SENATE OF BELIZE
I - COMPOSITION
12 senators appointed by the Governor General.
II - SYSTEM OF APPOINTMENT
- 6 members appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister
- 3 members appointed on the advice of the leader of the opposition
- 1 member appointed on the advice of the Belize Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association of Churches
- 1 member appointed on the advice of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Business Bureau
- 1 member appointed on the advice of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Civil Society St eering Committee.
Term of office: 5 years.
Last renewed: 21 March 2012.
Eligibility: 18 years, Belize citizenship; residence in the country for at least one year prior to nomination.
Ineligibility: allegiance to a foreign state.
Incompatibilities: holding of election-connected offices, membership of armed or police forces, government contractors.
Senators may be members of the Government, but a member of the Government may not be appointed as a senator.
III - PARLIAMENTARY SESSIONS
One session per year is convened by the Governor General and held conjointly with that of the House of Representatives.
IV - RELATIONS WITH OTHER HOUSE
AND EXECUTIVE POWER
A - LEGISLATIVE POWER
1) Legislative initiative
Yes, but the Senate may not table private bills in the area of fiscal policy.
2) Right of amendment
3) Legislative procedure
Once a bill has been adopted by the House of Representatives, it is referred before the Senate which may adopt or dismiss it within a timeframe of six months (ordinary legislation) or one month (finance bills).
The House of Representatives may exercise its power of final decision.
B - POWERS OF SCRUTINY
The Senate may create committees of enquiry and hold hearings of members of the Government as well as of other persons to examine matters relating to any aspect of national policy.
V - SPECIAL PROVISIONS
The President of the Senate is elected for 5 years and must be a member of the Senate.
The deputy president must also be elected from amongst the senate's members.
The minimum age requirement for both functions is 30 years.