Barbados: Government

Barbados Flag
Coat of Arms of Barbados

Key Figures

Chief of State: Queen Elizabeth II represented by Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave

Head of Government: Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

Overview

Government Name: Barbados

Constitution: Adopted: 1966; Elaborates upon basic structure and power of both government officials and branches, and also discusses finance, public service, and citizenship in Barbados. Most recently amended in 2003.

Government Type: Parliamentary Democracy and a Commonwealth Realm

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/
Executive

The queen is the ceremonial figure for the Barbados government. The governor-general performs the monarch's federal constitutional duties, acting within the principles of parliamentary democracy and responsible government as a guarantor of continuous and stable governance. The prime minister advises the Canadian monarch or viceroy. The QPC act as personal consultants to the Monarch depending on their specific title names.

The queen is hereditary. The governor general is appointed by the monarch. The prime minister is appointed by the governor-general.

Governor-General: at Her Majesty's discretion; Prime Minister: 5 years

Judicial

The independent judiciary is composed of magistrates' courts, which are statutorily authorized, and a supreme court, which is constitutionally mandated. The supreme court consists of the high court and the court of appeal, each having four judges.

The supreme court of judicature judges are appointed by the service commissions for the judicial and legal service.

Mandatory retirement age of 65

Legislative

The senate actually tends to be less dominant than commons. Approval of both houses is needed for legislation, but the senate rarely rejects bills passed by the directly elected commons.

The senate has 21 members who are appointed by governor-general. The house of assembly has 30 members who are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies.

5 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: As a small nation, the primary thrust of Barbados' diplomatic activity has been within international organizations. The island is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Caribbean Community (CARICOM), CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Barbados was admitted to the United Nations in December 1966. Barbados joined the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1967.

Regional Trade Blocs: CARICOM

Treaties: No multilateral military treaties


International Organization Participation  Source: CIA World Factbook

ACP AOSIS C Caricom CDB CELAC
FAO G-77 IADB IBRD ICAO ICRM
IDA IFAD IFC IFRCS ILO IMF
IMO Interpol IOC ISO ITSO ITU
ITUC LAES MIGA NAM OAS OPANAL
OPCW UN UNCTAD UNESCO UNIDO UPU
WCO WFTU WHO WIPO WMO WTO

Note: Click table to see details


Environmental Agreements  Source: CIA World Factbook

Biodiversity Climate Change Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol Desertification Endangered Species Hazardous Wastes
Law of the Sea Marine Dumping Ozone Layer Protection Ship Pollution Wetlands

Note: Click table to see details


Tax Authority: Customs and Excise Department

Tax Name: VAT


Sources:

CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.

Glossary