home   |   e-library   |   legal aid   |   the laws of Belize   |   the judiciary   |   sitemap   |   contact

Chapter 4 of the Laws of Belize - THE CONSTITUTION OF BELIZE

PART VIII

The Public Service

105.-(l) There shall be for Belize a Public Services Commission which shall consist of a Chairman and eighteen other members who shall include as ex- officio members the Chief Justice, the Solicitor General, the Permanent Secretary, Establishment, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry for the time being responsible for the Prison Service, the Superintendent of Prisons, the Commissioner of Police, the Director, Security and Intelligence Service and the Commandant of the Belize Defence Force.

(2) The Chairman and other members of the Commission, other than the ex officio members, shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.

(3) No person shall be qualified to be appointed as a member of the Commission if he is a member of the National Assembly or, save in respect of the ex officio members, if he holds or is acting in any public office.

(4) Save in respect of the ex officio members, a person shall not, while he holds or is acting in the office of a member of the Commission or within a period of two years commencing from the date on which he last held or acted in that office, be eligible for appointment to any public office.

(5) Subject to the provisions of this section, the office of a member of the Commission shall become vacant-

(a) at the expiration of three years from the date of his appoint- ment or such earlier time, being not less than two years, as may be specified in the instrument by which he was appointed; or

(b) if any circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of the Commission, would cause him to be disqualified for appoint- ment as such.

(6) A member of the Commission may be removed from office only for inability to perform the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or from any other cause) or for misbehaviour, and shall not be so removed except in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(7) A member of the Commission shall be removed from office by the Governor-General if the question of the removal of that member from office has been referred to the Belize Advisory Council in accordance with the next following subsection and the Belize Advisory Council has advised the Governor-General that that member ought to be removed from office for inability as aforesaid or for misbehaviour.

(8) If the Prime Minister represents to the Governor-General that the question of removing a member of the Commission under this section ought to be investigated, then-


(a) the Governor-General shall refer the matter to the Belize Ad- visory Council which shall sit as a tribunal in the manner pro- vided in section 54 of this Constitution; and

(b) the Belize Advisory Council shall enquire into the matter and report on the facts thereof to the Governor-General and ad- vise the Governor-General whether that member of the Commission should be removed under this section.

(9) If the question of removing a member of the Commission from office has been referred to the Belize Advisory Council under the preceding subsection, the Governor-General may suspend the member from performing the functions of his office, and any such suspension may at any time be revoked by the Governor-General and shall in any case cease to have effect if the Belize Advisory Council advises the Governor-General that the member should not be removed from office.

(10) If the office of a member of the Commission is vacant or a member is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office, the Governor-General may appoint a person who is qualified for appointment as a member of the Commission to act as a member of the Commission, and any person so appointed shall, subject to the provisions of subsections (6), (7), (8) and (9) of this section, continue to act until he is notified by the Governor-General that the circumstances giving rise to the appointment have ceased to exist.

(11) In the exercise of its functions the Commission shall be so
organised that of the eighteen members other than the Chairman:-

(a) five, of whom the Permanent Secretary, Establishment shall be an ex-officio member, shall be responsible for matters relating to the public service other than the judicial and legal services, the Police Department, the Security and Intelligence Service, the National Fire Service, the Prison Service and the military service;

(b) two, being ex-officio the Chief Justice and the Solicitor Gen- eral, shall be responsible for matters relating to the judicial and legal services;

(c) four, of whom the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and the Commandant of the Belize Defence Force shall be ex-officio members, shall be responsible for matters relating to the military service; and

(d) three, of whom the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Commissioner of Police shall be ex-
officio members, shall be responsible for matters relating to the Police Force and the National Fire Service; and

(e) three, of whom the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Director, Security and Intelligence Ser- vice shall be ex-officio members, shall be responsible for matters relating to the Security and Intelligence Service;

(f) two, being ex-officio the Permanent Secretary to the Minis- try for the time being responsible for the Prison Service and the Superintendent of Prisons, shall be responsible for mat- ters relating to the Prison Service;

and in considering the matters referred to, the Commission shall comprise the members responsible for that matter and the Chairman.


(12) A member of the Commission shall not enter upon the duties of his office unless he has taken and subscribed the oath of allegiance and office.

(13) The Commission shall, in the exercise of its functions under this Constitution, not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

(14) The Commission may by regulation make provision for regulating and facilitating the performance of its functions under this Constitution.

(15) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Commission may regulate its own procedure.

(16) Any decision of the Commission shall require the concurrence of a majority of all the members thereof and, subject to its rules of procedure, the Commission may act notwithstanding the absence of any member other than the Chairman:

Provided that, in the exercise of its responsibilities for any matter referred to in subsection (11) of this section, any decision of the Commission shall require the concurrence of a majority of those persons comprising the Commission for the purposes of that matter.

Provided further that in any matter before the Commission or any section thereof, where the votes are equally divided, the Chairman shall have a casting vote in addition to his original vote.


(17) In subsection (11) of this section-

“judicial and legal services” means service in the offices of Registrar General, Deputy Registrar General, Registrar, Deputy Registrar and Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court, Registrar and Deputy Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Chief Magistrate, Magistrate, Legal Draftsman, Law Revision Counsel, Crown Counsel, Legal Assistant and such other public offices requiring a legal qualification as the Attorney-General may from time to time, by order published in the Gazette, prescribe;

“military service” means service in the Belize Defence Force or in any other military, naval or air force established for Belize.

106.-(1) The power to appoint persons to hold or act in offices in the public service (including the power to transfer or confirm appointments), and, subject to the provisions of section 111 of this Constitution, the power to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices and the power to remove such persons from office shall vest in the Public Services Commission constituted for each case as prescribed in section 105(11) of this Constitution.

(2) In subsection (1) of this section, “public service” includes the military service, as defined in section 105(17) of this Constitution.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Minister or Ministers responsible for the public service given after consultation with the recognised representatives of the employees or other persons or groups within the public service as may be considered appropriate, may make regulations on any matter relating to-


(a) the formulation of schemes for recruitment to the public service;

(b) the determination of a code of conduct for public officers;

(c) the fixing of salaries and privileges;

(d) the principles governing the promotion and transfer of public officers;

(e) measures to ensure discipline, and to govern the dismissal and retirement of public officers, including the procedures to be followed;

(f) the procedure for delegation of authority by and to public officers; and

(g) generally for the management and control of the public service.

(4) The Public Services Commission shall, in the exercise of its functions under this section, be governed by regulations made under subsection (3) of this section.

(5) The Public Services Commission may, by directions in writing and subject to such conditions as it thinks fit, delegate any of its powers under subsection (1) of this section to any one or more members of the Commission or, with the consent of the Prime Minister, to any public officer.

(6) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply in relation to the following offices, that is to say-

(a) any office to which section 107 of this Constitution applies;

(b) the offices of justice of the Supreme Court and Justice of Appeal;

(c) the office of Auditor-General;

(d) the office of Director of Public Prosecutions; or

(e) any office to which section 110 or section 110A or section 110B of this Constitution applies.

(7) No person shall be appointed under this section to or to act in any office on the Governor-General’s personal staff except with the con-currence of the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment.

(8) A public officer shall not be removed from office or subjected to any other punishment under this section on the grounds of any act done or omitted by him in the exercise of a judicial function conferred on him unless the Judicial and Legal Services section of the Public Services Commission concurs therein.

107.-(l) This section applies to the offices of Financial Secretary, Deputy Financial Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet, Solicitor General, Permanent Secretary, head of a department of Government, Commissioner of Police, Director, Security and Intelligence Service, Commandant, Belize Defence Force, Ambassador, High Commissioner or principal representative of Belize in any other country or accredited to any international organisation and, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, any other office designated by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given after consultation with the Public Services Commission.

(2) The power to appoint persons to hold or to act in offices to which this section applies (including the power to transfer or to confirm appointments) and, subject to the provisions of section 111 of this Constitution, the power to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices and the power to remove such persons from office shall vest in the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

(3) References in this section to a department of Government shall not include the office of the Governor-General, the department of the Director of Public Prosecutions or the department of the Auditor General.

108.-(1) The Director of Public Prosecutions shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Section of the Public Services Commission and with the concurrence of the Prime Minister given after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.

(2) A person shall not be qualified for appointment to hold or act in the office of Director of Public Prosecutions unless he is qualified to be appointed as a justice of the Supreme Court.

(3) If the office of Director of Public Prosecutions is vacant or if the holder of that office is for any reason unable to exercise the functions of his office, the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Section of the Public Services Commission and with the concurrence of the Prime Minister given after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition, may appoint a person to act as Director.

(4) A person appointed to act in the office of Director of Public Prosecutions shall, subject to the provisions of subsections (5), (7), (8) and (9) of this section, cease so to act-

(a) when a person is appointed to hold that office and has assumed the functions thereof or, as the case may be, when
the person in whose place he is acting resumes the functions of that office; or

(b) at such earlier time as may be prescribed by the terms of his appointment.

(5) Subject to the provisions of subsection (6) of this section, the Director of Public Prosecutions shall vacate his office when he attains the age of sixty years or such other age as may be prescribed by the National Assembly:

Provided that any law enacted by the National Assembly, to the extent to which it alters the prescribed age after a person has been appointed to be or to act as Director of Public Prosecutions, shall not have effect in relation to that person unless he consents that it should have effect.

(6) The Director of Public Prosecutions may be removed from office only for inability to perform the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or from any other cause) or for misbehaviour, and shall not be so removed except in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(7) The Director of Public Prosecutions shall be removed from office by the Governor-General if the question of his removal from office has been referred to the Belize Advisory Council in accordance with the next following subsection and the Belize Advisory Council has advised the Governor-General that he ought to be removed from office for inability as aforesaid or for misbehaviour.


(8) If the Prime Minister represents to the Governor-General that the question of removing the Director of Public Prosecutions under this section ought to be investigated, then-

(a) the Governor-General shall refer the matter to the Belize Advisory Council which shall sit as a tribunal in the manner provided in section 54 of this Constitution; and

(b) the Belize Advisory Council shall enquire into the matter and report on the facts thereof to the Governor-General and advise the Governor-General whether he should be re- moved under this section.

(9) If the question of removing the Director of Public Prosecutions from office has been referred to the Belize Advisory Council under the preceding subsection, the Governor-General may suspend him from performing the functions of his office, and any such suspension may at any time be revoked by the Governor-General and shall in any case cease to have effect if the Belize Advisory Council advises the Governor-General that he should not be removed from office.

109.-(1) The Auditor-General shall be appointed by the Governor- General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Services Commission and with the concurrence of the Prime Minister given after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.

(2) If the office of Auditor-General is vacant or if the holder of that office is for any reason unable to exercise the functions of his office, the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Services Commission and with the concurrence of the Prime Minister given after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition, may appoint a person to act as Auditor-General.
(3) A person appointed to act in the office of Auditor-General shall, subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (6), (7) and (8) of this section, cease so to act-

(a) after a person is appointed to hold that office and has as- sumed the functions thereof or, as the case may be, when the person in whose place he is acting resumes the functions of
that office; or

(b) at such earlier time as may be prescribed by the terms of his appointment.

(4) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5) of this section, the Auditor-General shall vacate his office when he attains the age of sixty years or such other age as may be prescribed by the National Assembly:

Provided that any law enacted by the National Assembly, to the extent to which it alters the prescribed age after a person has been appointed to be or to act as Auditor-General, shall not have effect in relation to that person unless he consents that it should have effect.

(5) The Auditor-General may be removed from office only for inability to perform the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or from any other cause) or for misbehaviour, and shall not be so removed except in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(6) The Auditor-General shall be removed from office by the Governor-General if the question of his removal from office has been referred to the Belize Advisory Council in accordance with the next following subsection and the Belize Advisory Council has advised the Governor-General that he ought to be removed from office for inability as aforesaid or for misbehaviour.

(7) If the Prime Minister represents to the Governor-General that the question of removing the Auditor-General under this section ought to be investigated, then-

(a) the Governor-General shall refer the matter to the Belize Advisory Council which shall sit as a tribunal in the manner provided in section 54 of this Constitution; and

(b) the Belize Advisory Council shall enquire into the matter and report on the facts thereof to the Governor-General and advise the Governor-General whether he should be re- moved under this section.

(8) If the question of removing the Auditor-General from office has been referred to the Belize Advisory Council under the preceding subsection, the Governor-General may suspend him from performing the functions of his office, and any such suspension may at any time be revoked by the Governor-General and shall in any case cease to have effect if the Belize Advisory Council advises the Governor-General that he should not be removed from office.

110.-(1) Power to appoint persons to hold or act in any office in the Police Department (including power to confirm appointments) below the rank of Inspector and to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices and to remove such persons from office shall vest in the Commissioner of Police.

(2) The Commissioner of Police may, subject to such conditions as he thinks fit, delegate any of his powers under this section, by directions in writing, to any other officer of the Police Department.


110A.-(1) The power to appoint persons to hold or act in any office in the Security and Intelligence Service (including power to confirm appointments) to the rank of Grade III of that Service or below and to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices and to remove such persons from office shall vest in the Director of the Service subject to the approval of the Minister for the time being responsible for the Service.

(2) The Director, Security and Intelligence Service may, subject to such conditions as he thinks fit, delegate any of his powers under this section, by directions in writing, to any senior officer of the Service.

110B-(1) The power to appoint persons to hold or act in any office in the Prison Service (including power to confirm appointments) below the rank of Principal Officer, and to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices and to remove such persons from office, shall vest in the Superintendent of Prisons.

(2) The Superintendent of Prisons may, subject to such conditions as he thinks fit, delegate any of his powers under this section, by directions in writing, to any other senior officer of the Prison Service.

111.-(1)This section applies to-

(a) any decision of the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister or the Public Services Commission as the case may be, in relation to the public service, or any decision of the Public Services Commission to remove a public officer from office or to exercise disci- plinary control over a public officer (including a decision made on appeal from or confirming a decision of any person to whom powers are delegated under section 106(5) of this Constitution);

(b) any decision of any person to whom powers are delegated under section 106(5) of this Constitution to remove a public officer from office or to exercise disciplinary control over a public officer (not being a decision which is subject to appeal to or confirmation by the Public Services Commission); and

(c) if it is so provided by the National Assembly, any decision of the Commissioner of Police under subsection (1) of section 110 of this Constitution, or of a person to whom powers are delegated under subsection (2) of that section, to remove a police officer from office or to exercise disciplinary control over a police officer;

(d) if it is so provided by the National Assembly, any decision of the Superintendent of Prisons under subsection (1) of section 110B of this Constitution, or of a person to whom powers are delegated under subsection (2) of that section, to remove an officer in the Prison Service from office or to exercise disci- plinary control over such officer.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this section, an appeal shall lie to the Belize Advisory Council from any decision to which this section applies at the instance of the public officer in respect of whom the decision is made:

Provided that in the case of any such decision as is referred to in subsection (1)(c) of this section, an appeal shall lie in the first instance to the Commissioner of Police if it is so provided by the National Assembly or, if it is not so provided, if the Commissioner so requires.

(3) Upon an appeal under this section the Belize Advisory Council may affirm or set aside the decision appealed against or may make any other decision which the authority or person from whom the appeal lies could have made.

(4) Subject to the provisions of section 54 of this Constitution, the Belize Advisory Council may by regulation make provision for-

(a) the procedure in appeals under this section; or

(b) excepting from the provisions of subsection (2) of this section decisions in respect of public officers holding offices whose emoluments do not exceed such sum as may be prescribed by the regulations or such decisions to exercise disciplinary control, other than decisions to remove from office, as may be prescribed.

(5) Regulations made under this section may, with the consent of the Prime Minister, confer powers or impose duties on any public officer or any authority of the Government for the purpose of the exercise of the functions of the Belize Advisory Council.

(6) In this section, “public officer” includes any person holding or acting in an office in the military service as defined in section 105(17) of this Constitution.

112.-(l) 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.

(2) The law to be applied with respect to any pensions benefits (not being benefits to which subsection (1) of this section applies) shall-

(a) in so far as those benefits are wholly in respect of a period of service as a public officer that commenced before Indepen- dence Day, be the law that was in force immediately before that date; and

(b) in so far as those benefits are wholly or partly in respect of a period of service as a public officer that commenced after Independence Day, be the law in force on the date on which that period of service commenced, or any law in force at a later date not less favourable to that person.

(3) Where a person is entitled to exercise an option as to which of two or more laws shall apply in his case, the law for which he opts shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be more favourable to him than the other law or laws.

(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.

(6) References in this section to the law with respect to pensions benefits include (without prejudice to their generality) references to the law regulating the circumstances in which such benefits may be granted or in which the grant of such benefits may be refused, the law regulating the circumstances in which any such benefits that have been granted may be withheld, reduced in amount or suspended and the law regulating the amount of any such benefits.

113.-(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.

(2) The power vested in the Governor-General by the preceding subsection shall be exercised by him-

(a) in the case of officers to whom section 107 of this Constitution applies, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister;

(b) in the case of all other officers, acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Services Commission.

(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.

<< Part VII | Part IX >>

Arrangement of Sections

:: Copyright 2007::