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House Meeting, March 10, 2023

GeneralHouse Meeting, March 10, 2023

by Kory Leslie, Freelance Writer

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Mar. 9, 2023

The members of Parliament will be convening at the National Assembly on March 10, 2023, for a special sitting of the House of Representatives. The orders of the day will include Presentations of Reports from Select Committees as well as a number of bills for second readings to be passed on to the Senate.

These reports include the Report from a Finance and Economic Development Committee on the Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Bill, 2023; a Report from the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee on the Extradition Bill, 2023; and a Report from the Constitution and Reform Affairs Committee on the Legal Aid Bill, 2023.

Bills for second reading include:

The Caribbean Community (Free Movement of Skilled Persons) (Amendment) Bill, 2023 to provide for new definitions under the Act; to increase the categories of persons qualified to enter or remain in Belize for the purpose of engaging in or finding gainful employment with an employer or as self-employed persons; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Also, the Immigration (Amendment) Bill, 2023 to amend the Immigration Act, Chapter 156 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2020; in relation to the movement of nationals of Caribbean Community States; the clarification of the period of definite and indefinite stay for nationals of Caribbean Community States; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Bill, 2023 to amend the Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) Act, Chapter 104 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2020; to satisfy the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force Recommendations with respect to laws regarding national anti-money laundering, combatting the financing of terrorism and combatting proliferation financing; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Senior Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2023 to amend the Senior Courts Act, Act No. 27 of 2022, of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2020; to remove provisions relating to the assignment of attorneys-at-law by the court to provide legal aid services; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Extradition Bill, 2023 to repeal and replace the Extradition Act, Chapter 112 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2020; to simplify and expedite the procedure for extraditions; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

And finally, the Legal Aid Bill, 2023 to make legal aid readily available to persons of small or moderate economic means; to enable the cost of providing legal aid granted to persons of small and moderate economic means to be defrayed wholly or partly out of money provided for that purpose by the National Assembly; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The proceedings for Friday will also include the presentation of the Financial Services Commission Bill 2023 brought forward by the Senate to be read by Prime Minister Briceño, as well as the presentation of the Draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for Fiscal Year 2023/2024 among other items.

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