Our Government

The Cayman Islands is a parliamentary democracy with separate judicial, executive and legislative branches, and a history of over 165 years of representative government. The first Cayman Islands Constitution codified in 1959 was based on a set of administrative and legal traditions. The next Constitution, which came into effect on 22 August 1972, provided for the government of the Cayman Islands to clearly be established as what was then known as a British Dependent Overseas Territory (now referenced to as a British Overseas Territory.

The Cayman Islands Government operates under the framework of democratic governance through a parliamentary system. Following the most recent general election in 2017, The Progressive People’s Movement (PPM) the Cayman Democratic Party (CDP), and independent candidates formed a historic national coalition government.

Executive power is exercised by the Government consisting of the Governor as Her Majesty’s representative, and the Cabinet, which is composed of the Premier, seven other Ministers and two non-voting ex-officio members, the Deputy Governor and the Attorney General.  

Legislative power is vested in the unicameral Parliament of the Cayman Islands which is composed of 19 Elected Representatives for the Islands’ constituencies, as well as two non-voting ex-officio members.

Headed by the Chief Justice, the Judiciary administers the law independently of the executive and the legislature arms of Government. It consists of three jurisdictions – the Summary Court, the Grand Court and the Court of Appeal.

The 2009 Constitution came into effect on 6 November 2009 following approval by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Privy Council. It is the fourth written constitution since 1959 and signals balanced governance through increased consultation and accountability. In July 2016, several minor amendments were advanced to the 2009 Constitution, by way of the Cayman Islands Constitution (Amendment) Order 2016. These amendments relate to the tenure of and applicable disciplinary procedures for our judiciary. The current Constitution includes, for the first time, a Bill of Rights which came into force on 6 November 2012.

On 4 December 2020, the Constitution was further modernised to clarify the boundaries of responsibilities between the United Kingdom and the Cayman Islands and to ensure that, when the United Kingdom does exercise its powers, the Cayman Islands is previously consulted and has an opportunity to provide feedback.   This amendment also renamed the Legislative Assembly to the Parliament and established the offices of Parliamentary Secretaries.