Supreme Court Law Library was one of the first libraries to
be set up in Belize. However, in 1918, it was destroyed in
a massive fire, which destroyed the Supreme Court Building.
When the Supreme Court was rebuilt, the library was restored
in a small room. There it stayed deteriorating rapidly until
the year 1992. In that year, with the financial assistance
of the USAID project, the law library moved into its new headquarters
in the Sir Albert Staine Building. Under this project, the
building was renovated and some new furniture and equipment
was provided. The British High Commission donated some new
books to complement the old volumes. Today, the Supreme Court
Law Library is the country's primary research library geared
towards meeting the information needs of the judiciary.
In the year 1990, the present librarian, Mrs. Sylvia Hulse
J.P., was transferred from the National Library Service in
Belize. She was appointed law librarian in 1991. Prior to
this appointment, the Registrar General was the librarian.
Because of his already busy schedule, he was forced to designate
a member of his Senior Staff to conduct the day-to-day running
of the library.
law library is a special library and its users are judges
of the Supreme and Appeal Courts, magistrates, attorneys,
law students, para-legal students, sixth form students and
those of the University of Belize studying Business Law. The
law library also provides information to several other individuals
and institutions who need legal information.
Supreme Court Library's official hours are 8:00 a.m. to 12:00
noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays. However,
due to the dedication and commitment of the law librarian,
the library is open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. almost every
day. When necessary, the library opens its doors to judges
and legal practitioners on weekends.
Supreme Court Law Library is critical in enabling Belizean
attorneys and legal practitioners to keep abreast of happenings
not only in the legal profession but also in the local and
regional legal landscape. While the importance of doing proper
research cannot be underestimated and while the demand for
up-to-date information remains constant, the need to upgrade
the stock of the library has been recognized. New editions
of law reports and other books have been ordered to enable
the library to keep abreast of changes in the legal system
and legal practice.
library's collection consists of both primary and secondary
legal material and includes material from Belize, the English-speaking
Caribbean countries, Commonwealth jurisdictions such as the
United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand as well
as a limited amount of material from the United States of
America. The collection amounts to about 10,000 volumes. The
-- law reports
-- law journals
-- legal reference material
-- judgments of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Belize
-- practice directions
-- legal textbooks and procedural material.
textbook collection is arranged according to Moys' Classification
scheme and the librarian maintains author/title and subject
card catalogues. The law reports and bound periodicals are
arranged alphabetically on the shelves.
Library services include:
-- reference and circulation of materials to the judges of
the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal
-- indexing and abstracting of the judgments of the Supreme
-- updating of legislation
-- current awareness services to judges
-- legal research
-- photocopying services
-- providing material to judges for court matters, at the
request of attorneys-at-law
Supreme Court Law Library
Sir Albert Staine Building
1 Treasury Lane
Belize Cit Belize