Her Majesty's Government

     Democratic Labour Party - DLP (11)

Other parties in opposition

     Independents (8)      Barbados Labour Party
Barbados Labour Party

House of Assembly political groups

Her Majesty's Government

     Democratic Labour Party - DLP (16)

HM Loyal Opposition

     Barbados Labour Party
Barbados Labour Party
- BLP (14)


     Independents (2)


Senate voting system


House of Assembly voting system

First Past the Post

Senate last election

The entirety of the Senate is appointed by the Governor-General

House of Assembly last election

21 February 2013

Meeting place

Bridgetown, Barbados

The Parliament of Barbados
is the national legislature of Barbados. It is accorded legislative supremacy by Chapter V of the Constitution
of Barbados.[1] The Parliament is bicameral in composition[2] and is formally made up of: Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados
(represented by the Governor-General), an appointed Senate (Upper house), and an elected House of Assembly (Lower house).[1][3] Both houses sit in separate chambers in the Parliament Buildings (commonly known as "The Public Buildings"), in the national capital Bridgetown
in Saint Michael. The Senate is made up of twenty-one Senators,[4] while the House consists of thirty Members of Parliament (MPs) in addition to the Honourable Speaker of the House. Members to serve in the Cabinet of Barbados
may be chosen by the Prime Minister from either the House of Assembly or Senate,[5] (the Prime Minister alone who must be chosen by the Governor-General must come from the House of Assembly.)[6] In theory, supreme legislative power is vested in the Queen-in-Parliament; in practice during modern times, real power is vested in the House of Assembly, as the Governor-General generally acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the powers of the Senate have been limited.[7] The Parliament of Barbados
is originally patterned after the Parliament of England,[8] so the structure, functions, and procedures of the parliament are based on the Westminster system
Westminster system
of government. Sittings of both House and Senate are usually held once per month, with other meetings called as necessary. The House sits on Tuesdays beginning at 10:30am, and are broadcast live on the local radio station, Quality 100.7 FM. Sittings of the Senate take place on Wednesdays.


1 History 2 Legislative functions 3 Enactment clause 4 Members in Parliament 5 Election date 6 International affiliation(s) 7 Official Gazette / Hansard 8 See also 9 Notes 10 External links

10.1 About 10.2 Press coverage 10.3 Other

History[edit] The Parliament of Barbados
is the third oldest legislature in the Americas
(behind The Virginia House of Burgesses, and Bermuda House of Assembly), and is among the oldest in the Commonwealth of Nations.[9] The genesis of a legislature in Barbados
was introduced by Governor Henry Hawley, creating a structure of governance to Barbados, itself patterned after the Parliament of England). The then unicameral Parliament originally was tasked with establishing a system of laws and was completely under the domination of the island's planter-class. The first meeting of the Barbados
Assembly was held in 1639. The initial location known as the "Sessions House" which was situated in the Marlhill, which is now known as Spry Street. Built by Captain Henry Hawley, the building may have originally accommodated his Courts of Law. (On 25 June 1989, a monument was unveiled to commemorate the site outside of the current Central Bank.) By 1653, the Assembly moved to the State House then located in Bridgetown
area known as Cheapside (then encompassing Broad Street). In 1668 the State House was destroyed by a great fire started by an explosion of the Bridgetown
military magazine. Over the next century, the colony’s elected officials assembled at various locations all over Bridgetown, which were rented taverns and homes of local merchants and landlords. The Roebuck Tavern located on Roebuck Street was a favourite assembly point and was also owned by Henry Hawley. The movement of the Assembly among the various taverns in the town eventually presented an irony for the thriving colony. Governor Atkins, who was attending a meeting at Gwynn’s Tavern in 1674 commented, "I must confess I am a little astonished to see so honourable an Assembly to meet in a place so considerable as the island is, and have no house to receive us but a public tavern" (TOB 71). For many years the Barbados
Assembly continued to meet in various places. In 1724 an Act was passed providing for a building for the Council and Assembly, Law Courts and gaol. The building located on Coleridge Street was completed in 1731-1732, yet the House of Assembly still often met at times at different private houses and taverns. The current Parliament Buildings were built in the neo-Gothic style in the early 1870s on the site of what was known as the "New Burnt District", which was part of a 10-acre area in the town that was destroyed by the great fire in 1860. The Parliament of Barbados
in its current form was first introduced following the 1961 general elections. In 1963 the colonial era Legislative Council was disestablished. In its place came the Senate in 1964 (due to Barbados' status as a colony of Great Britain). As the years went by, governance in Barbados
continued to change in structure until both of the present chambers assumed their present numbers. Legislative functions[edit] Parliament is empowered by Article 35(l) of the Constitution
to make laws for the Peace, order, and good government
Peace, order, and good government
of Barbados.[10] The Constitution
also empowers Parliament to:

Determine the privileges, immunities and powers of the Senate and the House of Assembly and the members thereof;[11] alter or amend any of the provisions of the constitution;[12]

Enactment clause[edit] Main article: List of enacting clauses § Barbados

"BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Assembly of Barbados and by the authority of the same as follows:-"[13]

"ENACTED by the Parliament of Barbados
as follows:-"[14]

Members in Parliament[edit] As of the election held on 21 February 2013, the Democratic Labour Party held sixteen of the thirty directly elected seats, and the opposition Barbados Labour Party
Barbados Labour Party
held fourteen seats. Election date[edit] Main article: Elections in Barbados The next general election in Barbados
is constitutionally due on 14 May 2018 with the countdown of 63 days from 11 March to 14 May 2018. According to the Constitution
of Barbados
elections can take place no longer than every five years from the first sitting of Parliament.[15] The last general election was held on 21 February 2013. The Constitution
of Barbados
also establishes that at any time before this date the Government in power may seek a new mandate from the electorate and may ask for the current sitting of Parliament be dissolved by the Governor General and allow for the announcement of a new date for General elections.[15] The Governor General of Barbados may also announce a new date of General elections should the Prime Minister in power not survive a vote of no confidence motion. International affiliation(s)[edit]

ACP–EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly Canada- Caribbean
Parliamentary Friendship Group Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA)

Official Gazette / Hansard[edit] See also: List of British colonial gazettes

The Official Gazette of Barbados

See also[edit]

of Barbados List of Parliamentary constituencies in Barbados List of Speakers of the House of Assembly of Barbados List of Presidents of the Legislative Council of Barbados List of Presidents of the Senate of Barbados List of Barbadian Members of Parliament List of legislatures by country


^ a b Constitution, Chapter V, Part 1; Section 35 ^ "Legislative Chambers: Unicameral or Bicameral?". Democratic Governance. United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 2 June 2010.  ^ Parliament of Barbados ^ ConstitutionChapter V; Section 35 ^ Constitution, Chapter VI, Part 3; Section 65(2) ^ Constitution, Chapter VI, Part 2; Section 65(1) ^ "Queen in Parliament". The Monarchy Today: Queen and State. The Barbadian Monarchy. Retrieved 2 June 2010.  ^ Gragg, Larry Dale (2003). Englishmen transplanted: the English colonization of Barbados, 1627–1660. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-925389-7. Retrieved 6 February 2011. The English settlers on Barbados
consciously sought to replicate the ways of their homeland, to make their Caribbean
colony truly English.  ^ Cumberbatch, Jeff (5 May 2010). "Editorial got it right, Mr. Simmons". The Barbados
Advocate. Archived from the original on 6 May 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2011. Barbados’ Parliament, which postdates that of Britain and Bermuda could not then be the third oldest. Perhaps Barbados
might take a leaf from Bermuda’s book and describe our Parliament not as the third oldest in the world or the third oldest in the Commonwealth, but truthfully as "the oldest continuous Parliament of an independent Commonwealth country outside the British Isles".  ^ Constitution
of Barbados
Section 48(1) ^ Section 48(2)(3) ^ Section 49(1) ^ 1969 Companies Act., The Official Gazette of the Government of Barbados ^ [1], University of the West Indies ^ a b Constitution: Section 61 (3): "Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), Parliament, unless sooner dissolved, shall continue for five years from the date of its first sitting after any dissolution and shall then stand dissolved. (4) At any time when Barbados
is at war, Parliament may extend the period of five years specified in subsection (3) for not more than twelve months at a time:"

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parliament of Barbados.


The Parliament of Barbados
- official website History of the Parliament of Barbados
- Parliament of Barbados
website Laws of Barbados
- Parliament Parliament of Barbados
profile - Secretariat of the Caribbean, Americas
and Atlantic Region of the CPA

Press coverage[edit]

Branford, Albert (13 August 2006). "SAME SEATS". Nation Newspaper. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2010.  Branford, Albert (24 July 2006). "'Right-sizing' Parliament". Nation Newspaper. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 


Government Information Network - official website " Constitution
of Barbados" (PDF).  (7700 KB) – Government of Barbados

Coordinates: 13°05′49.15″N 59°36′50.11″W / 13.0969861°N 59.6139194°W / 13.0969861; -59.6139194

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