Belize Criminal Act – Sex Offender

Sex offender orders. 18 of 1998

8.-(1) If it appears to a police officer of or above the rank of Assistant Inspector that the following conditions are fulfilled with respect to any person, namely:-

(a) that the person is a sex offender; and

(b) that the person has acted, since the relevant date, in such a way as to give reasonable cause to believe that an order under this section is necessary to protect the public from serious harm from him, the police officer may apply for an order under this section to be made in respect of the person.

(2) Such an application shall be made by complaint to the magistrate’s court of the judicial district where it is alleged that the defendant acted in such a way as is mentioned in subsection (1) (b) above.

(3) If, on such an application, it is proved that the conditions mentioned in subsection (1) above are fulfilled, the magistrate’s court may make an order under this section (a “sex offender order”) which prohibits the defendant from doing anything described in the order.

(4) The prohibitions that may be imposed by a sex offender order are those necessary for the purpose of protecting the public from serious harm from the defendant.

(5) A sex offender order shall have effect for a period (not less than five years) specified in the order or until replaced by a further order.

(6) Subject to subsection (7) below, the applicant or the defendant may apply by complaint to the court which made a sex offender order for it to be varied or discharged by a further order.

(7) Except with the consent of both parties, no sex offender order shall be discharged before the end of a period of five years beginning with the date of service of the order.

(8) If, without reasonable excuse, a person does anything which he is prohibited from doing by a sex offender order, he shall be liable:-

(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or to both such fine and term of imprisonment; or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, or to both such fine and term of imprisonment.

Sex offender orders: supplemental

9.-(1) In section 8 above and this section “sex offender” means a person who:-

(a) has been convicted of rape, attempted rape, carnal knowledge, forcible abduction, unnatural offence, or indecent assault;

(b) has been found not guilty of such an offence by reason of insanity, or found to be under a disability and to have done the act charged against him in respect of such an offence; or

(c) has been punished under the law in force in a country or territory outside Belize for an act which:-

(i) constituted a sexual offence under that law; and

(ii) would have constituted a sexual offence if it had been done in Belize.

(2) In subsection (1) of section 8 above “the relevant date”, in relation to a sex offender, means:-

(a) the date or, as the case may be, the latest date on which he has been convicted, found, or punished as mentioned in subsection (1) above; or

(b) if later, the date of the commencement of that section.

(3) An act punishable under the law in force in any country or territory outside Belize constitutes an offence under that law for the purposes of subsection (1) above, however it is described in that law.

(4) Subject to subsection (5) below, the condition in subsection (1)(c)(i) above shall be taken to be satisfied unless, not later than rules of court may provide, the defendant serves on the applicant a notice:-

(a) stating that, on the facts as alleged with respect to the act in question, the condition is not in his opinion satisfied;

(b) showing his grounds for that opinion; and

(c) requiring the applicant to show that it is satisfied.

(5) The court, if it thinks fit, may permit the defendant to require the applicant to show that the condition is satisfied without the prior service of a notice under subsection (4) above.

Appeals against orders

10.-(1) An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court against the making by a magistrate’s court of an anti-social behaviour order or sex offender order.

(2) On such an appeal the Supreme Court:-

(a) may make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to its determination of the appeal; and

(b) may also make such incidental or consequantial orders as appear to it to be just.

(3) Any order of the Supreme Court made on an appeal under this section (other than one directing that an application be re-heard by a magistrate’s court) shall, for the purposes of section 7(6) or 8(6) above, be treated as if it were an order of the magistrate’s court from which the appeal was brought and not an order of the Supreme Court.

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