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British Virgin Islands Government 2017
https://theodora.com/wfbcurrent/british_virgin_islands/british_virgin_islands_government.html
SOURCE: 2017 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES











British Virgin Islands Government 2017
SOURCE: 2017 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES


Page last updated on January 12, 2017

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: British Virgin Islands
abbreviation: BVI
etymology: the myriad islets, cays, and rocks surrounding the major islands reminded explorer Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 of Saint Ursula and her 11,000 virgin followers (Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Virgenes), which over time shortened to the Virgins (las Virgenes)

Dependency status:
overseas territory of the UK; internal self-governing

Government type:
parliamentary democracy (House of Assembly); self-governing overseas territory of the UK

Capital:
name: Road Town
geographic coordinates: 18 25 N, 64 37 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:
none (overseas territory of the UK)

Independence:
none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday:
Territory Day, 1 July (1956)

Constitution:
several previous; latest effective 15 June 2007 (2016)

Legal system:
English common law

Citizenship:
see United Kingdom

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
[see also: Suffrage country ranks ]

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor John DUNCAN (since 15 August 2014)
head of government: Premier Orlando SMITH (since 9 November 2011)
cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor from members of the House of Assembly
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed premier by the governor

Legislative branch:
description: unicameral House of Assembly (13 seats; 9 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies and 4 at-large seats by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms); note - the Assembly includes the attorney general, a non-voting ex officio member
elections: last held on 8 June 2015 (next to be held in 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NDP 9, VIP 3, PEP 1

Judicial branch:
highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to include the British Virgin Islands; the ECSC - with its headquarters on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and is comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the 9 member states; 3 High Court judges reside in member states; 3 High Court judges reside on the British Virgin Islands
judge selection and term of office: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court chief justice appointed by Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62
subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts

Political parties and leaders:
National Democratic Party or NDP [Orlando SMITH];; Virgin Islands Party or VIP [Julian FRASER]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Family Support Network Woman's Desk
other: environmentalists

International organization participation:
Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, OECS, UNESCO (associate), UPU

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)

Flag description:
blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Virgin Islander coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms depicts a woman flanked on either side by a vertical column of six oil lamps above a scroll bearing the Latin word VIGILATE (Be Watchful); the islands were named by COLUMBUS in 1493 in honor of Saint Ursula and her 11 virgin followers (some sources say 11,000) who reputedly were martyred by the Huns in the 4th or 5th century; the figure on the banner holding a lamp represents the saint; the other lamps symbolize her followers

National symbol(s):
zenaida dove, white cedar flower; national colors: yellow, green, red, white, blue

National anthem:
note: as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)


NOTE: The information regarding British Virgin Islands on this page is re-published from the 2017 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of British Virgin Islands Government 2017 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about British Virgin Islands Government 2017 should be addressed to the CIA.




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This page was last modified 22-Feb-17
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