive


36. Executive Authority

37. Prime Minister

38. Deputy Prime Minister

39. Performance Of Functions Of Prime Minister During Absence Or Illness

40. Ministers Of Government

41. Allocation Of Portfolios To Ministers

42. Attorney General

43. Performance Of Functions Of Minister During Absence Or Illness

44. Cabinet

45. Deputy Minister

46. Oath To Be Taken By Ministers Etc.

47. Leader Of The Opposition

48. Permanent Secretaries

49. Secretary To The Cabinet

50. Control Of Public Prosecutions

51. Constitution Of Offices Etc

52. Prerogative Of Mercy

53. Procedure In Capital Cases

54. Belize Advisory Council

Chapter VI - The Legislature


55. Establishment Of Legislature

The House Of Representatives


56. Composition Of House Of Representatives

57. Qualifications For Election As Member

58. Disqualifications For Election As Member

59. Tenure Of Office Of Members

60. Speaker And Deputy Speaker

The Senate


61. Composition Of Senate

62. Qualifications For Appointment As Senator

63. Disqualifications For Appointment As Senator

64. Tenure Of Office Of Senator

65. Appointment Of Temporary Senators

66. President And Vice-president

67. Clerks To Houses Of National Assembly

Powers And Procedure


68. Power To Make Laws

69. Alteration Of Constitution

70. Regulation Of Procedure In National Assembly, Etc

71. Oath To Be Taken By Members Of National Assembly

72. Presiding In House Of Representatives And Senate

73. Voting

74. Freedom Of Speech

75. Validity Of Proceedings

76. Quorum

77. Introduction Of Bills, Etc

78. Restriction On Powers Of Senate As To Money Bills

79. Restriction On Powers Of Senate As To Bill Other Than Money Bills

80. Provisions Relating To Sections 77, 78 And 79

81. Mode Of Exercise Of Legislative Power

82. Words Of Enactment

83. Sessions Of Legislature, Etc

84. Prorogation And Dissolution Of Legislature

85. General Elections And Appointment Of Senators

86. Determination Of Questions As To Membership Of National Assembly

87. Unqualified Persons Sitting Or Voting

88. Election And Boundaries Commission

89. Electoral Divisions

90. Increase Of Electoral Divisions

91. Redivision Of Electoral Divisions

92. Conduct Of Voting

93. Conduct Of Elections, Etc

Chapter VII - The Judiciary


94. Establishment Of Supreme Court And Court Of Appeal

95. The Supreme Court

96. Reference Of Constitutional Questions To Supreme Court

97. Appointment Of Justices Of Supreme Court

98. Tenure of office of justices of Supreme Court

99. Oath To Be Taken By Justices Of Supreme Court

100. Appeals To The Court Of Appeal

101. Appointment of justices of appeal

102. Tenure of office of justices of appeal

103. Oath to be taken by justice of appeal

104. Appeals to her majesty in council

Chapter VIII - The Public Service


105. Public Services Commission

106. Appointment, Etc. Of Public Officers

107. Appointment, etc. of permanent secretaries and certain other officers

108. Director of public prosecutions

109. Auditor General

110. Appointment, etc, of junior police officers

111. Appeals in discipline cases

112. Pension laws and protection of pension rights

113. Grant and withholding of pensions, etc

Chapter IX - Finance


114. Establishment of consolidated revenue fund

115. Authorization of expenditure from consolidated revenue fund

116. Authorization of expenditure in advance of appropriation

117. Contingencies Fund

118. Remuneration of certain officers

119. Public Debt

120. Audit of public accounts, etc

Chapter X - Miscellaneous


121. Code of conduct

122. National Symbols

123. Powers of appointment and acting appointments

124. Reappointments and concurrent appointments

125. Removal from office

126. Resignations

127. Saving for jurisdiction of courts

128. Power to amend and revoke instruments, etc

129. Consultation

130. National Seal

131. Interpretation

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