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Barbados: Country and Foreign Investment

Government

Barbados is a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster model. The Queen of England, as Head of State, is represented by a Governor-General.

The House of Assembly has 30 members, elected for a maximum period of 5 years under universal suffrage. The Prime Minister is the leader of the largest party, and his cabinet is appointed by the Governor-General based on his recommendations. There are 21 Senate members, twelve of which are appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister, a further two on the advice of the Opposition Leader and the remaining seven at the Governor-General's discretion. The last elections held in January 2013, saw the DLP, led by Freundel Stuart, successfully bid for a second successive term in government, taking 16 seats in the 30-seat House of Assembly.

Amendment to the Constitution may be decided by Act of Parliament passed by both houses, except for 'entrenched' clauses which require two-thirds majorities in both houses. These clauses relate to citizenship, rights and freedoms, the Governor-Generalship, composition of Parliament and its sessions, prorogation and dissolution, general elections, senatorial appointments, the Executive Authority of Barbados, the judicature, civil service and finance. The next general election is due to be held no later than 2018.

The legal system is based on English precedents, except that the written Constitution is superior to Parliament; there is a High Court and a Court of Appeal. In certain cases appeal lies to the UK Privy Council; but the creation of a Caricom Court of Appeal has led Barbados to replace its Privy Council appellate jurisdiction with the CCJ.

Inauguration of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), originally set for November, 2004, was postponed until 2005, as a result of the failure of three Caribbean countries to pass the relevant legislation. Translation of the treaties relating to the CCJ and Single Market and Economy (CSME) into national law is a pre-condition of the loan agreement reached with the Caribbean Development Bank for the funding of the Court.

 

 

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