The Parliament of the Cayman Islands is a democracy that consists of a judicial, legislative and executive arm. Though there is evidence of more than 160 years of representative government, the constitution maintains that the Cayman Islands functions as a British dependency. The system of government is led by a Governor, who is drafted from the U.K. Government Service, a Legislative Assembly and a Cabinet.
The Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands is a unicameral body which has its genesis in decisions taken on 5 December 1831 to have representative government and carried through on 10 December 1831 in the first general elections. On 20 May 2009 the people of the Cayman Islands voted by referendum to accept a new proposed Constitution. The new Constitution (Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009) was put in place on 6 November 2009 by Order of the Governor. Under the new constitution the executive authority of the Cayman Islands is vested in Her Majesty and shall be exercised by the Governor on Her behalf by the Government consisting of the Governor as Her Majesty?s representative and the Cabinet. The Cabinet consists of five5 Members who are selected as Ministers. There is reserved to Her Majesty full power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Cayman Islands. The constitution makes provision for the first time, for a Premier, Deputy Premier, Deputy Governor, Leader of Opposition and Deputy Leader. It increased the elected membership of the Legislature to 18, 15 of whom were elected in the 2009 General Elections with the remaining three to be added in 2013. The new constitution established a Legislature made up of Her Majesty and a Legislative Assembly.
The Legislative Assembly which is presided over by the Speaker comprises of 17 Members, 15 of whom are the elected representatives for the Islands’ six districts, four each from George Town and West Bay, three from Bodden Town, two from Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, and one each from North Side and East End. There are two Official Members, the Deputy Governor and the Attorney-General, who are appointed by the Governor. The role of the Financial Secretary in the LA was removed by the new constitution. The Governor may at any time, by Proclamation, prorogue or dissolve the Assembly. The Governor is required to dissolve the Assembly at the expiration of four years from the date when the Assembly first meets after any general election unless it has been sooner dissolved and to call new elections within two months thereafter. The first meeting of every session of the House shall, by Proclamation, be held on such day as the Governor shall appoint. The new Constitution states that there shall be at least one session per year. The latter can include as many meetings or sittings as are necessary to carry out the work of the Legislature.