Procedure for Amending the Constitution

Procedure for Amending the Constitution

Chapter Six gives the National Assembly the power to amend the constitution, with some sections and articles subject to a more stringent procedure than others. The more stringent procedure applies to changing any of the fundamental rights and freedoms enumerated in Chapter Two; any change in the form of the National Assembly; the establishment of election districts and the conduct of elections; any change relating to the judiciary; and provisions relating to the granting of pardons and commutations, the Belize Advisory Council, the director of public prosecutions, the auditor general, and the public service. Schedule Two and Section Sixtynine , which detail the amendment process, are also subject to the more stringent procedures. To present a bill amending any of the above provisions to the governor general for assent, at least ninety days must pass between the introduction of the bill into the House of Representatives and the start of House proceedings on the second reading (or floor debate) of the bill, and the bill must receive not less than a three-quarter majority vote of all the members of the House of Representatives upon final reading, or passage, of the bill. Bills to amend other sections of the constitution require a vote of not less than a two-thirds majority of all the members of the House for passage upon final reading. Laws amending the constitution were adopted in 1984, 1985, and 1988. These constitutional amendments mainly revised sections defining citizenship and detailing procedures for the appointment and removal of certain government officials and for dividing the country into election districts for the House of Representatives.

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