Government of Barbados

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The Government of Barbados (GoB), is made up structurally of The Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State.[1] She is represented by her representative the Governor-General, Sir Elliott Belgrave, G.C.M.G., K.A.,[2] The country has a bicameral legislature and a mature social democratic party system, based on universal adult suffrage and total purity in elections. The Senate has 21 members, all appointed by the Governor-General on behalf of the Monarch, 12 on the advice of the Prime Minister, two on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, and seven in the Governor-General’s sole discretion. The House of Assembly has 30 members, all elected. Both Houses debate all legislation. However, the House of Assembly may ultimately override Senate's rejection of money Bills and other Bills except Bills amending the Constitution. Officers of each House (President and Deputy President of the Senate and Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees of the Assembly) are elected from the Members of the respective Houses.

In keeping with the evolution of the Westminster system of governance, Barbados has evolved into a leading independent Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy, meaning that all real power rests with the Parliament, but the country maintains aspects of a historic Monarchy/Kingdom government also, which allows stability. Executive authority is vested in the Monarch who grants all functioning of the government to both the Prime Minister and Cabinet who are collectively responsible to Parliament.[3] Barbadian law is rooted historically on English common law, and the Constitution of Barbados implemented in 1966, is supreme law of the land.

Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the individual are set out in the Constitution and are protected by a strict legal code.

The Cabinet is headed by the Prime Minister who must be an elected MP and other Ministers are appointed from either chamber by the Governor-General as advised by the Prime Minister.

The Governor-General appoints as Leader of the Opposition the Member of House of Assembly who commands the support of the largest number of Members of that House in opposition to the ruling party's government.

The maximum duration of a Parliament is five years from the first sitting. There is a simultaneous dissolution of both Houses of Parliament by the Governor-General acting on the advice of the Prime Minister.

There is an established non-political public service. Also, there are separate constitutional commissions for: the Judicial and Legal Service, the Public Service, and the Police Service.


A simplified diagram of the Barbados government

The government has been chosen by elections since 1961 elections, when Barbados achieved full self-governance. Before then, the government was a Crown colony consisting of either colonial administration solely (such as the Executive Council), or a mixture of colonial rule and a partially elected assembly, such as the Legislative Council. Since Independence, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) governed from 1976 to 1986, and from September 1994 – 2008. The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) held office 1966 to 1976, from 1986 to 1994, and has formed the Government January 2008 to present.

Executive branch

The Prime Minister and Cabinet is formed by the political party which gains a simple majority in the general elections held in Barbados. These elections constitutionally must be held no longer than every five years apart, however elections can be called whenever the Government so chooses to seek a new mandate or loses a vote of no confidence in Parliament. It is part of Barbados' political system and supported by the Public service.


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Portfolio Minister
Prime Minister of Barbados
Head of the Cabinet of Barbados
The Hon. Freundel Stuart
Prime Minister's Office Sen. The Hon. Darcy Boyce
Office of the Attorney General The Hon. Adriel Brathwaite
Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Industry and Small Business Development Dr. The Hon. David Estwick
Ministry of Commerce and Trade Sen. The Hon. Haynesley Benn
Ministry of Drainage, Water Resource Management and the Environment Dr. The Hon. Denis Lowe
Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development The Hon. Ronald D. Jones
Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth The Hon. Stephen Lashley
Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs The Hon. Christopher Sinckler
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Sen. The Hon. Maxine McClean
Ministry of Health The Hon. Donville Inniss
Ministry of Home Affairs The Hon. Adriel Brathwaite
Ministry of Housing, Lands, Urban and Rural Development The Hon. Patrick M. T. Todd
Ministry of International Transport and International Business The Hon. George Hutson
Ministry of Labour Dr. The Hon. Esther Byer-Suckoo
Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development The Hon. Steven D. Blackett
Minister Of State The Hon. Patrick M. T. Todd
Ministry of Tourism The Hon. Richard L. Sealy
Ministry of Transport and Works The Hon. John D. E. Boyce

Judicial Branch

{{#invoke:main|main}} Barbados' Courts include the Magistrates' Court, High Court, and Court of Appeal.[4] It is also a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice, and allows some appeals to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.


Transparency International ranked Barbados as 17th place (of 179) in the world on its corruption perceptions index in 2010, with only 1 nation scoring better in the Americas. ([1])

See also


  1. Constitution of Barbados: EXECUTIVE POWER (Chapter 6), Section 63. Section 63 of the Constitution says that the executive authority of Barbados shall be vested in Her Majesty the Queen"
  2. The Queen's role in Barbados,
  3. The Queen and the Commonwealth,
  4. Barbados' criminal court system

Further reading

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External links

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