Isle of Man: Country and Foreign Investment
This page was last updated on 11 January 2020.
The Isle of Man is a self-governing British crown dependency. The British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is head of state in her capacity as Lord of Man. She is represented on the island by the lieutenant governor, who is appointed by the crown for a five year term. The incumbent is Sir Richard Gozney. The UK government is responsible for the external relations and defence of the island. The Isle of Man (unlike the Channel Islands) makes an annual contribution to the UK for this service.
The island's parliament, Tynwald, is the oldest legislature in the world in continuous existence; it has Viking origins from over 1,000 years ago. Tynwald has two chambers: the House of Keys and the Legislative Council. The majority of members sit as independents, and the virtual absence of party politics encourages a high degree of consensus. This has contributed to the remarkable stability of the Manx system.
The island has its own courts, but the body of the law is based on English common and civil law. English precedents are often followed. Some UK legislation is adopted as such by the Isle of Man by agreement with the British government. The ultimate court of appeal is to the Privy Council in London. Advocates at the Manx bar have the fused rights of solicitors and barristers.