Gibraltar: Country and Foreign Investment
In 1830 Gibraltar became the Crown Colony of Gibraltar with legislative powers vested in a governor; a charter of justice created an independent judiciary. These days, Gibraltar is a dependent territory of the UK with internal self-government based on its 1969 constitution. The UK remains responsible for defence, foreign affairs and internal security.
The Gibraltarian legislature is the Parliament, until 2006 known as the House of Assembly. It comprises 15 elected members and two nominated members. In the last elections, held in 2015, the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party and Liberal alliance, led by Fabian Picardo, gained 10 seats and are therefore currently in power. The other seven seats are held by the Gibraltar Social Democrats.
The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor and heads the Council of Ministers, which is responsible for matters such as trade, economic development, education, public services, and housing. There is an advisory Gibraltar Council.
Gibraltar is politically stable and as it has been a British colony since 1704 its legal systems are based on English models, although of course EU law applies in most areas. There are three levels of court, and a Court of Appeal.
In December 2006, Gibraltarians accepted a new constitution for the jurisdiction, which aimed to give it more autonomy from the United Kingdom over its own internal affairs. The new constitution, agreed in April of that year, saw the UK retaining international responsibility for Gibraltar. However, it ceded certain powers previously held by of the British government to Gibraltar and allowed the jurisdiction to have its own independent judiciary.