HistoryThe government has been chosen by elections since Barbadian general election, 1961, 1961 elections, when Barbados achieved full Self-governing colony, self-governance. Before then, the government was a Crown colony consisting of either colonial administration solely (such as the Executive Council (Commonwealth countries), Executive Council), or a mixture of colonial rule and a partially elected assembly, such as the Legislative Council of Barbados, Legislative Council. Since independence the Democratic Labour Party (Barbados), Democratic Labour Party (DLP) held office 1966 to 1976, from 1986 to 1994, and from January 2008 to 2018. The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) governed from 1976 to 1986, from September 1994 – 2008 and has formed the government from 2018–Present.
Executive branchThe Executive Branch of government conducts the ordinary business of government. These functions are called out by the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers. The prime minister chooses the ministers of government they wish to have in the cabinet but they are actually appointed by the governor general. *Heads of State ** Monarchy **Governor General *Head of Government ** Prime Ministers ** Premier (Abolished) ** Attorney General's ** Ministers
List of Government Ministries, Ministers and Permanent Secretaries
Legislative BranchUnder Barbados' version of the Westminster system of government, the executive and legislative branches are partly intertwined. The only official Cabinet office (other than Prime Minister) expressly mentioned in the Constitution of Barbados is Office of the Attorney-General. * Governor General * Chief Secretaries (Abolished) * Auditors-General * Senators ** Presidents of the Senate * Members of the House ( a/k/a Members of Parliament) ** Speakers of the House of Assembly * Clerks of Parliament
LawThe Constitution of Barbados is the supreme law of the nation. The Attorney General heads the independent judiciary. Historically, Barbadian law was based entirely on English common law with a few local adaptations. At the time of independence, the Parliament of the United Kingdom lost its ability to legislate for Barbados, but the existing English and British common law and statutes in force at that time, together with other measures already adopted by the Barbadian Parliament, became the basis of the new country's legal system. Legislation may be shaped or influenced by such organisations as the United Nations, the Organization of American States, or other international bodies to which Barbados has obligatory commitments by treaty. Additionally, through international co-operation, other institutions may supply the Barbados Parliament with key sample legislation to be adapted to meet local circumstances before enacting it as local law. New acts are passed by the Barbadian Parliament and require royal assent by the Governor-General to become law.
Judicial branchThe judiciary is the legal system through which punishments are handed out to individuals who break the law. The functions of the judiciary are to enforce laws; to interpret laws; to conduct court hearings; to hear court appeals. The local court system of Barbados is made up of: *Magistrates' Courts: Covering Criminal, Civil, Domestic, Domestic Violence, and Juvenile matters. But can also take up matters dealing with Coroner's Inquests, Liquor Licences, and civil marriages. Further, the Magistrates' Courts deal with Contract and Tort law where claims do not exceed $10,000.00. *The Supreme Court of Barbados, Supreme Court: is made up of High Court and Court of Appeals. **High Court: Consisting of Civil, Criminal, and Family law divisions. **Court of Appeal: Handles appeals from the High Court and Magistrates' Court. It hears appeals in both the civil, and criminal law jurisdictions. It may consist of a single Justice of Appeal sitting in Chambers; or may sit as a Full Court of three Justices of Appeals. *The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), (based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago), is the court of last resort (final jurisdiction) over Barbadian law. It replaced the London-based Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC). The CCJ may resolve other disputed matters dealing with the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). * Chief Justices ** Justices of Appeals ** Magistrates
PerceptionTransparency International ranked Barbados as 17th place (of 179) in the world on its Corruption Perceptions Index in 2010, with only one nation scoring better in the Western Hemisphere, Americas.
See also* Politics of Barbados * Monarchy of Barbados * Parliament of Barbados * Prime Minister of Barbados * Cabinet of Barbados * List of government budgets by country * List of countries by tax revenue as percentage of GDP