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

PART XI

Transitional Provisions

132. In this Part-

“the Constitution Ordinance” means the British Honduras Constitution Ordinance 1963;

“the Letters Patent” means the Belize Letters Patent 1964 to 1979.
133. The Governor (as defined for the purposes of the Letters Patent) acting after consultation with the Premier (as so defined) may at any time after this section comes into operation exercise any of the powers conferred on the Governor-General by section 134 of this Constitution to such extent as may be necessary or expedient to enable the Constitution to function as from Independence Day.

134.-(l) Subject to the provisions of this Part, the existing laws shall notwithstanding the revocation of the Letters Patent and the Constitution ┼Ordinance continue in force on and after Independence Day and shall then have effect as if they had been made in pursuance of this Constitution but they shall be construed with such modifications, adaptations, qualifications and exceptions as may be necessary to bring them into conformity with this Constitution.

(2) Where any matter that falls to be prescribed or otherwise provided for under this Constitution by the National Assembly or by any other authority or person is prescribed or provided for by or under an existing law (including any amendment to any such law made under this section) that prescription or provision shall as from Independence Day have effect (with such modifications, adaptations, qualifications and exceptions as may be necessary to brg it into conformity with this Constitution) as if it had been made under this Constitution by the National Assembly or as the case may require by the other authority or person.

(3) The Governor-General may by order published in the
Gazette within twelve months after Independence Day make such amendments to any existing law (other than this Constitution) as may be necessary or expedient for bringing that law into conformity with the provisions of this Constitution or otherwise for giving effect or enabling effect to be given to those provisions.

(4) An order made under this section may be amended or revoked by the National Assembly or in relation to any existing law affected thereby, by any other authority having power to amend, repeal or revoke that existing law.

(5) The provisions of this section shall be without prejudice to any powers conferred by this Constitution or by any other law upon any person or authority to make provision for any matter, including the amendment or repeal of any existing law.

(6) In this section, the expression “existing law” means any Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, Order of Her Majesty in Council, Ordinance, rule, regulation, order or other instrument having effect as part of the law of Belize immediately before Independence Day (including any such law made before that day and coming into operation or after that day).

135.-(1) Her Majesty may before Independence Day appoint the first Governor-General from among persons who qualify by virtue of section 23 of this Constitution to become citizens of Belize on Independence Day.

(2) Any such appointment shall take effect as from Independence Day, and the person so a hppointed shall hold office in accordance with section 30 of this Constitution.

136.-(l) The person who, immediately before Independence Day, holds the office of Premier under the Letters Patent shall, as from that day, hold office as Prime Minister as if he had been appointed thereto under section 37 of this Constitution.

(2) The persons who, immediately before Independence Day, hold office as Ministers (other than the Premier) under the Letters Patent shall, as from that day, hold the like offices as if they had been appointed thereto under section 40 of this Constitution.

(3) Any person holding thoffice of Prime Minister or other Minister by virtue of subsections (1) and (2) of this section who, immediately before Independence Day, was under the Letters Patent assigned responsibility for any business or department of government shall, as from that day, be deemed to have been assigned responsibility for that business or department under section 41 of this Constitution.

(4) Any person holding the office of Prime Minister or other Minister by virtue of subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of section 46 of this Constitution.

137.-(1) The persons who, immediately before Independence Day, are members of the former House of Representatives shall, as from that day, be deemed to have been elected in pursuance of section 56(l) of this Constitution in the respective electoral divisions corresponding to the electoral divisions by which they were returned to the former House of Representatives, and shall hold their seats in the House of Representatives in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

(2) The persons who, immediately before Independence Day, are members of the former Senate, having been appointed as such under paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of section 9(2) of the Constitution Ordinance, shall, as from Independence Day, be deemed to have been appointed to the Senate in pursuance of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) respectively of section 61(2) of this Constitution, and shall hold their seats in the Senate in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

(3) The persons deemed to be elected to the House of Representatives or to be appointed to the Senate by virtue of subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of section 71 of this Constitution.

(4) The persons who, immediately before Independence Day, are the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the former House of Representatives and the President and Vice-President of the former Senate shall, as from Independence Day, be deemed to have been elected respectively as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and President and Vice-President of the Senate in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and shall hold office in accordance with those provisions.

(5) The person who, immediately before Independence Day, is the Leader of the Opposition in the former House of Representatives shall, as from that day, be deemed to have been appointed as Leader of the Opposition in pursuance of section 47 of this Constitution, and shall hold office as such in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution/font>

(6) The Standing Orders of the former House of Representatives
and of the former Senate as in force immediately before Independence Day shall, until it is otherwise provided under section 70 of this Constitution, be the Standing Orders respectively of the House of Representatives and of the Senate, but they shall be construed with such modifications, adaptations, qualifications and exceptions as may be necessary to bring them into conformity with this Constitution.

(7) Notwithstanding anything in section 84(2) of the Constitution (but subject to subsection (3) of that section), the National Assembly shall, unless sooner dissolved, stand dissolved on 30th November 1984 (that is to say, five years from the date when the two Houses of the former National Assembly first met after the last dissolution of that Assembly under the Constitution Ordinance).

(8) In this section, the expressions “former National Assembly”, “former House of Representatives”, and “former Senate” mean respectively the National Assembly, House of Representatives, and Senate established by the Constitution Ordinance.

138. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution every person who immediately before Independence Day holds or is acting in a public office under the Letters Patent or the Constitution Ordinance shall, as from that day, continue to hold or act in that office or the corresponding office established by this Constitution as if he had been appointed thereto in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and as if he had taken any oath required by this Constitution or any other law:

Provided that any person who under the Letters Patent, the Constitution Ordinance or any other law in force immediately . before Independence Day would have been required to vacate his office at the expiration of any period shall, unless earlier removed in accordance with this Constitution, vacate his office at the expiration of that period.

139.-(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Supreme Court shall on and after Independence Day have all the powers which immediately before that day are vested in the former Supreme Court.

(2) All proceedings that, immediately before Independence Day, are pending before the former Supreme Court may be continued and concluded on and after that day before the Supreme Court.

(3) Any decision given before Indepdence Day by the former Supreme Court shall for the purposes of its enforcement or of any appeal therefrom have effect on and after that day as if it were a decision of the Supreme Court.

(4) Any appeals from Belize that, immediately before Independence Day, are pending before the former Court of Appeal may be continued and concluded on and after that day before the Court of Appeal.

(5) Any decision given before Independence Day by the former Court of Appeal shall for the purposes of its enforcement or of any appeal therefrom have effect on and after that day as if it were a decision of the Court of Appeal.

(6) In this section-
“the former Supreme Court” means the Supreme Court established by the Constitution Ordinance;
“the former Court of Appeal” means the Court of Appeal established by the Court of Appeal Ordinance 1967.

140.-(1) The National Assembly may alter any of the provisions of this Part, other than those referred to in subsection (2) of this section, in the manner specified in section 69(4) of this Constitution.

(2) The National Assembly may alter this section, subsections (1), (4) and (7) of section 137, section 138 and section 139 of this Constitution in the manner specified in subsections (3) and (5) of section 69 of this Constitution.

(3) Subsections (7) and (8) of section 69 of this Constitution shall apply for the purpose of construing references in this section to any provision of this Part and to the alteration of any such provision as they apply for the purpose of construing references in section 69 of this Constitution and in Schedule 2 hereto to any provision of this Constitution and to the └ alteration of any such provision.

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Arrangement of Sections

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