Supreme Court of Judicature Act

Link to law: http://www.belizelaw.org/web/lawadmin/PDF%20files/cap091.pdf
Published: 2000

CAP. 91 SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE ACT BELIZE

SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE ACT

CHAPTER 91

REVISED EDITION 2000

SHOWING THE LAW AS AT 31ST DECEMBER, 2000

This is a revised edition of the law, prepared by the Law Revision Commissioner

under the authority of the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Laws of Belize,

Revised Edition 1980 - 1990.

This edition contains a consolidation of the following laws- Page

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS 3

SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE ACT 18

Amendments in force as at 31st December, 2000.

BELIZE

SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE ACT

CHAPTER 91

REVISED EDITION 2000

SHOWING THE LAW AS AT 31ST DECEMBER, 2000

This is a revised edition of the law, prepared by the Law Revision Commissioner

under the authority of the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Laws of Belize,

Revised Edition 1980 - 1990.

This edition contains a consolidation of the following laws- Page

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS 3

SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE ACT 18

Amendments in force as at 31st December, 2000.

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000

Printed by the Government Printer,

No. 1 Power Lane,

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the Government of Belize.

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CHAPTER 91

SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Preliminary

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

PART II

Officers of the Court, etc.

Seal

3. Seal.

The Registry and Officers of the Court

4. The registry and the Registrar.

5. Registrar to have power of judge in chambers.

6. Deputy registrar and assistant registrar.

7. Salaries of Registrar, deputy registrar and assistant registrar.

8. Qualification of Registrar.

9. Registrar to administer oaths.

10. Taxing Master.

11. Marshal, deputy marshal, assistant marshals and other officers.

12. Officers to be under direction of Chief Justice.

13. Duties and liability of Marshal.

14. Duties of officers of the Court generally.

15. Commissioners-their appointment and powers.

Experts and References

16. Employment of experts and referees.

PART III

Divisions of the Court

17. Divisions of the court into Civil and Criminal.

PART IV

Jurisdiction and Law

Original Jurisdictions

18. Jurisdictions, powers and authorities of the Court.

19. Jurisdiction in insolvency, etc.

20. Jurisdiction in infancy, lunacy, etc.

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21. Exercise of civil jurisdiction.

22. Proceedings in Court and in chambers.

23. Exercise of criminal jurisdiction.

Appellate Jurisdiction

24. Appeal from inferior courts.

Admiralty Jurisdiction

25. Declaring Court a Colonial Court of Admiralty.

Miscellaneous Jurisdiction

26. Power to reduce interest.

27. Injunctions and appointment of receivers.

28. Power to make orders in cases not provided for.

29. Saving of jurisdiction.

Habeas Corpus

30. Writ of habeas corpus.

PART V

Law and Equity

31. Law and equity to be concurrently administered.

32. Equities of plaintiff.

33. Equitable defences.

34. Counterclaims and third parties.

35. Equities appearing incidentally.

36. Defence or stay instead of injunction or prohibition.

37. Common law and statutory rights and duties.

38. Determination of matter completely and finally.

39. Rules of equity prevail.

PART VI

Sittings of the Court and Vacation

Districts

40. Division of country into districts.

Times of Sitting

41. Distribution of business.

42. Sittings in criminal jurisdiction.

43. Disposal of business before two or more courts.

44. Sittings in civil jurisdiction.

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45. Continuance of sittings and adjournment.

Places of Sitting

46. Places of Sitting of Court.

47. Holding of sitting in another place.

48. When sitting in Northern or Southern District need not be held.

49. No case for trial.

50. Venue in criminal proceedings.

51. Venue in civil action.

52. Change of venue.

53. Business in chambers.

Special Sitting

54. Special sitting.

55. Attendance of jurors at special sitting.

Preservation of Order

56. Attendance of police at sittings.

Vacation

57. Vacation and holidays.

58. Delivery of judgment in vacation.

59. General business of the Court.

PART VII

Practice and Procedure

Regulation

60. Regulation of practice and procedure in the several jurisdictions of

the Court.

61. Judges’ Rules, 1964.

Trials by Referees

62. Reference for report.

63. Reference for trial.

64. Powers and remuneration of referees and arbitrators.

65. Court to have powers as in references by consent.

66. Statement of case pending arbitration.

67. Power of Court to impose terms as to costs.

68. Saving for Government.

69. Explanation of term “reference”.

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Summary Procedure

70. Jurisdictions to be exercised in accordance with summary procedure.

71. Prescribing summary procedure.

72. Determination by summary procedure of action of tort commenced

in the court.

Service and Execution of Process

73. Persons by whom process may be served.

74. Return or indorsation of service.

75. Person signing return of service falsely or without authority.

76. Fiats and their execution.

77. Execution of warrants of arrest.

78. Service of process by non-commissioned officer of police.

79. Procedure by Registrar.

80. Officers of Court in respect of particular duties.

Witnesses

81. Writ of subpoena.

82. Writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum.

83. Compelling attendance of witness by warrant or order.

84. Rules regulating application for writs of subpoena, etc.

85. Allowance to witnesses in civil cases.

86. Party on whose behalf witness called to pay allowance.

Fees and Costs

87. Fees and costs to be prescribed by rules of court.

88. Disallowance of costs in certain cases.

89. Fees for arrests and apprehensions.

90. Place of payment of fees.

91. Keeping of cash fee book.

Unclaimed Moneys

92. Furnishing of half-yearly lists of unclaimed moneys.

93. Effect of moneys remaining unclaimed for five years.

94. Default of Registrar.

Rules of Court

95. Power to make rules of court.

96. Saving of the Supreme Court Rules, 1926.

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PART VIII

Provisions Relating to Northern District

97. Officers required to attend sittings.

98. Usher and Crier, Northern District or Southern District.

99. Conveyance of records to and from Northern District and Southern

District.

100. Deputy registrar for Northern District and Southern District.

101. Drawing up of judgment or order in Northern District or Southern

District.

PART IX

Contempt of Court

102. Punishment for criminal contempt.

103. Right of appeal to Court of Appeal.

104. Contempt of Court committed in presence of the Court.

105. Extent of powers of Court touching contempts.

106. Disposal of fines.

PART X

Appellate Jurisdiction

Inferior Courts (Appeals)

107. Right of appeal from decision of Inferior Court.

108. Regulating appeal from decision of Inferior Court.

109. Court to have control of security.

110. Provisions to apply to cases between the Government and the

subject.

Grounds of Appeal

111. Available grounds of appeal.

Suspension of Execution

112. Decision to be suspended until appeal determined.

Review

113. Review on application of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Hearing

114. Limitation of hearing by grounds of appeal.

115. Objection of form to grounds of appeal.

116. Objection of form to information or conviction.

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117. Defects in proceedings under appeal.

118. Error or defect in notice of appeal or recognisance.

Powers of the Court

119. Power of the Court with regard to new evidence.

120. Power of the Court generally.

Decision

121. Decisions to be reduced to writing.

Miscellaneous Provisions

122. Application to the Court to compel magistrate to entertain complaint.

123. Application to the Court to compel magistrate or justice to do act.

124. Service of documents.

125. Definition of “magistrate” in this Part.

126. Saving of Governor-General’s prerogative of pardon.

127. Pending appeals.

128. Rules.

PART XI

Matrimonial Causes and Matters

Provisions Relating to Matrimonial Causes

129. Grounds of petition for divorce.

130. Definition of “care and treatment” in relation to insanity.

131. Restriction on petitions for divorce during first three years after

marriage.

132. Provision as to making adulterer co-respondent.

133. Duty of Court on presentation of petition.

134. Dismissal of respondent or co-respondent from proceedings.

135. Relief to respondent on petition for divorce.

136. Intervention by Attorney General in petition for divorce, etc.

137. Provisions as to costs where Attorney General intervenes or shows

cause.

138. Decree nisi for divorce or nullity of marriage.

139. Re-marriage of divorced persons.

140. Decree of judicial separation.

141. Divorce proceedings after grant of judicial separation or other

relief.

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142. Decree for restitution of conjugal rights.

143. Periodical payments in default of compliance with decree for

restitution of conjugal rights.

144. Additional grounds for decree of nullity.

145. Proceedings for decree of presumption of death and dissolution of

marriage.

146. Time at which proceedings for alimony, etc., may be commenced

in suits for divorce or nullity.

147. Jurisdiction in the case of husband’s change of domicile.

148. Jurisdiction where husband domiciled abroad and wife resident in

Belize.

149. Applicable law in proceedings under section 147 or 148.

Legitimacy Declarations

150. Declaration of legitimacy, etc.

Miscellaneous

151. Damages.

152. Alimony.

153. Custody of children.

154. Wife’s property in case of judicial separation.

155. Protection of third parties.

156. Power to vary orders.

157. Power to allow intervention on terms.

158. Evidence of husband or wife admissible to prove marital

intercourse.

159. Certain evidence in nullity proceedings to be in camera.

PART XII

Probate Causes and Matters

160. Grant of probate and letters of administration.

161. Proof of will in solemn form.

162. Certain decrees, etc., may be set aside.

163. Contested cases to be tried in open Court.

164. Probate, etc., may be granted to a person other than the one

entitled.

165. Rules.

PART XIII

Miscellaneous

166. Power of Court to award interest on debts and damages.

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167. Judgment debts to carry interest.

168. Restriction on institution of vexatious actions.

169. Relief against forfeiture for non-payment of rent.

170. Execution of instruments by order of Court.

171. Abolition of informations in the nature of quo warranto.

172. Objections for the purpose of appeal.

173. Jurisdiction with respect to foreigners.

174. Procedure in case of imprisonment.

175. Restriction on officer’s purchase of property sold at execution.

176. Public Services Commission, Judicial and Legal Services Commis-

sion.

CHAPTER 91

Supreme Court of Judicature

[9th May, 1953]

PART I

Preliminary

1. This Act may be cited as the Supreme Court of Judicature Act.

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:-

“action” means a civil proceeding commenced by writ or in such other manner

Ch. 5,

R.L., 1958.

CAP. 82,

R.E. 1980-1990.

15 of 1960.

27 of 1960.

33 of 1963.

36 of 1963.

15 of 1964.

22 of 1966.

4 of 1968.

14 of 1968.

1 of 1969.

8 of 1970.

13 of 1975.

8 of 1980.

28 of 1980.

27 of 1985.

29 of 1985.

22 of 1987.

20 of 1988.

30 of 1989.

14 of 1990.

3 of 1991.

26 of 1992.

18 of 1998.

S.I. 17 of 1964.

Short title.

Interpretation.

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as may be prescribed, but does not include a criminal proceeding by the Crown;

“cause” includes any action, suit or other original proceeding between the plaintiff

and a defendant, and any criminal proceeding by the Crown;

“Court” means the Supreme Court constituted by the Constitution, and includes

a judge when exercising any of the jurisdictions conferred on him by this Act,

by any other Act or by rules of court;

“decision” means any final adjudication of an inferior court in a cause or matter

before it and includes any non-suit, dismissal, judgment, conviction, sentence,

order or other determination of the cause or matter;

“defendant” includes every person served with any writ of summons or process,

or served with notice of, or entitled to attend, any proceeding;

“judge” means a judge of the Court and includes the Chief Justice;

“judgment” includes decree;

“Legal Education Certificate” means a certificate issued by the Council of Legal

Education established by an Agreement made by Commonwealth Caribbean

countries at Georgetown, Guyana on 25th November, 1970;

“marshal” means the marshal appointed by the Public Services Commission

under this Act;

“matter” includes every proceeding in the Court not in a cause;

“order” includes rule;

“party” includes every person served with notice of, or attending, any proceeding

although not named on the record;

CAP. 4.

13 of 1975.

“petitioner” includes every person making any application to the Court, either

by petition, motion or summons, otherwise than as against any defendant;

“plaintiff” includes every person asking any relief, otherwise than by way of

counterclaim as a defendant, against any other person by any form of

proceeding, whether the same is taken by action, suit, petition, motion, summons

or otherwise;

“pleading” includes any petition or summons, and also includes the statements

in writing of the claim or demand of any plaintiff, and of the defence of any

defendant thereto, and of the reply of the plaintiff to any counterclaim of a

defendant;

“prescribed” means prescribed by rules of court;

“registry” means the registry of the Court;

“rules of court” means the rules of practice and procedure made under the

Supreme Court Ordinance in force immediately before the commencement of

this Act, under this Act and under any other Act conferring the power on the

Chief Justice, either by himself or with the concurrence of the other judges, to

make rules and orders, and includes forms, fees and costs;

“security” means either a recognisance or a written undertaking with or without

sureties in the discretion of the inferior court, and includes the deposit with the

inferior court of a sum equal in amount to the sum for which a recognisance or

an undertaking is required, which deposit shall be held subject to, and shall

abide, the order of the Court or the inferior court.

CAP. 153.

C.L., 1924.

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PART II

Officers of the Court, etc.

Seal

3.-(1) The Court shall have and use as occasion requires a seal bearing an

impression of the Royal Arms within an exergue or label surrounding the same

with the inscription “Seal of the Supreme Court of Belize”.

(2) The seal shall be in the custody of the Registrar and be kept in his

office.

The Registry and Officers of the Court

4.-(1) There shall be a “Supreme Court Registry” comprising the Supreme

Court office existing at the date of this Act and the officers and persons then

employed therein.

(2) There shall be a Registrar of the Court, who shall have the custody of

all records, documents and papers thereof, and shall perform such duties as

may be prescribed by any law.

(3) The Registrar shall also have powers and discharge duties corresponding

to the powers and duties of the Queen’s Coroner and Attorney and Master of

the Crown Office attached to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of

Justice in England so far as such powers or duties relate to any judicial

proceedings.

(4) The Registrar shall discharge the duties of marshal appointed under this

Act, unless some other person is appointed by the Governor-General to

discharge those duties.

Seal.

The registry and

the Registrar.

5.-(1) The Registrar shall have power and jurisdiction to do such of the things

and transact such of the business which by virtue of any enactment, or by

custom, or by the rules and practice of the Court, are now done and transacted

by a judge sitting in chambers as may from time to time be prescribed by rules

of court:

Provided that the Registrar shall have no jurisdiction in respect of matters

relating to the liberty of the subject.

(2) Any person affected by any order or decision of the Registrar with

respect to the exercise of any such power and jurisdiction may appeal to the

Court which shall have power to hear and determine such appeal.

6.-(1) There shall be a deputy registrar of the Court who shall, in the absence

of the Registrar or his inability from any cause whatever to act, have all the

powers and may perform all the duties of the Registrar except where otherwise

provided by rules of court.

(2) There shall be an assistant registrar of the Court who shall in the

absence of the Registrar and the deputy registrar or their inability from any

cause whatever to act have all the powers and may perform all the duties of

the Registrar and the deputy registrar except where otherwise provided by

rules of court.

(3) The powers conferred by this section on the deputy registrar and the

assistant registrar shall be exercised by them subject to and in accordance

with any instructions or directions which may from time to time be given by the

Registrar:

Provided that no contravention on the part of the deputy registrar or the

assistant registrar of any instructions or directions shall affect the validity of

any act or thing lawfully done by them under this subsection.

Registrar to have

power of judge in

chambers.

36 of 1963.

Deputy registrar

and assistant

registrar.

28 of 1980.

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(4) The powers conferred by this section on any person appointed as deputy

registrar or assistant registrar shall only be exercised by that person when and

after his appointment as deputy registrar or assistant registrar or acting deputy

registrar or acting assistant registrar has been duly published in the Gazette.

7. The Registrar, deputy registrar and assistant registrar shall receive such

salaries as the Public Services Commission, with the sanction of the National

Assembly, may appoint.

8. The Registrar shall be a barrister or solicitor or a holder of the Legal

Education Certificate having at least five years standing in that capacity:

Provided that the Public Services Commission, may, for good and

sufficient reason, appoint some fit and proper person not possessing any of

these qualifications to be Registrar.

9.-(1) The Registrar shall have power to administer oaths, and take solemn

declarations or affirmations in lieu of oaths, but he shall not practise, or act as

solicitor, conveyancer or notary public or demand or receive any personal fee

in compensation for any services rendered in any such capacity.

(2) Nothing contained in subsection (1) shall prevent the Registrar from

acting as conveyancing counsel to the Court, or from receiving for so acting

such remuneration as the Court may in each case determine.

10. The Registrar shall be Taxing Master of the Court, and shall tax all bills

of costs in accordance with the scale of fees for the time being in force.

11. The Public Services Commission may from time to time appoint a

marshal, a deputy-marshal and such number of assistant marshals and such

other officers of the Court and Registry as may be necessary for the efficient

functioning of the Court.

Salaries of

Registrar,

deputy registrar

and assistant

registrar.

Qualification of

Registrar.

13 of 1975.

Registrar to

administer

oaths.

Taxing Master.

Marshal, deputy

assistant

marshals and

other officers.

28 of 1980.

12. Subject to this Act and the rules of court, the Registrar, the deputy

registrar, the assistant registrar, the marshal, the deputy marshal, assistant

marshals and all other officers of the Court and Registry shall be under the

direction and control of the Chief Justice.

13.-(1) The marshal, the deputy marshal or the assistant marshal, as the case

may be, shall execute all judgments, sentences, orders, writs and processes of

the Court, serve all subpoenas, citations and other summonses issuing out of

the Court, levy execution against property in accordance with the law, maintain

order when present in Court and otherwise carry out the commands of the

Court or a judge.

(2) The marshal, the deputy marshal or the assistant marshal, as the case

may be, shall be liable for all losses, damages, costs, charges and expenses,

had and suffered by any person from or by reason of any irregularity, informality,

omission or neglect of duty by him, and he may be sued in any manner and

form applicable to the circumstances of the case, for the recovery of those

losses, damages, costs, charges or expenses:

Provided that, in that suit, the marshal, the deputy marshal and the assistant

marshal shall be entitled to the protection given by the Public Authorities’

Protection Act.

(3) Any act or thing required to be done or performed under this Act by

the marshal may be done or performed by the deputy marshal or an

assistant marshal.

14. Subject to rules of court and to any other law relating thereto, all

officers of the Court and their successors in office shall perform, in connection

with the Court or with the judges, duties similar or analogous to those performed

by them before the commencement of this Act.

15.-(1) The Court may appoint, by an instrument or instruments under the seal

of the Court, the requisite number of fit and proper persons to be commission-

Officers to be

under direction of

Chief Justice.

28 of 1980.

Duties and

liability of

marshal.

28 of 1980.

28 of 1980.

28 of 1980.

CAP. 31.

28 of 1980.

Duties of officers

of the Court

generally.

Commissioners -

their appointment

and powers.

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ers of the Court for taking affidavits and declarations in any cause or matter

and, when authorised thereto by a special order of the court or judge, for taking

the examination of witnesses or receiving production of documents.

(2) Any appointment made under this section may at any time be cancelled

by the Court by an instrument under the seal of the Court.

(3) Any order of the Court or a judge for the attendance and examination

of witnesses or production of documents before a commissioner within the

jurisdiction of the Court may be enforced in the same manner as an order to

attend and be examined or produce documents before the Court.

(4) Subject to any special directions of the Court, a commissioner, when

and so far as necessary for performing any duty which he is authorised to perform,

shall be deemed to have and may exercise the incidental powers of a judge.

(5) Every commissioner shall be subject to the order and direction of the

Court as fully as any other officer of the Court, and every proceeding before a

commissioner shall be subject to the direction and control of the Court.

(6) No action shall be brought against a commissioner in respect of any act

or order bona fide done or made by him in the execution or supposed execution

of the jurisdiction and powers vested in him, but every act or order, if in excess

of that jurisdiction and those powers, shall be liable to be altered, amended,

reversed or set aside on summary application to the Court.

Experts and Referees

16.-(1) The Court may, when it thinks fit, obtain the assistance of accountants,

actuaries or scientific persons to assist it to determine any question at issue in

any cause or matter before the Court, and may refer any question depending

upon matters of account to some accountant for determination or investigation

and report.

Employment of

experts and

referees.

(2) The Court may allow reasonable fees and expenses to any of those

persons to be taxed as costs in the cause or matter.

PART III

Divisions of the Court

17.-(1) The Court shall be divided into two divisions, namely, the Criminal

Division and the Civil Division, and a reference in this Act or any other law

to the Court shall, where the context requires, be read and construed as a

reference to the appropriate division of the Court.

(2) Subject to this Act and any Rules made thereunder, the Chief Justice

may, after consultation with the Attorney General, assign a judge to a particular

division of the Court for any specified period of time, and may likewise reassign

a judge from one division to the other division of the Court.

(3) Upon the commencement of this section*, the criminal jurisdiction

(including appellate criminal jurisdiction) vested in the Court shall be exercised

by the Criminal Division of the Court, and jurisdiction in all other matters shall

be exercised by the Civil Division of the Court.

(4) Nothing in this section shall prohibit or restrict any judge to hear,

determine and dispose of any cause or matter which began before the

commencement of this section*.

(5) The Attorney-General may by Order published in the Gazette, alter

the number of divisions of the Court and specify the jurisdiction of each division

of the Court after such alteration.

*Section 17 was initially enacted as section 16A by the Law Reform (Miscellaneous

Amendments) Act (No. 18 of 1998) and it came into force on the 1st day of August, 1998,

by virtue of statutory instrument 81 of 1998.

18 of 1998.

Divisions of the

Court into Civil

and Criminal.

18 of 1998.

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PART IV

Jurisdiction and Law

Original Jurisdictions

18.-(1) There shall be vested in the Court, and it shall have and exercise within

Belize, all the jurisdictions, powers and authorities whatever possessed and

vested in the High Court of Justice in England, including the jurisdictions, powers

and authorities in relation to matrimonial causes and matters and in respect of

suits to establish legitimacy and validity of marriages and the right to be deemed

natural-born Belizean citizens as are, by the Supreme Court of Judicature

(Consolidation) Act 1925, vested in the High Court of Justice in England:

Provided that a decree declaring a person to be a natural-born Belizean

citizen shall have effect only within Belize.

(2) Subject to rules of court, the jurisdictions, powers and authorities hereby

vested in the Court shall be exercised as nearly as possible in accordance with

the law, practice and procedure for the time being in force in the High Court of

Justice in England.

(3) Where any jurisdiction, power or authority is by this Act vested in the

Court, the grounds upon which the same may be exercised and other provisions

relevant to the subject-matter in respect of which the jurisdiction, power or

authority is so vested may be prescribed.

19. The Court shall have and exercise jurisdiction in all matters of insolvency

and bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Act or any other Act relating to bankruptcy

and shall have all necessary powers for enforcing such jurisdiction.

20.-(1) The Court shall have power-

(a) to appoint guardians and committees of the persons and

Jurisdictions,

powers and

authorities of

the Court

1925, c. 49.

Jurisdiction in

insolvency, etc.

CAP. 244.

Jurisdiction in

infancy, lunacy,

etc.

estates of infants and of persons of unsound mind and idiots

who are unable to govern themselves or their estates; and

(b) to inquire into, act in, hear and determine all cases whatever

as fully and amply to all intents and purposes as the Lord High

Chancellor of Great Britain or the grantee from the Crown of

the persons and estates of infants and of persons of unsound

mind and idiots may lawfully do in England.

(2) Any such inquiry may be made by inspection of the person the subject

thereof, or by examination on oath or otherwise of the party in whose custody

or charge such person may be or of any other person or persons or by such

other ways and means by which the truth may best be discovered.

21. Subject to any statutory provisions, every proceeding in the Court

and all business arising thereout shall, so far as is practicable and convenient,

be heard, determined and disposed of before a single judge, and all proceedings

in an action subsequent to the hearing or trial, down to and including the final

judgment or order, shall, so far as is practicable and convenient, be had and

taken before the judge before whom the trial or hearing took place.

22. A judge may, subject to rules of court, exercise in Court or in chambers

all or any part of the jurisdictions vested in the Court, in all causes and matters

and in all proceedings in any causes or matters which may now be heard in

Court or in chambers respectively by a single judge of the High Court of

Justice in England or which may be directed or authorised by rules of Court to

be so heard.

23. The criminal jurisdiction by this Act vested in the Court shall, together

with all the powers incident thereto, be exercised by a single judge sitting with

a jury in the same manner and with the same powers and authorities of a judge

of assize, of oyer and terminer and of gaol delivery in England, or by a single

judge sitting apart or in chambers, as the nature of the case may require.

Exercise of civil

jurisdiction.

Proceedings in

Court and in

chambers.

Exercise of

criminal

jurisdiction.

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Appellate Jurisdiction

24. The Court shall have and exercise, in accordance with Part X of this

Act, or in accordance with the provisions of any other Act and of any rules of

court, appellate jurisdiction in all cases determined in all inferior courts and in

respect of any misdirections or misrulings of the said courts.

Admiralty Jurisdiction

25. It is hereby declared that the Court is a Court of Admiralty having, and

capable of exercising, the jurisdiction conferred on a court of law in a British

possession under the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act 1890, which was brought

into force in Belize on 1st July 1911, by Order of His Majesty the King in

Council dated 4th May 1911.

Miscellaneous Jurisdiction

26. Where an agreement for the payment of interest is sought to be enforced,

and the Court is of opinion that the rate agreed to be paid is excessive and

ought not to be enforced by legal process, the Court may give judgment for the

payment of interest at the rate that it thinks just.

27.-(1) Subject to rules of court, the Court may grant a mandamus or injunction

or appoint a receiver by an interlocutory order in all cases in which it appears to

the Court to be just or convenient to do so.

(2) Any such order may be made either unconditionally or on such terms

and conditions as the Court thinks just.

(3) If, whether before, or at, or after the hearing of any cause or matter, an

application is made for an injunction to prevent any threatened or apprehended

waste or trespass, the injunction may be granted, if the Court thinks fit, whether

the person against whom the injunction is sought is or is not in possession under

any claim of title or otherwise or, if out of possession, does or does not claim a

Appeal from

Inferior Courts.

Declaring Court

a Colonial Court

of Admiralty.

1890, c. 27.

G.G., 1911,

p. 156.

S.R. & O.,

1911, No. 440,

p. 19.

Power to reduce

interest.

Injunctions and

appointment of

receivers.

right to do the act sought to be restrained under any colour of title, and whether

the estates claimed by both or by either of the parties are legal or equitable.

(4) The prerogative writs of mandamus, prohibition and certiorari shall

no longer be issued by the Court.

(5) In any case where the Court would, but for subsection (4), have had

jurisdiction to order the issue of a writ of mandamus requiring any act to be

done, or a writ of prohibition prohibiting any proceedings or matter, or a writ

of certiorari removing any proceedings or matter into the Court for any purpose,

the Court may make an order requiring the act to be done or prohibiting or

removing the proceedings or matter, as the case may be.

(6) The said orders shall be called respectively an order of mandamus,

an order of prohibition and an order of certiorari.

(7) No return shall be made to any such order and no pleadings in

prohibition shall be allowed, but the order shall be final, subject to any right of

appeal therefrom.

(8) In any enactment, references to any writ of mandamus, prohibition or

certiorari shall be construed as references to the corresponding order and

references to the issue or award of any such writ shall be construed as references

to the making of the corresponding order.

28. Subject to any law, the Court may in any cause or matter make any

order as to the procedure to be followed or otherwise which the Court considers

necessary for doing justice in the cause or matter, whether that order has been

expressly asked for by the party entitled to the benefit thereof or not.

29. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to take away or abridge any

jurisdiction, power or authority now vested in the Court under the Supreme

Court Ordinance in force immediately before the commencement of this Act,

and the Court shall have and exercise all other jurisdictions, powers and au-

Power to make

orders in cases

not provided for.

Saving of

jurisdiction.

CAP. 153.

C.L. 1924., 1924.

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thorities whatever, which now are, or may hereafter, be expressly or by impli-

cation vested in it by any law.

Habeas Corpus

30. The common law right to the writ of habeas corpus, as confirmed and

regulated by the Habeas Corpus Act 1679, and extended by the Habeas Corpus

Act 1816, shall be part of the law and procedure of Belize and, subject to any

rules of court, shall be granted and issued as nearly as possible in accordance

with the practice and procedure for the time being in force in regard to that writ

in the High Court of Justice in England.

PART V

Law and Equity

31. Subject to the express provisions of any other Act, in every civil cause

or matter commenced in the Court law and equity shall be administered

according to the seven sections next following.

32. If a plaintiff or petitioner claims to be entitled to any equitable estate or

right, or to relief on any equitable ground against any deed, instrument or contract,

or against any right, title or claim whatever asserted by any defendant or

respondent in the cause or matter, or to any relief founded upon a legal right,

which formerly could only have been given by a court of equity, the Court or

judge shall give to the plaintiff or petitioner the same relief as may now be given

by the High Court of Justice in England in a suit or proceeding for the like

purpose properly instituted.

33. If a defendant claims to be entitled to any equitable estate or right, or to

relief on any equitable ground against any deed, instrument or contract, or against

any right, title or claim asserted by any plaintiff or petitioner in the cause or

matter, or alleges any ground of equitable defence to any such claim of the

plaintiff or petitioner, the Court or judge shall give to every equitable estate,

Writ of habeas

corpus.

1679, c.2.

1816, c. 100.

Law and equity

to be

concurrently

administered.

Equities of

plaintiff.

Equitable

defences.

right or ground of relief so claimed, and to every equitable defence so alleged,

the same effect by way of defence against the claim of the plaintiff or peti-

tioner, as the High Court of Justice in England may now give if the like matters

are relied on by way of defence in any suit or proceeding instituted in that

Court for the like purpose.

34.-(1) The Court or judge shall have power to grant to any defendant in

respect of any equitable estate or right or other matter of equity, and also in

respect of any legal estate, right or title claimed or asserted by him-

(a) all such relief against any plaintiff or petitioner as the defendant

has properly claimed by his pleading, and as the Court or

judge might have granted in any suit instituted for that purpose

by that defendant against the same plaintiff or petitioner; and

(b) all such relief relating to or connected with the original subject

of the cause or matter, claimed in like manner against any other

person, whether already a party to the cause or matter or not,

who has been duly served with notice in writing of the claim

pursuant to rules of court or any order of the Court, as might

properly have been granted against that person if he had been

made a defendant to a cause duly instituted by the same

defendant for the like purpose.

(2) Every person served with any such notice as aforesaid shall thenceforth

be deemed a party to the cause or matter with the same rights in respect of his

defence against the claim as if he had been duly sued in the ordinary way by

the defendant.

35. The Court or judge shall take notice of all equitable estates, titles and

rights, and all equitable duties and liabilities appearing incidentally in the course

of any cause or matter, in the same manner in which the High Court of Justice

in England may now take notice of those matters in any suit or proceeding duly

instituted therein.

Counter-claims

and third parties.

Equities

appearing

incidentally.

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36. No cause or proceeding at any time pending in the Court shall be re-

strained by prohibition or injunction, but every matter of equity on which an

injunction against the prosecution of any such cause or proceeding might formerly

have been obtained, whether unconditionally or on any terms or conditions,

may be relied on by way of defence thereto:

Provided that-

(a) nothing in this Act shall disable the Court, if it thinks fit to do

so, from directing a stay of proceedings in any cause or

matter pending before it; and

(b) any person, whether a party or not to any such cause or matter,

who would formerly have been entitled to apply to any Court

to restrain the prosecution thereof, or who may be entitled to

enforce, by attachment or otherwise, any judgment, decree,

rule or order, in contravention of which all or any part of the

proceedings in the cause or matter have been taken, may apply

to the Court, by motion in a summary way, for a stay of

proceedings in the cause or matter, either generally, or so far

as may be necessary for the purposes of justice, and the Court

shall thereupon make such order as shall be just.

37. Subject to the provisions of this Act relating to giving effect to equitable

rights and other matters of equity, the Court or judge shall give effect to all legal

claims and demands, and all estates, titles, rights, duties, obligations and liabilities

existing by the common law of England or by any custom, subject, however, to

the Imperial Laws Extension Act, or created by any law, in the same manner as

those matters may now be given effect to by the High Court of Justice in England.

38. The Court, in the exercise of the jurisdictions vested in it by this Act,

shall, in every cause or matter pending before it, grant, either absolutely or on

such terms and conditions as the Court thinks just, all such remedies whatever

as any of the parties thereto may appear to be entitled to in respect of any legal

or equitable claim properly brought forward by them in the cause or matter, so

Defence or stay

instead of

injunction or

prohibition.

Common law

and statutory

rights and

duties.

CAP. 2.

Determination of

matter

completely and

finally.

that, as far as possible, all matters in controversy between the parties may be

completely and finally determined, and all multiplicity of legal proceedings con-

cerning any of those matters avoided.

39. Subject to the express provisions of any other Act, in questions relating

to the custody and education of infants and generally in all matters not particularly

mentioned in this Act in which there was formerly or is any conflict or variance

between the rules of equity and the rules of the common law in England with

reference to the same matter, the rules of equity shall prevail in the Court so far

as the matters to which those rules relate are cognisable by the Court.

PART VI

Sittings of the Court and Vacation

Districts

40.-(1) The country shall be divided into three districts for the purpose of

holding sittings of the Court, namely, the Northern District, the Central District

and the Southern District, and the division between the said districts shall,

from time to time, be defined by the Minister by Order published in the Gazette.

(2) Unless the Minister otherwise determines-

(a) the Northern District shall consist of and include-

(i) the Corozal Administrative District; and

(ii) the Orange Walk Administrative District;

(b) the Central District shall consist of and include-

(i) the Belize Administrative District; and

Rules of equity

prevail.

Division of

country into

districts.

27 of 1960.

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(ii) the Cayo Administrative District;

(c) the Southern District shall consist of and include-

(i) the Stann Creek Administrative District; and

(ii) the Toledo Administrative District.

(3) The Minister may, at any time, by Order direct a special sitting of the

Court in the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction to be held at the time and

place and for the purpose specified in that Order.

Times of Sitting

41.-(1) Subject to the provisions of Part III, the Chief Justice may determine

the distribution of the business before the Court among the judges thereof, and

may assign any judicial duty to any judge or judges.

(2) The Registrar shall, as early as practicable after the first day of every

month, lay before the Chief Justice a list of all causes and proceedings whatever

pending in the Court.

42.-(1) The Court shall hold sittings in the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction in

each district four times in every year, that is to say-

(a) in the Central District, on the third Tuesday in the months

of January and June and on the first Tuesday in the months

of April and October;

(b) in the Northern District and in the Southern District, on

such dates as the Chief Justice may, from time to time, by

Order published in the Gazette, appoint for the quarterly

sittings of the Court:

Distribution of

business.

Sittings in

criminal

jurisdiction.

27 of 1960.

Provided that the Minister may, by Order published in the Gazette, sus-

pend or postpone any of the sittings referred to in this section.

(2) The dates appointed for the quarterly sittings in the Northern District

or the Southern District may at any time be altered by the Chief Justice and

such dates or any alteration thereof shall likewise be published in the Gazette

at least one month before they take effect.

43.-(1) The Chief Justice may, before any sitting of the Court in the exercise of

its criminal jurisdiction, direct that the business before the Court at that sitting

shall be disposed of before two or more courts.

(2) Where the Chief Justice has given a direction under subsection (1)-

(a) the business before the Court at that sitting shall be

disposed of before two or more Courts, as the case may

be; and

(b) the criminal jurisdiction by this Act vested in the Court,

together with all the powers incident thereto, shall be

exercised by each of such Courts in the manner provided by

section 23.

(3) A direction under this section may be oral and shall be given to the

Registrar of the Court.

44.-(1) In the Central District, sittings of the Court in the exercise of its civil

jurisdiction may, subject to this Act, be held throughout the year.

(2) The Chief Justice shall periodically appoint the times for the hearing

of civil causes upon such notice, not being less than forty-eight hours, as he

may think fit:

Disposal of

business before

two or more

courts.

14 of 1990.

Sittings in civil

jurisdiction.

27 of 1960.

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Provided that the judge to whom a cause or matter has been assigned

for hearing may appoint the time for such hearing upon reasonable notice

given to the parties thereto.

(3) If any of the days appointed for any sitting is a dies-non, the sitting

shall commence on the next following lawful day.

(4) In the Northern District and in the Southern District, sittings of the

Court in the exercise of its civil jurisdiction shall be held after the conclusion

of the criminal business or upon such days as the Chief Justice may appoint

for that purpose.

(5) Judgments and orders may be given and made at any place and time at

which the Court is sitting, whether at the place where and during the sittings at

which the cause or matter was heard or otherwise.

45.-(1) Every sitting of the Court shall be continuous until the business before it

has been disposed of or it is adjourned to some future day.

(2) The Court or, in the absence of the judge, the Registrar, the deputy

registrar or the assistant registrar, subject to any direction of the judge, may

adjourn any sitting of the Court for any convenient time.

(3) If, on the opening or any other day of any sitting of the Court, the judge

is unable or fails to attend, the Court shall stand adjourned de die in diem until

the judge attends or until it is adjourned or closed by his order.

(4) The Registrar may, in accordance with any direction of the judge,

postpone that sitting to any other day and notice thereof shall be given by him to

all parties.

Places of Sitting

46. The Court shall sit at the following places, that is to say-

Continuance of

sittings and

adjournment.

28 of 1980.

Places of Sitting

of Court.

(a) in the Central District, at the Court House in Belize City;

(b) in the Northern District, at the Court House in Corozal

Town; and

(c) in the Southern District, at the Court House in Dangriga:

Provided that the Court may sit at other places within those districts which

the Minister by Order published in the Gazette appoints as places at which

sittings of the Court may be held.

47.-(1) Where it is from any cause impracticable or inconvenient to hold a

sitting of the Court at any place mentioned in or appointed under section 46

the Minister may direct the sitting to be held at some other place in the same

district.

(2) Nothing in section 46 shall be construed to prevent the Minister from

directing any special sitting of the Court in the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction

to be held at a place other than a place mentioned in or appointed under that

section.

48.-(1) If the number of criminal cases on the calendar for trial at any sitting of

the Court in the Northern District or the Southern District is less than four and

the Chief Justice is of opinion that the business to be transacted there does not

warrant the expenses of holding the Court in that district he may, by Order

published in the Gazette, direct that-

(a) such sitting of the Court shall not be held and the trials of all

those cases take place at the next following sitting in the

Northern District or the Southern District, as the case may

be; or

27 of 1960.

17 of 1975.

Holding of sitting

in another place.

When sitting in

Northern or

Southern District

need not be held.

27 of 1960.

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(b) the trial of any one or more of those cases shall take place at

the next following sitting there and the trials of the others be

transferred to, and be taken in, the Central District; or

(c) the trials of all those cases be transferred to, and be taken

in, the Central District:

Provided that the Chief Justice shall not make any Order under this section

more often than twice in respect of any one district during the same year.

(2) Where the trial of any case is transferred under subsection (1) to the

Central District, it shall be tried by the jurors summoned for the trial of cases at

the next following sitting in the Central District, or at any subsequent sitting in

the said district to which such trial may be adjourned:

Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent or be construed as

preventing the trial of such case by a jury specially empanelled if the Court shall

so direct.

49. Where the Chief Justice is informed by the Director of Public

Prosecutions that there are no criminal cases on the calendar for trial at any

sitting of the Court in the Northern or the Southern District he may, by Order

published in the Gazette, direct that such sitting of the Court shall not be held.

50. Subject to this Act, the venue of every criminal proceeding shall be laid

in the district of the Court in which the offence is alleged to have been committed.

51. The venue in any civil action, cause or matter may be laid-

(a) in the case of an action founded on contract, in the district in

which the contract was entered into; or

(b) in all cases, in the district in which the defendant resides; or

No cases for

trial.

4 of 1968.

1 of 1969.

Venue in criminal

proceedings.

27 of 1960.

14 of 1990.

Venue in civil

action.

(c) in the district in which the land, chattel or thing

involved in the action, cause or matter is; or

(d) in all cases, in the district in which the wrongful act was

committed or other cause of action arose,

and such action, cause or matter shall be tried at the place where the venue

is laid.

52.-(1) Notwithstanding sections 50 and 51, the Court may order any civil or

criminal cause or matter to be transferred from one district to another whenever

it is made to appear by affidavit or otherwise that-

(a) there is reason to believe that a fair and impartial trial cannot

be had in the district in which it had commenced; or

(b) the convenience of witnesses and the ends of justice will be

promoted by such transfer; or

(c) there is any other good and sufficient reason for such

transfer.

(2) Notwithstanding section 48 (2), the Court may by order direct that

the trial of any case which is transferred to the Central District under the said

section 48 shall be retransferred to the District in which such case was originally

for trial if it shall be made to appear that there is any good and sufficient reason

for so doing.

53. A judge shall take all summonses and hear all petitions and other

applications in chambers at such times as he may appoint and in accordance

with any rules of court.

Change of venue.

27 of 1960.

Business in

chambers.

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Special Sitting

54.-(1) The Chief Justice may at any time appoint a special sitting of the Court

in the Central District for-

(a) the trial of any civil cause or matter; or

(b) the trial of any criminal cause with the consent of the person

or persons committed for trial before the Court in the

Central District; or

(c) the passing of sentence upon any prisoner committed for

trial or sentence,

whenever circumstances render it in his opinion expedient to do so, and any

such trial and sentence shall have the same validity in every respect as if it had

taken place at the time and place when and where it would have been tried in

due course.

(2) Any judge may preside at any such special sitting.

55.-(1) The Chief Justice may make such orders as may be necessary to procure

the attendance of special or common jurors for the trial of any cause or matter

at such special sitting of the Court, at such time and place and in such manner as

he may think fit, and prescribe the number of jurors to be summoned, having

regard to the list of causes and matters pending for trial by jury at that special

sitting.

(2) Every juror who without lawful excuse fails to attend and to serve in

accordance with the summons issued in pursuance of such orders shall be liable

to the same penalties as may be imposed upon jurors for non-attendance under

the Juries Act.

Special sitting.

27 of 1960.

Attendance of

jurors at special

sitting.

CAP. 128.

Preservation of Order

56.-(1) The Commissioner of Police shall cause a sufficient number of police

officers to attend all sittings of the Court for the purpose of assisting in the

preservation of order and for the keeping of prisoners in custody at every

sitting of the Court in the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction.

(2) All such officers shall obey the orders of any judge.

(3) The Commissioner of Police may regulate vehicular and other traffic

of all kinds around the court building in any district so as to prevent or lessen

noises which render difficult the transaction of the business of the Court, and

for this purpose may make and issue any order or orders to be effective during

any sitting of the Court.

(4) Every person who fails to comply with any order of the Commissioner

of Police made for the purposes of subsection (3) shall be guilty of an offence

and, on summary conviction thereof, be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty

dollars.

Vacation

57.-(1) There shall be a vacation of the Court in every year for a term not

exceeding six weeks, the exact dates of which shall be annually fixed by the

Chief Justice, with the approval of the Minister, by Order published in the

Gazette.

(2) Nothing in this section contained shall operate to prevent-

(a) any sitting of the Court in the exercise of its criminal,

appellate, insolvency or admiralty jurisdictions; or

(b) the transaction of urgent business in chambers; or

Attendance of

police at sittings.

Vacation and

holidays.

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(c) the hearing in open Court of any action, cause or matter,

if the Chief Justice for some special reason so directs, during the period fixed

as the vacation of the Court as aforesaid.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the Court shall not hold

any sitting on Saturdays, Sundays and public and bank holidays as defined by

the Holidays Act.

58.-(1) Any judge may, during the vacation, deliver judgment or make an order

in any cause or matter then awaiting the decision of the Court.

(2) Every judgment delivered or order made under this section shall have

the same force and effect as if it had been delivered or made during the ordinary

sitting of the Court by the judge whose judgment it is.

59. The registry shall be open throughout the year, except on Saturdays,

Sundays and public and bank holidays as defined by the Holidays Act, for the

transaction subject to rules of court of the general legal business of the Court.

PART VII

Practice and Procedure

Regulation

60. The practice and procedure of the Court-

(a) in its general civil jurisdiction, shall be regulated by this or

any other Act or by rules of court and where no provision is

made, by the practice and procedure in the High Court of

Justice in England;

27 of 1985.

Delivery of

judgment in

vacation.

General

business of the

Court.

27 of 1985.

CAP. 289.

Regulation of

practice and

procedure in the

several

jurisdictions of

the court.

CAP. 289.

(b) in its criminal jurisdiction shall, subject to this Act and to any

other Act or rules of court, be the practice and procedure in

criminal cases tried on indictment or on information filed in the

Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice in

England;

(c) in its appellate jurisdiction, shall be regulated by this or any

other Act or by rules of court; and

(d) in its admiralty jurisdiction, shall be in accordance with the

Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act 1890, and the rules for

vice-admiralty courts in Her Majesty’s possessions abroad

approved by Her late Majesty’s Order in Council bearing

the date the twenty-second day of August, one thousand

eight hundred and eighty-three or any rules made in amend-

ment thereof or in substitution therefor.

61.-(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this or in any other Act, until

the Chief Justice shall so direct, the Court in the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction

shall not be obliged to follow the revised edition of the Judges’ Rules (which

came into force in England and Wales on 27th January 1964). In any such

directions the Chief Justice may prescribe that the said Rules shall be followed

subject to such modifications as may be stated in the directions.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Judges Rules, being guidelines for

the interviewing of persons and obtaining statements from them while in police

custody, published on the 29th day of May, 2000, shall be given full force and

effect and be judicially noticed in Belize.

Trials by Referees

62.-(1) Subject to rules of court, the Court or a judge may refer to an official

or special referee for inquiry or report any question arising in any cause or

matter, other than a criminal proceeding by the Crown.

1890, c. 27.

Judges’ Rules

1964.

15 of 1967.

Reference for

report.

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(2) The report of an official or special referee may be adopted wholly or

partially by the Court or a judge, and if so adopted, may be enforced as a

judgment or order to the same effect.

63. In any cause or matter, other than a criminal proceeding by the

Crown-

(a) if all the parties interested who are not under disability

consent; or

(b) if the cause or matter requires any prolonged examination of

documents or any scientific or local investigation which

cannot in the opinion of the Court or a judge conveniently

be made before a jury or conducted by the Court through

its other ordinary officers; or

(c) if the question in dispute consists wholly or in part of matters

of account,

the Court or a judge may at any time order the whole cause or matter, or any

question or issue of fact arising therein, to be tried before a special referee or

arbitrator respectively agreed on by the parties, or before an official referee or

officer of the Court.

64.-(1) In all cases of reference to an official or special referee or arbitrator, the

official or special referee or arbitrator shall be deemed to be an officer of the

Court, and subject to rules of court shall have such authority, and conduct the

reference in such manner, as the Court or a judge may direct.

(2) The report or award of an official or special referee or arbitrator on any

reference shall, unless set aside by the Court or a judge, be equivalent to a

judgment of the Court.

Powers and

remuneration of

referees and

arbitrators.

.

Reference for

trial.

(3) The remuneration to be paid to a special referee or arbitrator to whom

any matter is referred under an order of the Court or a judge shall be determined

by the Court or a judge.

65. The Court or a judge shall, in relation to references, have all such

powers as are conferred by the Arbitration Act on the Court or a judge in

relation to references by consent out of Court.

66. A referee or arbitrator may at any stage of the proceedings under a

reference, and shall, if so directed by the Court or a judge, state in the form of

a special case for the opinion of the Court any question of law arising in the

course of the reference.

67. An order made under this Act relating to trials by referees may be made on

such terms as to the costs or otherwise as the Court or a judge thinks fit.

68. Nothing in this Act shall empower the Court or a judge to order any

proceedings to which the Crown is a party, or any question or issue in any

such proceedings, to be tried before any special referee or arbitrator or before

an official referee or other officer of the Court without the consent of the

Minister, or shall affect the law as to costs payable by the Crown.

69. In the provisions of this Act relating to trials by referees, the expression

“reference” means a reference under an order made by the Court or a judge

under the said provisions.

Summary Procedure

70.-(1) The jurisdictions, powers and authorities of the Court in respect of the

actions mentioned in subsection (2) shall be exercised in accordance with the

summary procedure hereinafter prescribed and regulated.

Statement of case

pending

arbitration.

Power of Court to

impose terms as to

costs.

Saving for Crown.

Explanation of

term “reference”.

Jurisdiction to be

exercised in

accordance with

summary

procedure.

Court to have

powers as in

references by

consent

CAP. 125

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(2) All actions-

(a) in which the debt or damages claimed or the value of the

matter or thing in dispute does not exceed the sum of fifteen

thousand dollars; or

(b) in which, in the case of the recovery of land, either the value

of the land or the yearly rent payable in respect thereof does

not exceed the sum of one thousand dollars; or

(c) in which, in the case of an easement or licence, either the

value of the land on, through, over or under which such

easement or licence is claimed or the yearly rent reserved

thereout does not exceed the sum of one thousand dollars,

shall be instituted, heard and determined in accordance with that procedure.

71.-(1) The summary procedure of the Court shall be prescribed, defined and

regulated by rules of court and shall include provisions relating to-

(a) the institution of claims in all such actions;

(b) the defences to claims made in all such actions;

(c) the course and conduct of proceedings in all such actions

and interlocutory procedure;

(d) the hearing of all such actions and the judgments therein;

(e) the issue and execution of all judgments and orders, and

proceedings in aid of execution thereof; and

(f) the fees and costs payable by and to the parties and all

other and incidental matters and proceedings including any

Prescribing

summary

procedure.

8 of 1970.

29 of 1985.

3 of 1991.

necessary procedure in the registry.

(2) No rule of court relating to the unlimited jurisdiction of the Court not

declared to be part of the summary procedure shall apply to any of the actions

defined in section 70 (2) unless specifically declared to be applicable thereto.

(3) There shall be no trial by jury in any case tried in accordance with the

summary procedure of the Court.

72.-(1) Where any action founded on tort is commenced in the Court, the

defendant may, on an affidavit made by himself or by any person on his behalf

showing that the plaintiff has no visible means of paying the costs of the

defendant should judgment not be entered in favour of the plaintiff, apply to

the Court or a judge for an order that the action shall be proceeded with,

heard and determined in accordance with the summary procedure of the Court.

(2) On any such application, the Court or judge, unless the plaintiff satisfies

the Court or judge that he has such means as aforesaid, may, if the Court or

judge having regard to all the circumstances of the case thinks fit to do so,

make an order that unless the plaintiff within a time to be limited in the order

give security for the defendant’s costs to the satisfaction of the Court or a

judge, the action shall be proceeded with, heard and determined in accordance

with the summary procedure.

Service and Execution of Process

73.-(1) Any process in civil and criminal cases may be served by anyone

authorised by the Registrar to do so.

(2) “Process” in this Part includes all proceedings whatever involving

service of any document on any party, witness or other person concerned in

any of those proceedings and any step either before or after judgment in any

civil action, cause or matter or in execution of any judgment or order therein.

Determination, by

summary

procedure, of

action of tort

commenced in the

Court.

Persons by whom

process may be

served.

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(3) The authority from the Registrar to anyone appearing to have served

any process aforesaid need not be proved, but anyone questioning the authority

of that person shall be at liberty to prove the want of that authority.

(4) There shall be kept in the registry a correct list of persons who have

been authorised by the Registrar to serve process, and anyone questioning the

authority of any person to serve process, may produce a copy of that list,

certified as a true copy by the Registrar, and if the name of the person does not

appear therein he shall be held not to have been so authorised.

74. Every return or indorsation of service appearing to be signed by the

marshal or by any person signing himself a person authorised to serve process,

and made upon a certified copy of the process alleged to be served, shall be

received as prima facie evidence that service of the process has been effected

in accordance with the terms of that return or indorsation.

75. If any person-

(a) being a person authorised by law to serve process, wilfully

makes any false statement in any return or indorsation of

service or in any way acts fraudulently with respect to the

service of any process; or

(b) not being a person authorised by law to serve process, signs

himself on any return or indorsation of service as a person

authorised to serve process,

he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and, on conviction thereof, shall be liable

to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years.

76. The Registrar may authorise any person in writing to execute fiats issuing

out of the registry and generally to carry out any process of execution thereon in

any part of Belize in the same way as the marshal is by law authorised to do.

Return or

indorsation of

service.

Person signing

return of service

falsely or

without

authority.

Fiats and their

execution.

77. Warrants of arrest issued under this Act shall be addressed to and

be executed by the marshal.

78.-(1) Every non-commissioned officer of police stationed in a district other

than the Belize District shall have all the powers of the marshal for the purposes

of serving any process, or executing any judgment of the Court in its civil

jurisdiction, or any other process which the law requires to be served or executed

by the marshal.

(2) The term “district” used in this and in sections 79 and 80 has the same

meaning as that given to it by section 3 of the Interpretation Act.

79.-(1) When any process is to be served or any judgment executed by any

non-commissioned officer of police, the Registrar shall forward the writ and

other necessary papers to the magistrate of the district wherein such non-

commissioned officer of police is stationed, who shall hand or forward them

to the non-commissioned officer of police for the necessary action.

(2) The Registrar shall, together with the writ and other papers,

forward-

(a) a list of the writ and other papers so forwarded, which, if it

is correct, shall be initialled by the magistrate and returned

to the Registrar;

(b) an envelope addressed and, if necessary, stamped, for the

return of the writ and other papers;

(c) a form of the proper return or indorsation to be made on the

writ or other document in question.

(3) The non-commissioned officer of police serving or executing such pro-

cess in such district shall, after taking the necessary action, make the proper

Procedure by

Registrar.

CAP. 1.

Service of process

by non-

commissioned

officer of police.

Execution of

warrants of arrest.

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return or indorsation on the writ and return the same with any other relevant

papers to the magistrate, who shall forthwith return them to the Registrar.

(4) All writs and other papers forwarded by any one of the officers mentioned

in this section to any other of those officers may be forwarded by registered

post.

80. All non-commissioned officers of police in the districts other than the

Belize District shall be officers of the Court in respect of the several duties

imposed upon them by this Act.

Witnesses

81.-(1) Subject to rules of court, a writ of subpoena ad testificandum or a

writ of subpoena duces tecum or a writ of subpoena ad testificandum et

duces tecum may issue out of the Court in the manner and form in which any

such writ is issued in proceedings in the High Court of Justice in England to

compel the attendance before any court, judge, justice or other judicature, or

before any arbitrator or referee, or before any arbitrator or umpire appointed

under the Arbitration Act, or any other Act, of a witness wherever he may be

within Belize.

(2) If any person served in any cause or matter with any writ of subpoena

refuses or neglects to attend the Court as a witness, or to produce any document

or documents in his possession, custody or power or to attend the Court as a

witness and produce any document or documents in his possession, custody or

power, pursuant to any such subpoena, the Court or a judge may punish such

person in a summary way by a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars or by

imprisonment for any term not exceeding three months.

(3) Nothing contained in this section shall affect or abridge the right of any

party in such cause or matter to recover any special damages such party sus-

tains by reason of the person served with any subpoena failing to attend the

Court as a witness, or to produce such document or documents or to attend

Writ of

subpoena.

CAP. 125.

Officers of

Court in respect

of particular

duties.

the Court as a witness and produce such document or documents pursuant to

any such subpoena.

82. The Court or a judge may award a writ of habeas corpus ad

testificandum for bringing up any prisoner detained in any gaol or prison

before any court, judge, justice or other judicature, or before any arbitrator or

referee, or before any arbitrator or umpire appointed under the Arbitration

Act, or any other Act, for examination as a witness in any cause or matter, civil

or criminal, whatever, which now is, or hereafter may be, depending or to be

inquired or determined in or before such court, judge, justice or other judicature,

referee, arbitrator or umpire.

83.-(1) The Court or a judge may, in any case where it or he may see fit to do

so upon application by affidavit, issue a warrant or order for bringing up any

prisoner or person confined in any gaol, prison or place, under any sentence

or under commitment for trial or otherwise, before any court, judge, justice or

other judicature, or before any arbitrator or referee, or before any arbitrator

or umpire appointed under the Arbitration Act, or any other Act, for examination

as a witness in any cause or matter, civil or criminal whatever, which now is, or

hereafter may be, depending or to be inquired into or determined in or before

such court, judge, justice or other judicature, referee, arbitrator or umpire.

(2) The person so required by any such warrant or order to be so brought

before such court, judge, justice or other judicature, referee, arbitrator or

umpire, shall be so brought under the same care and custody, and be dealt

with in like manner in all respects, as a prisoner required by any writ of habeas

corpus awarded by the Court to be brought before any court, judge, justice

or other judicature, or before any arbitrator or referee, or before any arbitrator

or umpire appointed under the Arbitration Act, or any other Act, for examination

as a witness in any cause or matter depending before such court, judge, justice

or other judicature, referee, arbitrator or umpire, is now by law required to be

dealt with.

Compelling

attendance of

witness by

warrant or order.

CAP. 125.

CAP. 125.

Writ of habeas

corpus ad

testificandum.

CAP. 125.

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84. Rules of court may be made regulating the application for issue, service

and proof of service, of any writ, warrant or order mentioned in sections 81, 82

and 83.

85. The Court may, in civil proceedings, order and allow to all persons

examined or detained as witnesses such sum or sums of money as seems

reasonable, as well for defraying the expenses of such witnesses as for affording

them compensation for their trouble and loss of time, or such sum or sums of

money may be fixed by rules of court.

86. All sums of money allowed under section 85 shall be paid by the party

on whose behalf the attendance of the witness is ordered and shall be recoverable

as ordinary costs of suit, if the Court so directs.

Fees and Costs

87.-(1) The fees and costs payable and allowable in the Court shall be regulated

by rules of court and, where provision is not made by those rules, the existing

tariffs and regulations as to fees and costs shall remain in force.

(2) Subject to section 88 and to rules of court, the costs of and incidental

to any proceeding in the Court shall be in the discretion of the Court or judge.

88. No costs shall be allowed to a successful plaintiff in any action brought

by him in the Court which might have been heard in a district court unless the

Court is of opinion that the action was one which it was expedient to bring in

that manner and certifies accordingly.

89. The fees payable for arrests and apprehensions of the person shall belong

to the marshal making the arrests and apprehensions.

90.-(1) Subject to subsection (2), all fees in respect of proceedings taken in the

Court shall be paid at the registry in the mode required by any Act, rule or

order.

Fees and costs

to be prescribed

by rules of

court.

Disallowance of

costs in certain

cases.

Fees for arrests

and

apprehensions.

Place of

payment of fees.

27 of 1960.

Party on whose

behalf witness

called to pay

allowance.

Allowance to

witnesses in

civil cases.

Rules regulating

application for

writs of

subpoena, etc.

(2) The Minister may direct that all fees payable in respect of proceedings

taken in the Court in the Northern District or Southern District shall be paid at

the office of the magistrate in Corozal or in Stann Creek, as the case may be,

and in that case such fees shall be accounted for in manner provided by that

order.

91.-(1) There shall be kept in the registry a cash fee book in which shall be

entered every fee received therein, and such cash fee book shall be in the form

established by the Accountant General with the approval of the Minister.

(2) The cash fee book shall be subject to such check and audit as may be

prescribed by the Minister.

Unclaimed Moneys

92.-(1) Within one week after 30th June and 31st December in each year the

Registrar shall deposit with the Financial Secretary a list of all moneys, the

proceeds of sales of property under execution, of which all the instalments

have been paid up, and what moneys have remained unclaimed for three months

and upwards prior to each of those dates.

(2) At the time of depositing the list, the Registrar shall pay over all moneys

mentioned therein to the Financial Secretary, and shall cause the list to be

published in the Gazette and to be re-published in like manner at the expiration

of one month thereafter.

(3) The receipt of the Accountant General, in a book to be kept for that

purpose, shall be a sufficient acquittance, discharge and release to the Registrar

for all moneys paid over by him to the Accountant General under this Act.

93. All moneys advertised under section 92 which remain unclaimed for a

period of five years from the time when they came to the hands of the Regis-

trar shall become and be part and parcel of the Consolidated Revenue Fund

and

Furnishing of half-

yearly lists of

unclaimed

moneys.

Effect of moneys

remaining

unclaimed for five

years.

Keeping of cash

fee book.

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all right, title and interest of every person in and to them shall be statute-barred:

Provided that nothing in this section shall operate to preclude any person

who has a moral claim to such unclaimed money from applying by petition to

the Minister for payment of the whole or any part thereof, and if the Minister

considers it just and equitable that such application be granted he may, with the

approval of the National Assembly, order that the whole of the said sum or any

part thereof shall be paid out to that person.

94. Any failure on the part of the Registrar to comply with any of the

requirements of this Act relating to unclaimed moneys shall render him liable on

summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars.

Rules of Court

95.-(1) The Chief Justice may, by himself or with the concurrence of the other

judges, from time to time make rules of court under this Act for the following

purposes-

(a) regulating and prescribing the procedure, including the method

of pleading, and the practice to be followed in the Court in all

civil and criminal causes and matters whatever in or with

respect to which the Court has for the time being jurisdiction,

including the procedure and practice in interpleaders and the

procedure and practice to be followed in the registry, the forms

to be used, the fees of Court, the costs of attorneys-at-law,

the duties of the officers of the Court and the powers of

commissioners other than those conferred by this Act, and

any matters incidental or relating to any such procedure or

practice, including, but without prejudice to the generality of

the foregoing provision, the manner in which, and the time

within which, any applications which under this or any other

Act are to be made to the Court shall be made;

Power to make

rules of court.

Default of

Registrar.

(b) regulating and prescribing the procedure on appeals from any

inferior court or person to the Court or the Chief Justice and

the procedure in connection with the transfer of proceedings

from any inferior court to the Court;

(c) regulating, subject to this Act, the sittings of the Court and of

the judges thereof, whether in Court or in chambers;

(d) prescribing what part of the business which may be transacted,

and of the jurisdictions which may be exercised, by judges of

the Court in chambers may be transacted or exercised by the

Registrar or other officers of the Court;

(e) regulating any matters relating to the costs of proceedings in

the Court;

(f) regulating and prescribing the procedure and practice to be

followed in the Court in cases in which the procedure or practice

is regulated by enactments in force immediately before the

commencement of this Act or by the provisions of this Act re-

enacting any such enactments;

(g) repealing any enactments which relate to matters with respect

to which rules are made under this section;

(h) prescribing in what cases trials in the Court in the exercise of

its civil jurisdiction are to be tried with a jury and in what cases

they are to be tried without a jury;

(i) regulating the means by which particular facts may be

proved, and the mode in which evidence thereof may be given,

in any proceedings or on any application in connection with,

or at any stage of, any proceedings;

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(j) regulating or making provision with respect to any other mat-

ters which are now regulated, or with respect to which provi-

sion is now made, by the Supreme Court Rules, 1926, or any

other rules of court made under any Supreme Court Act

hitherto in force, or any amendment thereof, or by any rules or

regulations so in force with respect to practice and procedure

in matrimonial causes and matters or with respect to applica-

tions and proceedings relating to legitimacy declarations.

(2) No rule of court which may involve an increase of expenditure out of

public funds shall be made except with the concurrence of the National Assembly

but the validity of a rule of court shall not in any proceedings in the Court be

called in question either by the Court or by any party to the proceedings on the

ground only that it was a rule to which the concurrence of the National Assembly

was necessary and that the National Assembly did not concur or is not expressed

to have concurred in the making thereof.

(3) Rules of court made under this section shall apply to all proceedings

by or against the Crown.

(4) Wherever in any Act it is provided that rules of court may be made for

any purpose or that any practice and procedure shall be regulated by “rules of

court”, such rules of court shall be made by the rule-making authority established

under, and in accordance with, this section.

(5) No such rules or orders shall have any force or effect until the same are

laid before and approved by the Minister, and subject negative resolution by

the National Assembly, they shall come into operation on such day as may be

provided in such rules and orders or, if not so provided, on such day as the

Minister may by Order appoint.

(6) All such rules and orders shall be laid before the National Assembly

within ten days next after the same are approved or, if the National Assembly

Proclamation.

No. 2 of 1927.

is not then sitting, at the first session thereof following approval of such rules

and orders.

96. The Supreme Court Rules 1926, and any amendment thereof in force

at the commencement of this Act shall, notwithstanding the repeal of the

Supreme Court Act, remain in operation until the annulment thereof, in whole

or in part, by any rules made under this Act.

PART VII

Provisions relating to Northern District

97. The Chief Justice, or another judge of the Court, shall attend every

sitting of the Court.

98.-(1) The duties of making proclamations and of acting as Usher and Crier

and all other duties of attendance on the Court shall be performed during the

sittings of the Court in the Northern District or in the Southern District by a

non-commissioned officer of police, nominated for that purpose by the

Commissioner of Police with the approval of the Chief Justice.

(2) Where any such non-commissioned officer is from any cause unable

to be present the Court may direct any officer of the Court in the public service

below the rank of the Registrar, to discharge, without additional remuneration,

all the duties which the non-commissioned officer is required to perform under

this section.

99.-(1) The Registrar shall convey to the Court House in Corozal Town and

there keep in safe custody all such records, documents and books as may be

required at every sitting of the Court in the Northern District, and after the

termination of every such sitting, he shall re-convey such records, documents

and books to the registry in Belize City without delay.

Usher and Crier,

Northern District

or Southern

District.

27 of 1960.

Conveyance of

records to and

from Northern

and Southern

District.

27 of 1960.

Saving of the

Supreme Court

Rules, 1926.

Proclamation No.

2 of 1927.

CAP. 153.

C.L., 1924

Officers required

to attend sittings.

15 of 1964.

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(2) The Registrar shall convey to the Court House in Dangriga and there

keep in safe custody all such records, documents and books as may be required

at every sitting of the Court in the Southern District, and after the termination of

every such sitting, he shall re-convey such records, documents and books to

the registry in Belize City without delay.

100.-(1) The Public Services Commission may appoint some fit and proper

person as deputy registrar of the Court for the Northern District and for the

Southern District respectively.

(2) The deputy registrar shall perform in that District such duties as may

be assigned to him by the Registrar as well as the duties of marshal of the

Court.

101.-(1) Every judgment or order of the Court made in the Northern District

or in the Southern District shall, in the absence of the Registrar be drawn up by

the deputy registrar for that District and when approved by the Court shall be

signed by the deputy registrar and filed with the papers in the cause or matter

kept at the registry in Belize City.

(2) Every such judgment or order shall be drawn up from the minutes of

the court or otherwise and shall have the same effect and be as valid as if it was

drawn up by the Registrar.

PART IX

Contempt of Court

102.-(1) No punishment exceeding imprisonment for a term of three months or

a fine of two hundred and fifty dollars shall be inflicted for criminal contempt

where the contempt takes place in the face of the Court (as by some insult

offered to a judge or judges, or by any interruption of the proceedings or oth-

erwise) or where, although not committed in the face of the Court, it is calcu-

lated to obstruct, interfere with or improperly prejudice the administration of

Drawing up of

judgment or

order in

Northern District

or Southern

District.

27 of 1960.

Punishment for

criminal

contempt.

.

Deputy registrar

for Northern

District and

Southern

District.

27 of 1960.

justice in proceedings pending in the Court.

(2) The Court may, in punishing by fine, order that the fine shall be paid

within a definite time, not less than seven days after the date of the order, and

that in default of payment the offender shall be imprisoned for any term not

exceeding three months.

103.-(1) An appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from any order or decision

of the Supreme Court in the exercise of jurisdiction to punish for contempt of

court (including criminal contempt).

(2) The Court of Appeal may reverse or vary the order or decision of

the Supreme Court and make such other order as may be just, and without

prejudice to the power of the Court of Appeal under the Court of Appeal Act

or the rules made thereunder, provision may be made by rules of court for

authorising the releasing on bail of an appellant under this section.

(3) In this section, “Supreme Court” includes a single judge when

exercising jurisdiction to punish for contempt of court.

104. Anyone using or threatening violence, or using threatening or abusive

language, to a juror in or near the building in which the Court is sitting, and

anyone intentionally personating any juror by answering to his name when

called, and anyone liable to serve on a common or special jury or as talesman,

who does not answer to his name when called, or who withdraws himself from

the Court without leave after appearance, shall be deemed to have committed

a contempt in the presence of the Court and shall be subject to the like

punishment.

105. Subject to sections 102, 103 and 104, the Court shall have the same

powers as regards punishments for all contempts, whether criminal or otherwise,

as are possessed by the High Court of Justice in England, and the practice and

procedure shall be as nearly as possible the same as the practice and proce-

dure in that Court in like case.

Contempt of

Court committed

in presence of the

Court.

Extent of powers

of Court touching

contempts.

Right of appeal to

Court of Appeal.

30 of 1989

CAP. 90.

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106. All fines and penalties to be paid under any order in any contempt of

court proceedings shall be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

PART X

Appellate Jurisdiction

Inferior Courts (Appeals)

107. Pursuant to section 24, any person dissatisfied with any decision of an

inferior court may appeal to the Court subject to the conditions and regulations

prescribed by this Act and by any rules of court:

Provided that no appeal shall lie to the Court in the following cases:

(a) where a party in the inferior court confessed or admitted the

truth of the accusation or the correctness of the claim, as the

case may be, brought against him;

(b) where imprisonment is adjudged for failure to comply with an

order for the payment of money, for the finding of sureties, for

the entering into any recognisance, or for the giving of any

security;

(c) where in a civil case before decision both parties agree in

writing, to be signed by themselves or by their attorneys-at-

law, that the decision of the inferior court shall be final;

(d) where by virtue of any law now or which may hereafter be in

force the accused has specially consented to an adjudication

of his case by the inferior court;

(e) where it is provided by any statute that no appeal shall lie

from the decision of an inferior court in any particular case.

Disposal of

fines.

Right of appeal

from decision of

inferior court.

Procedure

108.-(1) Every appeal from a decision of an inferior court shall be heard and

determined by the Court, and the practice and procedure of the Court in

cases of appeal under this section shall be in accordance with this or any other

Act relating to appeals from inferior courts and any rules of court.

(2) Rules of court may make provisions regulating, inter alia-

(a) the giving of notice of, and security for, prosecuting, the appeal;

(b) the recording of the appeal and the obtaining of a copy of the

proceedings and the reasons for the inferior court’s decision;

(c) the lodging of the grounds of appeal;

(d) the manner of setting forth the grounds of appeal and the signing

of the notice of appeal and the grounds of appeal;

(e) the transmission of the record of appeal to the Registrar;

(f) the application for special leave to appeal after lapse of time

for appeal;

(g) the procedure on default in prosecution of appeal;

(h) the time, place and order of hearing of the appeal;

(i) the procedure at the hearing of the appeal;

(j) the re-hearing of the case before the Court and the calling

of witnesses before the Court;

(k) the transmission and publication of judgments or orders;

Regulating appeal

from decision of

inferior court.

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(l) the awarding of costs;

(m) the taxation and payment of costs;

(n) the enforcement of judgments or orders;

(o) the fees and costs payable by and to the parties; and

(p) such other matters as may be incidental to the appeal.

109. The Court shall have full control over any security given for an appeal

from the decision of any inferior court and may enforce the same summarily by

order or may cancel or mitigate the forfeiture of such security, either generally

or upon such terms as to the Court seem equitable and just and no security shall

be enforced without an order of the Court.

110. This Part shall apply to cases between the Crown and the citizen:

Provided that when the Crown, or any officer on behalf of the Crown or

the Government in his official capacity, is an appellant, neither the Government

nor the Crown nor that officer shall be liable to give security for prosecuting the

appeal, but if the Crown or the Government or that officer fails to prosecute

such appeal, or if the decision appealed from is confirmed, then the opposite

party may recover his costs in the manner provided in such cases for the recovery

of costs against the Crown or the Government.

Grounds of Appeal

111. The following grounds of appeal and no other may be taken, namely,

that-

(a) the inferior court had no jurisdiction in the matter, but it shall

not be competent for the Court to entertain that ground of

appeal unless objection to the jurisdiction of the inferior court

was formally taken at some time during the progress of the

Court to have

control of

security.

Provisions to

apply to cases

between the

Crown and the

subject.

Available

grounds of

appeal.

case and before the decision was pronounced; or

(b) the inferior court exceeded its jurisdiction in the matter; or

(c) the magistrate was personally interested in the matter; or

(d) the magistrate acted corruptly or maliciously in the matter, or

took extraneous matter into consideration; or

(e) the decision was obtained by fraud; or

(f) the cause had been already heard or tried and decided by,

or forms the subject of a hearing or trial pending before,

some competent tribunal; or

(g) evidence was wrongly rejected, or inadmissible evidence

was wrongly admitted, by the inferior court, and in the

latter case there was not sufficient evidence to sustain the

decision; or

(h) the decision was unreasonable or could not be supported

having regard to the evidence; or

(i) the decision was erroneous in point of law; or

(j) the decision was based on a wrong principle or was such

that the inferior court viewing the circumstances reasonably

could not properly have so decided; or

(k) some specific illegality, other than hereinbefore mentioned,

substantially affecting the merits of the case, was committed in

the course of the proceedings therein or in the decision; or

(l) the sentence was unduly severe or lenient.

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Suspension of Execution

112.-(1) Subject to subsections (2), (3) and (4), when the appellant has given

notice of and security for appeal as prescribed by rules of court, the execution

of the decision under appeal shall be suspended until the appeal is determined

by the Court or is abandoned, and if the appellant is in custody he shall be

released on the order of the magistrate, unless he has elected to continue to

undergo his sentence pending the appeal.

(2) Where a person has been convicted of any of the following offences-

(a) a drug trafficking offence, where the quantity of controlled

drug involved is more than the quantities specified in the proviso

to section 18 (1)(a) of the Misuse of Drugs Act;

(b) an offence under the Firearms Act, where the quantity of

firearms and ammunition involved is more than five and fifty

respectively;

(c) an offence under the Customs Regulation Act, where the

penalty imposed or the amount ordered to be paid by the

court is more than $20,000 dollars;

(d) an offence under the Fisheries Act or regulations made

thereunder, where the penalty imposed is more than $20,000

dollars,

an appeal shall not by itself result in the suspension of the decision under appeal,

but the appellant may, within the time prescribed for filing such appeal, apply to

the inferior court which made the decision under appeal, for stay of execution

on any judgment appealed from (whether civil or criminal), pending the deter-

mination of such appeal; and if the application is refused by the inferior court,

the appellant may apply to the Supreme Court.

26 of 1992.

CAP. 143.

CAP. 49.

CAP. 210.

Decision to be

suspended

until appeal

determined.

26 of 1992.

CAP. 103.

(3) Where the decision under appeal involves the forfeiture of a vehicle,

vessel or aircraft, it shall be lawful for the Government or any person duly

authorised by it to use such vehicle, vessel or aircraft during the pendency of

the appeal:

Provided that where the appeal is determined in favour of the appellant

and the Court orders the restoration to him of such vehicle, vessel or aircraft,

the Court may award such compensation to the appellant as may appear to it

just and proper for the use, if any, by the Government of such vehicle, vessel

or aircraft, having regard to the period of use and the condition of the vehicle,

vessel or aircraft, disregarding deterioration, if any, by natural process.

(4) For the purpose of subsection (2), in every case where the inferior

court orders the forfeiture of a vehicle, vessel or aircraft, it shall, on the advice

of a technician appointed by it after consultation with the Commissioner of

Transport, the Ports Commissioner or the Director of Civil Aviation, as the

case may be, make an assessment of the value and condition of such vehicle,

vessel or aircraft.

Review

113.-(1) In any case where the Director of Public Prosecutions is of the opinion

that justice requires that a decision of an inferior court which is subject to

appeal should be brought by way of review before the Court, he may, on a

motion ex parte made at any time within three months after the pronouncement

of the decision, apply to the Court for an order that the decision be brought

before the Court by way of review.

(2) Where the Court grants an order for the review, there shall be served

on each party to the cause within fourteen days a certified copy of the order

and of the grounds for review.

(3) On a review the Court shall have the same powers as on an appeal.

26 of 1992.

Review on

application of the

Director of Public

Prosecutions.

1 of 1969.

26 of 1992.

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(4) If on a review the decision is modified or reversed no action shall be

brought against anyone in respect thereof except with the express permission

of the Court.

(5)On any application for an order of review or on any review the Court

may, if it thinks fit, and shall on the application of the Director of Public

Prosecutions or any party to the cause, send for the record of the inferior court

containing the decision which it is sought to review and may peruse such record.

Hearing

114. On the hearing, it shall not be competent for the appellant to go into,

or to give evidence of, any other grounds of appeal than those set forth in his

notice of grounds of appeal, unless the Court otherwise orders on any terms

it deems just.

115. On the hearing, no objection to any defect in the form of stating any

ground of appeal shall be allowed, and no objection to the reception of evidence

adduced pursuant to section 119 which is offered in support of any ground of

appeal shall prevail, unless the Court is of opinion that the ground of appeal is

so imperfectly or incorrectly set forth as to be insufficient to enable the respondent

to inquire into the subject of the statement and to prepare for the hearing, but

the Court may, if it thinks fit, cause the ground of appeal to be forthwith amended

upon the terms and conditions, if any, the Court thinks just.

116.-(1) If, on the hearing, any objection is made on account of any defect in a

complaint or information, or on account of any omission or mistake in the drawing

up of a conviction or order, and if it is shown, to the satisfaction of the Court,

that sufficient grounds were in proof before the inferior court which made the

conviction or order to have authorised the drawing up thereof free from that

omission or mistake, the Court shall amend the complaint or information, or the

conviction or order, and proceed thereafter as if the defect, omission or mis-

take had not existed.

Limitation of

hearing by

grounds of

appeal.

Objection of

form to grounds

of appeal.

27 of 1960.

Objection of

form to

information or

conviction.

14 of 1968.

1 of 1969.

(2) Nothing in this section shall affect section 114.

117. On an appeal no objection shall be taken or allowed to any proceeding

in an inferior court for any defect or error which might have been amended by

that Court, or to any complaint, summons, warrant or other process to or of

that Court, for any alleged defect therein in substance or in form, or for any

variance between any complaint or summons and the evidence adduced in

support thereof in that Court:

Provided that if any error, defect or variance mentioned in this section

appears to the Court at the hearing of an appeal to be such that the appellant

has been thereby deceived or misled, the Court may either refer the cause

back to the inferior court with directions to re-hear and determine it, or reverse

the decision under appeal, or may make any other order for disposal of the

cause which justice requires.

118. No objection shall be taken or allowed on appeal to any notice of

appeal which is in writing, or to any recognisance entered into under this Act

for the due prosecution of the appeal, for any alleged error or defect therein,

but if the error or defect appears to the Court to be such that the respondent

on the appeal has been thereby deceived or misled, the Court may amend it

and, if it is expedient to do so, may also adjourn the further hearing of the

appeal, the amendment and the adjournment, if any, being made on any terms

the Court thinks just.

Powers of the Court

119.-(1) The Court may, in any case where it considers it necessary-

(a) direct that a case be re-heard before the Court itself on some

day to be fixed in that behalf, and any person may be called as

a witness, whether he gave evidence before the inferior court

or not; or

Error or defect in

notice of appeal

or recognisance.

Power of the

Court with regard

to new evidence.

Defects in

proceedings

under appeal.

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(b) order that the evidence of a particular witness or witnesses be

adduced before the Court then or on some day to be fixed in

that behalf, whether that witness or those witnesses gave

evidence before the inferior court or not; or

(c) remit the cause to the inferior court to take the evidence of

any witness or witnesses, whether that witness or those

witnesses gave evidence before the inferior court or not, and

in that case either direct the inferior court to adjudicate afresh

after taking the evidence subject to such directions in law, if

any, as the Court thinks fit to give, or may direct it, after taking

the evidence, to report specific findings of fact for the information

of the Court, the cause on any such reference, so far as may be

practicable and necessary, being so dealt with as if it were being

heard in the first instance.

(2) Whenever any person is required to give evidence under this section

he may be summoned or produced in the same manner, and remunerated at the

same rate, and be subject to the same pains, penalties and liabilities for non-

attendance as are provided in respect of witnesses summoned to attend at the

hearing or trial of a civil cause before the Court.

120.-(1) The Court may-

(a) affirm, modify, amend or reverse, either in whole or in part,

the decision made by the inferior court with reference to the

cause, or may render any decision which the inferior court

ought to have made; or

(b) remit the cause with the opinion of the Court thereon to the

inferior court for hearing, judgment or execution, or may

originate its own decision thereon and enforce the same

according to the practice of the Court; or

Power of the

Court generally.

(c) make any other order for disposal of the cause which justice

requires:

Provided that the Court may, if of opinion that a different sentence should

have been passed, quash the sentence passed by the inferior court and pass

such other sentence warranted by law, whether more or less severe, in

substitution therefor as the Court thinks should have been passed.

(2) Every order made by the Court on appeal shall have the same effect,

and may be enforced in the same manner, as if it were a decision of the inferior

court made in the first instance.

Decision

121. The decision of the Court shall be reduced into writing and shall set

forth the reasons therefor.

Miscellaneous Provisions

122. Wherever a magistrate refuses to entertain a complaint or information

relating to a summary conviction offence, the person aggrieved by the refusal

may obtain from the magistrate a copy of the entry in the record book relating

to the refusal, and may, on giving to the magistrate not less than three days’

previous notice in writing thereof, make application to the Court for an order

on the magistrate to entertain, hear and determine the complaint or information

and, if the Court sees fit to make the order, the magistrate shall entertain, and

thereafter hear and determine, the complaint or information in due course of

law.

123.-(1) Wherever a magistrate or a justice of the peace refuses to do any act

relating to the duties of his office, the person requiring the act to be done may

apply to the Court on motion supported by affidavit of the facts for an order

calling upon the magistrate or justice, and also upon the person to be affected

by the act, to show cause why the act should not be done.

Decisions to be

reduced to writing.

Application to the

Court to compel

magistrate to

entertain

complaint.

Application to the

Court to compel

magistrate or

justice to do act.

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(2) If, after proof of due service of the order, good cause is not shown

against it, the Court may make it absolute and the magistrate or justice, upon

being served with the order absolute, shall obey it and do the act required, and

the costs of the proceedings shall be in the discretion of the Court.

(3) No action or proceeding whatever shall be commenced or prosecuted

against the magistrate or justice for having obeyed the order and done the act

thereby required.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to be in derogation of the

powers conferred by section 122.

124. Any notice or other document required to be served or transmitted

under this Act relating to appeals from inferior courts may be served or

transmitted by registered post or may be served by delivering or leaving it at the

last known place of abode of the party to be served.

125. In this Part, “magistrate” includes an alcalde or deputy alcalde acting

under Part VII of the Inferior Courts Act.

126. Nothing contained in this Part shall be construed to interfere in criminal

cases with the Governor-General’s prerogative of pardon.

127. Nothing in this Act shall affect any appeals from inferior courts to the

Court pending at the commencement of this Act.

128. The power conferred by section 95 to make rules of court shall be

deemed to include the power to make rules of court for any of the purposes of

this Part.

Service of

documents.

Definition of

“magistrate” in

this Part.

CAP. 94.

Saving of

Governor-General’s

prerogative of

pardon.

Pending

appeals.

Rules.

PART XI

Matrimonial Causes and Matters

Provisions Relating to Matrimonial Causes

129.-(1) A petition for divorce may be presented to the Court either by the

husband or the wife on the ground that the respondent-

(a) has, since the celebration of the marriage, committed adultery;

or

(b) has deserted the petitioner without cause for a period of at

least three years immediately preceding the presentation of

the petition; or

(c) has, since the celebration of the marriage, treated the petitioner

with cruelty; or

(d) is incurably of unsound mind and has been continuously under

care and treatment for a period of at least five years immediately

preceding the presentation of the petition,

and by the wife on the ground that her husband has, since the celebration of

the marriage, been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality.

(2) Nothwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), a petition for

divorce may be presented to the Court by either party to a marriage on the

grounds that the marriage between them has broken down irretrievably, and

that they have been living separately for at least three years immediately

preceding the presentation of the petition.

Grounds of

petitions for

divorce.

29 of 1985.

29 of 1985.

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130. For the purposes of section 129 a person of unsound mind shall be

deemed to be under care and treatment while he is detained in pursuance of

any order or inquisition made under any Act for the time being in force and not

otherwise.

131.-(1) No petition for divorce shall be presented to the Court unless at the

date of the presentation of the petition three years have passed since the date of

the marriage:

Provided that a judge may, upon application being made to him in

acordance with rules of court, allow a petition to be presented before three

years have passed on the ground that the case is one of exceptional hardship

suffered by the petitioner or of exceptional depravity on the part of the

respondent, but if it appears to the Court, at the hearing of the petition, that the

petitioner obtained leave to present the petition by any misrepresentation or

concealment of the nature of the case, the Court may, if it pronounces a decree

nisi, do so subject to the condition that no application to make a decree absolute

shall be made until after the expiration of three years from the date of the marriage,

or may dismiss the petition, without prejudice to any petition which may be

brought after the expiration of the said three years upon the same, or substantially

the same, facts as those proved in support of the petition so dismissed.

(2) In determining any application under this section for leave to present

a petition before the expiration of three years from the date of the marriage, the

judge shall have regard to the interest of any children of the marriage and to the

question whether there is reasonable probability of a reconciliation between the

parties before the expiration of the said three years.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the presentation of

a petition based upon matters which have occurred before the expiration of

three years from the date of the marriage.

Restriction on

petitions for

divorce during

first three years

after marriage.

Definition of

“care and

treatment” in

relation to

insanity.

132.-(1) On a petition for divorce presented by the husband or in the answer

of a husband praying for divorce the petitioner or respondent, as the case may

be, shall make the alleged adulterer a co-respondent unless he is excused by

the Court on special grounds from so doing.

(2) On a petition for divorce presented by the wife the Court may, if it

thinks fit, direct that the person with whom the husband is alleged to have

committed adultery be made a respondent.

133.-(1) On a petition for divorce it shall be the duty of the Court to inquire,

so far as it reasonably can, into the facts alleged and whether there has been

any connivance or condonation on the part of the petitioner and whether any

collusion exists between the parties and also to inquire into any countercharge

which is made against the petitioner.

(2) If the Court is satisfied on the evidence that-

(a) the case for the petitioner has been proved; and

(b) where the ground of the petition is adultery, the petitioner has

not in any manner been accessory to, or connived at, or

condoned, the adultery, or where the ground of the petition is

cruelty, the petitioner has not in any manner condoned the

cruelty; and

(c) the petition is not presented or prosecuted in collusion with

the respondent or either of the respondents,

the Court shall pronounce a decree of divorce, but if the Court is not satisfied

with respect to any of the aforesaid matters, it shall dismiss the petition:

Provided that the Court shall not be bound to pronounce a decree of

divorce and may dismiss the petition if it finds that the petitioner has during the

marriage been guilty of adultery or if, in the opinion of the Court, the petitioner

Provision as to

making adulterer

co-respondent.

Duty of Court on

presentation of

petition.

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has been guilty-

(i) of unreasonable delay in presenting or prosecuting the

petition; or

(ii) of cruelty towards the other party to the marriage; or

(iii) where the ground of the petition is adultery or cruelty,

of having without reasonable excuse deserted, or

having without reasonable excuse wilfully separated

himself or herself from the other party before the

adultery or cruelty complained of; or

(iv) where the ground of the petition is adultery or

unsoundness of mind or desertion, of such wilful neglect

or misconduct as has conduced to the adultery or un-

soundness of mind or desertion.

134. In any case in which, on the petition of a husband for divorce, the

alleged adulterer is made a co-respondent or in which, on the petition of a wife

for divorce, the person with whom the husband is alleged to have committed

adultery is made a respondent, the Court may, after the close of the evidence

on the part of the petitioner, direct the co-respondent or the respondent, as the

case may be, to be dismissed from the proceedings if the Court is of opinion

that there is not sufficient evidence against him or her.

135. If in any proceedings for divorce the respondent opposes the relief

sought, in the case of proceedings instituted by the husband, on the ground of

his adultery, cruelty or desertion or, in the case of proceedings instituted by the

wife, on the ground of her adultery, cruelty or desertion, the Court may give to

the respondent the same relief to which he or she would have been entitled if he

or she had presented a petition seeking such relief.

Dismissal of

respondent or

co-respondent

from

proceedings.

Relief to

respondent on

petition for

divorce.

136. In the case of any petition for divorce or for nullity of marriage-

(a) the Court may, if it thinks fit, direct all necessary papers in the

matter to be sent to the Attorney General who shall argue

before the Court any question in relation to the matter which

the Court thinks to be necessary or expedient to have fully

argued, and the Attorney General shall be entitled to charge

the costs of theproceedings as part of the expenses of his

office;

(b) any person may at any time during the progress of the

proceedings or before the decree nisi is made absolute give

information to the Attorney General of any matter material to

the due decision of the case, and the Attorney General may

thereupon take such steps as he considers necessary or

expedient;

(c) if in consequence of any such information or otherwise the

Attorney General suspects that any parties to the petition are

or have been acting in collusion for the purpose of obtaining a

decree contrary to the justice of the case, he may, after

obtaining the leave of the Court, intervene and subpoena

witnesses to prove the alleged collusion.

137.-(1) Where the Attorney General intervenes or shows cause against a

decree nisi in any proceedings for divorce or for nullity of marriage, the Court

may make such order as to the payment by other parties to the proceedings of

the costs incurred by him in so doing or as to the payment by him of any costs

incurred by any of the said parties by reason of his so doing, as may seem just.

(2) So far as the reasonable costs incurred by the Attorney General in

so intervening or showing cause are not fully satisfied by any order made

under this section for the payment of his costs, he shall be entitled to charge

the difference as part of the expenses of his office, and the judge may, if he

Provisions as to

costs where

Attorney General

intervenes or

shows cause.

Intervention by

Attorney General

in petition for

divorce, etc.

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thinks fit, order that any costs which under any order made by the Court under

this section the Attorney General pays to any parties shall be deemed to be part

of the expenses of his office.

138.-(1) Every decree for a divorce or for nullity of marriage shall, in the first

instance, be a decree nisi not to be made absolute until after the expiration of

six months from the pronouncing thereof, unless the Court by general or special

order from time to time fixes a shorter time.

(2) After the pronouncing of the decree nisi and before the decree is

made absolute, any person may, in the prescribed manner, show cause why the

decree should not be made absolute by reason of the decree having been

obtained by collusion or by reason of material facts not having been brought

before the Court, and in any such case the Court may make the decree absolute,

reverse the decree nisi, require further inquiry or otherwise deal with the case

as the Court thinks fit.

(3) Where a decree nisi has been obtained, whether before or after the

passing of this Act, and no application for the decree to be made absolute has

been made by the party who obtained the decree, then, at any time after the

expiration of three months from the earliest date on which that party could have

made such an application, the party against whom the decree nisi has been

granted shall be at liberty to apply to the Court and the Court shall, on such

application, have power to make the decree absolute, reverse the decree nisi,

require further inquiry or otherwise deal with the case as the Court thinks fit.

139-(1) As soon as any decree for divorce is made absolute, either of the

parties to the marriage may, if there is no right of appeal against the decree

absolute, marry again as if the prior marriage had been dissolved by death or, if

there is such a right of appeal, may so marry again, if no appeal is presented

against the decree, as soon as the time for appealing has expired or, if an appeal

is so presented, as soon as the appeal has been dismissed:

Re-marriage of

divorced

persons.

Decree nisi for

divorce or

nullity of

marriage.

Provided that it shall not be lawful for a man to marry the sister or half-

sister of his divorced wife or of his wife by whom he has been divorced during

the lifetime of the wife, or the divorced wife of his brother or half-brother or

the wife of his brother or half-brother who has divorced his brother during the

lifetime of the brother or half-brother.

(2) No Minister of the Christian religion shall be compelled to publish

the banns of matrimony or to solemnise the marriage of any person whose

former marriage has been dissolved by a judicial decree, where the other

party to such former marriage is still living, nor shall any Minister be compelled

to permit the use of any church or chapel under his control for publishing any

such banns or solemnising the marriage of any such person, nor shall any such

Minister be liable to any suit, proceeding or penalty for refusing to publish any

such banns or for refusing to solemnise any such marriage or for refusing to

permit the use of any such church or chapel for any such purposes aforesaid.

(3) No Minister of the Christian religion shall be liable to any suits,

proceedings or penalties for publishing any such banns or solemnising the

marriage of any such person aforesaid or for permitting the use of any such

church or chapel for any of the purposes aforesaid:

Provided that nothing in this Act shall relieve any such Minister from any

ecclesiastical proceedings or censure to which by reason of his publishing any

such banns or solemnising any such marriage or permitting the use of any such

church or chapel for any of the purposes aforesaid he is or from time to time

hereafter may be liable according to the doctrine, practice, usage or rules of

any such religion.

140.-(1) A petition for judicial separation may be presented to the Court either

by the husband or the wife on any grounds on which a petition for divorce

might have been presented, or on the ground of failure to comply with a de-

cree for restitution of conjugal rights or on any ground on which a decree for

divorce a mensa et thoro might have been pronounced in England immedi-

ately before the commencement of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857, and the

Decree of judicial

separation.

1857, c. 85.

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foregoing provisions of this Part relating to the duty of the Court on the presen-

tation of a petition for divorce, and the circumstances in which such a petition

shall or may be granted or dismissed, shall apply in like manner to a petition for

judicial separation.

(2) Where the Court in accordance with the said provisions grants a decree

of judicial separation, it shall no longer be obligatory for the petitioner to cohabit

with the respondent.

(3) The Court may, on the application by petition of the husband or wife

against whom a decree for judicial separation has been made, and on being

satisfied that the allegations contained in the petition are true, reverse the decree

at any time after the making thereof, on the ground that it was obtained in the

absence of the person making the application or, if desertion was the ground of

the decree, that there was reasonable cause for the alleged desertion.

(4) The reversal of a decree for judicial separation shall not affect the

rights or remedies which any other person would have had if the decree had not

been reversed in respect of any debts, contracts or acts of the wife incurred,

entered into or done between the date of the decree and of the reversal thereof.

141.-(1) A person shall not be prevented from presenting a petition for divorce,

or the Court from pronouncing a decree of divorce, by reason only that the

petitioner had at any time been granted a judicial separation or an order by a

summary jurisdiction court upon the same or substantially the same facts as

those proved in support of the petition for divorce.

(2) On any such petition for divorce, the Court may treat the decree of

judicial separation or the said order as sufficient proof of the adultery, desertion

or other ground on which it was granted, but the Court shall not pronounce a

decree of divorce without receiving evidence from the petitioner.

(3) For the purposes of any such petition for divorce, a period of deser-

tion immediately preceding the institution of proceedings for a decree of judicial

Divorce

proceedings

after grant of

judicial

separation or

other relief.

separation or an order under the said Act having the effect of such a decree

shall, if the parties have not resumed cohabitation and the decree or order has

been continuously in force since the granting thereof, be deemed immediately

to precede the presentation of the petition for divorce.

142. A petition for restitution of conjugal rights may be presented to the

Court either by the husband or the wife and the Court may, on being satisfied

that the allegations contained in the petition are true and that there is no legal

ground why a decree for restitution of conjugal rights should not be granted,

make the decree accordingly.

143.-(1) A decree for restitution of conjugal rights shall not be enforced by

attachment, but where the application is by the wife the Court, at the time of

making the decree or at any time afterwards, may, in the event of the decree

not being complied with within any time in that behalf limited by the Court,

order the respondent to make to the petitioner such periodical payments as

may be just, and the order may be enforced in the same manner as an order

for alimony in proceedings for judicial separation.

(2) The Court may, if it thinks fit, order that the husband shall, to the

satisfaction of the Court, secure to the wife the periodical payments, and for

that purpose may direct that it shall be referred to the Registrar to settle and

approve a proper deed or instrument to be executed by all necessary parties.

144.-(1) In addition to any other grounds on which a marriage is by law void

or voidable, a marriage shall be voidable on the ground-

(a) that the marriage has not been consummated owing to the

wilful refusal of the respondent to consummate the marriage;

or

(b) that either party to the marriage was at the time of the mar-

riage of unsound mind or a mental defective within the mean-

ing of any Act relating to unsoundness of mind, or subject to

Additional

grounds for

decree of nullity.

Decree for

restitution of

conjugal rights.

Periodical

payments in

default of

compliance with

decree for

restitution of

conjugal rights.

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recurrent fits of insanity or epilepsy; or

(c) that the respondent was at the time of the marriage suffering

from venereal disease in a communicable form; or

(d) that the respondent was at the time of the marriage pregnant

by some person other than the petitioner:

Provided that, in the cases specified in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d), the

Court shall not grant a decree unless it is satisfied-

(i) that the petitioner was at the time of the marriage

ignorant of the facts alleged;

(ii) that proceedings were instituted within a year from

the date of the marriage; and

(iii) that marital intercourse with the consent of the

petitioner has not taken place since the discovery by

the petitioner of the existence of the grounds for a

decree.

(2) Any child born of a marriage avoided pursuant to paragraphs (b) or

(c) of subsection (1) shall be a legitimate child of the parties thereto

notwithstanding that the marriage is so avoided.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as validating any marriage

which is by law void, but with respect to which a decree of nullity has not been

granted.

145.-(1) Any married person who alleges that reasonable grounds exist for

supposing that the other party to the marriage is dead may present a petition to

the Court to have it presumed that the other party is dead and to have the

marriage dissolved, and the Court, if satisfied that such reasonable grounds

exist, may make a decree of presumption of death and of dissolution of the

marriage.

(2) In any such proceedings the fact that for a period of seven years or

upwards the other party to the marriage has been continually absent from the

petitioner, and the petitioner has no reason to believe that the other party has

been living within that time, shall be evidence that he or she is dead until the

contrary is proved.

(3) Sections 136 to 139 shall apply to a petition and a decree under this

section as they apply to a petition for divorce and a decree of divorce

respectively.

146.-(1) When a petition for divorce or nullity of marriage has been presented,

proceedings under section 152 or section 153 (3) which, respectively, confer

power on the Court to order the provision of alimony and the securing of

money for the benefit of the children, may, subject to and in accordance with

rules of court, be commenced at any time after the presentation of the petition:

Provided that no order under the said section or under the said subsection,

other than an interim order for the payment of alimony under section 152, shall

be made unless and until a decree nisi has been pronounced, and no such

order, save in so far as it relates to the preparation, execution or approval of a

deed or instrument and no settlement made in pursuance of any such order,

shall take effect unless and until the decree is made absolute.

(2) Section 152 shall apply in any case where a petition for divorce or

judicial separation is presented by the wife on the ground of her husband’s

insanity as if for the references to the husband there were substituted refer-

ences to the wife, and for the references to the wife there were substituted

Time at which

proceedings for

alimony, etc., may

be commenced in

suits for divorce

or nullity.

Proceedings for

decree of

presumption of

death and

dissolution of

marriage.

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references to the husband, and in any such case and in any case where a peti-

tion for divorce, nullity or judicial separation is presented by the husband on the

ground of his wife’s insanity or mental deficiency, the Court may order the

payment of alimony or maintenance under the said section to be made to such

persons having charge of the respondent as the Court may direct.

147. Where a wife has been deserted by her husband or where her husband

has been deported from Belize under any law for the time being in force relating

to the deportation of aliens, and the husband was immediately before the

desertion or deportation domiciled in Belize, the Court shall have jurisdiction

for the purpose of any proceedings under this Part, notwithstanding that the

husband has changed his domicile since the desertion or deportation.

148. In proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, if the wife is resident

in Belize and has been ordinarily resident therein for a period of three years

immediately preceding the commencement of the proceedings, the Court shall

have jurisdiction for the purpose of such proceedings notwithstanding that the

husband is not domiciled in Belize.

149. In any proceedings in which the Court has jurisdiction by virtue of

section 147 or 148, the issues shall be determined in accordance with the law

which would be applicable thereto if both parties were domiciled in Belize at

the time of the proceedings.

Legitimacy Declarations

150-(1) Any person who is a natural-born citizen of Belize, or whose right to

be deemed a natural-born citizen of Belize depends wholly or in part on his

legitimacy or on the validity of any marriage, may, if he is domiciled in Belize or

claims any real or personal estate situate in Belize, apply by petition to the

Court for a decree declaring that the petitioner is the legitimate child of his

parents, and that the marriage of his father and mother or of his grandfather and

grandmother was a valid marriage or that his own marriage was a valid mar-

riage.

Jurisdiction in

the case of

husband’s

change of

domicile.

Jurisdiction

where husband

domiciled abroad

and wife resident

in Belize.

22 of 1966.

Applicable law

in proceedings

under section

147 or 148.

22 of 1966.

Declaration of

legitimacy, etc.

(2) Any person who is so domiciled or claims as aforesaid, may apply

to the Court for a decree declaring his right to be deemed a natural-born

citizen of Belize.

(3) Applications under subsections (1) and (2) may be included in the

same petition and on any such application the Court shall make such decree as

the Court thinks just, and the decree shall be binding on Her Majesty and all

other persons whatever:

Provided that the decree of the Court shall not prejudice any person-

(a) if it is subsequently proved to have been obtained by fraud

or collusion; or

(b) unless that person has been cited or made a party to the

proceedings or is the next-of-kin or personal representative

of, or derives title under or through, a person so cited or

made a party.

(4) A copy of every petition under this section and of any affidavit

accompanying the petition shall be delivered to the Attorney General at least

one month before the petition is presented or filed, and the Attorney General

shall be a respondent on the hearing of the petition and on any subsequent

proceedings relating thereto.

(5) In any application under this section such persons shall, subject to

rules of court, be cited to see proceedings or otherwise summoned as the

court thinks fit, and any such persons may be permitted to become parties to

the proceedings and to oppose the application.

(6) The provisions of this Act relating to matrimonial causes shall, so far

as applicable, extend to any proceedings under this section.

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(7) No proceedings under this section shall affect any final judgment or

decree already pronounced or made by any Court of competent jurisdiction.

Miscellaneous

151.-(1) A husband may on a petition for divorce or for judicial damages,

separation or for damages only claim damages from any person on the ground

of adultery with the wife of the petitioner.

(2) A claim for damages on the ground of adultery shall, subject to any

enactment relating to trial by jury in the Court, be tried on the same principles

and in the same manner as actions for criminal conversation were tried in England

immediately before the commencement of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857,

and this Part, with reference to the hearing and decision of petitions, shall so far

as may be necessary apply to be the hearing and decision of petitions on which

damages are claimed.

(3) The Court may direct in what manner the damages recovered on any

such petition are to be paid or applied, and may direct the whole or any part of

the damages to be settled for the benefit of the children, if any, of the marriage,

or as a provision for the maintenance of the wife.

152.-(1) The Court may, if it thinks fit, on any decree for divorce or nullity of

marriage, order that the husband shall, to the satisfaction of the Court, secure to

the wife such gross sum of money or annual sum of money for any term, not

exceeding her life, as having regard to her fortune, if any, to the ability of her

husband and to the conduct of the parties, the Court may think to be reasonable,

and the Court may for that purpose order that it shall be referred to the Registrar

to settle and approve a proper deed or instrument, to be executed by all the

necessary parties, and may, if it thinks fit, suspend the pronouncing of the de-

cree until the deed or instrument has been duly executed.

(2) In any such case as aforesaid the Court may, if it thinks fit, by order,

either in addition to or instead of an order under subsection (1), direct the

Damages.

1857, c. 85.

Alimony.

husband to pay to the wife during the joint lives of the husband and wife such

monthly or weekly sum for her maintenance and support as the Court may

think reasonable:

Provided that-

(a) if the husband, after any such order has been made,

becomes from any cause unable to make the payments, the

Court may discharge or modify the order, or temporarily

suspend the order as to the whole or any part of the money

ordered to be paid, and subsequently revive it wholly or in

part as the Court thinks fit; and

(b) where the Court has made any such order as is mentioned in

this subsection and the Court is satisfied that the means of the

husband have increased, the Court may, if it thinks fit, increase

the amount payable under the order.

(3) On any petition for divorce or nullity of marriage the Court shall have

the same power to make interim orders for the payment of money by way of

alimony or otherwise to the wife as the Court has in proceedings for judicial

separation.

(4) Where any decree for restitution of conjugal rights or judicial

separation is made on the application of the wife, the Court may make such

order for alimony as the Court thinks just.

(5) In all cases where the Court makes an order for alimony, the Court

may direct the alimony to be paid either to the wife or to a trustee approved by

the Court on her behalf, and may impose such terms or restrictions as the

Court thinks expedient, and may from time to time appoint a new trustee if for

any reason it appears to the Court expedient to do so.

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53.-(1) In any proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage or judicial sepa-

ration, the Court may from time to time, either before or by or after the final

decree, make such provision as appears just with respect to the custody, main-

tenance and education of the children, the marriage of whose parents is the

subject of the proceedings or, if it thinks fit, direct proper proceedings to be

taken for placing the children under the protection of the Court.

(2) On an application made in that behalf the Court may, at any time

before final decree, in any proceedings for restitution of conjugal rights or, if the

respondent fails to comply therewith, after final decree, make from time to time

all such orders and provisions with respect to the custody, maintenance and

education of the children of the petitioner and respondent as might have been

made by interim orders if proceedings for judicial separation had been pending

between the same parties.

(3) The Court may, if it thinks fit, on any decree of divorce or nullity of

marriage, order the husband or, in the case of a petition for divorce by a wife on

the ground of her husband’s insanity, order the wife, to secure for the benefit of

the children such gross sum of money or annual sum of money as the Court may

think reasonable and the Court may for that purpose order that it shall be referred

to the Registrar to settle and approve a proper deed or instrument to be executed

by all necessary parties:

Provided that the term for which any sum of money is secured for the

benefit of a child shall not extend beyond the date when the child will attain

eighteen years of age.

154.-(1) In every case of judicial separation-

(a) any property which is acquired by or devolves upon the wife

on or after the date of the decree whilst the separation con-

tinues shall, if she dies intestate, devolve as if her husband had

been then dead;

Wife’s property

in case of judical

separation.

Custody of

children.

(b) if alimony has been ordered to be paid and has not been duly

paid by the husband he shall be liable for necessaries supplied

for the use of the wife.

(2) In any case where the decree for judicial separation is obtained by

the wife, any property to which she is entitled for an estate in remainder or

reversion at the date of the decree, and any property to which she becomes

entitled as executrix, administratrix or trustee after the date of the decree, shall

be deemed to be property to which this section applies, and for the purpose

aforesaid the death of the testator or intestate shall be deemed to be the date

when the wife becomes entitled as executrix or administratrix.

155.-(1) Where a wife obtains a decree for judicial separation, the decree

shall, so far as may be necessary for the protection of any person dealing with

the wife, be valid and effectual until discharged, and the discharge or variation

of the decree shall not affect any rights or remedies which any person would

have had, if the decree had been discharged or varied, in respect of any debts,

contracts or acts of the wife incurred, entered into or done during the period

between the date of the decree and the discharge or variation thereof.

(2) Any person who, in reliance on any such decree as aforesaid, makes

any payment to or permits any transfer or act to be made or done by the wife,

shall, notwithstanding the subsequent discharge or variation of the decree, or

the fact that the separation has ceased or has been discontinued, be protected

and indemnified in the same way in all respects as if at the time of the payment,

transfer or other act the decree were valid and still subsisting without variation

in full force and effect, or the separation has not ceased or been discontinued,

as the case may be, unless at that time that person had notice of the discharge

or variation of the decree or that the separation had ceased or been discontinued.

156. The Court may from time to time vary or modify any order for the

periodical payment of money made under this Act relating to matrimonial causes

and matters either by altering the times of payment or by increasing or dimin-

ishing the amount, or may temporarily suspend the order as to the whole or

Power to vary

orders.

Protection of

third parties.

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any part of the money ordered to be paid, and subsequently revive it wholly or

in part, as the Court thinks just.

157. In every case in which any person is charged with adultery with any

party to a suit or in which the Court may consider, in the interest of any person

not already a party to the suit, that that person should be made a party to the

suit, the Court may, if it thinks fit, allow that person to intervene upon such

terms, if any, as the Court thinks just.

158. Notwithstanding any rule of law to the contrary, the evidence of a

husband or wife shall be admissible in any proceedings to prove that marital

intercourse did or did not take place between them during any period.

159. In any proceedings for nullity of marriage, evidence on the question of

sexual capacity shall be heard in camera unless in any case the judge is satisfied

that in the interests of justice any such evidence ought to be heard in open

Court.

PART XII

Probate Causes and Matters

160. The Chief Justice or a judge shall deal with all matters relating to the

granting or revocation of probates of wills and letters of administration of the

real and personal property of deceased persons and of and in all non-contentious

matters and causes testamentary and cases of intestacy whatever.

161. Any party interested in a will may compel, and any executor or party

desiring or having execution of a will may have, proof thereof in solemn form in

accordance with the practice now obtaining in the Probate Division of Her

Majesty’s High Court of Justice in England.

162. The Court, upon sufficient cause being shown, may set aside any

order or decree obtained on a default, upon such terms as to the payment of

Power to allow

intervention on

terms.

Evidence of

husband or wife

admissable to

prove marital

intercourse.

Certain evidence

in nullity

proceedings to

be in camera.

Grant of probate

and letters of

administration.

36 of 1963.

Certain decrees,

etc., may be set

aside.

Proof of will in

solemn form.

costs or otherwise as may seem just.

163. In any contested suit for probate or letters of administration the hearing

and adjudication thereof shall be in open Court, and subject thereto, all other

proceedings and business under this Part may, unless the Court otherwise

directs, be transacted in chambers.

164. Under special circumstances where it may appear to the Court to be

just or expedient, probate or administration may be granted to some person

other than the person ordinarily or by law entitled to such probate or

administration.

165.-(1) Provisions may from time to time be made by rules of court-

(a) for giving effect to any Act relating to administration of estates

of deceased persons in respect of both real and personal

property;

(b) for regulating the practice and procedure in probate and

administration matters, including both non-contentious and

contentious business;

(c) for regulating the practice and procedure, including fees and

costs, on, and incidental to, an application for sealing a probate

or letters of administration granted by any Court in any part of

the Commonwealth or Her Majesty’s dominions or a British

Court of Probate in a foreign country as provided for by any

law.

(2) “Non-contentious business” consists of the issue of grants of pro-

bate and letters of administration when there is no contention as to the right

thereto, including the passing of probates and administration through the Court

in contentious cases when the contest is terminated, and all business of a non-

contentious nature taken in Court in matters of testacy and intestacy, not being

Contested cases

to be tried in open

court.

Probate, etc., may

be granted to a

person other than

the one entitled.

Rules.

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proceedings in any action, and also the business of lodging caveats ag ainst the

grant of probate or administration.

(3) “Contentious business” includes all other probate and administration

business of the Court, except the warning of caveats and rules of court may

further provide what shall be deemed “contentious business.”

PART XII

Miscellaneous

166. In any proceedings tried in the Court for the recovery of any debt or

damages, the Court may, if it thinks fit, order that there shall be included in the

sum for which judgment is given interest at such rate as it thinks fit on the whole

or any part of the debt or damages for the whole or any part of the period

between the date when the cause of action arose and the date of the judgment:

Provided that nothing in this section shall-

(a) authorise the giving of interest upon interest; or

(b) apply in relation to any debt upon which interest is payable

as of right whether by virtue of any agreement or otherwise;

or

(c) affect the damages recoverable for the dishonour of a bill of

exchange.

167. Every judgment debt shall carry interest at the rate of six per centum

per annum from the time of entering up the judgment until the same is satisfied,

and such interest may be levied under a writ of execution on such judgment.

Judgment debts

to carry interest.

Power of Court

to award interest

on debts and

damages.

168.-(1) If, on an application made by the Attorney General under this sec-

tion, the Court is satisfied that any person has habitually and persistently and

without any reasonable ground instituted vexatious legal proceedings, whether

in the Court or in any inferior court, and whether against the same person or

against different persons, the Court may, after hearing that person or giving

him an opportunity of being heard, order that no legal proceedings shall with-

out leave of the Court or a judge thereof be instituted by him in any court, and

such leave shall not be given unless the Court or judge is satisfied that the

proceedings are not an abuse of the process of the Court and that there is

prima facie ground for the proceedings.

(2) If the person against whom an order is sought under this section is

unable on account of poverty to retain counsel, the Court shall assign counsel

to him.

(3) A copy of any order made under this section shall be published

in the Gazette.

169. In the case of any action for a forfeiture brought for non-payment of

rent, the Court or a judge thereof shall have power to give relief in a summary

manner, and subject to the same terms and conditions in all respects as to

payment of rent, costs and otherwise as could formerly have been imposed in

the Court of Chancery in England, and if the lessee, his executors, administrators

or assigns are so relieved they shall hold the demised premises according to

the terms of the lease and without the necessity of any new lease.

170. Where any person neglects or refuses to comply with a judgment

or order directing him to execute any transfer, conveyance, contract or other

document, or to indorse any negotiable instrument, the Court may, on such

terms and conditions, if any, as may be just, order that the transfer, convey-

ance, contract or other document shall be executed or that the negotiable

instrument shall be indorsed by such person as the Court may nominate for

that purpose, and a transfer, conveyance, contract, document or instrument so

executed or indorsed shall operate and be for all purposes available as if it had

Execution of

instruments by

order of Court.

Relief against

forfeiture for non-

payment of rent.

Restriction on

institution of

vexatious actions.

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been executed or indorsed by the person originally directed to execute or in-

dorse it.

171.-(1) Informations in the nature of quo warranto are hereby abolished.

(2) In any case where any person acts in an office in which he is not

entitled to act and an information in the nature of quo warranto would but for

subsection (1) have lain against him, the Court may grant an injunction restraining

him from so acting and may, if the case so requires, declare the office to be

vacant.

(3) No proceedings for an injunction under this section shall be taken by

a person who would not immediately before the commencement of this Act

have been entitled to apply for an information in the nature of quo warranto.

172. In the course of the trial of any action in Court, either with or without

a jury, the same objections may be taken to the ruling, direction or judgment of

the Court upon points of law or the reception or rejection of evidence, or upon

all other points relating to the trial or to any motion or proceeding respecting the

same, or to the pleadings and proceedings in any cause either before or after

trial or to any judgment or execution, or in reference to any interlocutory or final

proceedings whatever, as may be taken before the High Court or a judge in

England and the Court or judge may be called upon at the time to make full note

of the objection with a view to an appeal or otherwise.

173. Subject to any special disability to sue or be sued, any person, whether

a foreigner or not, and whether a domiciled inhabitant of Belize or not, may

take proceedings, or be proceeded against by action or other proceeding in the

Court in its civil jurisdiction, and the Court shall have full jurisdiction, power

and authority to try, hear and determine the action or other proceeding and to

proceed to a final judgment or order and execution therein.

174.-(1) The return of the marshal or of the Chief Officer of any prison, to any

writ of habeas corpus as to an arrest or detainer under any order of arrest or

Procedure in

case of

imprisonment.

Abolition of

information in

the nature of

quo warranto.

Objections for

the purpose of

appeal.

Jurisdiction with

respect to

foreigners.

imprisonment by the Court, or under any judgment or order of detention for or

during non-payment of any fine or penalty imposed by the Court, shall be

deemed sufficient in law, if there appears in or is attached to the return a

certificate by the Registrar setting forth the judgment or order by virtue of

which the arrest or detainer was made.

(2) The Court shall have power to reduce or remit any fine or penalty

imposed by it if the fine or penalty has not been already paid or satisfied.

175. No officer or person employed in any way whatever in the registry

shall directly or indirectly or by the intervention of an agent or trustee or

otherwise, purchase any property sold at execution, and if that officer or person

purchases or is interested in the purchase of any property at an execution sale,

he shall, upon proof thereof to the Public Services Commission, be dismissed

from his office or employment:

Provided that nothing in this section contained shall prevent the officer or

person from purchasing at execution sale any property which it is necessary

for him to purchase in order to protect the interest of himself, his wife or his

child.

176. The Judicial and Legal Services Section of the Public Services Com-

mission shall deal with the matters respectively set out in sections 8, 11, 100

(1) and 175 of this Act.

Restriction on

officer’s purchase

of property sold at

execution.

Public Services

Commission,

Judicial and Legal

Services

Commission.

15 of 1964.
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