Government

St Vincent and the Grenadines is a constitutional monarchy and representative democracy with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, represented by a governor-general. The unicameral legislature, the House of Assembly, has 21 members. Fifteen members are elected at least every five years by universal adult suffrage, six senators are appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the prime minister, and two on the advice of the leader of the opposition. The leader of the majority party in the House of Assembly becomes prime minister, and selects and heads a cabinet.

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court was established (as the West Indies Associated States Supreme Court) in 1967 with its headquarters in Castries in St Lucia, and is responsible for the administration of justice in its member states including St Vincent and the Grenadines. It comprises the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal.

The High Court has 16 justices, two of whom are permanently resident in the country and sit in the court of summary jurisdiction. Less serious cases are heard in magistrates’ courts. The Court of Appeal is itinerant. The High Court’s jurisdiction includes fundamental rights and freedoms, and constitutional issues.