Politics of the Falkland Islands

The politics of the Falkland Islands takes place in a framework of a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary representative democratic dependency as set out by the constitution, whereby the Governor exercises the duties of head of state in the absence of the monarch and the Chief Executive acts as the head of government, with an elected Legislative Assembly to propose new laws and hold the executive to account.

The islands, an archipelago in the southern Atlantic Ocean, are a self-governing British overseas territory. Executive power is exercised on behalf of the Queen by an appointed Governor, who primarily acts on the advice of the Executive Council. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Legislative Assembly. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The military defence and foreign policy of the islands is the responsibility of the United Kingdom. Politics in the Falkland Islands is minimal as no political parties exist on the islands, and the governmental and legal proceedings very closely resemble British standards.

Following the Falklands War in 1982, Lord Shackleton published a report on the economy of the Falkland Islands which recommended many modernisations. On 1 January 1983 the Falkland Islanders gained British citizenship under the British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983, and on 3 October 1985 the Constitution of the Falkland Islands was established. A new constitution came into force on 1 January 2009 which modernised the Chapter on fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, embedding self-determination in the main body of the constitution. The new constitution also replaced the Legislative Council with the Legislative Assembly, and better explained the role of the Governor and the Chief Executive.[1]