Newsletter Of The Montserrat Legislature
May 30th, 2022
- Parliamentary Corner
- Parliamentary News
- Activity Corner
- Parliamentary Day – June 30, 2022
The Office of The Montserrat Legislature is pleased to offer you the third edition of its newsletter
The Legislative Assembly also referred to as Parliament consists of Legislators or Parliamentarians who meet to discuss, amend or implement laws for Montserrat. Before the change in the constitution in 2011, the Legislative Assembly (Parliament) was referred to as Legislative Council and Cabinet was referred to as the Executive council.
Cabinet members enjoy the privilege of being in charge of Ministries and also have the responsibility of bringing Bills to the Legislative Assembly for consideration. However, these Bills are still subject to the full inspection of ALL elected members of Parliament, whether on the Government side or the Opposition.
WHAT IS CABINET?
Cabinet is a powerful body within the governance structure of Montserrat. It is a decision making body within the ruling government of the day, where key development decisions, policies, Bills and other business of Government are discussed. Some matters are decided solely by Cabinet, while others such as Standing Rules and Orders (SR&O’s) and Bills are forwarded to the Legislative Assembly.
Cabinet comprises of the Governor as Chair, the Ministers of Government and also two ex-officio members in the person of the Attorney General and the Financial Secretary.
What is Parliament?
Legislative Assembly Members are constitutionally empowered to pass and amend laws which govern life and the everyday operations and functions of both public and private entities, systems and processes in Montserrat.
Although the Parliamentarians are constitutionally empowered to pass and amend laws there is a process that has to be followed. The Bill has to be first introduced into the house by a member of Government. Another member seconds the Bill, and then it is read in the Legislative Assembly for the first time.
The Bill is then debated by all members of the house, after which it is read a second time, before going through a committee where it is looked at in more detail. Once the changes are agreed, the Bill is read a third time and passed into law. The final stage of the Bill is that it is sent to the Governor for Royal assent, which makes the law official.
The Speaker presides over sittings and ensures there is order and balance, where everyone is heard in a fair and equitable manner in accordance with the rules of the House.
On April 6, 2022, The Legislative Assembly had a special sitting to swear in the third appointed female Governor to Montserrat. Mrs Sarah G Tucker took the oath for her appointment. A brief ceremonial parade and cocktail, followed the swearing in ceremony.
The mace is a ceremonial symbol of the Speaker’s authority. It is commonly accepted that the House is not properly constituted without the presence of the mace; therefore no business is conducted in the House without it. A Sitting of the House commences only when the mace is in place.
At the beginning of any Sitting of the House, the Sergeant at Arms precedes the Speaker, bearing the mace as he/she enters the chambers. The mace is placed on the Speaker’s table where it remains until the House goes into Committee, at which time the Sergeant of Arms moves forward and places the mace on a bracket, in front of the table. On leaving the chambers of the house the Sergeant at Arms also precedes the Speaker, bearing the mace.
During an election of a Speaker, the mace is kept outside of the chambers until the new Speaker is announced. Once the Speaker is announced the Sergeant at Arms bears the mace to the Table ahead of the Speaker. When the House is adjourned, the Mace is kept in the Office of the Speaker.
Question & Answer
(1) Who carries the Mace at a sitting of the house?
(2) Where is the mace kept after a sitting is adjourned?
(3) Can a sitting take place if the mace is not in place?
Published by the Montserrat Legislature
#1 Farara Plaza