Go to Homepage

[Feedback]

[Site Map]

[Contact Us]

Search this Site

 

Government of Saint Lucia

 Parliament


Governor General
Prime Minister
The Cabinet
The Senate
House of Assembly
The Constitution
Overseas Missions
The Staff Orders

National Television Network
Watch NTN Live

Saint Lucia Gazette
Press Releases
Speeches
Features
NEMO
Notices
Tenders/Consultancies
Vacancies
Bursaries/Scholarships
About Saint Lucia
Frequently Asked Questions
Web Links
Government Directory
Browse by Agency
Site Help

Back ] Up ] Next ]

CHAPTER III

PARLIAMENT

Part 1

Composition of Parliament

23.- Establishment

There shall be a Parliament of Saint Lucia which shall consist of Her Majesty, a Senate and a House of Assembly.

The Senate

24.- Composition

(1) The Senate shall consist of eleven Senators and such other Senators as may be temporarily appointed under section 28 of this Constitution.

(2) Of the eleven Senators-

a) six shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister;

b) three shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition; and

c) two shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment after he has consulted those religious, economic or social bodies or associations from which he considers that such Senators should be selected.

25.- Qualifications

Subject to the provisions of section 26 of this Constitution, as person shall be qualified to be appointed as a Senator if, and shall not be so qualified unless, he-

a) is a Commonwealth citizen who has attained the age of thirty years;

b) has been ordinarily resident in Saint Lucia for a period of five years immediately before the date of his appointment; and

c) is able to speak and, unless incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause, to read the English language with sufficient proficiency to enable him to take an active part in the proceedings of the Senate.

26.- Disqualifications

(1) No person shall be qualified to be appointed as a Senator if, at the date of his appointment, he.

a) is by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state;

b) is a minister of religion (except in the case of an appointment under section 24(2)(c) of is Constitution);

c) is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in any part of the Commonwealth;

d) is a person certified to be insane or otherwise adjudged to be of unsound mind under any such law;

e) is under sentence of death imposed on him by a court of law in any part of the Commonwealth or is serving a sentence of imprisonment (by whatever name called) exceeding twelve months imposed on him by such a court or substituted by competent authority for some other sentence imposed on him by such a court, or is under such a sentence of imprisonment the execution of which has been suspended; or

f) subject to such exceptions and limitations as may be prescribed by Parliament, has any such interests in any such government contract as may be prescribed.

(2) If it is so provided by Parliament, a person who is convicted by any court of any offence that is prescribed by Parliament and that is connected with the election of members of the House or who is reported guilty of such an offence by the court trying an election petition shall not be qualified, for such period (not exceeding five years) following his conviction or, as the case may be, following the report of the court as may be so prescribed, to be appointed as a Senator.

(3) No person shall be qualified to be appointed as a Senator who is a member or is nominated as a candidate or election to the House.

(4) If it is so provided by Parliament, and subject to such exceptions and limitations (if any) as Parliament may prescribed, a person shall not be qualified to be appointed as a Senator if, at the date of his appointment-

a) he holds or is acting in any office or appointment (whether specified individually or by reference to a class of office or appointment);

b) he belongs to any of the armed forces of the Crown or to any class of persons that is comprised in any such force; or

c) he belongs to any police force or to any class of person that is comprised in any such force.

(5) In subsection (1) of this section-

"contract" means any contract made with the Government or with a department of the Government or with an officer of the Government contracting as such;

"minister of religion" means any person in holy orders and any other person the functions of whose principal occupation include teaching or preaching in any congregation for religious worship.

(6) For the purposes or paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of this section-

a) two or more sentences of imprisonment that are required to be served consecutively shall be regarded as separate sentences if none of those sentences exceeds twelve months, but if any one of such sentences exceeds that term they shall be regarded as one sentence; and

b) no account shall be taken of a sentence of imprisonment imposed as an alternative to or in default of the payment of a fine.

27.- Tenure of office

(1) A senator shall vacate his seat in the Senate at the next dissolution of Parliament after his appointment.

(2) A senator shall also vacate his seat in the Senate-

a) if he is absent from the sittings of the Senate for such period and in such circumstances as may be prescribed in the rules of procedure of the Senate;

b) if he ceases to be a Commonwealth citizen;

c) if, with his consent, he is nominated as a candidate for election to the House or if he is elected to be a member of the House;

d) subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of his section, if any other circumstances arise that, if he were not a Senator, would cause him to be disqualified to be appointed as such by virtue of subsection (1) of section 26 of his Constitution or by virtue of any law enacted in pursuance of subsection (2) or (4) of that section; or

e) if the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister in the case of a Senator appointed under paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section 254 of this Constitution or in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition in the case of a Senator appointed under paragraph (b) of that subsection or in his own deliberate judgment after such consultation as is specified in paragraph (c) of that subsection in the case of a Senator appointed under that paragraph, declares the seat of that Senator to be vacant.

(3) a) If any circumstances such as are referred to in paragraph (d) of subsection (2) of this section arise because any Senator is under sentence of death or imprisonment, adjudged to he of unsound mind, declared bankrupt or convicted or reported guilty of an offence relation to elections and if it is open to the Senator to appeal against the decisions (either with the leave of a court or other authority or without such leave), he shall forthwith cease to perform his functions as a member of the Senate but, subject to the provisions of this section, he shall not vacate his seat until the expiration of a period of thirty days thereafter:

Provided that the President may, at the request of the Senator, from time to time, extend that period for further periods of thirty days to enable the Senator to pursue an appeal against the decision, so, however, that extensions of time exceeding in the aggregate one hundred and fifty days shall not be given without the approval, signified by resolution, of the Sound.

b) If on the determination of any appeal, such circumstances continue to exist and no further appeal is open to the Senator, or if, by reason of the expiration of any period for entering an appeal or notice thereof of the refusal of leave to appeal or for any other reason, it cases to be open to the Senator to appeal, he shall forthwith vacate his seat.

c) If at any time before the Senator vacates his seat such circumstances as aforesaid cease to exist, his seat shall not become vacant on the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection and he may resume the performance of his functions as a member of the senate.

28.- Inability

(1) If the Governor-General considers that a Senator is, by reason of his illness or absence from Saint Lucia, unable to perform his functions as a member of the Senate the Governor-General may-

a) in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister in relation to a Senator appointed in pursuance of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section 24 of this Constitution;

b) in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition in relation to a Senator appointed in pursuance of paragraph (b) of that subsection : and

c) in his own deliberate judgment after such consultation as is specified in paragraph (c) of that subsection in relation to a Senator appointed in pursuance of that paragraph.

29.- President and Deputy President

(1) When the Senate first meets after any dissolution of Parliament and before it proceeds to the despatch of any other business, it shall be elect a Senator, not being a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary, to be President of the Sound; and whenever the office of President is vacant otherwise than by reason of a dissolution of Parliament, the Senate shall, not later than its second sitting after the vacancy has arisen, elect another Senator to fill that office.

(2) When the Senate first meets after any dissolution of Parliament, it shall, as soon as practicable, elect a Senator, not being a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary, to be Deputy President of the Senate; and whenever the office of Deputy President becomes vacant, the Senate shall, as soon as convenient, elect another Senator to fill that office.

(3) A person shall vacate the office of President or Deputy President-

a) if he ceases to be a Senator:

Provided that the President shall not vacate his office by reason only that he has ceased to be a Senator on a dissolution of Parliament until the Senate first meets after that dissolution;

b) if he is appointed to be a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary; or

c) in the case of the Deputy President, if he is elected to be President.

(4) a) If, by virtue of section 27(3)(a) of this Constitution, the President or Deputy President is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the Senate he shall also cease to perform his functions as President or Deputy President, as the case may be, and those functions shall, until he vacates his seat in the Senate or resumes the performance or the functions of his office, be performed-

i) in the case of the President, by the Deputy President or, if the office of Deputy President is vacant or the Deputy President is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the Senate by virtue of section 27(3) of this Constitution, by such Senator (not being a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary) as the Senate may elect for the purpose;

ii) In the case of the Deputy President, by such Senator (not being a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary) as the senate may elect for the purpose.

b) If the President or Deputy President resumes the performance of his functions as a members of the Senate, in accordance with the provisions of section 27(3)(c) of this Constitution, he shall also resume the performance of his functions as President or Deputy President, as the case may be.

The House of Assembly

30.- Composition

(1) The House shall consist of such number of member of members as corresponds with the number of constituencies for the time being established in accordance with the provisions of section 58 of this Constitution, who shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of section 33 of this Constitution.

(2) If a person who is not a member of the House is elected to be Speaker he shall, by virtue of holding or acting in that office, be a member of the House.

(3) At any time when the office of Attorney-General is a public office, the Attorney-General shall by virtue of holding or acting in that office, be a member of the House.

31.- Qualifications for election

Subject to the provisions of section 32 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House if, and shall not be so qualified unless, he-

a) is a citizen of the age of twenty-one years or upwards,

b) was born in Saint Lucia and is domiciled and resident there at the date of his nomination or, having been born elsewhere, has resided there for a period of twelve months immediately before that date; and

c) is able to speak and, unless incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause, to read the English language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him to take an active part in the proceedings of the House.

32.- Disqualifications from election

(1) A person shall not be qualified to be elected as a member of the House (hereinafter in this section referred to as a member) if he-

a) if by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state;

b) is a minister of religion;

c) is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in any part of the Commonwealth;

d) is a person certified to be insane or otherwise adjudged to be of unsound mind under any such law;

e) is under sentence of death imposed on him by a court of law in any part of the Commonwealth or is serving a sentence of imprisonment (by whatever name called) exceeding twelve months imposed on him by such a court or substituted y competent authority for some other sentence imposed on him by such a court, or is under such a sentence of imprisonment the execution of which has been suspended; or

f) subject to such exceptions and limitations as may be prescribed by Parliament, has an interest in any government contract.

(2) If it is so provided by Parliament, a person shall not be qualified to be elected as a member if he holds or is acting in any office that is specified by Parliament and the functions of which involve responsibility for, or in connection with, the conduct of any election of members or the compilation of any register of voters for the purpose of electing members.

(3) Id it is so provided by Parliament, a person who is convicted by any court of law of any offence that is prescribed by Parliament and that is connected with the election of member or who is reported guilty of such an offence by the court trying an election petition shall not be qualified, for such period (not exceeding seven years) following his conviction or, as the case may be, following the report of the court as may be so prescribed, to be elected as a member.

(4) A person shall not be qualified to be elected as a member if he is a Senator.

(5) If it is so provided by Parliament and subject to such exceptions and limitations (if any) as Parliament may prescribed, a person shall not be qualified to be elected as a member if-

a) he holds or is acting in any office or appointment (whether specified individually or by reference to a class of office or appointment);

b) he belongs to any of the armed forces of Saint Lucia or to any class of person that is comprised in any such force;

c) he belongs to any police-force or to any class of person that is comprised in any such force; or

d) he has, within such period (not exceeding three years) as parliament may prescribe, held or acted in any office or appointment the tenure of which would, by virtue of any provisions made under this subsection, disqualify him for election as a member, being an office or appointment the emoluments of which exceed such amount as Parliament may prescribe.

(6) In subsection (1) of this section-

"government contract" means any contract made with the Government or with a department of the Government or with an office or the Government contracting as such;

"minister of religion" means any person in holy orders an any other person the function of whose principal occupation include teaching or preaching in any congregation for religious worship.

(7) For the purposes of paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of this section-

a) two or more sentences of imprisonment that are required to be served consecutively shall be regarded as separate sentences if none of those sentences exceeds that term they shall be regarded as one sentence; and

b) no account shall be taken of a sentence of imprisonment imposed as an alternative to on in default of the payment of a fine.

33.- Elections

(1) Each of the constituencies established in accordance with the provision of section 58 of this Constitution shall return one member to the House who shall be directly elected in such manner as may, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, be prescribed by or under any law.

(2) a) Every Commonwealth citizen of the prescribed age who possesses such qualifications relating to residence or domicile in Saint Lucia as Parliament may prescribe shall, unless he is disqualified by Parliament from registration as a voter for the purpose of electing members of the House, be entitled to be registered as such a voter in accordance with the provisions of any law in that behalf, and no other person may be so registered,

b) Every person who is registered as aforesaid in any constituency shall, unless he is disqualified by Parliament from voting in that constituency in any election of member so the House, be entitled so to vote, in accordance with the provisions of any law in that behalf, and no other person may so vote.

c) For the purpose of this subsection the prescribed age shall be the age of twenty-one years or such lower age, not being less than eighteen years, as Parliament may prescribe.

(3) In any election of members of the House the votes shall be given be ballot in such manner as not to disclose how any particular person votes.

34.- Tenure of office

(1) A member of the House (hereinafter in this section referred to as a member) shall vacate his seat in the House at the next dissolution of Parliament after his election.

(2) A member shall also vacate his seat in the House-

a) if he is absent from the sitting of the House for such period and in such circumstances as may be prescribed in the rules of procedure of the House;

b) if he ceases to be a citizen; or

c) subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, if any other circumstances arise that, if he were not a member, would cause him to be disqualified to be elected as such by virtue of subsection 81) of section 32 of this Constitution or of any law enacted in pursuance of subsection (2), (3) or (5) of that section.

(3) (a) If any circumstances such as are referred to in paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of this section arise because any member is under sentence of death or imprisonment, adjudged to be of unsound mind, declared bankrupt or convicted or reported guilty of an offence relating to elections and if it is open to the member to appeal against the decision (either with the leave of a court of law or other authority or without such leave), he shall forthwith cease to perform his functions as a member but, subject to the provisions of this section, he shall not vacate his seat until the expiration of a period of thirty days thereafter:

Provided that the Speaker may, at the request of the member, from time to time extent that period for further periods of thirty days to enable the member to pursue an appeal against the decision, so however, that extensions of time exceeding in the aggregate one hundred and fifty days shall not be given without the approval, signified by resolution, of the House.

b) If, on the determination of any appeal, such circumstances continue to exist and no further appeal is open to the member, or if, be reason of the expiration of any period for entering an appeal or notice thereof or the refusal of leave to appeal or for any other reason, it ceases to be open to the member to appeal, he shall forthwith vacate his seat.

c) If at any time before the member vacates his seat such circumstances aforesaid cease to exist, his seat shall not become vacant on the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection and he may resume the performance of his functions as a member.

(4) References i this section to a member do not include references to a Speaker who was elected from among persons who were not members of the House.

35.- Speaker

(1) When the House first meets after any general election of members and before it proceeds to the despatch of any other business, it shall elect a person to be the Speaker; and if the office of Speaker falls vacant at any time before the next dissolution of Parliament, the House shall, as soon as practicable, elect another person to that office.

(2) The Speaker may be elected either form among the members of the House who are not members of the Cabinet or Parliamentary Secretaries of form among persons who are not members of the House:

Provided that a person who is not a member of the House shall not be elected as Speaker if_

a) he is not a Commonwealth citizen; or

b) he is a person disqualified to be elected as a member by virtue of subsection (1) or (4) of section 32 of this Constitution to be virtue or any law enacted in pursuance of subsection (2), (3) or (5) of that section.

(3) No business shall be transacted in the House (other than the election of a Speaker) at any time when the office of Speaker is vacant.

(4) A person shall vacate the office of Speaker -

a) in the case of a Speaker who was elected from among the members of the House -

i) if he ceases to be a member of the House

Provided that the Speaker shall not vacate his office by reason only that he ceased to be a member of the House on a dissolution of Parliament, until the House first meets after the dissolution; or

ii) if he becomes a member of the Cabinet or Parliamentary Secretary;

b) in the case of a Speaker who was elected form among persons who were not members of the House-

i) when the House first meets after any dissolution of Parliament;

ii) of he ceases to be a Commonwealth citizen;

iii) if any circumstances arise that would cause him to be disqualified to be elected as a member by virtue of subsection (1) or (4) of section 32 of this Constitution or by virtue of any law enacted in pursuance of subsection (2), (3) or (5) of that section.

(5) If, by virtue of section 34(3) of this Constitution, the Speaker (being an elected member of the House) is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the House he shall also cease to perform his functions as Speaker; and if the Speaker resumes the performance of his functions as a member of the House, in accordance with the provisions of that section, he shall also resume the performance of his functions as Speaker.

(6) At any time when , by virtue of section 34(3) of this Constitution, the Speaker is unable to perform the functions of his office, those functions shall, until he vacates his seat in the House or resumes the performance of the function of his office, be performed by the Deputy Speaker or, if the office of Deputy Speaker is vacant or the Deputy Speaker is required to cease to perform his function as a member of the House by virtue of that subsection, by such member of the House (not being a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary) as the House may elect for the purpose.

36.- Deputy Speaker

(1) When the House first meets after any general election of members and before it proceeds to the despatch of any other business except the election of the Speaker, the House shall elect a member of the House , who is not a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary, to be Deputy Speaker of the House and if the office of Deputy Speaker falls vacant at any time before the next dissolution of Parliament, the House shall, as soon as convenient, elect another member of the House to that office.

(2) A person shall vacate the office of Deputy Speaker_

a) if he ceases to be a member of the House;

b) if he becomes a member for the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary; or

c) if he is elected to be Speaker.

(3) if by virtue of section 34(3) of this Constitution, the Deputy Speaker is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the House he shall also cease to perform his function as Deputy Speaker and if the Deputy Speaker resumes the performance of his function as a member of the House, in accordance with the provisions of that section, he shall also resume the performance of his function as deputy Speaker.

(4) At nay time when by virtue of section 34(3) of this Constitution, the Deputy Speaker is unable to perform the functions of his office those function shall, until he vacates his seat in the House or resumes the performance of the function of his office, be performed by such member of the House (not being a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary) as the House may elect for the purpose.

37.- Responsibility for elections

(1) The Electoral Commission shall be responsible for the registration of voters for the purpose of electing member of the House and for the conduct of elections of member of the House and shall have such powers and other functions relating to such registration and elections as may be prescribed by law.

(2) In the discharge of its functions the Electoral Commission shall be assisted by a Chief Elections officer, whose office shall be a public office, and the Commission may give such directions as it considers necessary or expedient to the Officer, who shall comply with such directions or cause them to be complied with.

(3) For the purposes of the exercise of his function under subsection (2) of this section , the Chief elections Officer may give such directions as he considers necessary or expedient to any registering officer, presiding officer or returning officer relating to the exercise by tat officer of his functions under any law regulating the registration of voters or the conduct of elections, and any officer to whom directions are given under this subsection shall comply with those directions.

(4) The Electoral Commission may make such reports to the Governor-General concerning the matters for which it is responsible under this section or any draft bill or instrument that is referred to it under section 52 of this Constitution, as it may think fit and if the Commission so requests in any such report other than a report on a draft bill or instrument that report shall be laid before the House.

(5) Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, in the exercise of his functions under this section the Chief Elections Officer shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

(6) The question whether the Chief Election Officer has acted in accordance with the directions of the Electoral Commission shall not be enquired into in any court of law.

General provisions

38.- Clerks of Senate and House of Assembly and their staff

(1) There shall be a Clerk of the Senate and a Clerk of the House:

Provided that the offices of Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the House may be held by the same person.

(2) Subject to the provisions of any law enacted by Parliament the offices of Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the House and the members of their staff shall be public offices.

39.- Determination of questions of membership

(1) The High Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any question whether-

a) any person has been validly elected as a member of the House;

b) any person shall been validly appointed as a Senator;

c) any person who has been elected as Speaker from among persons who were not members of the House was qualified to be so elected or has vacated the office of Speaker;

d) any Senator or any elected member of the House has vacate his seat or is required, under the provisions of section 27(3) or 34(3) of this Constitution, to cease to perform any of his functions as a member of the Senate or of the House.

(2) An application to the High Court for the determination of any question under subsection (1)(a) of this section may be made by any person entitled to vote in the election to which the application relates or by any person who was a candidate at that election or by the Attorney-General.

(3) An application to the High Court for the determination for any question under subsection (1)(b) or (1)(c) of this section may be made by any registered voter or by the Attorney-General.

(4) An application to the High Court for the determination for any question under subsection (1)(d) of this section may be made-

a) by a registered voter or by the Attorney-General; or

b) in relation to the Senate, by a Senator and in relation to the House by a member of the House

(5) If any application is made by a person other than the Attorney-General to the High Court for the determination of any question under this section, the Attorney-General may intervene and may then appeal of be represented in the proceedings.

(6) the Circumstances and manner in which and the imposition of conditions upon which any application may be made to the High Court for the determination of any question under this section and the powers, practice and procedure of the High Court in relation to any such application shall be regulated by such provision as may be made by Parliament.

(7) An appeal shall lie as of right to the Court of Appeal from any final decision of the High Court determining such a question as is referred to in subsection (1) of this section.

(8) No appeal shall lie from any decision of the Court of Appeal in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred by subsection (7) of this section and no appeal shall lie from any decision of the High Court in proceeding under this section other than a final decision determining such a question as is referred to in subsection 81) of this section.

(9) In the exercise of his functions under this section, the Attorney-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

(10) In this section " registered voter" means a person registered as a voter in accordance with section 33(2)(a) of this Constitution.

Part 2

Legislation and procedure of Parliament

40.- Power to make laws

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution parliament may make laws for the peace, order and good government of Saint Lucia.

41.- Alteration of Constitution and Supreme Court Order

(1) parliament may alter any for the provisions of this Constitution or of the Supreme Court Order in the manner specified in the following provisions of this section.

(2) A bill to alter this section, Schedule 1 to this Constitution or any of the provisions of this Constitution specified in Part 1 of that Schedule or any of the provisions of the Supreme Court Order specified in Part II of that Schedule shall not be regarded as being passed by the House unless on its final reading in the House the bill is supported by the votes of not less than three-quarters of all the members of the House.

(3) A bill to alter any of the provisions of this Constitution to, as the case may be, of the Supreme Court Order other than those referred to in subsection (2) of this section shall not be regarded as being passed by the House unless on its final reading in the House the bill is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the House.

(4) An amendment made by the Senate to a bill to which subsection (2) of this section applies shall not be regarded as being agreed to by the House for the purposes of section 50 of this Constitution unless such agreement is signified by resolution supported by the votes of not less than three-quarters of all the members of the House.

(5) An amendment made by the Senate to a bill to which subsection (3) of this section applies shall not be regarded as being agreed to by the House for the purposes of section 50 of this Constitution unless such agreement is signified by resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the House.

(6) A bill to alter any of the provisions of this Constitution or the Supreme Court Order shall not be submitted to the Governor-General for his assent -

a) unless there has been an interval of not less than ninety days between the introduction of the bill in the House and the beginning of the proceedings in the House on the second reading of the bill; and

b) if the bill provides for the alteration of this section, Schedule 1 to this Constitution or any of the provisions of this Constitution or the Supreme Court Order specified in that Schedule, unless after it has been passed by the Senate and the House or, in the case of a bill to which section 50 of this Constitution applies after its rejection by the Senate for the second time, the bill has been approved on a referendum, held in accordance with such provision as may be made in that behalf by Parliament, by a majority of the votes validly cast on that referendum.

(7) The provisions of paragraph (b) of subsection (6) of this section shall not apply in relation to any bill to alter_

a) section 107 of this Constitution in order to give effect to any agreement between Saint Lucia and the United Kingdom concerning appeals from any court having jurisdiction in Saint Lucia to Her Majesty in Council;

b) any of the provisions of the Supreme Court Order in order to give effect to any international agreement to which Saint Lucia is a party relating to the Supreme Court or any other court (or any officer or authority having functions in respect of any such court) constituted in common for Saint Lucia and for other countries also parties to the agreement.

(8) Every person who, at the time when the referendum is held would be entitled to vote for the purpose of electing members of the House shall be entitled to vote on a referendum held for the purposes of this section in accordance with such procedures as may be prescribed by Parliament for the purposes of the referendum and no other person shall e entitled so to vote.

(9) In any referendum for the purposes of this section the votes shall be given by ballot in such manner as not to disclose how any particular person votes.

(10) The conduct of any referendum for the purposes of this section shall be the responsibility of the Electoral Commission and the provisions of section 37 and 52 of this Constitution shall apply in relation to the referendum as they apply in relation to election of members of the House and legislation relating thereto.

(11) a) A bill to alter any of the provisions of this Constitution to the Supreme Court Order shall not be submitted to the Governor-General for his assent unless it is accompanied by a certificate under the hand of the Speaker that the provisions of subsection (2), (3), (4) or (5) of this section, as the case may be, have been complied with and, where a referendum has been held in pursuance of subsection (6)(b) of this section, by a certificate under the hand of the Chief Elections Officer stating the results of the referendum.

b) The certificate of the Speaker under this subsection shall be conclusive that the provisions of subsection (2), (3), (4) or (5) of his section, as the case may be, have been complied with and shall not be enquired into in any court of law.

c) In this subsection references to the Speaker shall, if the person holding the office of Speaker is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office and no other person is performing them, include references the Deputy Speaker.

(12) In this section and Schedule 1 to this Constitution references to any of the provisions of this Constitution or the Supreme Court Order include references to any law that alters that provision.

42.- Freedom of speech

Without prejudice to any provisions made by Parliament relating to the powers, privileges and immunities of the Senate or the House and the committees thereof, or the privileges and immunities of the members and officers to the Senate or the House and of other persons concerned in the business of the Senate or the House or the committees thereof, no civil or criminal proceedings may be instituted against any member of the Senate or the House for words spoken before, or written in a report to, the Senate or the House or a committee thereof or by reason of any matter or thing brought by him therein by petition, bill resolution, motion or otherwise.

43.- Oath by members

(1) Every member of the Senate or the House shall, before taking his seat therein, take and subscribe before the Senate or the House, as the case may be, the oath of allegiance but a member may before taking that oath take part in the election of the President or Speaker.

(2) Any person elected to the office of President or Speaker shall, if he has not already taken and subscribed the oath of allegiance under subsection (1) of this section, take and subscribe that oath before the Senate or the House, as the case may be, before entering upon the duties of his office.

44.- Presiding

There shall preside at any sitting of the Senate or the House-

a) the President or Speaker;

b) in the absence of the President or Speaker, the Deputy President or Deputy Speaker; or

c) in the absence of the President or Speaker and the Deputy President or Deputy Speaker, such member thereof (not being a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary) as the Senate or the House, as the case may be, may elect for that purpose.

45.- Voting

(1) Save as a otherwise provided in sections 17(7), 18(2) and 41(2), (3), (4) and (5) of this Constitution, any question proposed for decision in the Senate or the House shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members present and voting.

(2) A question shall not be regarded as having been validly determined by a vote in the Senate or the House unless at least six member or such grater number of members as parliament may prescribe, take part in the voting.

(3) The reference to all the members of the House in sections 17(7), 18(2) and 41 (2), (3), (4) and (5) of this Constitution shall not include the Speaker if he was elected from among persons who were not members of the House.

(4) The President or other Senator presiding in the Senate and a Speaker who was elected from among the members of the House or other member presiding n the House shall not vote unless on any question the votes are equally divided, in which case he shall have and exercise a casting vote;

Provided that in the case of the question of the final reading of such a bill as is referred to in subsection (2) or (3) of section 41 of this Constitution or the question of a motion for such a resolution as is referred to in subsection (4) or (5) of that section a Speaker who was so elected or other member presiding in the House shall have an original vote but no casting vote.

(5) A Speaker who was elected from among persons who were not members of the House shall have neither an original nor a casting vote.

(6) If, upon any question before the House the votes of the members are equally divided and no casting vote may be exercised, the motion shall be lost.

46.- Penalty for sitting if unqualified

(1) Any person who sits or votes in the Senate or the House knowing or having reasonable grounds for knowing that he is not entitled to do so shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or such other sum as may be prescribed by Parliament, for each day on which he so sits or votes.

(2) Any prosecution for an offence under this section shall be instituted except by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

47.- Mode of exercise of legislative power

(1) The power of Parliament to make laws shall be exercised by bills passed b the Senate and the House (or in the cases mentioned in section 49 and 50 of this Constitution by the House) and assented to by the Governor-General.

(2) When a bill is submitted to the Governor-General for assent in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution he shall signify that he assents.

(3) When the Governor-General assents to a bill that has been submitted to him in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution the bill shall become law and the Governor-General shall thereupon cause it to be published in the Official Gazette a law.

(4) No law made by Parliament shall come into operation until it has been published in the Official Gazette but Parliament may postpone the coming into operation of any such law and may make laws with retrospective effect.

48.- Restrictions with regard to certain financial measures

(1) A bill other than a money bill may be introduced in the Senate or the House; a money bill shall not be introduced in the Senate.

(2) Except on the recommendation of the Governor-General signified by a Minister, neither the Senate nor the House shall-

a) proceed upon any bill (including any amendment to a bill) that, in the opinion of the person presiding, makes provision for any of the following purposes:-

i) for the imposition of taxation of the alteration of taxation otherwise than by reduction;

ii) for the imposition of any charge upon the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund of Saint Lucia or the alteration of any such charge otherwise than by reduction;

iii) for the payment, issue or withdrawal form the Consolidated Fund or any public fund of Saint Lucia of any monies not charged thereon or any increase in the amount of such payment, issue or withdrawal; or

iv) for the composition or remission of any debt due to the Crown; or

b) procedure upon any motion (including any amendment to a motion) the effect of which, in the opinion of the person presiding, would be to make provisions for nay of those purposes.

49.- Restrictions on powers of Senate as to money bills

(1) If a money bill, having been passed by the House and sent to the Senate at least one month before the end of the session, is not passed by the Senate without amendment within one month after it is sent to the Senate, the bill shall, unless the House otherwise resolves, be presented to the Governor-General for his assent notwithstanding that the Senate has not consented to the bill.

(2) There shall be endorsed on every money bill when it is sent to the Senate the certificate of the Speaker signed by him that it is a money bill; and there shall be endorsed on any money bill that is submitted to the Governor-General for assent in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section the certificate of the Speaker signed by him that it is a money bill and the provisions of that subsection have been complied with.

50.- Restrictions on powers of Senate as to bills other than money bills

(1) This section applies to any bill other tan a money bill that is passed by the House in two successive sessions (whether of not Parliament is dissolved between those sessions) and, having been sent to the Senate in each of those sessions at least one month before the end of the session, is rejected by the Senate in each of those sessions.

(2) A bill to which this section applies shall, on its rejection for the second time by the Senate, unless the House otherwise resolves, be submitted to the Governor-General for assent notwithstanding that the Senate has not consented to the bill:

Provided that-

a) the foregoing provisions of this subsection shall not have effect unless at least six months have elapse between the date on which the bill is passed by the House in the first session and the date on which it is passed by the House in the second session;

b) a bill such as is referred to in subsection 82) or (3) of section 41 of this Constitution shall not be submitted to the Governor-General for his assent unless the provisions of that subsection have been complied with and the power conferred on the House by this subsection to resolve that a bill shall not be exercised in respect of such a bill.

(3) For the purposes of his section a bill that is sent to the Senate from the House in any session shall be deemed to be the same bill as a former bill sent to the Senate in the preceding session if, when it is sent to the Senate, it is identical with the former bill or contains only such alterations as are certified by the Speaker to be necessary owing to the time that has elapse since the date of the former bill or to represent any amendments which have been made by the Senate in the former bill in the preceding session.

(4) The house may, if it thinks fit, on the passage through the House of a bill tat is deemed to be the same bill as a former bill sent to the Senate in the preceding session, suggest any amendments without inserting the amendments in the bill, and any such amendments shall be considered by the Senate, and if agreed to by the Senate, shall be treated as amendments made by the Senate, and if agreed to by the Senate, shall be treated as amendments made by the Senate and agreed to by the House; but the exercise of this power by the House shall not affect the operation of this section in the event of the rejection of the bill in the Senate.

(5) There shall be inserted in any bill that is submitted to the Governor-General for assent in pursuance of this section any amendments that are certified by the Speaker to have been made in the bill by the Senate in the second session and agreed to by the House.

(6) There shall be endorsed on any bill that is presented to the Governor-General for assent in pursuance of this section the certificate of the Speaker signed by him that the provisions of this section have been complied with.

51.- Provisions relating to ss. 48, 49 and 50

(1) In section 48, 49 and 50 of this Constitution, "money bill" means a public bill which, in the opinion of the Speaker, contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following matters, namely the imposition, repeal, remission, alteration or regulation of taxation; the imposition, for the payment of debt or other financial purposes, of charges on public money, or the variation or repeal of any such charges; the grant of money to the Crown or to any authority or person, or the variation or revocation of any such grant; the appropriation, receipt, custody, investment, issue or audit of accounts of public money; the raising or guarantee of any loan or there payment thereof, or the establishment, alteration, administration or abolition of any sinking fund provided in connection with any such loan; or subordinate matters incidental to any of the matters aforesaid; and in this subsection the expressions "taxation", "debt", "public money" and "loan" do not include any taxation imposed, debt incurred or money provided or loan raised by any local authority or body for local purposes.

(2) For the purposes of section 50 of this Constitution, a bill shall be deemed to be rejected by the Senate if-

a) it is not passed by the Senate without amendment; or

b) it is passed by the Senate with any amendment which is not agreed to by the House.

(3) In this section and section 49 and 50 of this Constitution references to the Speaker shall, if the person holding the office of Speaker is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office and no other person is performing them, include references to the Deputy Speaker.

(4) Any certificate of the Speaker given under section 49 or 50 of this Constitution shall be conclusive for all purposes and shall not be questioned in any court of law.

(5) Before giving any certificate under section 49 or 50 of this Constitution the Speaker shall consult the Attorney-General.

52.- Scrutiny of electoral legislation

Every proposed bill and every proposed regulation or other instrument having the force of law relating to the registration of voters for the purpose of electing members of the House or to the election of members of the House shall be referred to the Electoral Commission and to the Chief Elections Officer at such time as shall give them sufficient opportunity to make comments thereon before the bill is introduced in the Senate or the House or, as the case may be, the regulation or other instrument is made.

53.- Regulation of procedure

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Senate and the House may each regulate its own procedure and may in particular make rules for the orderly conduct of its own proceedings.

(2) The Senate or the House may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership (including any vacancy not filled when it first meets after any general election) and the presence or participation of any person not entitled to be present at or to participate in its proceedings shall not invalidate those proceedings.

Part 3

Summoning, prorogation and dissolution

54.- Sessions

(1) Each session of Parliament shall be held at such place within Saint Lucia and shall being at such time, not being later than twelve months from the end of the preceding session if Parliament has been prorogued or one month from the holding of a general election of members of the House if parliament has been dissolved, as the Governor-General shall appoint by Proclamation.

(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the sitting of the Senate or the House shall be held at such time and place as it may, by its rules of procedure or otherwise, determine.

55.- Prorogation and dissolution

(1) The Governor-General may at any time prorogue or dissolve Parliament.

(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section parliament, unless sooner dissolved, shall continue for five years from the date of the first sitting of the House after any dissolution and shall then stand dissolved.

(3) At any time when Saint Lucia is at war, parliament may extend the period of five years specified in subsection (2) of this section for not more than twelve months at a time:

Provided that the life of Parliament shall not be extended under this subsection for more than five years.

(4) In the exercise of this powers to dissolve Parliament, the Governor-General shall act in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister:

Provided that-

a) if the Prime Minister advises a dissolution and the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment, considers that the government of Saint Lucia can be carried on without a dissolution and that a dissolution would not be in the interests of Saint Lucia, he may, acting in his own deliberate judgment, refuse to dissolve Parliament;

b) if a resolution of no confidence in the Government is passed by the House and the Prime Minister does not within three days either resign or advise a dissolution the Governor-General , acting in his own deliberate judgment, may dissolve Parliament; and

c) if the office of the Prime Minister is vacant and the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment, considers that there is no prospect of his being able within a reasonable time to make an appointment to that office the Governor-General shall dissolve Parliament.

(5) If, after a dissolution of Parliament and before the holding of a general election of members of the House, the Prime Minister advises the Governor-General that, owing to the existence of a state of war or of a state of emergency in Saint Lucia, it is necessary to recall Parliament, the Governor-General shall summon the Parliament that has been dissolved to meet, but unless the life of parliament is extended under the provisions of subsection (3) of his section, the general election shall proceed and the parliament that has been recalled shall, if not sooner dissolved, again stand dissolves on the date appointed for the nomination of candidate in the general election.

56.- Holding of elections

(1) A general election of members of the House shall be held at such time within three months after any dissolution of Parliament as the Governor-General may appoint.

(2) Where the seat of a member of the House or a Senator falls vacant otherwise than by reason of a dissolution of Parliament-

a) if the vacant seat is that of a member of the House, a by-election shall be held; or

b) if the vacant seat is that of a Senator an appointment shall be made.

to fill the vacancy within three months of the occurrence of the vacancy unless Parliament is sooner dissolved.

Part 4

Constituency Boundaries and Electoral Commissions

57.- Constituency Boundaries Commission and Electoral Commission

(1) There shall be a constituency Boundaries Commission and an Electoral Commission for Saint Lucia (each of which is hereinafter in this section referred to as a Commission).

(2) The Constituency Boundaries Commission shall consist of-

a) the Speaker, as chairman;

b) two members appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister; and

c) two members appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.

(3) The Electoral Commission shall consist of - 

a) a chairman appointed by the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment;

b) one member appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister; and

c) one member appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition. 

(4) A person shall not be qualified to be appointed as a member of a Commission if he is a Senator or member of the House or a public officer nor, in the case of the chairman of the Electoral Commission, unless he holds one of the specified qualifications and has held one or other of those qualifications for a total period of not less than seven years.

(5) Subject to the provisions of this section, a member of a Commission who has been appointed shall vacate his office-

a) when the House first meets after the next dissolution of Parliament after his appointment;

b) if any circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of the Commission, would cause him to be disqualified for appointment as such.

(6) A member of a Commission who has been appointed may be removed from office but only for inability to discharge the functions thereof (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause) or for misbehaviour, and he shall not be so removed except in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(7) A member of a Commission who has been appointed shall be removed from office by the Governor-General if the question of his removal from office has been referred to a tribunal has recommended to the Governor-general that he ought to be removed from office for inability as aforesaid or for misbehaviour.

(8) if the prime Minister, in the case of a member of the Constituency Boundaries Commission appointed in accordance with paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of this section, or the Leader of the Opposition, in the case of a member of that Commission appointed in accordance with paragraph (c) of that subsection, represents to the Governor-General of if, in the case of the chairman of the electoral Commission, the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment, and , in the case of any other member of that Commission, the Governor-General, acting after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, considers that the question of removal of a member of the Commission from office for inability as aforesaid or for misbehaviour ought to be investigate, then-

a) the Governor-General shall appoint a tribunal, which shall consist of a chairman and not less than two other members, selected by the Chief Justice, from among persons who hold or have held office as a judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such court; and

b) the tribunal shall enquire into the matter and report on the facts thereof to the Governor-General and recommended to the Governor-General whether the member of the Commission ought to be removed from office for inability as aforesaid or for misbehaviour.

(9) A Commission may regulate its own procedure, and, with the consent of the Prime Minister, confer powers and impose duties on any public officer or on any authority of the Government for the purpose of the discharge of its functions.

(10) A Commission may, subject to its rules of procedure, act not withstanding any vacancy in its member ship and its proceedings shall not be invalidated by the presence of participation of any person not entitled to be present at or to participate in those proceedings;

provided that any decision of the Commission shall require the concurrence of a majority of all its members.

(11) In the exercise of its functions under this Constitution a Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

Part 5

Delimitation of constituencies

58.- Review of constituency boundaries

(1) The Constituency Boundaries Commission (hereinafter in this section referred t as the Commission) shall, in accordance with the provisions of this section, review the number and boundaries of the constituencies into which Saint Lucia is divided and submit to the Governor-General reports either-

a) showing the constituencies into which it recommends that Saint Lucia should be divided in order to give effect to the rules set out in Schedule 2 to this Constitution; or

b) stating that, in its opinion, no alteration is required to the existing number or boundaries of constituencies in order to give effect to those rules.

(2) Reports under subsection (1) of this section shall be submitted by the Commission at intervals of not less than three nor more than seven years;

Provided that a report under paragraph (b) of that subsection shall not be submitted until the expiration of six years from the submission of the last report under that subsection.

(3) As soon as may be after the Commission has submitted a report under subsection (1)(a) of this section, the Prime Minister shall law before the House for its approval the draft of an order by the Governor-General for giving effect, whether with or without modification, to the recommendations contained in the report, and that draft order may make provisions for any matters that appear tot he Prime Minister to be incidental to or consequential upon the other provisions of the draft.

(4) Where any such draft order gives effect to any such recommendations with modifications, the Prime Minister shall law before the House together with the draft order a statement of the reason for the modifications.

(5) If the motion for the approval of any draft order laid before the House under this section is rejected by the House, or is withdrawn by leave of that House, the Prime Minister shall amend the draft order and lay the amended draft before the House.

(6) If any draft order laid before the House under his section is approved by resolution of the House, the Prime Minister shall submit it to the Governor-general who shall make and order in terms of the draft; and that order shall come into force upon the ext dissolution of Parliament after it is made.

(7) The question of the validity of any order by the Governor-general purporting to be made under this section and reciting that a draft thereof has been approved by resolution of the House shall to be enquired into in any court of law.

(8) There shall be such provisions as may be made by Parliament for an appeal to the High Court against a recommendation or statement made to the Governor-General by the Commission in pursuance of paragraph (a) or (b) subsection (1) of his section.

Back ] Up ] Next ]

 

2013 Government of Saint Lucia. All rights reserved.