History of Office

The idea that there should be an Ombudsman who is vested with the power to give aid and comfort to individual citizen who suffers unjustly at the hands of public and other authorities was conceived in Sweden, which appointed the first Ombudsman in 1807.

Belize’s Ombudsman is very closely fashioned around the Jamaican experience, this is so because historically, Jamaica is where Belize looks to for ideas. The Ombudsman Act was passed by the UDP government in April 1994. However, it was not until five years later that Act was brought into force and the office was established by the PUP government on July 1999 and the official opening of the was office was done on August 25, 1999.

In April 1999, the Commonwealth Secretariat sent a mission to Belize to provide technical expertise in establishing the Office of the Ombudsman. The experts looked at the 1994 Ombudsman Act and compared its key provisions with a number of neighboring countries’ legislations. They consulted with local persons and institutions. On June 25th 1999, a resolution was introduced in the Legislature for the appointment of Mr. Paul Rodriquez as the first Ombudsman of Belize.