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

PART X

Miscellaneous

121.-(1) The persons to whom this section applies shall conduct themselves in such a way as not-

(a) to place themselves in positions in which they have or could have a conflict of interest;

(b) to compromise the fair exercise of their public or official functions and duties;

(c) to use their office for private gain;

(d) to demean their office or position;

(e) to allow their integrity to be called into question; or

(f) to endanger or diminish respect for, or confidence in, the
integrity of the Government.

(2) This section applies to the Governor-General, members of
the National Assembly, members of the Belize Advisory Council, members of the Public Services Commission, members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, public officers, officers of statutory corporations and government agencies, and such other officers as may be prescribed by law enacted by the National Assembly.

122. The national symbols of Belize shall be those prescribed by the National Assembly.

123.-(l) Any reference in this Constitution to power to make appointments to any public office shall be construed as including a reference to the power to make appointments on promotion and transfer to that office and to the power to appoint a person to act in that office during any period during which it is vacant or the holder thereof is unable to perform the functions of that office.

(2) In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires, a reference to the holder of an office by the term designating his office shall be construed as including a reference to any person who is for the time being lawfully acting in or performing the functions of that office.

(3) Where by this Constitution any person is directed, or power is conferred on any person or authority to appoint a person, to act in or otherwise to perform the functions of an office if the holder thereof is unable to perform the functions of that office, the validity of any performance of those functions by the person so directed or of any appointment made in exercise of that power shall not be called in question in any court of law on the ground that the holder of the office is not unable to perform the functions of the office.

124.-(1) Where any person has vacated any office established by this Constitution, he may, if qualified, again be appointed or elected to hold that office in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

(2) Whenever the holder of any office constituted by or under this Constitution, or any public office otherwise constituted, is on leave of absence pending relinquishment of his office-

(a) another person may be appointed to that office; and

(b) that person shall, for the purpose of any function of that office, be deemed to be the sole holder of that office.


125.-(l) References in this Constitution to the power to remove a public officer from his office shall be construed as including references to any power conferred by any law to require or permit that officer to retire from the public service and to any power or right to terminate a contract on which a person is employed as a public officer and to determine whether any such contract shall or shall not be renewed:

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall be construed as conferring on any person or authority power to require any justice of the Supreme Court or Justice of Appeal, the Director of Public Prosecutions, or the Auditor-General to retire from the public service.

(2) Any provision of this Constitution that vests in any person or authority power to remove any public officer from his office shall be without prejudice to the power of any person or authority to abolish any office or to any law providing for the compulsory retirement of public officers generally or any class of public officer on attaining an age specified therein.

126.-(l) A Senator or a member of the House of Representatives may resign his seat by writing under his hand addressed to the President or the Speaker, as the case may be, and the resignation shall take effect, and the seat shall accordingly become vacant, when the writing is received, as the case may be, by-

(a) the President or Speaker;

(b) if the office of President or Speaker is vacant or the President or Speaker is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office and no other person is performing them, the Vice-President or Deputy Speaker; or

(c) if the office of Vice-President or Deputy Speaker is vacant or the Vice-President or Deputy Speaker is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office and no other person is performing them, the Clerk to the National Assembly.

(2) The President or the Vice-President or the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker may resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Senate or the House, as the case may be, and the resignation shall take effect, and the office shall accordingly become vacant, when the writing is received by the Clerk to the National Assembly.

(3) Any person who has been appointed to an office established by this Constitution (other than an office to which subsection (1) or (2) of this section applies) or any office of Minister established under this Constitution
may resign that office by writing under his hand addressed to the person or authority by whom he was appointed and the resignation shall take effect, and the office shall accordingly become vacant-

(a) at such time or on such date (if an as may be specified in the writing; or

(b) when the writing is received by the person or authority to whom it is addressed or by such other person as may be authorised to receive it,

whichever is the later:

Provided that the resignation may be withdrawn before it takes effect if the person or authority to whom the resignation is addressed consents to its withdrawal.

127. No provision of this Constitution that any person or authority shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority in the exercise of any functions under this Constitution shall be construed as precluding a court of law from exercising jurisdiction in relation to any question whether that person or authority has performed those functions in accor

dance with this Constitution or any other law or should not perform those functions.

128. Where any power is conferred by this Constitution to make any proclamation, regulation, order or rule, or to give any direction or instructions, the power shall be construed as including the power, exercisable in like manner, to amend or revoke any such proclamation, regulation, order, rule, direction or instructions.

129.-(l) Where any person or authority is directed by this Constitution to exercise any function after consultation with any other person or authority, that person or authority shall not be obliged to exercise that function in accordance with the advice of that other person or authority.

(2) Where any person or authority is directed by this Constitution or any other law to consult any other person or authority before taking any decision or action, that other person or authority must be given a genuine opportunity to present his or its views before the decision or action, as the case may be, is taken.

130. There shall be a national seal bearing on it such device as the National Assembly shall approve by resolution.

131.-(l) In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires-

“Belize” means the land and sea areas defined in Schedule 1 to this Constitution;

“Commwealth citizen” has such meaning as the National Assembly may prescribe;

“Court of Appeal” means the Court of Appeal established by this Constitution;

“Crown” means the Crown in right of Belize;
“financial year” means the twelve months ending on 31st March in any year or on such other date as may from time to time be prescribed by any law enacted by the National Assembly;

“the Gazette” means the Belize Government Gazette and includes any supplement thereto;

“the Government” means the Government of Belize;

“the House” means the House of Representatives or the Senate as the context may require;

“the House of Representatives” means the House of Representatives established by this Constitution;

“Independence Day” means 21st September, 1981;

“law” means any law in force in Belize or any part thereof, including any instrument having the force of law and any unwritten rule of law, and “lawful” and “lawfully” shall be construed accordingly;

“Minister” means a Minister of Government;

“the National Assembly” means the National Assembly established by this Constitution;

“oath” includes affirmation;

“oath of allegiance and office” means the oath prescribed in Schedule 3 to this Constitution;

“Police Department” means the Belize Police Department;

“President” and “Vice-President” mean the respective persons holding office as President and Vice-President of the Senate;
“public office” means any office of emolument in the public service;

“public officer” means a person holding or acting in any public office;

“the public service” means, subject to the provisions of this section, the service of the Crown in a civil capacity in respect of the Government;

“Senate” means the Senate established by this Constitution;

“session” means, in relation to a House of the National Assembly, the sittings of that House commencing when it first meets after the prorogation or dissolution of the National Assembly at any time and terminating when the National Assembly is prorogued or is dissolved without having been prorogued;

“sitting” means, in relation to a House of the National Assembly, a period during which that House is sitting continuously without adjournment and includes any period during which the House is in committee;

“Speaker” and “Deputy Speaker” mean the respective persons holding office as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives;

“Supreme Court” means the Supreme Court of Judicature established by this Constitution.

(2) Except in sections 63(l) and 71 of this Constitution, references in this Constitution to a member or members of the House of Representatives or to a Senator or Senators do not include references to a person who, under section 56(2), is a member of the House by virtue of holding the office of Speaker, or who, under section 61(l), is a Senator by virtue of holding the office of President.


(3) In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires, references to an office in the public service shall be construed as including references to the offices of justice of the Supreme Court and Justice of Appeal, offices of members of the Police Department, and offices on the Governor-General’s personal staff.

(4) In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires, references to an office in the public service shall not be construed as including references to the office of Prime Minister or other Minister, Minister of State, Speaker or Deputy Speaker or member of the House of Representatives, President or Vice-President or Senator, member of the Belize Advisory Council, or member of any Commission established by this Constitution or the Clerk, Deputy Clerk or staff of the National Assembly.

(5) For the purposes of this Constitution, a person shall not be regarded as holding a public office by reason only of the fact that he is in receipt of a pension or other like allowance in respect of service under the Crown.

(6) Save as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the Interpretation Act 1980 as in force immediately before Independence Day shall apply, with the necessary adaptations, for the purpose of interpreting this Constitution.

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Arrangement of Sections

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