GOVERNMENT

Parliament

The Parliament of Barbados is the national legislature of Barbados. It is accorded legislative supremacy by Chapter V of the Constitution of Barbados.The Parliament is bicameral in composition 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).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 and The Queen (therein represented by the Governor-General), 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, (the Prime Minister alone who must be chosen by the Governor-General must come from the House of Assembly.)

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.

The Parliament of Barbados is originally patterned after the Parliament of England, so the structure, functions, and procedures of the parliament are based on the 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.