In a move that has put Belize at
the forefront of the region's
legal systems, all nine volumes
of Belize's substantive laws are
now available on CD ROM. At
this morning's media launch,
Attorney General Godfrey Smith
told reporters that the new
electronic copy contains all the laws of Belize
updated through December thirty-first, 2000.

Godfrey Smith, Attorney General
"Normally laws aren't updated every year. The practice
in Belize has been laws are updated after every ten
years or so because you have the existing laws and
each government keeps passing more and more laws.
The United Democratic Party in its last term passed
some two hundred and twenty-five pieces; this
current government is at roughly two hundred different
pieces of legislation, so law making doesn't stand
still, new and more laws come into force. This new
set of laws is an attempt to compile everything in one
place so that up to December thirty-first, 2000, the
nine volumes represent the comprehensive laws of

Ann-Marie Williams
"Given the new laws past every so often and some
amendments, how current will it be and how long will
the electronic copy last?"

Godfrey Smith
"Our aim is to have at the end of each year a new CD
with the update as opposed to every ten years and
certainly that's true for the online version as well
which should be up-to-date earlier than the end of the
year. But I think so that it's done properly and
consistently, we can look for updates electronically
every year, so in effect the version you have of a CD
will always be somewhere like six months to one year

Hard copies are on sale at the Attorney General's
Ministry in Belmopan for the princely sum of three
thousand dollars, while the CD ROM version costs
only seven hundred and fifty. Free online access
from any part of the world is available by login on to And if you're interested in
trials, major Supreme Court judgements can also
be obtained at the click of a mouse from that