Belize Constitution Act 1981, as amended to 2011


Affirmative Action (Broadly)

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

(d) whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage that, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable.
… (Sec. 16)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) Every person born in Belize, immediately before Independence Day, shall become a citizen of Belize on Independence Day.
(2) Every person who, immediately before Independence Day, is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies-
(a) having become such a citizen under the British Nationality Act 1948 by virtue of his having been naturalised in Belize as a British subject before that Act came into force; or
(b) having while resident in Belize become such a citizen by virtue of his having been naturalised or registered under that Act, shall become a citizen of Belize on Independence Day.
(3) Every person born outside Belize, before Independence Day, shall become a citizen of Belize on Independence Day if his father or mother becomes, or would but for his death or the renunciation of his citizenship have become, a citizen of Belize by virtue of subsection (1) or (2) of this section.
(4) Every person born outside Belize before Independence Day shall become a citizen of Belize on Independence Day if one of his grandparents becomes, or would but for his death or renunciation of his citizenship have become, a citizen of Belize by virtue of subsection (1) or (2) of this section.
(5) Every woman shall become a citizen of Belize on Independence Day if immediately before Independence Day, she is married to a person who becomes or, but for his death or the renunciation of his citizenship, would have become a citizen of Belize by virtue of subsection(1), (2), (3) or (4) of this section.
… (Sec. 23)

Citizenship and Nationality

Every person born in Belize on or after Independence Day shall become a citizen of Belize at the date of his birth:
Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Belize by virtue of this section if at the time of his birth-
(a) 
neither of his parents is a citizen of Belize and his father or mother possesses such immunity from suit and legal process as is accorded to the envoy of a foreign sovereign power accredited to Belize; or
(b) his father or mother is a citizen of a country with which Belize is at war and the birth occurs in a place then under occupation by that country. (Sec. 24)

Citizenship and Nationality

A person born outside Belize on or after Independence Day shall become a citizen of Belize at the date of his birth if, at that date, his father or mother is a citizen of Belize. (Sec. 25)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) The following persons may, upon making application at any time after Independence Day, be registered as citizens of Belize-
(a) any person who is married to a citizen of Belize;
(b) any person who has been resident continuously in Belize for a period of five years immediately before the date of his application.
(2) The National Assembly shall prescribe by law the procedure for making and determining applications, and the conditions to be fulfilled by persons making applications, for registration under this section.
… (Sec. 26)

Citizenship and Nationality

A citizen of Belize by birth or descent who acquires the citizenship of any other country may, if the laws of the other country so permit and at his option, retain his citizenship of Belize. (Sec. 27)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) The National Assembly may make provision, not inconsistent with this Part, in respect of citizenship, including provision for-
(a) the acquisition of citizenship of Belize by persons who are not eligible or who are no longer eligible to become citizens of Belize under this Part;
(b) revoking the citizenship of any person referred to in section 26 (1) of this Constitution;
(c) the renunciation by any person of his citizenship of Belize. (Sec. 28)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) Subject to the provisions of sections 33(2), 34(4), 54(18), 69(6), 80(4) and 123(3) of this Constitution, where any question as to the interpretation of this Constitution or the interpretation or application of the Treaty (as defined in section 131 of this Constitution) arises in any court of law established for Belize (other than the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal), and the court is of the opinion that the question involves a substantial question of law, the court shall refer the question to the Supreme Court.
(2) Where any question is referred to the Supreme Court in pursuance of this section, the Supreme Court shall, subject to subsection (3) below, give its decision upon the question and the court in which the question arose shall dispose of the case in accordance with that decision or, if the decision is the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal or the Caribbean Court of Justice, in accordance with the decision of the Court of Appeal or, as the case may be, the Caribbean Court of Justice.
… (Sec. 96)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) An appeal shall lie from final decisions of the Court of Appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice as of right in the following cases –

(c) in any civil or criminal proceedings which involve a question as to the interpretation of this Constitution;

(e) in any proceedings that are concerned with the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred upon the Supreme Court relating to redress for the contravention of the provisions of this Constitution for the protection of fundamental rights;
… (Sec. 104)

Employment Rights and Protection

(1) No person shall be denied the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, whether by pursuing a profession or occupation or by engaging in a trade or business, or otherwise.
… (Sec. 15)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

WHEREAS the people of Belize-
(a) affirm that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God, faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms, the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions, the dignity of the human person and the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed by their Creator;

(e) require policies of state which protect and safeguard the unity, freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize; which eliminate economic and social privilege and disparity among the citizens of Belize whether by race, ethnicity, colour, creed, disability or sex; which ensures gender equality; … (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
(a) life, liberty, security of the person, and the protection of the law;
… (Sec. 3)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.
… (Sec. 6)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
(2) Subject to the provisions of subsections (6), (7) and (8) of this section, no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person or authority.
(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

(c) for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters which is the personal law of persons of that description; or
(d) whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage that, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable.
(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed) to be required of any person who is appointed to or to act in any office or employment.
(6) Subsection (2) of this section shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (4) or subsection (5) of this section.
(7) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by sections 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of this Constitution, being such a restriction as is authorised by section 9(2), paragraph (a), (b) or (h) of section 10(3), section 11(5), section 12(2) or section 13(2), as the case may be.
(8) Nothing contained in subsection (2) of this section shall affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by or under this Constitution or any other law. (Sec. 16)

Obligations of the State

WHEREAS the people of Belize-
(a) affirm that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God, faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms, the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions, the dignity of the human person and the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed by their Creator;
... (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
(a) life, liberty, security of the person, and the protection of the law;
(b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
(c) protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and recognition of his human dignity; and
(d) protection from arbitrary deprivation of property, the provisions of this Part shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Sec. 3)

Obligations of Private Parties

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
(a) life, liberty, security of the person, and the protection of the law;
(b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
(c) protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and recognition of his human dignity; and
(d) protection from arbitrary deprivation of property,
the provisions of this Part shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Sec. 3)

Judicial Protection

(1) If any person alleges that any of the provisions of sections 3 to 19 inclusive of this Constitution has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to him (or, in the case of a person who is detained, if any other person alleges such a contravention in relation to the detained person), then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person (or that other person) may apply to the Supreme Court for redress.
(2) The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction-
(a) to hear and determine any application made by any person in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section; and
(b) to determine any question arising in the case of any person which is referred to it in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section, and may make such declarations and orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of sections 3 to 19 inclusive of this Constitution.
(3) If in any proceedings in any court (other than the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court or a court-martial) any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of sections 3 to 19 inclusive of this Constitution, the person presiding in that court may, and shall, if any party to the proceedings so requests, refer the question to the Supreme Court unless, in his opinion, the raising of this question is merely frivolous or vexatious.
(4) Any person aggrieved by any determination of the Supreme Court under this section may appeal therefrom to the Court of Appeal.
(5) Where any question is referred to the Supreme Court in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section, the Supreme Court shall give its decision upon the question and the court in which the question arose shall dispose of the case in accordance with that decision or, if that decision is the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal or to the Caribbean Court of Justice, in accordance with the decision of the Court of Appeal or, as the case may be, of the Caribbean Court of Justice.
(6) Notwithstanding the validity of any law under section 9 (2), 10 (3), 11 (5), 12 (2), 13 (2) or 16 (4) (d) of this Constitution, any act or thing done under the authority of such law shall be unlawful if such act or thing is shown not to be reasonably required in the actual circumstances in which it is done.
(7) The Supreme Court shall have such powers in addition to those conferred by this section as may be conferred on it by the National Assembly for the purpose of enabling it more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred on it by this section.
(8) The Chief Justice may make rules with respect to the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court in relation to the jurisdiction and powers conferred on it by or under this section (including rules with respect to the time within which applications may be brought and references shall be made to the Supreme Court). (Sec. 20)

Judicial Protection

(1) An appeal shall lie from final decisions of the Court of Appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice as of right in the following cases –

(e) in any proceedings that are concerned with the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred upon the Supreme Court relating to redress for the contravention of the provisions of this Constitution for the protection of fundamental rights;
… (Sec. 104)

Indigenous Peoples

WHEREAS the people of Belize-

(e) require policies of state which protect and safeguard the unity, freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize; which eliminate economic and social privilege and disparity among the citizens of Belize whether by race, ethnicity, colour, creed, disability or sex; which ensures gender equality; which protect the rights of the individual to life, liberty, basic education, basic health, the right to vote in elections, the right to work and the pursuit of happiness; which protect the identity, dignity and social and cultural values of Belizeans, including Belize's indigenous peoples; … (Preamble)

Limitations and/or Derogations

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
(a) life, liberty, security of the person, and the protection of the law;
(b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
(c) protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and recognition of his human dignity; and
(d) protection from arbitrary deprivation of property,
the provisions of this Part shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Sec. 3)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(9) During any period of public emergency, the following provisions shall have effect-
(a)
 the Governor-General may make such regulations as are necessary or expedient for securing public safety, the defence of Belize, the maintenance of public order and the suppression of mutiny, rebellion and riot, and for maintaining supplies and services essential to the life of the community;
(b) any such regulations may empower such authorities or persons as may be specified in the regulations to make orders and rules for any of the purposes for which such regulations are authorised by this subsection to be made and may contain such incidental and supplementary provisions as are necessary or expedient for the purposes of the regulations;
(c) any such regulations or any order or rule made in pursuance of such regulations may amend or suspend the operation of any law and shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any law;
(d) in this subsection, "law" does not include this Constitution or any provision thereof or any law that alters this Constitution or any provision thereof.
(10) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law (including any regulations made under subsection (9) of this section) shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of section 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, or 17 of this Constitution to the extent that the law in question makes in relation to any period of public emergency provision, or authorises the doing during any such period of anything, that is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of any situation arising or existing during the period for the purpose of dealing with that situation. (Sec. 18)

Marriage and Family Life

WHEREAS the people of Belize-
(a) affirm that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God, faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms, the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions, the dignity of the human person and the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed by their Creator;
… (Preamble)

Marriage and Family Life

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

(c) protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and recognition of his human dignity;
… (Sec. 3)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) A person shall not be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation. The private and family life, the home and the personal correspondence of every person shall be respected.
… (Sec. 14)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

(c) for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters which is the personal law of persons of that description;
… (Sec. 16)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) An appeal shall lie from final decisions of the Court of Appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice as of right in the following cases –

(b) in proceedings for the dissolution or nullification of marriage;
… (Sec. 104)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed) to be required of any person who is appointed to or to act in any office or employment.
… (Sec. 16)

Political Rights and Association

WHEREAS the people of Belize-

(c) believe that the will of the people shall form the basis of government in a democratic society in which the government is freely elected by universal adult suffrage and in which all persons may, to the extent of their capacity, play some part in the institutions of national life and thus develop and maintain due respect for lawfully constituted authority;

(e) require policies of state … which protect … the right to vote in elections
… (Preamble)

Political Rights and Association

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

(b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
… (Sec. 3)

Political Rights and Association

(1) Except with his own consent, a person shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of assembly and association, that is to say, his right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to trade unions or other associations for the protection of his interests or to form or belong to political parties or other political associations.
… (Sec. 13)

Political Rights and Association

At any general election-
(a) 
every citizen of Belize or a citizen of any Commonwealth Country who has attained the age of eighteen years and who satisfies the requirements of the Representation of the People Act shall have the right to vote;
(b) no person shall be entitled to more than one vote; and
(c) votes shall be cast in a secret ballot. (Sec. 92)

Electoral Bodies

(1) There shall be an Elections and Boundaries Commission which shall consist of a Chairman and four other members who shall be persons of integrity and high national standing.

(13) The Commission shall be responsible for the direction and supervision of the registration of voters and the conduct of elections, referenda and all matters connected therewith.
… (Sec. 88)

Head of State

There shall be a Governor-General of Belize who shall be a citizen of Belize appointed by Her Majesty and shall hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure and who shall be Her Majesty's representative in Belize. (Sec. 30)

Government

(1) There shall be a Prime Minister of Belize who shall be appointed by the Governor-General.
(2) Whenever the Governor-General has occasion to appoint a Prime Minister he shall appoint a member of the House of Representatives who is the leader of the political party which commands the support of the majority of the members of that House; and if no political party has an overall majority, he shall appoint a member of that House who appears to him likely to command the support of the majority of the members of that House: … (Sec. 37)

Government

(1) There shall be, in addition to the office of Prime Minister, such other offices of Minister of the Government as may be established by the National Assembly or, subject to the provisions of any law enacted by the National Assembly, by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.
(2) Appointments to the office of Minister shall be made by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, from among members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate:
Provided that persons holding the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives or President of the Senate may not be appointed to the office of Minister:
Provided further that the Cabinet shall be comprised of -
(a) not more than two-thirds of the elected Members of the party that obtains the majority seats in the House of Representatives following the holding of a general election; and
(b) not more than four Senators:
Provided further that, subject to section 42(3) of this Constitution, a national of Belize may be appointed as Attorney General whether or not that person is a member of either House of the National Assembly.
… (Sec. 40)

Government

(1) There shall be a Cabinet of Ministers for Belize which shall consist of the Prime Minister and the other Ministers: … (Sec. 44)

Legislature

There shall be in and for Belize a Legislature which shall consist of a National Assembly comprising two Houses, that is to say, a House of Representatives and a Senate. (Sec. 55)

Legislature

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the House of Representatives shall consist of thirty-one members who shall be elected in the manner provided by law.
… (Sec. 56)

Legislature

Subject to the provisions of section 58 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives if, and shall not be qualified to be so elected unless, he-
(a) 
is a citizen of Belize of the age of eighteen years or upwards; and
(b) 
has resided in Belize for a period of at least one year immediately before the date of his nomination for election. (Sec. 57)

Legislature

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Senate shall consist of twelve members (in this Constitution referred to as “Senators”) who shall be appointed by the Governor-General in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(4) Of the twelve Senators-
(a) six shall be appointed by the Governor- General acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister;
(b) three shall be appointed by the Governor- General acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition;
(c) one shall be appointed by the Governor- General acting in accordance with the advice of the Belize Council of Churches and Evangelical Association of Churches;
(d) one shall be appointed by the Governor- General acting in accordance with the advice of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Business Bureau; and
(e) one shall be appointed by the Governor- General acting in accordance with the advice of the National Trade Union Congress and the Civil Society Steering Committee.
… (Sec. 61)

Legislature

Subject to the provisions of section 63 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be appointed as a Senator if, and shall not be qualified to be so appointed unless, he-
(a) 
is a citizen of Belize of the age of eighteen years or upwards; and
(b) has resided in Belize for a period of at least one year immediately before the date of his appointment. (Sec. 62)

Legislature

(1) For the purposes of the election of members of the House of Representatives, Belize shall be divided into thirty-one electoral divisions, the names and boundaries of which are set out in Schedule 1 to the Representation of the People Act.
(2) Each electoral division shall be represented in the House of Representatives by one elected member. (Sec. 89)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

WHEREAS the people of Belize-

(e) require policies of state … which preserve the right of the individual to the ownership of private property and the right to operate private businesses;
… (Preamble)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

(c) protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and recognition of his human dignity;
… (Sec. 3)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision –

(c) for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters which is the personal law of persons of that description;
… (Sec. 16)

Protection from Violence

WHEREAS the people of Belize-

(b) respect the principles of social justice and therefore believe that the operation of the economic system must result in the material resources of the community being so distributed as to subserve the common good, that there should be adequate means of livelihood for all, that labour should not be exploited or forced by economic necessity to operate in inhumane conditions but that there should be opportunity for advancement on the basis of recognition of merit, ability and integrity, that equal protection should be given to children regardless of their social status, and that a just system should be ensured to provide for education and health on the basis of equality;

(e) require policies of state which protect and safeguard the unity, freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize; which eliminate economic and social privilege and disparity among the citizens of Belize whether by race, ethnicity, colour, creed, disability or sex; which ensures gender equality; which protect the rights of the individual to life, liberty, basic education, basic health, the right to vote in elections, the right to work and the pursuit of happiness; which protect the identity, dignity and social and cultural values of Belizeans, including Belize's indigenous peoples; which preserve the right of the individual to the ownership of private property and the right to operate private businesses; which prohibit the exploitation of man by man or by the state; which ensure a just system of social security and welfare; which protect the environment; which promote international peace, security and co-operation among nations, the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order in the world with respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings among nations;
… (Preamble)

Protection from Violence

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
(a) life, liberty, security of the person, and the protection of the law;
… (Sec. 3)

Protection from Violence

No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment. (Sec. 7)

Protection from Violence

(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2) No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Sec. 8)

Public Institutions and Services

WHEREAS the people of Belize-

(b) respect the principles of social justice and therefore believe that the operation of the economic system must result in the material resources of the community being so distributed as to subserve the common good, that there should be adequate means of livelihood for all, that labour should not be exploited or forced by economic necessity to operate in inhumane conditions but that there should be opportunity for advancement on the basis of recognition of merit, ability and integrity, that equal protection should be given to children regardless of their social status, and that a just system should be ensured to provide for education and health on the basis of equality;

(e) require policies of state which protect and safeguard the unity, freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize; which eliminate economic and social privilege and disparity among the citizens of Belize whether by race, ethnicity, colour, creed, disability or sex; which ensures gender equality; which protect the rights of the individual to life, liberty, basic education, basic health, the right to vote in elections, the right to work and the pursuit of happiness; which protect the identity, dignity and social and cultural values of Belizeans, including Belize's indigenous peoples; which preserve the right of the individual to the ownership of private property and the right to operate private businesses; which prohibit the exploitation of man by man or by the state; which ensure a just system of social security and welfare; which protect the environment; which promote international peace, security and co-operation among nations, the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order in the world with respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings among nations;
… (Preamble)

Public Institutions and Services

(1) The law to be applied with respect to any pensions benefits that were granted to any person before Independence Day shall be the law that was in force at the date on which those benefits were granted or any law in force at a later date that is not less favourable to that person.

(4) All pensions benefits shall (except to the extent to which, in the case of benefits under the Widows’ and Orphans’ Pensions Act or under any law amending or replacing that Act, they are a charge on a fund established by that Act or by any such law and have been duly paid out of that fund to the person or authority to whom payment is due) be a charge on the general revenues of Belize.
(5) In this section, “pensions benefits” means any pensions, compensation, gratuities or other like allowances for persons in respect of their service as public officers or for the widows, children, dependents or personal representatives of such persons in respect of such service.
… (Sec. 112)

Public Institutions and Services

(1) The power to grant any award under any pensions law for the time being in force in Belize (other than an award to which, under that law, the person to whom it is payable is entitled as of right) and, in accordance with any provisions in that behalf contained in any such law, to withhold, reduce in amount or suspend any award payable under any such law, shall vest in the Governor-General.

(3) In this section, “pensions law” means any law relating to the grant to any person, or to the widow, children, dependents or personal representatives of that person, of an award in respect of the services of that person in a public office, and includes any instrument made under any such law. (Sec. 113)

Status of the Constitution

This Constitution is the supreme law of Belize and if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. (Sec. 2)

Status of International Law

WHEREAS the people of Belize-

(e) require policies of state which protect and safeguard the unity, freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize; which eliminate economic and social privilege and disparity among the citizens of Belize whether by race, ethnicity, colour, creed, disability or sex; which ensures gender equality; which protect the rights of the individual to life, liberty, basic education, basic health, the right to vote in elections, the right to work and the pursuit of happiness; which protect the identity, dignity and social and cultural values of Belizeans, including Belize's indigenous peoples; which preserve the right of the individual to the ownership of private property and the right to operate private businesses; which prohibit the exploitation of man by man or by the state; which ensure a just system of social security and welfare; which protect the environment; which promote international peace, security and co-operation among nations, the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order in the world with respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings among nations;
… (Preamble)

Status of International Law

(3) Where the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal is seised of an issue the resolution of which involves a question concerning the interpretation or application of the Treaty, the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal, as the case may be, shall, if it considers that a decision on the question is necessary to enable it to deliver judgment, refer the question to the Caribbean Court of Justice for determination before delivering judgment. (Sec. 96)

Customary Law

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

(c) for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters which is the personal law of persons of that description;
… (Sec. 16)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

(d) whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage that, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable.
… (Sec. 16)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) Every person born in Belize, immediately before Independence Day, shall become a citizen of Belize on Independence Day.
(2) Every person who, immediately before Independence Day, is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies-
(a) having become such a citizen under the British Nationality Act 1948 by virtue of his having been naturalised in Belize as a British subject before that Act came into force; or
(b) having while resident in Belize become such a citizen by virtue of his having been naturalised or registered under that Act, shall become a citizen of Belize on Independence Day.
(3) Every person born outside Belize, before Independence Day, shall become a citizen of Belize on Independence Day if his father or mother becomes, or would but for his death or the renunciation of his citizenship have become, a citizen of Belize by virtue of subsection (1) or (2) of this section.
(4) Every person born outside Belize before Independence Day shall become a citizen of Belize on Independence Day if one of his grandparents becomes, or would but for his death or renunciation of his citizenship have become, a citizen of Belize by virtue of subsection (1) or (2) of this section.
(5) Every woman shall become a citizen of Belize on Independence Day if immediately before Independence Day, she is married to a person who becomes or, but for his death or the renunciation of his citizenship, would have become a citizen of Belize by virtue of subsection(1), (2), (3) or (4) of this section.
… (Sec. 23)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

Every person born in Belize on or after Independence Day shall become a citizen of Belize at the date of his birth:
Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Belize by virtue of this section if at the time of his birth-
(a) 
neither of his parents is a citizen of Belize and his father or mother possesses such immunity from suit and legal process as is accorded to the envoy of a foreign sovereign power accredited to Belize; or
(b) his father or mother is a citizen of a country with which Belize is at war and the birth occurs in a place then under occupation by that country. (Sec. 24)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

A person born outside Belize on or after Independence Day shall become a citizen of Belize at the date of his birth if, at that date, his father or mother is a citizen of Belize. (Sec. 25)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) The following persons may, upon making application at any time after Independence Day, be registered as citizens of Belize-
(a) any person who is married to a citizen of Belize;
(b) any person who has been resident continuously in Belize for a period of five years immediately before the date of his application.
(2) The National Assembly shall prescribe by law the procedure for making and determining applications, and the conditions to be fulfilled by persons making applications, for registration under this section.
… (Sec. 26)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

A citizen of Belize by birth or descent who acquires the citizenship of any other country may, if the laws of the other country so permit and at his option, retain his citizenship of Belize. (Sec. 27)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) The National Assembly may make provision, not inconsistent with this Part, in respect of citizenship, including provision for-
(a) the acquisition of citizenship of Belize by persons who are not eligible or who are no longer eligible to become citizens of Belize under this Part;
(b) revoking the citizenship of any person referred to in section 26 (1) of this Constitution;
(c) the renunciation by any person of his citizenship of Belize. (Sec. 28)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of sections 33(2), 34(4), 54(18), 69(6), 80(4) and 123(3) of this Constitution, where any question as to the interpretation of this Constitution or the interpretation or application of the Treaty (as defined in section 131 of this Constitution) arises in any court of law established for Belize (other than the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal), and the court is of the opinion that the question involves a substantial question of law, the court shall refer the question to the Supreme Court.
(2) Where any question is referred to the Supreme Court in pursuance of this section, the Supreme Court shall, subject to subsection (3) below, give its decision upon the question and the court in which the question arose shall dispose of the case in accordance with that decision or, if the decision is the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal or the Caribbean Court of Justice, in accordance with the decision of the Court of Appeal or, as the case may be, the Caribbean Court of Justice.
… (Sec. 96)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) An appeal shall lie from final decisions of the Court of Appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice as of right in the following cases –

(c) in any civil or criminal proceedings which involve a question as to the interpretation of this Constitution;

(e) in any proceedings that are concerned with the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred upon the Supreme Court relating to redress for the contravention of the provisions of this Constitution for the protection of fundamental rights;
… (Sec. 104)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

(1) No person shall be denied the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, whether by pursuing a profession or occupation or by engaging in a trade or business, or otherwise.
… (Sec. 15)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

WHEREAS the people of Belize-
(a) affirm that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God, faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms, the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions, the dignity of the human person and the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed by their Creator;

(e) require policies of state which protect and safeguard the unity, freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize; which eliminate economic and social privilege and disparity among the citizens of Belize whether by race, ethnicity, colour, creed, disability or sex; which ensures gender equality; … (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
(a) life, liberty, security of the person, and the protection of the law;
… (Sec. 3)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.
… (Sec. 6)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
(2) Subject to the provisions of subsections (6), (7) and (8) of this section, no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person or authority.
(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

(c) for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters which is the personal law of persons of that description; or
(d) whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage that, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable.
(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed) to be required of any person who is appointed to or to act in any office or employment.
(6) Subsection (2) of this section shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (4) or subsection (5) of this section.
(7) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by sections 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of this Constitution, being such a restriction as is authorised by section 9(2), paragraph (a), (b) or (h) of section 10(3), section 11(5), section 12(2) or section 13(2), as the case may be.
(8) Nothing contained in subsection (2) of this section shall affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by or under this Constitution or any other law. (Sec. 16)

Obligations of the State

English

WHEREAS the people of Belize-
(a) affirm that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God, faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms, the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions, the dignity of the human person and the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed by their Creator;
... (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

English

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
(a) life, liberty, security of the person, and the protection of the law;
(b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
(c) protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and recognition of his human dignity; and
(d) protection from arbitrary deprivation of property, the provisions of this Part shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Sec. 3)

Obligations of Private Parties

English

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
(a) life, liberty, security of the person, and the protection of the law;
(b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
(c) protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and recognition of his human dignity; and
(d) protection from arbitrary deprivation of property,
the provisions of this Part shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Sec. 3)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) If any person alleges that any of the provisions of sections 3 to 19 inclusive of this Constitution has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to him (or, in the case of a person who is detained, if any other person alleges such a contravention in relation to the detained person), then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person (or that other person) may apply to the Supreme Court for redress.
(2) The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction-
(a) to hear and determine any application made by any person in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section; and
(b) to determine any question arising in the case of any person which is referred to it in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section, and may make such declarations and orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of sections 3 to 19 inclusive of this Constitution.
(3) If in any proceedings in any court (other than the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court or a court-martial) any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of sections 3 to 19 inclusive of this Constitution, the person presiding in that court may, and shall, if any party to the proceedings so requests, refer the question to the Supreme Court unless, in his opinion, the raising of this question is merely frivolous or vexatious.
(4) Any person aggrieved by any determination of the Supreme Court under this section may appeal therefrom to the Court of Appeal.
(5) Where any question is referred to the Supreme Court in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section, the Supreme Court shall give its decision upon the question and the court in which the question arose shall dispose of the case in accordance with that decision or, if that decision is the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal or to the Caribbean Court of Justice, in accordance with the decision of the Court of Appeal or, as the case may be, of the Caribbean Court of Justice.
(6) Notwithstanding the validity of any law under section 9 (2), 10 (3), 11 (5), 12 (2), 13 (2) or 16 (4) (d) of this Constitution, any act or thing done under the authority of such law shall be unlawful if such act or thing is shown not to be reasonably required in the actual circumstances in which it is done.
(7) The Supreme Court shall have such powers in addition to those conferred by this section as may be conferred on it by the National Assembly for the purpose of enabling it more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred on it by this section.
(8) The Chief Justice may make rules with respect to the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court in relation to the jurisdiction and powers conferred on it by or under this section (including rules with respect to the time within which applications may be brought and references shall be made to the Supreme Court). (Sec. 20)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) An appeal shall lie from final decisions of the Court of Appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice as of right in the following cases –

(e) in any proceedings that are concerned with the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred upon the Supreme Court relating to redress for the contravention of the provisions of this Constitution for the protection of fundamental rights;
… (Sec. 104)

Indigenous Peoples

English

WHEREAS the people of Belize-

(e) require policies of state which protect and safeguard the unity, freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize; which eliminate economic and social privilege and disparity among the citizens of Belize whether by race, ethnicity, colour, creed, disability or sex; which ensures gender equality; which protect the rights of the individual to life, liberty, basic education, basic health, the right to vote in elections, the right to work and the pursuit of happiness; which protect the identity, dignity and social and cultural values of Belizeans, including Belize's indigenous peoples; … (Preamble)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
(a) life, liberty, security of the person, and the protection of the law;
(b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
(c) protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and recognition of his human dignity; and
(d) protection from arbitrary deprivation of property,
the provisions of this Part shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Sec. 3)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(9) During any period of public emergency, the following provisions shall have effect-
(a)
 the Governor-General may make such regulations as are necessary or expedient for securing public safety, the defence of Belize, the maintenance of public order and the suppression of mutiny, rebellion and riot, and for maintaining supplies and services essential to the life of the community;
(b) any such regulations may empower such authorities or persons as may be specified in the regulations to make orders and rules for any of the purposes for which such regulations are authorised by this subsection to be made and may contain such incidental and supplementary provisions as are necessary or expedient for the purposes of the regulations;
(c) any such regulations or any order or rule made in pursuance of such regulations may amend or suspend the operation of any law and shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any law;
(d) in this subsection, "law" does not include this Constitution or any provision thereof or any law that alters this Constitution or any provision thereof.
(10) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law (including any regulations made under subsection (9) of this section) shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of section 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, or 17 of this Constitution to the extent that the law in question makes in relation to any period of public emergency provision, or authorises the doing during any such period of anything, that is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of any situation arising or existing during the period for the purpose of dealing with that situation. (Sec. 18)

Marriage and Family Life

English

WHEREAS the people of Belize-
(a) affirm that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God, faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms, the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions, the dignity of the human person and the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed by their Creator;
… (Preamble)

Marriage and Family Life

English

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

(c) protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and recognition of his human dignity;
… (Sec. 3)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) A person shall not be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation. The private and family life, the home and the personal correspondence of every person shall be respected.
… (Sec. 14)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

(c) for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters which is the personal law of persons of that description;
… (Sec. 16)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) An appeal shall lie from final decisions of the Court of Appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice as of right in the following cases –

(b) in proceedings for the dissolution or nullification of marriage;
… (Sec. 104)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed) to be required of any person who is appointed to or to act in any office or employment.
… (Sec. 16)

Political Rights and Association

English

WHEREAS the people of Belize-

(c) believe that the will of the people shall form the basis of government in a democratic society in which the government is freely elected by universal adult suffrage and in which all persons may, to the extent of their capacity, play some part in the institutions of national life and thus develop and maintain due respect for lawfully constituted authority;

(e) require policies of state … which protect … the right to vote in elections
… (Preamble)

Political Rights and Association

English

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

(b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
… (Sec. 3)

Political Rights and Association

English

(1) Except with his own consent, a person shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of assembly and association, that is to say, his right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to trade unions or other associations for the protection of his interests or to form or belong to political parties or other political associations.
… (Sec. 13)

Political Rights and Association

English

At any general election-
(a) 
every citizen of Belize or a citizen of any Commonwealth Country who has attained the age of eighteen years and who satisfies the requirements of the Representation of the People Act shall have the right to vote;
(b) no person shall be entitled to more than one vote; and
(c) votes shall be cast in a secret ballot. (Sec. 92)

Electoral Bodies

English

(1) There shall be an Elections and Boundaries Commission which shall consist of a Chairman and four other members who shall be persons of integrity and high national standing.

(13) The Commission shall be responsible for the direction and supervision of the registration of voters and the conduct of elections, referenda and all matters connected therewith.
… (Sec. 88)

Head of State

English

There shall be a Governor-General of Belize who shall be a citizen of Belize appointed by Her Majesty and shall hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure and who shall be Her Majesty's representative in Belize. (Sec. 30)

Government

English

(1) There shall be a Prime Minister of Belize who shall be appointed by the Governor-General.
(2) Whenever the Governor-General has occasion to appoint a Prime Minister he shall appoint a member of the House of Representatives who is the leader of the political party which commands the support of the majority of the members of that House; and if no political party has an overall majority, he shall appoint a member of that House who appears to him likely to command the support of the majority of the members of that House: … (Sec. 37)

Government

English

(1) There shall be, in addition to the office of Prime Minister, such other offices of Minister of the Government as may be established by the National Assembly or, subject to the provisions of any law enacted by the National Assembly, by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.
(2) Appointments to the office of Minister shall be made by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, from among members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate:
Provided that persons holding the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives or President of the Senate may not be appointed to the office of Minister:
Provided further that the Cabinet shall be comprised of -
(a) not more than two-thirds of the elected Members of the party that obtains the majority seats in the House of Representatives following the holding of a general election; and
(b) not more than four Senators:
Provided further that, subject to section 42(3) of this Constitution, a national of Belize may be appointed as Attorney General whether or not that person is a member of either House of the National Assembly.
… (Sec. 40)

Government

English

(1) There shall be a Cabinet of Ministers for Belize which shall consist of the Prime Minister and the other Ministers: … (Sec. 44)

Legislature

English

There shall be in and for Belize a Legislature which shall consist of a National Assembly comprising two Houses, that is to say, a House of Representatives and a Senate. (Sec. 55)

Legislature

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the House of Representatives shall consist of thirty-one members who shall be elected in the manner provided by law.
… (Sec. 56)

Legislature

English

Subject to the provisions of section 58 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives if, and shall not be qualified to be so elected unless, he-
(a) 
is a citizen of Belize of the age of eighteen years or upwards; and
(b) 
has resided in Belize for a period of at least one year immediately before the date of his nomination for election. (Sec. 57)

Legislature

English

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Senate shall consist of twelve members (in this Constitution referred to as “Senators”) who shall be appointed by the Governor-General in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(4) Of the twelve Senators-
(a) six shall be appointed by the Governor- General acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister;
(b) three shall be appointed by the Governor- General acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition;
(c) one shall be appointed by the Governor- General acting in accordance with the advice of the Belize Council of Churches and Evangelical Association of Churches;
(d) one shall be appointed by the Governor- General acting in accordance with the advice of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Business Bureau; and
(e) one shall be appointed by the Governor- General acting in accordance with the advice of the National Trade Union Congress and the Civil Society Steering Committee.
… (Sec. 61)

Legislature

English

Subject to the provisions of section 63 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be appointed as a Senator if, and shall not be qualified to be so appointed unless, he-
(a) 
is a citizen of Belize of the age of eighteen years or upwards; and
(b) has resided in Belize for a period of at least one year immediately before the date of his appointment. (Sec. 62)

Legislature

English

(1) For the purposes of the election of members of the House of Representatives, Belize shall be divided into thirty-one electoral divisions, the names and boundaries of which are set out in Schedule 1 to the Representation of the People Act.
(2) Each electoral division shall be represented in the House of Representatives by one elected member. (Sec. 89)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

WHEREAS the people of Belize-

(e) require policies of state … which preserve the right of the individual to the ownership of private property and the right to operate private businesses;
… (Preamble)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

(c) protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and recognition of his human dignity;
… (Sec. 3)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision –

(c) for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters which is the personal law of persons of that description;
… (Sec. 16)

Protection from Violence

English

WHEREAS the people of Belize-

(b) respect the principles of social justice and therefore believe that the operation of the economic system must result in the material resources of the community being so distributed as to subserve the common good, that there should be adequate means of livelihood for all, that labour should not be exploited or forced by economic necessity to operate in inhumane conditions but that there should be opportunity for advancement on the basis of recognition of merit, ability and integrity, that equal protection should be given to children regardless of their social status, and that a just system should be ensured to provide for education and health on the basis of equality;

(e) require policies of state which protect and safeguard the unity, freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize; which eliminate economic and social privilege and disparity among the citizens of Belize whether by race, ethnicity, colour, creed, disability or sex; which ensures gender equality; which protect the rights of the individual to life, liberty, basic education, basic health, the right to vote in elections, the right to work and the pursuit of happiness; which protect the identity, dignity and social and cultural values of Belizeans, including Belize's indigenous peoples; which preserve the right of the individual to the ownership of private property and the right to operate private businesses; which prohibit the exploitation of man by man or by the state; which ensure a just system of social security and welfare; which protect the environment; which promote international peace, security and co-operation among nations, the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order in the world with respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings among nations;
… (Preamble)

Protection from Violence

English

Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
(a) life, liberty, security of the person, and the protection of the law;
… (Sec. 3)

Protection from Violence

English

No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment. (Sec. 7)

Protection from Violence

English

(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2) No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Sec. 8)

Public Institutions and Services

English

WHEREAS the people of Belize-

(b) respect the principles of social justice and therefore believe that the operation of the economic system must result in the material resources of the community being so distributed as to subserve the common good, that there should be adequate means of livelihood for all, that labour should not be exploited or forced by economic necessity to operate in inhumane conditions but that there should be opportunity for advancement on the basis of recognition of merit, ability and integrity, that equal protection should be given to children regardless of their social status, and that a just system should be ensured to provide for education and health on the basis of equality;

(e) require policies of state which protect and safeguard the unity, freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize; which eliminate economic and social privilege and disparity among the citizens of Belize whether by race, ethnicity, colour, creed, disability or sex; which ensures gender equality; which protect the rights of the individual to life, liberty, basic education, basic health, the right to vote in elections, the right to work and the pursuit of happiness; which protect the identity, dignity and social and cultural values of Belizeans, including Belize's indigenous peoples; which preserve the right of the individual to the ownership of private property and the right to operate private businesses; which prohibit the exploitation of man by man or by the state; which ensure a just system of social security and welfare; which protect the environment; which promote international peace, security and co-operation among nations, the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order in the world with respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings among nations;
… (Preamble)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(1) The law to be applied with respect to any pensions benefits that were granted to any person before Independence Day shall be the law that was in force at the date on which those benefits were granted or any law in force at a later date that is not less favourable to that person.

(4) All pensions benefits shall (except to the extent to which, in the case of benefits under the Widows’ and Orphans’ Pensions Act or under any law amending or replacing that Act, they are a charge on a fund established by that Act or by any such law and have been duly paid out of that fund to the person or authority to whom payment is due) be a charge on the general revenues of Belize.
(5) In this section, “pensions benefits” means any pensions, compensation, gratuities or other like allowances for persons in respect of their service as public officers or for the widows, children, dependents or personal representatives of such persons in respect of such service.
… (Sec. 112)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(1) The power to grant any award under any pensions law for the time being in force in Belize (other than an award to which, under that law, the person to whom it is payable is entitled as of right) and, in accordance with any provisions in that behalf contained in any such law, to withhold, reduce in amount or suspend any award payable under any such law, shall vest in the Governor-General.

(3) In this section, “pensions law” means any law relating to the grant to any person, or to the widow, children, dependents or personal representatives of that person, of an award in respect of the services of that person in a public office, and includes any instrument made under any such law. (Sec. 113)

Status of the Constitution

English

This Constitution is the supreme law of Belize and if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. (Sec. 2)

Status of International Law

English

WHEREAS the people of Belize-

(e) require policies of state which protect and safeguard the unity, freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize; which eliminate economic and social privilege and disparity among the citizens of Belize whether by race, ethnicity, colour, creed, disability or sex; which ensures gender equality; which protect the rights of the individual to life, liberty, basic education, basic health, the right to vote in elections, the right to work and the pursuit of happiness; which protect the identity, dignity and social and cultural values of Belizeans, including Belize's indigenous peoples; which preserve the right of the individual to the ownership of private property and the right to operate private businesses; which prohibit the exploitation of man by man or by the state; which ensure a just system of social security and welfare; which protect the environment; which promote international peace, security and co-operation among nations, the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order in the world with respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings among nations;
… (Preamble)

Status of International Law

English

(3) Where the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal is seised of an issue the resolution of which involves a question concerning the interpretation or application of the Treaty, the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal, as the case may be, shall, if it considers that a decision on the question is necessary to enable it to deliver judgment, refer the question to the Caribbean Court of Justice for determination before delivering judgment. (Sec. 96)

Customary Law

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

(c) for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters which is the personal law of persons of that description;
… (Sec. 16)

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