Privacy rights in Belize

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Privacy rights in Belize are guaranteed by the constitution from 1981 with a revision in 2011.

Right to Privacy in Belize

3 Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

[…]

c.protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and recognition of his human dignity; and

9 PROTECTION FROM ARBITRARY SEARCH OR ENTRY

1. Except with his own consent, a person shall not be subjected to the search of his person or his property or the entry by others on his premises.

2. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes reasonable provision-

a.that is required in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, town and country planning, the development and utilisation of mineral resources or the development or utilisation of any property for a purpose beneficial to the community;

b.that is required for the purpose of protecting the rights or freedoms of other persons;

c.that authorises an officer or agent of the Government, a local government authority or a body corporate established by law for public purposes to enter on the premises of any person in order to inspect those premises or anything thereon for the purpose of any tax, rate or due or in order to carry out work connected with any property that is lawfully on those premises and that belongs to the Government or to that authority or body corporate, as the case may be; or

d.that authorises, for the purpose of enforcing the judgment or order of the court in any civil proceedings, the search of any person or property by order of a court or entry upon any premises by such order.

12 PROTECTION OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

1. Except with his own consent, a person shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to communicate ideas and information without interference (whether the communication be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons) and freedom from interference with his correspondence.

2. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes reasonable provision-

a.that is required in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health;

b.that is required for the purpose of protecting the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons or the private lives of persons concerned in legal proceedings, preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, maintaining the authority and independence of the courts or regulating the administration or the technical operation of telephone, telegraphy, posts, wireless broadcasting, television or other means of communication, public exhibitions or public entertainments; or

c.that imposes restrictions on officers in the public service that are required for the proper performance of their functions.