Enforcement of protective provisions

24.—(1) If any person alleges that any of the provisions of this Part has been, is being or is likely to be breached in relation to him or her (or, in the case of a person who is detained, if any other person alleges such a breach in relation to the detained person), then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter that is lawfully available, that person (or that other person) may apply to the Supreme Court for redress.

(2) The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction—

(a) to hear and determine any application made by any person in pursuance of subsection (1); and

(b) to determine any question arising in the case of any person that is referred to it in pursuance of subsection (7),

and may make such declarations and orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it considers appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of this Part.

(3) The Supreme Court may decline to exercise its powers under subsection (2) if it is satisfied that adequate means of redress for the breach alleged are or have been available to the person concerned under any other law.

(4) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), where, in the exercise of its powers under that subsection, the Supreme Court determines that one of the provisions of this Part has been breached in relation to any person, it—

(a) may order the award to that person of such damages as the Supreme Court considers just and appropriate; or

(b) may direct the court which made the reference to it under subsection (7) (“the referring court”) to order the award to that person of such damages as that court considers just and appropriate, within such limits (if any) as the Supreme Court declares.

(5) An award of damages may not be made in pursuance of subsection (4) in respect of the making of any law but such an award may be made in respect of anything done by any organ or officer of the executive or judicial branches of government or any person acting in the performance of the functions of the St Helena Public Service or any public authority.

(6) Subsection (4) is without prejudice to section 9(9).

(7) If in any proceedings in a subordinate court any question arises as to the breach of any of the provisions of this Part, the person presiding in that court may, and shall if any party to the proceedings so requests, refer the question to the Supreme Court unless, in the opinion of the court in which the question arose, the raising of the question is merely frivolous or vexatious.

(8) If the effect of a provision of this Part is in issue in proceedings before the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal or Her Majesty in Council, to which the Crown is not a party—

(a) the Attorney General may intervene; and

(b) the presiding judge must not hear and determine the proceedings until satisfied that the Attorney General has received notice of the proceedings and has had sufficient time to decide whether or not to intervene.

(9) Where any question is referred to the Supreme Court in pursuance of subsection (7), the Supreme Court shall give its decision upon the question and the referring court shall dispose of the case in accordance with that decision or, if that decision is the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal or to Her Majesty in Council, in accordance with the decision of the Court of Appeal or, as the case may be, of Her Majesty in Council.

(10) An appeal shall lie as of right to the Court of Appeal from any final determination of any application or question by the Supreme Court under this section, and an appeal shall lie as of right to Her Majesty in Council from the final determination by the Court of Appeal of the appeal in any such case; but no appeal shall lie from a determination by the Supreme Court under this section dismissing an application on the ground that it is frivolous or vexatious.

(11) The Legislature may by Ordinance confer on the Supreme Court such powers in addition to those conferred by this section as may appear to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of enabling that Court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred on it by this section.

(12) The Chief Justice or the President of the Court of Appeal, as the case requires, may make Rules of Court with respect to the practice and procedure—

(a) of the Supreme Court in relation to the jurisdiction and powers conferred on it by or under this section;

(b) of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal in relation to appeals under this section from determinations of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal; and

(c) of subordinate courts in relation to references to the Supreme Court under subsection (7),

including provisions with respect to the time within which any application, reference or appeal shall or may be made or brought.

Application of this Part to the members of a disciplined force

25.—(1) A member of—

(a) any police force of St Helena;

(b) any prison service of St Helena;

(c) any fire service of St Helena; and

(d) any naval, military or air force raised in St Helena under the law of St Helena,

who is charged with having committed an offence against the law of St Helena, other than a disciplinary offence, is entitled to the full protection of this Part.

(2) A member of a force referred to in subsection (1) who is charged with having committed a disciplinary offence is entitled to the protection of sections 6, 7 and 8.

(3) If a member of a force referred to in subsection (1) has been convicted of an offence against the law of St Helena other than a disciplinary offence, and is also convicted of a disciplinary offence arising out of the same conduct, the punishment for the first-mentioned offence must be taken into account in determining the punishment for the disciplinary offence.

(4) A member of a visiting force who is charged with having committed an offence against the law of St Helena is entitled to the full protection of this Part.

(5) A member of a visiting force who is charged in St Helena with having committed a disciplinary offence, including an offence against any criminal law of the sending State which, by virtue of a provision of the disciplinary law of that force, applies to that member while in St Helena, is entitled to the protection of sections 6, 7 and 8.

(6) In this section, “sending State”, in relation to a member of a visiting force, means the country, other than St Helena, in or under the law of which that force was raised.

PART 3 THE GOVERNOR

The Governor

26.—(1) There shall be a Governor of St Helena.

(2) Appointments to the office of Governor shall be made by Her Majesty by Commission under Her Sign Manual and Signet and a person appointed to the office shall hold office during Her Majesty’s pleasure.

(3) A person appointed to the office of Governor shall, before entering upon the functions of that office, make before the Sheriff of St Helena oaths or affirmations of allegiance and for the due execution of that office in the forms set out in the Schedule.

(4) The Governor shall have such functions as are conferred or imposed on him or her by this Constitution or any other law and such other functions as Her Majesty may from time to time be pleased to assign to him or her through a Secretary of State, and, subject to the provisions of this Constitution and of any other law by which any such functions are conferred or imposed, shall do and execute all things that belong to his or her office according to such instructions, if any, as Her Majesty may from time to time see fit to give him or her through a Secretary of State; but no court shall enquire whether or not he or she has complied with any such instructions.

Acting Governor

27.—(1) Whenever the office of Governor is vacant or the Governor is absent from St Helena or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his or her office those functions shall, during Her Majesty’s pleasure, be assumed and performed as Acting Governor by such person as Her Majesty may designate in that behalf by instructions given through a Secretary of State.

(2) Before assuming the functions of the office of Governor, the person designated shall make the oaths or affirmations directed by section 26(3) to be made by the Governor.

(3) A person who has assumed the functions of the office of Governor shall cease to perform those functions on being notified by the Governor that he or she is about to resume or assume those functions.

(4) For the purposes of this section the Governor shall not be regarded as absent from St Helena, or as unable to perform the functions of the office of Governor, at any time when there is a subsisting appointment of a Deputy under section 28.

(5) In this section, “the Governor” means the person holding the office of Governor.

Governor’s Deputy

28.—(1) Whenever the Governor—

(a) has occasion to be absent from the seat of government for a period that he or she has reason to believe will be of short duration;

(b) has occasion to visit Ascension or Tristan da Cunha; or

(c) is suffering from an illness that he or she has reason to believe will be of short duration,

the Governor may, by instrument under the public seal, appoint any person in St Helena to be his or her Deputy during such absence or illness and in that capacity to discharge on his or her behalf during such absence or illness such of the functions of the office of Governor as may be specified in that instrument.

(2) The power and authority of the Governor shall not be abridged, altered or in any way affected by the appointment of a Deputy under this section otherwise than as Her Majesty may at any time think proper to direct by instructions to the Governor through a Secretary of State, and every such Deputy shall conform to and observe all instructions that the Governor may from time to time address to him or her.

(3) A person appointed as Deputy under this section shall hold that appointment for such period as may be specified in the instrument by which he or she is appointed, and his or her appointment may be revoked at any time by Her Majesty by instructions given to the Governor through a Secretary of State or by the Governor.

(4) In this section, “the Governor” does not include a Deputy appointed under this section.

(5) The powers conferred on the Governor by this section shall be exercised by the Governor in his or her discretion.

Powers of pardon, etc.

29.—(1) The Governor may, in Her Majesty’s name and on Her Majesty’s behalf—

(a) grant to any person concerned in or convicted of any offence a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions;

(b) grant to any person a respite, either indefinite or for a specified period, of the execution of any punishment imposed on that person for any offence;

(c) substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on any person for any offence; or

(d) remit the whole or part of any punishment imposed on any person for any offence or of any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to Her Majesty on account of any offence.

(2) The Governor shall exercise the powers conferred by this section acting in his or her discretion, but after consulting the Committee established by section 30.

Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy

30.—(1) There shall be for St Helena an Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy whose members shall be appointed by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion but after consulting the Executive Council, and in accordance with subsection (2).

(2) The Committee shall consist of not fewer than three nor more than five members, of whom one may be a member of the Executive Council, and at least one shall represent the public interest; but no Member of the Legislative Council (except a member of the Executive Council), judge or judicial officer shall be eligible to be a member of the Committee.

(3) The Committee shall not be summoned except by the authority of the Governor, acting in his or her discretion; and the Governor shall preside at all meetings of the Committee.

(4) No business shall be transacted at any meeting of the Committee unless there are at least three members present.

(5) The office as a member of the Committee of any member appointed under subsection (1) shall become vacant if the Governor, acting in his or her discretion but after consulting the Executive Council, revokes his or her appointment as a member of the Committee.

(6) Subject to subsection (4), the Committee shall not be disqualified for the transaction of business by reason of any vacancy in its membership, and the validity of the transaction of any business of the Committee shall not be affected by reason only of the fact that some person who was not entitled to do so took part in the proceedings.

(7) Subject to this section the Committee may regulate its own proceedings.

Powers to dispose of land

31.  Subject to this Constitution and any other law, the Governor or any person duly authorised by him or her in writing under his or her hand may, in Her Majesty’s name and on Her Majesty’s behalf, make and execute grants and other dispositions of any land or other immovable property in St Helena that is vested in Her Majesty in right of the Government of St Helena.

Public seal

32.—(1) There shall be a public seal of St Helena.

(2) The Governor shall have custody of the public seal.

(3) The public seal may be used to seal such public documents signed by the Governor or an officer subordinate to the Governor as should be sealed with the public seal.

Constitution of offices

33.  Subject to this Constitution and any other law, the Governor, in Her Majesty’s name and on Her Majesty’s behalf, may constitute offices for St Helena.

PART 4 THE EXECUTIVE

Executive authority

34.—(1) The executive authority of St Helena is vested in Her Majesty.

(2) Subject to this Constitution, the executive authority of St Helena shall be exercised on behalf of Her Majesty by the Governor, either directly or through officers subordinate to him or her.

(3) Nothing in this section shall preclude persons or authorities other than the Governor from exercising such functions as are or may be conferred on them by any law.

Executive Council

35.—(1) There shall be an Executive Council for St Helena, which shall consist of—

(a) five of the Elected Members of the Legislative Council, elected in accordance with section 36 (in this Part called “the elected members”);

(b) three ex officio members, namely the Chief Secretary, the Financial Secretary and the Attorney General; and

(c) such temporary members as may be appointed under subsection (2).

(2) The Governor may, by notice published in the Gazette, declare that a member of the Executive Council is, by reason of absence or illness, temporarily unable to discharge his or her functions as such member and appoint another person to be a temporary member of the Council; and any member in respect of whom the Governor has made such a declaration shall not take part in the proceedings of the Council until he or she is declared in the same manner to be again able to discharge those functions.

(3) The Governor, in making an appointment under subsection (2), shall appoint—

(a) in place of an elected member, a person who is an Elected Member of the Legislative Council; and

(b) in place of an ex officio member, an officer of the St Helena Public Service.

(4) The powers conferred on the Governor by this section shall be exercised by the Governor in his or her discretion.

Election of elected members of Executive Council

36.—(1) At the first meeting of the Legislative Council after every general election the Elected Members of the Legislative Council shall elect five of their number to be members of the Executive Council for a period of two years from the date of their election to the Executive Council.

(2) Thereafter such elections shall be held—

(a) before the expiry of the two-year period referred to in subsection (1), and again before the expiry of the succeeding period of one year, or as soon as possible after the expiry of either period, unless at either of those times the Elected Members of the Legislative Council decide, by a majority of their number, not to hold such an election; or

(b) when the Legislative Council first meets after any dissolution of the Council.

(3) If the Elected Members of the Legislative Council decide not to hold an election in accordance with subsection (2)(a), the elected members of the Executive Council then holding office shall, subject to section 37(1), continue in office for a further period of one year.

(4) A person shall be eligible for election to the Executive Council even though he or she is a member of the Executive Council then in being.

(5) If the seat of an elected member of the Executive Council becomes vacant during the period for which he or she has been elected, the Elected Members of the Legislative Council shall as soon as possible meet and elect one of their number to fill the seat for the remainder of that period.

Tenure of office of elected and temporary members of Executive Council

37.—(1) The seat of an elected member in the Executive Council shall become vacant—

(a) if he or she resigns his or her seat in the Executive Council by writing under his or her hand addressed to the Governor;

(b) when the Legislative Council first meets after any dissolution of the Council;

(c) if he or she ceases to be a Member of the Legislative Council for any reason other than a dissolution of the Council;

(d) if he or she is absent from three consecutive meetings of the Executive Council without the permission of the Governor, acting in his or her discretion;

(e) if at the expiry of the period for which he or she is elected to sit on the Executive Council he or she has not been re-elected for a further period; or

(f) if his or her election to the Executive Council is revoked by a resolution of the Legislative Council.

(2) The seat of a temporary member in the Executive Council shall become vacant—

(a) when he or she is informed by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, that the member on account of whose incapacity he or she was appointed is again able to discharge his or her functions; or

(b) when the seat of the latter member in the Council becomes vacant,

whichever is the earlier.

Determination of questions as to membership of Executive Council

38.  Any question whether a person has been validly elected as an elected member or appointed as a temporary member of the Executive Council, or whether the seat of any such member in the Council has become vacant, shall be determined by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion.

Summoning of and proceedings in Executive Council

39.—(1) The Executive Council shall be summoned by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion; but the Governor shall summon the Council if requested to do so by any two elected members of the Council.

(2) The Governor shall include on the agenda of a meeting of the Executive Council any item requested by an elected member as well as any item the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, thinks fit; and other business that is not on the agenda may be discussed at the meeting at the request of the person presiding or any elected member.

(3) No business except that of adjournment shall be transacted by the Executive Council if objection is taken by any member present that there are fewer than three elected members present (excluding any person presiding in the absence of the Governor).

(4) The requirements of subsection (3) shall be deemed to be satisfied if three members of the Executive Council, at least two of whom are elected members, are present at the meeting, and they and the members absent from but participating in the meeting and the person presiding are able to communicate with each other in a manner that all agree is appropriate in the circumstances; but no decision of the Council shall be taken unless the person presiding is satisfied that the manner of communication allows all those taking part to hear and be heard and that all have seen any documents relevant to the proposed decision.

(5) The references in subsections (3) and (4) to elected members include temporary members appointed under section 35(2) in place of elected members.

(6) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the Executive Council shall not be disqualified for the transaction of business by reason of any vacancy in its membership, and any proceedings in the Council shall be valid even though some person who was not entitled to do so took part in the proceedings.

(7) No ex officio member, and no temporary member appointed under section 35(2) in place of an ex officio member, shall vote in the Executive Council.

(8) Subject to this Constitution, the Executive Council shall be free to regulate its own procedure.

(9) Members of the Executive Council shall be free to meet together informally to consider what advice on any matter they wish to give the Governor at a meeting of the Executive Council.

Invitation of persons to assist Executive Council

40.  The Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may invite any person to a meeting of the Executive Council even though that person is not a member of the Council when, in the opinion of the Governor, the business before the Council renders the presence of that person desirable.

Presiding in Executive Council

41.—(1) The Governor shall, so far as is practicable, preside at meetings of the Executive Council.

(2) In the absence of the Governor, there shall preside at any meeting of the Executive Council—

(a) such member of the Council as the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may appoint;

(b) in the absence of a member so appointed, the senior ex officio member present.

(3) For the purpose of subsection (2)(b), the ex officio members of the Executive Council have seniority in the order in which their offices are mentioned in section 35(1)(b).

The Clerk of Councils

42.—(1) The Clerk of Councils shall be responsible, in accordance with such instructions as may be given to him or her by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, for arranging the business for, and keeping the minutes of, the meetings of the Executive Council or any committee of the Council, and for conveying decisions reached at the meetings to the appropriate person or authority.

(2) The Clerk of Councils shall also be responsible for the performance, with respect to the Executive Council, of such secretarial and other functions as the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may from time to time direct.

Governor to consult Executive Council

43.—(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the Governor, in the exercise of all functions conferred on him or her by this Constitution and any other law, shall obtain, and act in accordance with, the advice of the Executive Council.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to—

(a) any function in respect of which the Governor is acting under instructions given to him or her by Her Majesty through a Secretary of State;

(b) any function conferred by this Constitution which is expressed to be exercisable by the Governor—

(i) in his or her discretion or judgement, or

(ii) in accordance with the advice of, or after consultation with, any person or authority other than the Executive Council;

(c) any function conferred on the Governor by any other law in terms which authorise the Governor to exercise that function without obtaining the advice of the Executive Council or by acting otherwise than in accordance with that advice;

(d) any matter referred to in section 44(1)(d);

(e) any function conferred on the Governor in respect of Ascension by a provision of this Constitution that applies to Ascension, or of a law that is in force in Ascension; or

(f) any function conferred on the Governor in respect of Tristan da Cunha by a provision of this Constitution that applies to Tristan da Cunha, or of a law that is in force in Tristan da Cunha.

(3) The Governor shall not be obliged to act in accordance with the advice given to him or her by the Executive Council in any case which, in his or her judgement, involves a matter for which he or she is responsible under section 44.

(4) The Governor shall not be required to obtain the advice of the Executive Council in any case in which, in his or her judgement, the matter is too urgent to obtain the advice of the Council, or too unimportant to require the Council’s advice; but in any case of urgency the Governor shall as soon as practicable communicate to the Council the measures adopted and the reasons for those measures.

(5) The Governor shall not be obliged to act in accordance with the advice of the Executive Council on any matter if, in his or her judgement, that advice involves an inconsistency with one or more of the partnership values declared in section 2.

(6) In any case where the Governor proposes not to act in accordance with the advice of the Executive Council on the ground specified in subsection (5), he or she shall inform the Council in writing of his or her reasons for not so acting, including the partnership value or values with which, in the Governor’s judgement, the advice is inconsistent, and the respects in which the advice is inconsistent with them.

(7) The Governor may decide not to act in accordance with the advice of the Executive Council on the ground specified in subsection (5) only with the prior approval of a Secretary of State, unless, in his or her judgement, the matter is so urgent that it is necessary to do so without such approval; and in that case the Governor shall, as soon as practicable, report his or her action and the reasons for it to a Secretary of State.

(8) Any member of the Executive Council shall have the right, within thirty days, to submit to a Secretary of State his or her comments in writing on the Governor’s reasons for not acting in accordance with the advice of the Executive Council.

(9) Where the Governor is by this Constitution or any other law directed to exercise any function after consultation with any person or authority other than the Executive Council, he or she shall not be obliged to exercise that function in accordance with the advice of that person or authority.

(10) Where the Governor is by this Constitution or any other law directed to exercise any function in accordance with the advice of, or after consultation with, any person or authority, the question whether he or she has so exercised that function shall not be enquired into in any court.

Governor’s special responsibilities

44.—(1) The Governor shall be responsible for the conduct (subject to this Constitution and any other law) of any business of the Government of St Helena, including the general direction and policy control of any department of government, with respect to the following matters—

(a) defence;

(b) external affairs;

(c) internal security, including the Police;

(d) the appointment of any person to any office in the St Helena Public Service, the suspension, termination of employment, dismissal, or retirement of any officer of the St Helena Public Service or the taking of disciplinary action in respect of such an officer, and the application to any such officer of the terms or conditions of employment of the Public Service (including salary scales, allowances, leave, passages or pensions) for which financial provision has been made;

(e) the administration of justice;

(f) finance; and

(g) shipping.

(2) The Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may assign to any member of the Executive Council responsibility for the conduct on behalf of the Governor of any business in the Legislative Council with respect to any matter mentioned in subsection (1).

(3) Where the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, determines that the exercise of any function conferred on any other person or authority (other than the Legislative Council) would involve or affect any matter mentioned in subsection (1), the Governor may, acting in his or her discretion, give directions as to the exercise of that function, and the person or authority concerned shall exercise the function in accordance with those directions.

Governor to be kept informed

45.  The members of the Executive Council shall, at meetings of the Executive Council or otherwise, keep the Governor fully informed concerning the general conduct of the government of St Helena, and furnish the Governor with such information as he or she may request with respect to any particular matter arising in the conduct of that government.

The Attorney General

46.—(1) There shall be an Attorney General of St Helena who shall be the principal legal adviser to the Government of St Helena.

(2) The Attorney General shall be an officer of the St Helena Public Service appointed by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion and with the approval of a Secretary of State.

(3) The Attorney General shall be appointed—

(a) for a term ending when the appointee reaches any retiring age fixed by law; or

(b) whether or not the appointee has attained that age or will attain it during his or her term of office, for a term specified in the instrument of appointment.

(4) The Attorney General may, in any case in which he or she considers it desirable to do so—

(a) institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court in respect of an offence against any law;

(b) take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that have been instituted by any other person or authority; and

(c) discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by himself or herself or any other person or authority.

(5) The powers of the Attorney General under subsection (4) may be exercised by him or her in person or by officers subordinate to him or her acting under and in accordance with his or her general or special instructions.

(6) The powers conferred on the Attorney General by subsection (4)(b) and (c) shall be vested in him or her to the exclusion of any other person or authority; but where any other person or authority has instituted criminal proceedings, nothing in this subsection shall prevent the withdrawal of those proceedings by or at the instance of that person or authority at any stage before the person against whom the proceedings have been instituted has been charged before the court.

(7) For the purposes of this section, any appeal from any determination in any criminal proceedings before any court, or any case stated or question of law reserved for the purpose of any such proceedings to any other court, shall be deemed to be part of those proceedings.

(8) In the exercise of the powers conferred on him or her by this section and section 52(2), the Attorney General, and any person acting under his or her authority, shall act independently and shall not be subject to the direction or control of the Governor, the Executive Council or any other person or authority.

(9) The remuneration of the Attorney General shall be determined by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, and shall be charged on and paid out of the Consolidated Fund.

(10) The remuneration of the Attorney General shall not be diminished during the Attorney General’s continuance in office.

(11) The Attorney General may be removed from office only for inability to discharge the functions of the office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or from any other cause) or for misbehaviour, and shall not be so removed except in accordance with subsection (12).

(12) The Attorney General shall be removed from office by the Governor if the question of his or her removal from office has been referred to a tribunal appointed under subsection (13) and the tribunal has advised the Governor that he or she should be removed from office for inability as aforesaid or for misbehaviour.

(13) If the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, considers that the question of removing the Attorney General from office for inability as aforesaid or for misbehaviour ought to be investigated, then—

(a) the Governor shall appoint a tribunal, which shall consist of a chairman and two other members; but the chairman and at least one of the other members shall be a serving or former judge of a superior court in some part of the Commonwealth or in Ireland; and

(b) the tribunal shall inquire into the matter and report on the facts thereof to the Governor and advise the Governor whether the Attorney General should be removed from office for inability as aforesaid or for misbehaviour.

(14) If the question of removing the Attorney General from office has been referred to a tribunal under subsection (12), the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may suspend the Attorney General from performing the functions of his or her office, and any such suspension may at any time be revoked by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, and shall in any case cease to have effect if the tribunal advises the Governor that the Attorney General should not be removed from office.

(15) References in subsections (11) to (14) to the Attorney General do not include references to a person appointed to act in the office of Attorney General during any period when it is vacant or the holder of that office is unable to perform the functions of that office; and the appointment of such a person may be revoked by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, at any time before the expiration of that period.

PART 5 THE LEGISLATURE

Composition
The Legislature

47.  There shall be a Legislature for St Helena consisting of Her Majesty and the Legislative Council.

Composition of Legislative Council

48.  The Legislative Council shall consist of—

(a) a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker, who shall be elected as provided in section 55; and

(b) the following other Members—

(i) twelve Elected Members, who shall be persons qualified for election and elected in accordance with this Constitution; and

(ii) three ex officio Members, namely the Chief Secretary, the Financial Secretary and the Attorney General.

Qualifications of candidates for election to Legislative Council

49.—(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the qualifications for being a candidate at an election of Members of the Legislative Council shall be as prescribed by Ordinance.

(2) A person shall not be qualified to be a candidate for election to the Legislative Council if that person—

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

(b) is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in any country;

(c) is mentally ill within the meaning of any law;

(d) is under a sentence of imprisonment for twelve months or more, other than a sentence in lieu of a fine, but including a suspended sentence, imposed by a court of law in any country or substituted by a competent authority for some other sentence imposed by such a court;

(e) is disqualified for membership of the Council under any law relating to offences connected with elections;

(f) subject to subsection (3), holds, or is acting in, any office in the St Helena Public Service;

(g) holds office as a judge or judicial officer; or

(h) holds, or is acting in, any office or is exercising any function involving any responsibility for, or in connection with, the conduct of any election or the compilation or revision of any electoral register.

(3) The Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may by notice published in the Gazette, make provision for enabling any officer of the St Helena Public Service or any class of such officer not otherwise disqualified under subsection (2) to be qualified to be a candidate for election to the Legislative Council.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (2)(d), two or more terms of imprisonment that are required to be served consecutively shall be regarded as a single term of imprisonment for the aggregate period of those terms.

Law as to elections

50.—(1) The Elected Members of the Legislative Council shall be elected by secret ballot, under a system of universal suffrage, by the persons registered on a single roll of voters for a single constituency for the whole of the island of St Helena; but the Legislature may make provision by Ordinance for the island to be divided into two or more constituencies for the purpose of elections, and for separate rolls of voters for such constituencies.

(2) Subject to subsection (1) and to section 49, the Legislature may make provision by Ordinance for the conduct of elections to the Legislative Council, including for—

(a) the qualifications and disqualifications of voters;

(b) the registration of voters;

(c) the ascertainment of the qualifications of candidates for election and of voters;

(d) the holding of elections; and

(e) the definition and trial of offences connected with elections and the imposition of penalties for any such offence, including disqualification for membership of the Council, or for registration as a voter, or for voting at elections, of any person concerned in any such offence.

Tenure of office of Elected Members of Legislative Council

51.  The seat of an Elected Member of the Legislative Council shall become vacant—

(a) upon a dissolution of the Council;

(b) if the Member is absent from meetings of the Council for a continuous period of three months without the written permission of the Speaker;

(c) if any circumstance arises that would cause the Member to become disqualified for election to the Council; or

(d) if the Member resigns his or her seat by writing under his or her hand addressed to the Governor.

Determination of questions as to elected membership of Legislative Council

52.—(1) Any question whether—

(a) a person has been validly elected as a Member of the Legislative Council; or

(b) the seat of an Elected Member has become vacant,

shall be determined by the Supreme Court whose decision shall be final and not subject to any appeal.

(2) An application to the Supreme Court for the determination of any question under subsection (1) may be made by the Attorney General or by any person who is a registered voter; and an application for the determination of any question under subsection (1)(b) may also be made by any Elected Member of the Legislative Council.

Register of Interests

53.—(1) There shall be a Register of Interests that—

(a) shall be open to the public; and

(b) shall be maintained by a Registrar who shall be an officer of the St Helena Public Service appointed to that office.

(2) All Members of the Legislative Council and the holders of such other offices (except that of Governor) as may be prescribed by Ordinance must—

(a) declare in the Register such interests, assets, income and liabilities of themselves and their families as may be so prescribed; and

(b) update the declaration at such intervals, being not more than twelve months, as may be so prescribed.

(3) The Legislature may make further provision by Ordinance for giving effect to this section.

(4) Such an Ordinance may impose sanctions for a failure to comply with subsection (2), including the suspension of the Speaker or any other Member from the Legislative Council for such period as may be prescribed.

(5) The Standing Orders of the Legislative Council shall make provision prohibiting an Elected Member of the Council from voting in the Council, or any committee of the Council, on any question so closely concerned with an interest required to be declared in the Register (whether or not it has been so declared) as to give the Member a direct pecuniary interest in the outcome of the vote on that question.

Oaths or affirmations by Members of Legislative Council

54.  No Member of the Legislative Council shall enter upon the functions of his or her office unless he or she has made before the Governor, or some other person authorised for that purpose by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, oaths or affirmations of allegiance, of confidentiality and for the due execution of his or her office in the forms set out in the Schedule.

Speaker and Deputy Speaker

55.—(1) At the first sitting of the Legislative Council after a vacancy occurs in the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker, or both, and before the transaction of any other business (except the administration of oaths or affirmations under section 54), the Council shall by secret ballot proceed to elect, to fill the vacancy, a Speaker or, as the case may be, a Deputy Speaker from among persons who are not Elected Members of the Council but who are qualified to be elected as Members of the Council and are not disqualified in any way for membership.

(2) To be elected, a candidate must receive the votes of a majority of all the Elected Members of the Legislative Council.

(3) The Standing Orders of the Legislative Council shall make provision for the conduct, consistently with this Constitution, of an election to fill the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker.

(4) The office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker shall become vacant—

(a) if any circumstance arises that, if the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker were an Elected Member of the Legislative Council, would cause his or her seat to become vacant;

(b) if the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker resigns that office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the Clerk of Councils;

(c) if the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker becomes a candidate for election to the Council as an Elected Member;

(d) if the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker becomes a member of a Council Committee;

(e) on the passing, by the votes of a majority of all the Elected Members of the Council, of a motion expressing no confidence in the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker; or

(f) if the Council is dissolved.