Bermuda: Country and Foreign Investment
This page was last updated on 2 August 2019.
Bermuda is a self-governing British crown colony and member of the Commonwealth. The head of state is the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. She is represented by a governor – currently John Rankin – who is appointed by the UK prime minister. The head of government is the premier, currently David Burt. He leads the Cabinet, which has 11 ministers and is the main body of the executive.
Britain is responsible for the islands’ external affairs, defence, internal security and police.
The legislative branch, known as the Parliament, is bicameral and consists of the House of Assembly and the Senate. The House of Assembly has 36 seats and its members are elected by popular vote to serve a maximum of five years at a time. The Senate, which acts as a revising chamber, has 11 seats, all of which are appointed: five by the governor on the advice of the premier, three after consulting the Leader of the Opposition and the rest at the governor’s discretion.
House of Assembly elections were last held on 18 July 2017. The Progressive Labour Party regained power with 24 seats, causing the premier and leader of the defeated One Bermuda Alliance (12 seats), Michael Dunkley, to resign his post. David Burt took up the premiership, with Walter Roban as his deputy.
In 1995, a referendum was held regarding whether Bermuda should become independent from the UK. At that time, nearly 74% voted against independence. The issue did not go away, however, and the current government seems to be considering proposing a move towards self-determination.
Bermuda’s legal system is based on English common law.The highest court is the Supreme Court; for lesser matters there is the Magistrate’s Court. The appellate court is called the Court of Appeal, with final appeal resting with the Privy Council in London.