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Jan 18, 2023

Consultation to Modernize the Medico Legal Death Investigation

Kevin Arthurs

Today, stakeholders in medico-legal death investigations, including the police, the judiciary, health and others gathered at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City for the second phase of a three-part process of updating the coroner’s act as it currently exists on the books. And so consultations are ongoing for the legal reformation of this process. Back in the early 2000s, the National Forensic Science Service was created, but the coroner’s act was never updated to include the role that the department plays in the new system of medico-legal death investigations. We learn more about Modernizing the Death Investigation System Project.


Kevin Arthurs, C.E.O., Ministry of Home Affairs

“It is crafted to reform the medico-legal death investigation and its legal framework within Belize. At our first consultation workshop held in October 2022, we explored several instances where the current MLDI system can be improved. One area of moment was directed at the legislation that stipulates how a sudden unexpected suspicious, accidental or violent death is reported together with the ensuing investigation by the relevant authorities. Today, we intend to discuss the follow up report which was prepared by our consulting team and to look at the several recommendations contained within that report. This will lead us to weigh the merits and feasibility of those recommendations. This undertaking is a necessary step towards reforming the MLDI system in Belize, to modernise its legal and regulatory framework which will ultimately lead to improving the conduct, integrity, utility of medical death investigations.”


Gian Cho

Gian Cho, Director, National Forensic Science Service

“This project funded by the NGO called Vital Strategies based in the USA. It is steered by a local committee consisting of forensics, police and Ministry of Health so the three agencies that are steering this project along are the ones that are really involved in the custody of bodies, in the investigation of deaths, in the issuing of post-mortem examinations.”

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