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The Governor-General of Belize is the viceregal representative of Belize who is also Commander in Chief of The Belize Defence Force. The position is largely ceremonial which the power is rarely exercised.
Governors-general of Belize (1981–present)
|21 September 1981||17 November 1993||Dame Elmira Minita Gordon GCMG GCVO
(30 December 1930–)
|17 November 1993||Incumbent||Sir Colville Young GCMG MBE
(20 November 1932–)
Constitutional powers, functions and duties
The office of Governor-General is provided for by Part IV, Sections 30 to 35 of the Constitution. These state:
- 30.- 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.
- 1. During any period when the office of Governor-General is vacant or the holder of the office of Governor-General is absent from Belize or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office those functions shall be performed by such person as Her Majesty may appoint.
- 2. Any such person as aforesaid shall not continue to perform the functions of the office of Governor-General if the holder of the office of Governor-General or some other person having a prior right to perform the functions of that office has notified him that he is about to assume or resume those functions.
- 3. The holder of the office of Governor-General shall not, for the purposes of this section, be regarded as absent from Belize or as unable to perform the functions of his office-
- a. by reason that he is in passage from one part of Belize to another; or
- b. at any time when there is a subsisting appointment of a deputy under section 33 of this Constitution.
- 32.- A person appointed to hold the office of Governor-General shall, before entering upon the duties of that office, take and subscribe the oath of allegiance and office.
- 1. Whenever the Governor-General-,
- a. has occasion to be absent from the seat of government but not from Belize;
- b. has occasion to be absent from Belize for a period which he considers, acting in his own deliberate judgment. will be of short duration; or
- c. is suffering from an illness which he considers, acting in his own deliberate judgment, will be of short duration.
- he may, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister. appoint any person in Belize to be his deputy during such absence or illness and in that capacity to perform on his behalf such of the functions of the office of Governor-General as may be specified in the instrument by which he is appointed.
- 2. The power and authority of the Governor-General shall not be abridged, altered or in any way affected by the appointment of a deputy under this section, and, subject to the provisions of this Constitution. a deputy shall conform to and observe all instructions that the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment, may from time to time address to him:
- Provided that the question whether or not a deputy has conformed to and observed any such instructions shall not be enquired into by any court of law
- 3. A person appointed as deputy under this section shall hold that appointment for such period as may be specified in the instrument by which he is appointed, and his appointment may be revoked at any time by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.
- 1. Whenever the Governor-General-,
- 34. -
- 1. In the exercise of his functions the Governor-General shall act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or a Minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet except in cases where he is required by this Constitution or any other law to act in accordance with the advice of, or after consultation with, any person or authority other than the Cabinet or in his own deliberate judgment.
- 2. Any reference in this Constitution to the functions of the Governor-General shall be construed as a reference to his powers and duties in the exercise of the executive authority of Belize and to any other powers and duties conferred or imposed on him as Governor-General by or under this Constitution or any other law.
- 3. Where by this Constitution the Governor-General is required to perform any function after consultation with any person or authority he shall not be obliged to exercise that function in accordance with the advice of that person or authority.
- 4. Where by this Constitution the Governor-General is required to perform any function in accordance with the advice of, or after consultation with, any person or authority, the question whether the Governor-General has so exercised that function shall not be enquired into by any court of law.
- 35. The Prime Minister shall keep the Governor-General fully informed concerning the general conduct of the government of Belize and shall furnish the Governor-General with such information as he may request with respect to any particular matter relating to the government of Belize.
The Governor General resided at Government House, Belize until 1984, even after the capital had moved to Belmopan in 1970. In 1984, the Governor General moved to in Belmopan, formerly the residence of the British High Commission on North Ring Road and Melhado Parade.
- Government of Belize (31 December 2000). "GOVERNOR-GENERAL (CONDITIONS OF SERVICE) ACT CHAPTER 7" (PDF). www.belizelaw.org.