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Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament

Parliament consists of the Queen, represented by the Governor General, the Senate and the House of Representatives.  The Governor-General summons Parliament, brings its session to an end by prorogation, and formally assents to every bill before it can become law.  In practice, he exercises all these powers on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

MISSION STATEMENT

To achieve good governance through the provision of services and procedural advice to Members of the Houses of Parliament.

VISION STATEMENT

To ensure that efficient, reliable and professional service is provided to Parliament and its communities.

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Structure of House of Parliament

Parliamentary democracy as we understand it today is based upon the consent of the governed.  Sovereignty resides in the people and it is they who decide who shall occupy the seats of power.

Parliament consists of the Queen, represented by the Governor General, the Senate and the House of Representatives.  The Governor-General summons Parliament, brings its session to an end by prorogation, and formally assents to every bill before it can become law.  In practice, he exercises all these powers on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

The passage of legislation depends on the participation of all three component parts of Parliament.  A bill must be agreed to by both Houses and receive the Royal Assent before it can become an Act of Parliament.  The powers of the Senate and the House of Representatives are constitutionally equal except that financial legislation may not be introduced in the Senate.

All Senators are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

The House of Representatives is directly elected by the people, and although by tradition the Senate is the Upper House and the House of Representatives is the Lower House, it is the House of Representatives which plays the predominant part in the parliamentary system.

The Parliament of Grenada came into being in 1974 when Grenada became an independent country.

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THE SENATE

The Senate consists of thirteen (13) non-elected Members. The members come from different sources.  They are:

  • Seven are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister.
  • Three are appointed on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.
  • Three are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister after he has consulted the organizations or interests which he considers the Senators should be selected to represent.

FUNCTIONS OF THE SENATE

  • To act as a House of review with responsibility for expressing second opinion in relation to legislative and other proposals initiated in the House of Representatives.
  • To ensure proper consideration of all legislation.
  • To provide adequate scrutiny of financial measures.
  • To initiate non-financial legislation as the Senate sees fit: the Senate’s capacity to initiate proposed legislation effectively means that Parliament is not confined in its opportunities for considering public issues in a legislative context to those matters covered by bills brought forward by the executive.
  • To probe and check the administration of laws and to keep itself informed and to insist on ministerial accountability for the administration of the Government.
  • To provide effective scrutiny of Government and enable adequate expression of debate about policy and government programmes.  As a parliamentary forum, the Senate is one place where a Government can be, of right, questioned and obliged to answer.

All bills must be passed by the Senate before they can become law and it has the constitutional right to reject any bill, and keep on rejecting it as long as it sees fit.  It can also amend any bill, although it cannot initiate or increase the amount of any bill dealing with taxation or expenditure.

MEMBERS OF THE SENATE

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The House of Representatives was modelled on the British, and even now, in any matter of procedure not provided for by its own rules and practices, the rules and practices of the British House of Commons are followed.

The House of Representatives is the focal point of parliamentary activity and public attention, the grand forum of the nation, where major national and international issues are debated; where the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition may be seen in regular confrontation; where Cabinet Ministers defend the policies and conduct of their departments; where the nation’s business in freely and openly transacted, all that is said and done being faithfully recorded.

Parliament makes the laws and the House of Representatives plays the predominant part in making them.  Any member can introduce bills, except bills involving expenditure or taxation, which can only be introduced by the government.  Since the responsibilities of government now extend into almost every sphere of activity, and since most government action involves spending money (and raising it by taxes, fees, loans, and so forth), most of the time of the House is spent on Government Bills.

Every bill must pass both Houses and receive the Royal Assent before it becomes law.  Assent is signified by the Governor General.

By law a general election must be held at least once every five years.  However, Parliament may be dissolved and an election called before the statutory period has elapsed, and this is what normally happens.  The power to dissolve Parliament is a royal prerogative exercised by the Governor General, normally on the advice of the Prime Minister.

THE GOVERNOR GENERAL

The Governor General personifies the State.  In law, he is the head of the Executive and an integral part of the legislature.  In practice, he exercises all these powers on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

Honourable Michael Pierre Speaker of the House of Representatives
Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell, PC, MP Prime Minister and Minister for National Security, Public Administration, Home Affairs and Information, and Communications Technology and Minister for Finance, Planning, Economic Development and Physical Development
Honourable Gregory Bowen, MP Minister for Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transport and Implementation

Honourable Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen, MP

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation

Honourable Alvin Martin Da Breo, MP

Minister in the Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information with responsibility for Forestry and Fisheries

Honourable Peter David, MP

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Labour

Honourable Oliver Thomas Joseph, MP

Minister for Trade, Industry, Co-operatives and CARICOM Affairs
Honourable Yolande Bain-Horsford, MP Minister for Agriculture and Lands

Honourable Kate Lewis, MP

Minister within the Ministry of Youth Development, Sports, Culture and the Arts with responsibility for Youth Development
Honourable Pamela Moses, MP Minister within the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Religious Affairs with responsibility for Tertiary Education, Skills Development and Education Outreach
Honourable Emmalin Pierre, MP Minister for Education, Human Resource Development and Religious Affairs

Honourable Nickolas Steele, MP

Minister for Health, Social Security and International Business

Honourable Kindra Maturine-Stewart, MP

Minister for Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs and Local Government and Minister for Legal Affairs

Honourable Delma Thomas, MP Minister for Social Development, Housing and Community Empowerment
Honourable Anthony Boatswain, MP

Member, St. Patrick West

Honourable Tobias Clement, MP

Member, St. George North-East

 

THE GRENADA CONSTITUTION

Upon Grenada’s attainment of Independence in 1974, the Grenada Constitution Order of 1973, which was made on the 19th of December 1973 in London, came into operation on the day of Independence being 7th February, 1974. The Grenada Constitution comprises a number of rules, which establish the way the country is to be governed.  Grenada has a written Constitution unlike the United Kingdom whose Constitution is unwritten.

The Constitution is made up of nine (9) chapters:

CHAPTER 1

Comprises sections 1 to 18 and deals with the Protection of    
Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, such as:
right to life, right to personal liberty, protection from slavery
and forced labour, etc.

CHAPTER 2

Comprises sections 19 to 22 and deals with
the establishment of the office of Governor-General.
The Governor-General represents the Queen in Grenada.

CHAPTER 3

Comprises section 23 to 56 and deals with
the establishment and composition of Parliament.

CHAPTER 4

Comprises sections 57 to 74 and deals with the
the establishment and functioning of the Executive.
- The appointment of the Prime Minister
- The allocation of portfolios to Ministers
- The appointment of the Leader of the Opposition
- The functioning of the Attorney-General and the Director of  
Public Prosecutions.

CHAPTER 5

Comprises sections 75 to 82 and deals with Finance matters.
The Consolidated Fund and how expenditure is to be    
authorized.

CHAPTER 6

Comprises sections 83 to 93 and deals with the
the Public Service.
The Public Service Commission
Appointments

CHAPTER 7

Comprises sections 94 to 100 and deals with
Citizenship of Grenada and what qualifications are needed.

CHAPTER 8

Comprises sections 101 to 105 and deals with
The Judicial Provisions
- The High Court
- The Court of Appeal
- The Privy Council

CHAPTER 9

Comprises sections 106 to 111 and deals with
Miscellaneous matters such as:

The establishment of the Constitution as being the Supreme Law

The Interpretation of the Constitution

The Constitution has three schedules:

  • Schedule 1 – elaborates on Section 39 of the Constitution.
  • Schedule 2 – makes provisions for rules relating to constituencies.
  • Schedule 3 – outlines how the Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office are to be sworn.

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