Government

Solomon Islands is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, represented by a governor-general who must be a citizen of the country. The governor-general is elected by parliament. The prime minister is also elected by parliament. The prime minister chooses the other members of the cabinet, who are collectively responsible to the House of Assembly. The cabinet is vested with executive power.

The governor-general appoints the chief justice of the Supreme Court on the advice of the prime minister and leader of the opposition.

The unicameral National Parliament has 50 members, who are elected for a four-year term in single-seat constituencies. Solomon Islands has a multi-party system with numerous parties, with little chance of one party gaining power alone; parties must work with one another to form coalitions. Representation is based on single-member constituencies and there is universal adult suffrage.

Honiara has a town council for local government, and there are provincial administrations in the nine provinces.

The High Court is headed by the chief justice, the Court of Appeal by a president. This is the final court of appeal and its members include senior judges from Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, together with the chief justice and High Court judges.

The High Court tries the most serious civil and criminal cases, the magistrates’ courts having jurisdiction only in less serious cases. Community elders sit in local courts which have jurisdiction in customary law and local by-laws. There are also the customary land appeal courts.