The Senate is comprised of thirteen appointed members who are overseen by the President of the Senate. The President is also appointed. The senators are appointed by the Governor General of Belize – six senators are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister; three are appointed on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition; one is appointed on the advice of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and the Belize Business Bureau; one is appointed on the advice of the Belize Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association of Churches; one is appointed on the advice of the Belize National Trade Union Congress and the Civil Society Steering Committee; and one is appointed on the advice of the Non-governmental Organizations.
Besides discussing and debating bills introduced in the House of Representatives, the Senate has specific functions. These functions include:
- Approving any bill to alter any provision of Part II of the Belize Constitution, in accordance with subsection (5A) of section 69 of the Constitution;
- Authorizing the ratification (including adhesion or accession) of any treaty by the Government of Belize, including any treaty for the settlement of the territorial dispute between Belize and the Republic of Guatemala;
- Approving the establishment in Belize of any military base of operations for any foreign military forces; approving the appointment of the Contractor General, the Ombudsman, members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, and members of the Integrity Commission;
- Instituting and conducting enquiries and investigations on any matter of the public interest or importance, including inquiries into mismanagement or corruption by persons in the central government or public statutory bodies;
- Receiving, reviewing and reporting on annual reports and other reports of the Auditor General, the Contractor General and the Ombudsman and instituting and conducting inquiries, investigations and hearings in relation thereto;
- Requiring the attendance before it of the Auditor General, the Contractor General or the Ombudsman generally, in relation to the discharge of their duties and the execution of their functions;
- Requiring the attendance before it of any Chief Executive Officer in a Government Ministry in respect of any matter of which he has knowledge by virtue of his office, or in respect of anything related to his office and the due execution of his duties; and
- Requiring the attendance before any Committee of the Senate, of any Minister of Government.
For more information on the National Assembly of Belize, visit https://www.nationalassembly.gov.bz/