The Constitution


Published: 1973-07-10

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THE CONSTITUTION
THE CONSTITUTION 11



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THE CONSTITUTION

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COMMONWEALTH
OF THE BAHAMAS

LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES
11 – 121 LRO 1/2006

ARRANGEMENT OF ARTICLES


CHAPTER I
THE CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE

1. The State.
2. The Constitution is Supreme Law.


CHAPTER II

CITIZENSHIP

3. Persons who become citizens on 10th July 1973.
4. Persons who become citizens on 9th July 1974.
5. Persons entitled to be registered as citizens.
6. Persons born in The Bahamas after 9th July 1973.
7. Persons born in The Bahamas after 9th July 1973 of non-citizen parents.
8. Persons born outside The Bahamas after 9th July 1973.
9. Further provisions for persons born outside The Bahamas after 9th July

1973.
10. Marriage to citizens of The Bahamas.
11. Deprivation of citizenship.
12. Renunciation of citizenship.
13. Power of Parliament.
14. Interpretation.


CHAPTER III

PROTECTION OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND
FREEDOMS OF THE INDIVIDUAL


15. Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual.
16. Protection of right to life.
17. Protection from inhuman treatment.
18. Protection from slavery and forced labour.
19. Protection from arbitrary arrest or detention.
20. Provisions to secure protection of law.
21. Protection for privacy of home and other property.

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22. Protection of freedom of conscience.
23. Protection of freedom of expression.
24. Protection of freedom of assembly and association.
25. Protection of freedom of movement.
26. Protection from discrimination on the grounds of race, etc.
27. Protection from deprivation of property.
28. Enforcement of fundamental rights.
29. Provisions for time of war or emergency.
30. Saving of existing law.
31. Interpretation.


CHAPTER IV

THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL

32. Establishment of office of Governor-General.
33. Acting Governor-General.
34. Deputy to Governor-General.
35. Personal staff of Governor-General.
36. Public Seal.
37. Oaths to be taken by Governor-General.


CHAPTER V

PARLIAMENT


PART I
Composition of Parliament


38. Establishment of Parliament.


PART II

The Senate

39. Composition of Senate.
40. Purpose of appointment of certain Senators.
41. Qualifications for appointment as Senator.
42. Disqualifications for appointment as Senator.
43. Tenure of office of Senators.
44. President and Vice-President.
45. Determination of questions as to membership.


PART III
House of Assembly


46. Composition of House of Assembly.
47. Qualifications for membership of House of Assembly.
48. Disqualifications for election as members of House of Assembly.
49. Tenure of office of members of House of Assembly.
50. Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
51. Determination of questions as to membership.

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PART IV
Powers and Procedure of Parliament


52. Power to make laws.
53. Privileges of Parliament.
54. Alteration of this Constitution.
55. Regulation of procedure in Parliament.
56. Presiding in the Senate and House of Assembly.
57. Quorum.
58. Voting.
59. Introduction of Bills, etc.
60. Restriction on powers of Senate as to Money Bills.
61. Restriction on powers of Senate as to Bills other than Money Bills.
62. Provisions relating to Articles 59, 60 and 61.
63. Assent to Bills.
64. Oath of allegiance.


PART V

Summoning, Prorogation and Dissolution

65. Sessions of Parliament.
66. Prorogation and dissolution of Parliament.
67. General elections, bye-elections and appointment of Senators.


PART VI

Delimitation of Constituencies

68. Constituencies.
69. Constituencies Commission.
70. Procedure for review of constituencies.


CHAPTER VI

THE EXECUTIVE

71. Executive Authority.
72. The Cabinet.
73. Appointment of Ministers.
74. Tenure of office of Ministers.
75. Performance of functions of Prime Minister during absence, illness or

suspension.
76. Temporary Ministers.
77. Allocation of portfolios to Ministers.
78. Functions of Attorney-General.
79. Exercise of Governor-General’s powers.

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80. Governor-General to be informed concerning matters of Government.
81. Parliamentary Secretaries.
82. Leader of the Opposition.
83. Certain vacancies in office of Leader of the Opposition.
84. Oaths to be taken by Ministers, etc.
85. Leave of absence for Ministers, etc.
86. Summoning of and presiding in Cabinet.
87. Quorum.
88. Permanent Secretaries.
89. Constitution of offices, etc.
90. Powers of pardon, etc.
91. Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy.
92. Functions of Advisory Committee.


CHAPTER VII

THE JUDICATURE


PART I
The Supreme Court


93. Establishment of Supreme Court.
94. Appointment of Justices of the Supreme Court.
95. Acting Justices.
96. Tenure of office of Justices of the Supreme Court.
97. Oaths to be taken by Justices of the Supreme Court.


PART II

Court of Appeal

98. Establishment of Court of Appeal.
99. Justices of the Court of Appeal.
100. Other arrangements for appeals.
101. Acting Justices of Court of Appeal.
102. Tenure of office of Justices of Appeal.
103. Oaths to be taken by Justices of Appeal.


PART III

Appeals to Court of Appeal and Her Majesty in Council

104. Appeals relating to fundamental rights and freedoms.
105. Appeals to Her Majesty in Council in other cases.
106. Interpretation of “Court of Appeal”.

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CHAPTER VIII
THE PUBLIC SERVICE


PART I

The Public Service Commission

107. Establishment and composition of Public Service Commission.


PART II

Appointments, Etc., Of Public Officers

108. Appointments, etc. of Public Officers.
109. Appointments of Permanent Secretaries and certain other public officers.
110. Delegation of Governor-General’s powers.
111. Appointments, etc., of principal representatives of The Bahamas abroad.
112. Appointments on transfer in respect of certain offices.
113. Appointment of Secretary to the Cabinet.


PART III

The Public Service Board of Appeal

114. Public Service Board of Appeal.
115. Appeals in discipline cases.


PART IV

The Judicial and Legal Service Commission

116. Establishment and composition of the Judicial and Legal Service

Commission.
117. Appointments, etc., of judicial and legal officers.


PART V

The Police Service Commission

118. Establishment and composition of the Police Service Commission.
119. Appointment of Commissioner of Police and other officers of the Police

Force.
120. Removal of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Police.
121. Removal and discipline of members of the Force.

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PART VI
Pensions


122. Protection of pension rights.
123. Grant and withholding of pensions, etc.
124. Appeals in respect of certain decisions affecting pensions benefits.


PART VII

Miscellaneous

125. Procedure of Commissions.
126. Removal from office of certain persons.
127. Public Service.


CHAPTER IX
FINANCE


128. Consolidated Fund.
129. Estimates.
130. Authority for Public Expenditure.
131. Withdrawal of money from the Consolidated Fund.
132. Withdrawal of money in advance of Appropriation Act.
133. Contingencies Fund.
134. Public Debt.
135. Remuneration of Governor-General and certain other officers.
136. Establishment of office and functions of Auditor-General.


CHAPTER X
INTERPRETATION


137. Interpretation.


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THE CONSTITUTION OF THE
COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS

WHEREAS Four hundred and eighty one years ago
the rediscovery of this Family of Islands, Rocks and Cays
heralded the rebirth of the New World;

AND WHEREAS the People of this Family of
Islands recognise that the preservation of their Freedom
will be guaranteed by a national commitment to Self-
discipline, Industry, Loyalty, Unity and an abiding respect
for Christian values and the Rule of Law;

NOW KNOW YE THEREFORE:
We the Inheritors of and Successors to this Family of

Islands, recognising the Supremacy of God and believing
in the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual,
DO HEREBY PROCLAIM IN SOLEMN PRAISE the
Establishment of a Free and Democratic Sovereign Nation
founded on Spiritual Values and in which no Man, Woman
or Child shall ever be Slave or Bondsman to anyone or
their Labour exploited or their Lives frustrated by
deprivation, AND DO HEREBY PROVIDE by these
Articles for the indivisible Unity and Creation under God
of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

CHAPTER I
THE CONSTITUTION

1. The Commonwealth of The Bahamas shall be a
sovereign democratic State.

2. This Constitution is the supreme law of the
Commonwealth of The Bahamas and, subject to the
provisions of this Constitution, if any other law is
inconsistent with this Constitution, this Constitution shall
prevail and the other law shall, to the extent of the
inconsistency, be void.






1 This is the text of the 1973 Constitution which to date has not been amended.

S.I. 1973 No.
10801

Preamble.

The State.

The Constitution
is Supreme Law.

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CHAPTER II
CITIZENSHIP

3. (1) Every person who, having been born in the
former Colony of the Bahama Islands, is on 9th July 1973
a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall
become a citizen of The Bahamas on 10th July 1973.

(2) Every person who, having been born outside the
former Colony of the Bahama Islands, is on 9th July 1973
a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall, if his
father becomes or would but for his death have become a
citizen of The Bahamas in accordance with the provisions
of the preceding paragraph, become a citizen of The
Bahamas on 10th July 1973.

(3) Every person who on 9th July 1973 is a citizen of
the United Kingdom and Colonies having become such a
citizen under the British Nationality Act 1948 by virtue of
his having been registered in the former Colony of the
Bahama Islands under that Act shall become a citizen of
The Bahamas on 10th July 1973:

Provided that this paragraph shall not apply to any
citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies —

(a) who was not ordinarily resident in that Colony
on 31st December 1972; or

(b) who became registered in that Colony on or after
1st January 1973; or

(c) who on 9th July 1973 possesses the citizenship or
nationality of some other country.

4. Every person who on 9th July 1973 is a citizen
of the United Kingdom and Colonies —

(a) having become such a citizen under the British
Nationality Act 1948 by virtue of his having been
naturalised in the former Colony of the Bahama
Islands before that Act came into force; or

(b) having become such a citizen by virtue of his
having been naturalised in the former Colony of
the Bahama Islands under that Act,

shall become a citizen of The Bahamas on 9th July 1974,
unless, prior to that date, he has in such a manner as may
be prescribed declared that he does not desire to become a
citizen of The Bahamas:

Provided that this section shall not apply to a citizen
of the United Kingdom and Colonies who on 9th July 1973

Persons who
become citizens
on 10th July
1973.

Persons who
become citizens
on 9th July 1974.

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possesses the citizenship or nationality of some other
country.

5. (1) Any woman who, on 9th July 1973, is or has
been married to a person —

(a) who becomes a citizen of The Bahamas by virtue
of Article 3 of this Constitution; or

(b) who, having died before 10th July 1973, would,
but for his death, have become a citizen of The
Bahamas by virtue of that Article,

shall be entitled, upon making application and upon taking
the oath of allegiance or such declaration in such manner as
may be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The
Bahamas:

Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen of
The Bahamas under this paragraph shall be subject to such
exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the
interests of national security or public policy.

(2) Any person who, on 9th July 1973, possesses
Bahamian Status under the provisions of the Immigration
Act 19672 and is ordinarily resident in the Bahama Islands,
shall be entitled, upon making application before 10th July
1974, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph
(2) of this Article, a person who has attained the age of
eighteen years or who is a woman who is or has been
married shall not, if he is a citizen of some country other
than The Bahamas, be entitled to be registered as a citizen of
The Bahamas under the provisions of that paragraph unless
he renounces his citizenship of that other country, takes the
oath of allegiance and makes and registers such declaration
as may be prescribed:

Provided that where a person cannot renounce his
citizenship of the other country under the law of that country
he may instead make such declaration concerning that
citizenship as may be prescribed.

(4) Any application for registration under paragraph
(2) of this Article shall be subject to such exceptions or
qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of
national security or public policy.

(5) Any woman who on 9th July 1973 is or has been
married to a person who subsequently becomes a citizen of


2 Statute Law of the Bahama Islands, No. 25 of 1967.

Persons entitled
to be registered as
citizens.

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The Bahamas by registration under paragraph (2) of this
Article shall be entitled, upon making application and upon
taking the oath of allegiance or such declaration as may be
prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:

Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen of
The Bahamas under this paragraph shall be subject to such
exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the
interests of national security or public policy.

(6) Any application for registration under this Article
shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed as
respects that application:

Provided that such an application may not be made
by a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years
and is not a woman who is or has been married, but shall
be made on behalf of that person by a parent or guardian
of that person.

6. Every person born in The Bahamas after 9th July
1973 shall become a citizen of The Bahamas at the date of
his birth if at that date either of his parents is a citizen of
The Bahamas.

7. (1) A person born in The Bahamas after 9th July
1973 neither of whose parents is a citizen of The Bahamas
shall be entitled, upon making application on his attaining
the age of eighteen years or within twelve months
thereafter in such manner as may be prescribed, to be
registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:

Provided that if he is a citizen of some country other
than The Bahamas he shall not be entitled to be registered
as a citizen of The Bahamas under this Article unless he
renounces his citizenship of that other country, takes the
oath of allegiance and makes and registers such declaration
of his intentions concerning residence as may be
prescribed.

(2) Any application for registration under this Article
shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may
be prescribed in the interests of national security or public
policy.

Persons born in
The Bahamas
after 9th July
1973.

Persons born in
The Bahamas
after 9th July
1973 of non-
citizen parents.

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8. A person born outside The Bahamas after 9th July
1973 shall become a citizen of The Bahamas at the date of
his birth if at that date his father is a citizen of The
Bahamas otherwise than by virtue of this Article or Article
3(2) of this Constitution.

9. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in Article
8 of this Constitution, a person born legitimately outside
The Bahamas after 9th July 1973 whose mother is a citizen
of The Bahamas shall be entitled, upon making application
on his attaining the age of eighteen years and before he
attains the age of twenty-one years, in such manner as may
be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:

Provided that if he is a citizen of some country other
than The Bahamas he shall not be entitled to be registered
as a citizen of The Bahamas under this Article unless he
renounces his citizenship of that other country, takes the
oath of allegiance and makes and registers such declaration
of his intentions concerning residence as may be
prescribed.

(2) Where a person cannot renounce his citizenship of
some other country under the law of that country, he may
instead make such declaration concerning that citizenship
as may be prescribed.

(3) Any application for registration under this Article
shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may
be prescribed in the interests of national security or public
policy.

10. Any woman who, after 9th July 1973, marries a
person who is or becomes a citizen of The Bahamas shall
be entitled, provided she is still so married, upon making
application in such manner as may be prescribed and upon
taking the oath of allegiance or such declaration as may be
prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:

Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen of
The Bahamas under this Article shall be subject to such
exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the
interests of national security or public policy.

Persons born
outside The
Bahamas after
9th July 1973.

Further provi-
sions for persons
born outside The
Bahamas after
9th July 1973.

Marriage to
citizens of The
Bahamas.

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11. (1) If the Governor-General is satisfied that any
citizen of The Bahamas has at any time after 9th July 1973
acquired by registration, naturalisation or other voluntary

and formal act (other than marriage) the citizenship of any
other country, the Governor-General may by order deprive
that person of his citizenship.

(2) If the Governor-General is satisfied that any
citizen of The Bahamas has at any time after 9th July 1973
voluntarily claimed and exercised in any other country any
rights available to him under the law of that country, being
rights accorded exclusively to its citizens, the Governor-
General may by order deprive that person of his
citizenship.

12. Any citizen of The Bahamas who has attained the
age of twenty one years and who —

(a) is also a citizen or national of any other country;
or

(b) intends to become a citizen or national of any
other country,

shall be entitled to renounce his citizenship of The
Bahamas by a declaration made and registered in such
manner as may be prescribed:

Provided that —
(a) in the case of a person who is not a citizen or

national of any other country at the date of
registration of his declaration or renunciation, if
he does not become such a citizen or national
within six months from the date of registration
he shall be, and shall be deemed to have
remained, a citizen of The Bahamas
notwithstanding the making and registration of
his declaration of renunciation; and

(b) the right of any person to renounce his
citizenship of The Bahamas during any period
when The Bahamas is engaged in any war shall
be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as
may be prescribed in the interests of national
security or public policy.

13. Parliament may make provision —
(a) for the acquisition of citizenship of The Bahamas

by persons who do not become citizens of The
Bahamas by virtue of the provisions of this
Chapter;

Deprivation of
citizenship.

Renunciation of
citizenship.

Power of
Parliament.

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(b) for depriving of his citizenship of The Bahamas
any person who is a citizen of The Bahamas
otherwise than by virtue of paragraphs (1) or (2)
of Article 3 or Articles 6 or 8 of this
Constitution; or

(c) for the certification of citizenship of The
Bahamas for persons who have acquired that
citizenship and who desire such certification.

14. (1) Any reference in this Chapter to the father of a
person shall, in relation to any person born out of wedlock
other than a person legitimated before 10th July 1973, be
construed as a reference to the mother of that person.

(2) For the purposes of this Chapter, a person born
aboard a registered ship or aircraft, or aboard an unregistered
ship or aircraft of the government of any country, shall be
deemed to have been born in the place in which the ship or
aircraft was registered or, as the case may be, in that country.

(3) Any reference in this Chapter to the national
status of the father of a person at the time of that person’s
birth, shall, in relation to a person born after the death of
the father, be construed as a reference to the national status
of the father at the time of the father’s death; and where
that death occurred before 10th July 1973 and the birth
occurred after 9th July 1973 the national status that the
father would have had if he had died on 10th July 1973
shall be deemed to be his national status at the time of his
death.

CHAPTER III
PROTECTION OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND

FREEDOMS OF THE INDIVIDUAL
15. Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled

to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual,
that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of
origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject
to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the
public interest, to each and all of the following, namely —

(a) life, liberty, security of the person and the
protection of the law;

Interpretation.

Fundamental
rights and
freedoms of the
individual.

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(b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of
assembly and association; and

(c) protection for the privacy of his home and other
property and from deprivation of property
without compensation,

the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect
for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid
rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that
protection as are contained in those provisions, being
limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the
said rights and freedoms by any individual does not
prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public
interest.

16. (1) No person shall be deprived intentionally of
his life save in execution of the sentence of a court in
respect of a criminal offence of which he has been
convicted.

(2) A person shall not be regarded as having been
deprived of his life in contravention of this Article if he dies
as a result of the use, to such extent and in such
circumstances as are permitted by law, of such force as is
reasonably justifiable —

(a) for the defence of any person from violence or
for the defence of property;

(b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the
escape of a person lawfully detained;

(c) for the purpose of suppressing a riot,
insurrection or mutiny; or

(d) in order to prevent the commission by that
person of a criminal offence,

or if he dies as a result of a lawful act of war.
17. (1) No person shall be subjected to torture or to

inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
(2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority

of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in
contravention of this Article to the extent that the law in
question authorises the infliction of any description of
punishment that was lawful in the Bahama Islands
immediately before 10th July 1973.

Protection of
right to life.

Protection from
inhuman
treatment.

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18. (1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2) No person shall be required to perform forced

labour.
(3) For the purposes of this Article, “forced labour”

does not include —
(a) any labour required in consequence of the

sentence or order of a court;
(b) any labour required of a member of a disciplined

force in pursuance of his duties as such or, in the
case of a person who has conscientious
objections to service in a naval, military or air
force, any labour which that person is required
by law to perform in place of such service;

(c) labour required of any person while he is
lawfully detained which, though not required in
consequence of the sentence or order of a court,
is reasonably necessary in the interests of hygiene
or for the maintenance of the place in which he
is detained; or

(d) any labour required during a period of public
emergency (that is to say, a period to which
Article 29 of this Constitution applies) or in the
event of any other emergency or calamity that
threatens the life or well-being of the community,
to the extent that the requiring of such labour is
reasonably justifiable, in the circumstances of
any situation arising or existing during that
period or as a result of that other emergency or
calamity, for the purpose of dealing with that
situation.

19. (1) No person shall be deprived of his personal
liberty save as may be authorised by law in any of the
following cases —

(a) in execution of the sentence or order of a court,
whether established for The Bahamas or some
other country, in respect of a criminal offence of
which he has been convicted or in consequence
of his unfitness to plead to a criminal charge or
in execution of the order of a court on the
grounds of his contempt of that court or of
another court or tribunal;

Protection from
slavery and
forced labour.

Protection from
arbitrary arrest
or detention.

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(b) in execution of the order of a court made in order
to secure the fulfilment of any obligation
imposed upon him by law;

(c) for the purpose of bringing him before a court in
execution of the order of a court;

(d) upon reasonable suspicion of his having
committed, or of being about to commit, a
criminal offence;

(e) in the case of a person who has not attained the
age of eighteen years, for the purpose of his
education or welfare;

(f) for the purpose of preventing the spread of an
infectious or contagious disease or in the case of a
person who is, or is reasonably suspected to be, of
unsound mind, addicted to drugs or alcohol, or a
vagrant, for the purpose of his care or treatment
or the protection of the community;

(g) for the purpose of preventing the unlawful entry
of that person into The Bahamas or for the
purpose of effecting the expulsion, extradition or
other lawful removal from The Bahamas of that
person or the taking of proceedings relating
thereto; and, without prejudice to the generality
of the foregoing, a law may, for the purposes of
this subparagraph, provide that a person who is not
a citizen of The Bahamas may be deprived of his
liberty to such extent as may be necessary in the
execution of a lawful order requiring that person
to remain within a specified area within The
Bahamas or prohibiting him from being within
such an area.

(2) Any person who is arrested or detained shall be
informed as soon as is reasonably practicable, in a
language that he understands, of the reasons for his arrest
or detention and shall be permitted, at his own expense, to
retain and instruct without delay a legal representative of
his own choice and to hold private communication with
him; and in the case of a person who has not attained the
age of eighteen years he shall also be afforded a reasonable
opportunity for communication with his parent or guardian.

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(3) Any person who is arrested or detained in such a
case as is mentioned in subparagraph (1)(c) or (d) of this
Article and who is not released shall be brought without
undue delay before a court; and if any person arrested or
detained in such a case as is mentioned in the said
subparagraph (1)(d) is not tried within a reasonable time he
shall (without prejudice to any further proceedings that
may be brought against him) be released either
unconditionally or upon reasonable conditions, including in
particular such conditions as are reasonably necessary to
ensure that he appears at a later date for trial or for
proceedings preliminary to trial.

(4) Any person who is unlawfully arrested or detained
by any other person shall be entitled to compensation
therefor from that other person.

(5) Where a person is detained by virtue of such a law
as is referred to in Article 29 of this Constitution, the
following provisions shall apply —

(a) he shall, as soon as reasonably practicable and in
any case not more than five days after the
commencement of his detention, be furnished
with a statement in writing, in a language that he
understands, of the grounds upon which he is
detained;

(b) not more than fourteen days after the
commencement of his detention, a notification
shall be published in the Gazette stating that he
has been detained and giving particulars of the
provision of law under which his detention is
authorised;

(c) he may from time to time request that his case be
reviewed under subparagraph (d) of this
paragraph but, where he has made such a
request, no subsequent request shall be made
before the expiration of three months from the
making of the previous request;

(d) where a request is made under subparagraph (c)
of this paragraph, the case shall, within one
month of the making of the request, be reviewed
by an independent and impartial tribunal
established by law, presided over by the Chief
Justice or another Justice of the Supreme Court
appointed by him, and consisting of persons who


28 THE CONSTITUTION




STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

are Justices of the Supreme Court or who are
qualified to be appointed as Justices of the
Supreme Court;

(e) he shall be afforded reasonable facilities to
consult and instruct, at his own expense, a legal
representative of his own choice, and he and any
such legal representative shall be permitted to
make written or oral representations or both to
the tribunal appointed for the review of his case.

(6) On any review by a tribunal in pursuance of
paragraph (5) of this Article of the case of any detained
person, the tribunal may make recommendations
concerning the necessity or expediency of continuing his
detention to the authority by whom it was ordered, but,
unless it is otherwise provided by law, that authority shall
not be obliged to act in accordance with any such
recommendations.

(7) When any person is detained by virtue of such a
law as is referred to in Article 29 of this Constitution the
Prime Minister or a Minister authorised by him shall, not
more than thirty days after the commencement of the
detention and thereafter not more than thirty days after the
making of the previous report, make a report to each House
stating the number of persons detained as aforesaid and the
number of cases in which the authority that ordered the
detention has not acted in accordance with the
recommendations of a tribunal appointed in pursuance of
paragraph (5) of this Article:

Provided that in reckoning any period of thirty days
for the purposes of this paragraph no account shall be taken
of any period during which Parliament stands prorogued or
dissolved.

20. (1) If any person is charged with a criminal
offence, then, unless the charge is withdrawn, the case shall
be afforded a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an
independent and impartial court established by law.

(2) Every person who is charged with a criminal
offence —

(a) shall be presumed to be innocent until he is
proved or has pleaded guilty;

Provisions to
secure protection
of law.

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(b) shall be informed as soon as reasonably
practicable, in a language that he understands
and in detail, of the nature of the offence
charged;

(c) shall be given adequate time and facilities for the
preparation of his defence;

(d) shall be permitted to defend himself before the
court in person or, at his own expense, by a legal
representative of his own choice or by a legal
representative at the public expense where so
provided by or under a law in force in The
Bahamas;

(e) shall be afforded facilities to examine in person or
by his legal representative the witnesses called by
the prosecution before the court, and to obtain
the attendance and carry out the examination of
witnesses to testify on his behalf before the court
on the same conditions as those applying to
witnesses called by the prosecution;

(f) shall be permitted to have without payment the
assistance of an interpreter if he cannot
understand the language used at the trial of the
charge; and

(g) shall, when charged on information in the
Supreme Court, have the right to trial by jury,

and except with his own consent the trial shall not take
place in his absence unless he so conducts himself in the
court as to render the continuance of the proceedings in his
presence impracticable and the court has ordered him to be
removed and the trial to proceed in his absence.

(3) When a person is tried for any criminal offence,
the accused person or any person authorised by him in that
behalf shall, if he so requires and subject to payment of
such reasonable fee as may be prescribed by law, be given
within a reasonable time after judgment a copy for the use
of the accused person of any record of the proceedings
made by or on behalf of the court.

(4) No person shall be held to be guilty of a criminal
offence on account of any act or omission that did not, at
the time it took place, constitute such an offence, and no
penalty shall be imposed for any criminal offence that is
severer in degree or description than the maximum penalty
that might have been imposed for that offence at the time
when it was committed.

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(5) No person who shows that he has been tried by a
competent court for a criminal offence and either convicted
or acquitted shall again be tried for that offence or for any
other criminal offence of which he could have been
convicted at the trial for that offence, save upon the order
of a superior court in the course of appeal or review
proceedings relating to the conviction or acquittal.

(6) No person shall be tried for a criminal offence if he
shows that he has been pardoned for that offence.

(7) No person who is tried for a criminal offence shall
be compelled to give evidence at the trial.

(8) Any court or other adjudicating authority
prescribed by law for the determination of the existence or
extent of any civil right or obligation shall be established
by law and shall be independent and impartial; and where
proceedings for such a determination are instituted by any
person before such a court or other adjudicating authority,
the case shall be given a fair hearing within a reasonable
time.

(9) All proceedings instituted in any court for the
determination of the existence or extent of any civil right
or obligation, including the announcement of the decision
of the court, shall be held in public.

(10) Nothing in paragraph (9) of this Article shall
prevent the court from excluding from the proceedings
persons other than the parties thereto and their legal
representatives to such extent as the court —

(a) may be empowered by law so to do and may
consider necessary or expedient in circumstances
where publicity would prejudice the interests of
justice, or in interlocutory proceedings or in the
interests of public morality, the welfare of
persons under the age of eighteen years or the
protection of the private lives of persons
concerned in the proceedings;

(b) may be empowered or required by law to do so in
the interests of defence, public safety or public
order; or

(c) may be empowered or required to do so by rules
of court and practice existing immediately before
10th July 1973 or by any law made subsequently
to the extent that it makes provision
substantially to the same effect as provision
contained in any such rules.

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(11) Nothing contained in or done under the authority
of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in
contravention of —

(a) subparagraph (2)(a) of this Article to the extent
that the law in question imposes upon any
person charged with a criminal offence the
burden of proving particular facts;

(b) subparagraph (2)(e) of this Article to the extent
that the law in question imposes conditions that
must be satisfied if witnesses called to testify on
behalf of an accused person are to be paid their
expenses out of public funds;

(c) paragraph (5) of this Article to the extent that
the law in question authorises a court to try a
member of a disciplined force for a criminal
offence notwithstanding any trial and conviction
or acquittal of that member under the
disciplinary law of that force, so, however, that
any court so trying such a member and
convicting him shall in sentencing him to any
punishment take into account any punishment
awarded him under that disciplinary law.

21. (1) Except with his consent, no person shall be
subjected to the search of his person or his property or the
entry by others on his premises.

(2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority
of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in
contravention of this Article to the extent that the law in
question makes provision —

(a) which is reasonably required —
(i) in the interests of defence, public safety,

public order, public morality, public health,
town and country planning, the
development of mineral resources, or the
development or utilisation of any other
property in such a manner as to promote
the public benefit; or

(ii) for the purpose of protecting the rights and
freedoms of other persons;

(b) to enable an officer or agent of the Government
of The Bahamas, a local government authority
or a body corporate established by law for public


Protection for
privacy of home
and other
property.

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purposes to enter on the premises of any person
in order to inspect those premises or anything
thereon for the purpose of any tax, rate or due or
in order to carry out work connected with any
property that is lawfully on those premises and
that belongs to that Government, authority or
body corporate, as the case may be; or

(c) to authorise, for the purpose of enforcing the
judgment or order of a court in any civil
proceedings, the search of any person or
property by order of a court or the entry upon
any premises by such order,

and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be,
the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to
be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

22. (1) Except with his consent, no person shall be
hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience,
and for the purposes of this Article the said freedom
includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to
change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in
community with others, and both in public and in private,
to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship,
teaching, practice and observance.

(2) Except with his consent (or, if he is a person who
has not attained the age of eighteen years, the consent of his
guardian) no person attending any place of education shall
be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in
or attend any religious ceremony or observance if that
instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion
other than his own.

(3) No religious body or denomination shall be
prevented from or hindered in providing religious
instruction for persons of that body or denomination in the
course of any education provided by that body or
denomination whether or not that body or denomination is
in receipt of any government subsidy, grant or other form
of financial assistance designed to meet, in whole or in
part, the cost of such course of education.

(4) No person shall be compelled to take any oath
which is contrary to his religion or belief or to take any
oath in a manner which is contrary to his religion or belief.

Protection of
freedom of
conscience.

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(5) Nothing contained in or done under the authority
of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in
contravention of this Article to the extent that the law in
question makes provision which is reasonably required —

(a) in the interests of defence, public safety, public
order, public morality or public health; or

(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and
freedoms of other persons, including the right to
observe and practise any religion without the
unsolicited interference of members of any other
religion,

and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be,
the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to
be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

23. (1) Except with his consent, no person shall be
hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression,
and for the purposes of this Article the said freedom
includes freedom to hold opinions, to receive and impart
ideas and information without interference, and freedom
from interference with his correspondence.

(2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority
of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in
contravention of this Article to the extent that the law in
question makes provision —

(a) which is reasonably required —
(i) in the interests of defence, public safety,

public order, public morality or public
health; or

(ii) for the purpose of protecting the rights,
reputations and freedoms of other persons,
preventing the disclosure of information
received in confidence, maintaining the
authority and independence of the courts,
or regulating telephony, telegraphy, posts,
wireless broadcasting, television, public
exhibitions or public entertainment; or

(b) which imposes restrictions upon persons holding
office under the Crown or upon members of a
disciplined force,

and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be,
the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to
be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

Protection of
freedom of
expression.

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24. (1) Except with his consent, no person shall be
hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of peaceful
assembly and association, that is to say, his right to
assemble freely and associate with other persons and in

particular to form or belong to political parties, or to form
or belong to trade unions or other associations for the
protection of his interests.

(2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority
of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in
contravention of this Article to the extent that the law in
question makes provision —

(a) which is reasonably required —
(i) in the interests of defence, public safety,

public order, public morality or public
health; or

(ii) for the purpose of protecting the rights and
freedoms of other persons; or

(b) which imposes restrictions upon persons holding
office under the Crown or upon members of a
disciplined force,

and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be,
the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to
be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

25. (1) Except with his consent, no person shall be
hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of movement,
and for the purposes of this Article the said freedom means
the right to move freely throughout The Bahamas, the right
to reside in any part thereof, the right to enter The
Bahamas, the right to leave The Bahamas and immunity
from expulsion therefrom.

(2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority
of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in
contravention of this Article to the extent that the law in
question makes provision —

(a) which is reasonably required —
(i) in the interests of defence, public safety,

public order, public morality, public
health, town and country planning or the
prevention of plant or animal diseases; or

(ii) for the purpose of protecting the rights and
freedoms of other persons,

Protection of
freedom of
assembly and
association.

Protection of
freedom of
movement.

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and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be,
the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to
be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society;

(b) for the removal of a person from The Bahamas
to be tried outside The Bahamas for a criminal
offence or to undergo imprisonment in some
other country in respect of a criminal offence of
which he has been convicted;

(c) for the imposition of restrictions upon the
movement or residence within The Bahamas of
public officers or members of a disciplined force
that are reasonably required for the purpose of
the proper performance of their functions; or

(d) for the imposition of restrictions on the
movement or residence within The Bahamas of
any person who is not a citizen of The Bahamas
or the exclusion or expulsion therefrom of any
such person; or

(e) for the imposition of restrictions on the right of
any person to leave The Bahamas in the public
interest, or for securing compliance with any
international obligation of the Government of The
Bahamas particulars of which have been laid
before Parliament.

(3) Any restriction on a person’s freedom of
movement which is involved in his lawful detention shall
not be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of
this Article.

(4) For the purposes of subparagraph (c) of
paragraph (2) of this Article “law” in that paragraph
includes directions in writing regarding the conduct of
public officers generally or any class of public officer
issued by the Government of The Bahamas.

26. (1) Subject to the provisions of paragraphs (4), (5)
and (9) of this Article, no law shall make any provision
which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(2) Subject to the provisions of paragraphs (6), (9) and
(10) of this Article, no person shall be treated in a
discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of
any written law or in the performance of the functions of
any public office or any public authority.

Protection from
discrimination on
the grounds of
race, etc.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

(3) In this Article, the expression “discriminatory”
means affording different treatment to different persons
attributable wholly or mainly to their respective
descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinions,
colour or creed whereby persons of one such description
are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons
of another such description are not made subject or are
accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded
to persons of another such description.

(4) Paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply to any
law so far as that law makes provision —

(a) for the appropriation of revenues or other funds
of The Bahamas or for the imposition of taxation
(including the levying of fees for the grant of
licences); or

(b) with respect to the entry into or exclusion from,
or the employment, engaging in any business or
profession, movement or residence within, The
Bahamas of persons who are not citizens of The
Bahamas; or

(c) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce,
burial, devolution of property on death or other
matters of personal law; or

(d) whereby persons of any such description as is
mentioned in paragraph (3) of this Article may
be subjected to any disability or restriction or
may be accorded any privilege or advantage
which, having regard to its nature and to special
circumstances pertaining to those persons or to
persons of any other such description, is
reasonably justifiable in a democratic society; or

(e) for authorising the granting of licences or
certificates permitting the conduct of a lottery, the
keeping of a gaming house or the carrying on of
gambling in any of its forms subject to
conditions which impose upon persons who are
citizens of The Bahamas disabilities or
restrictions to which other persons are not made
subject.

(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be
inconsistent with or in contravention of paragraph (1) of
this Article to the extent that it makes provision with
respect to standards or qualifications (not being a standard


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or qualification specifically relating to race, place of origin,
political opinions, colour or creed) in order to be eligible
for service as a public officer or as a member of a
disciplined force or for the service of a local government
authority or a body corporate established by law for public
purposes.

(6) Paragraph (2) of this Article shall not apply to
anything which is expressly or by necessary implication
authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is
referred to in paragraph (4) or (5) of this Article.

(7) Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (4)(e)
and of paragraph (9) of this Article, no person shall be
treated in a discriminatory manner in respect of access to
any of the following places to which the general public have
access, namely, shops, hotels, restaurants, eating-houses,
licensed premises, places of entertainment or places of
resort.

(8) Subject to the provisions of this Article no person
shall be treated in a discriminatory manner —

(a) in respect of any conveyance or lease or
agreement for, or in consideration of, or
collateral to, a conveyance or lease of any
freehold or leasehold hereditaments which have
been offered for sale or lease to the general
public;

(b) in respect of any covenant or provisions in any
conveyance or lease or agreement for, or in
consideration of, or collateral to, a conveyance
or lease restricting by discriminatory provisions
the transfer, ownership, use or occupation of any
freehold or leasehold hereditaments which have
been offered for sale or lease to the general
public.

(9) Nothing contained in or done under the authority
of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in
contravention of this Article to the extent that the law in
question makes provision whereby persons of any such
description as is mentioned in paragraph (3) of this Article
may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and
freedoms guaranteed by Articles 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 of
this Constitution, being such a restriction as is authorised
by Article 21(2)(a), 22(5), 23(2), 24(2) or 25(2)(a) or (e),
as the case may be.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

(10) Nothing in paragraph (2) of this Article shall
affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or
discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any
court that is vested in any person by or under this
Constitution or any other law.

27. (1) No property of any description shall be
compulsorily taken possession of, and no interest in or
right over property of any description shall be
compulsorily acquired, except where the following
conditions are satisfied, that is to say —

(a) the taking of possession or acquisition is
necessary in the interests of defence, public
safety, public order, public morality, public
health, town and country planning or the
development or utilisation of any property in
such manner as to promote the public benefit or
the economic well-being of the community; and

(b) the necessity therefor is such as to afford
reasonable justification for the causing of any
hardship that may result to any person having an
interest in or right over the property; and

(c) provision is made by a law applicable to that
taking of possession or acquisition —

(i) for the making of prompt and adequate
compensation in the circumstances; and

(ii) securing to any person having an interest in
or right over the property a right of access to
the Supreme Court, whether direct or on
appeal from any other authority, for the
determination of his interest or right, the
legality of the taking of possession or
acquisition of the property, interest or right,
and the amount of any compensation to
which he is entitled, and for the purpose of
obtaining prompt payment of that
compensation; and

(d) any party to proceedings in the Supreme Court
relating to such a claim is given by law the same
rights of appeal as are accorded generally to
parties to civil proceedings in that Court sitting
as a court of original jurisdiction.

Protection from
deprivation of
property.

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(2) Nothing in this Article shall be construed as
affecting the making or operation of any law so far as it
provides for the taking of possession or acquisition of
property —

(a) in satisfaction of any tax, rate or due;
(b) by way of penalty for breach of the law, whether

under civil process or after conviction of a
criminal offence under the law of The Bahamas;

(c) as an incident of a lease, tenancy, mortgage,
charge, bill of sale, pledge or contract;

(d) upon the attempted removal of the property in
question out of or into The Bahamas in
contravention of any law;

(e) by way of the taking of a sample for the purposes
of any law;

(f) where the property consists of an animal upon its
being found trespassing or straying;

(g) in the execution of judgments or orders of courts;
(h) by reason of its being in a dilapidated or

dangerous state or injurious to the health of
human beings, animals or plants;

(i) in consequence of any law making provision for
the validation of titles to land or (without prejudice
to the generality of the foregoing words) the
confirmation of such titles, or for the
extinguishment of adverse claims, or with respect
to prescription or limitation of actions;

(j) for so long only as may be necessary for the
purposes of any examination, investigation, trial or
inquiry or, in the case of land, the carrying out
thereon —

(i) of work of reclamation, drainage, soil
conservation or the conservation of other
natural resources; or

(ii) of agricultural development or improvement
that the owner or occupier of the land has
been required, and has, without reasonable
and lawful excuse, refused or failed to
carry out; or

(k) to the extent that the law in question makes
provision for the vesting or taking of possession
or acquisition or administration of —

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(i) enemy property;
(ii) property of a deceased person, a person of

unsound mind or a person who has not
attained the age of twenty-one years, for the
purpose of its administration for the benefit
of the persons entitled to the beneficial
interest therein;

(iii) property of a person adjudged insolvent or
a defunct company that has been struck off
the Register of Companies, or a body
corporate in liquidation, for the purpose of
its administration for the benefit of the
creditors of that insolvent person or body
corporate and, subject thereto, for the
benefit of other persons entitled to the
beneficial interest in the property; or

(iv) property subject to a trust, for the purpose of
vesting the property in persons appointed as
trustees under the instrument creating the
trust or by a court or, by order of a court, for
the purpose of giving effect to the trust.

(3) Nothing contained in or done under the authority
of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in
contravention of this Article to the extent that the law in
question makes provision for the orderly marketing or
production or growth or extraction of any agricultural or
fish product or mineral or water or any article or thing
prepared for market or manufactured therefor or for the
reasonable restriction of the use of any property in the
interest of safeguarding the interests of others or the
protection of tenants, licensees or others having rights in or
over such property.

(4) Nothing contained in or done under the authority
of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in
contravention of this Article to the extent that the law in
question makes provision for the compulsory taking
possession in the public interest of any property, or the
compulsory acquisition in the public interest of any interest
in or right over property, where that property, interest or
right is held by a body corporate established directly by
law for public purposes in which no monies have been
invested other than monies provided by Parliament or by
any Legislature established for the former Colony of the
Bahama Islands.

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28. (1) If any person alleges that any of the provisions
of Articles 16 to 27 (inclusive) of this Constitution has
been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to
him then, without prejudice to any other action with
respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that
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 paragraph (1) of this
Article; and

(b) to determine any question arising in the case of
any person which is referred to it in pursuance of
paragraph (3) of this Article,

and may make such orders, issue such writs and give such
directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of
enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the
provisions of the said Articles 16 to 27 (inclusive) to the
protection of which the person concerned is entitled:

Provided that the Supreme Court shall not exercise its
powers under this paragraph if it is satisfied that adequate
means of redress are or have been available to the person
concerned under any other law.

(3) If, in any proceedings in any court established for
The Bahamas other than the Supreme Court or the Court of
Appeal, any question arises as to the contravention of any
of the provisions of the said Articles 16 to 27 (inclusive),
the court in which the question has arisen shall refer the
question to the Supreme Court.

(4) No law shall make provision with respect to rights
of appeal from any determination of the Supreme Court in
pursuance of this Article that is less favourable to any party
thereto than the rights of appeal from determinations of the
Supreme Court that are accorded generally to parties to
civil proceedings in that Court sitting as a court of original
jurisdiction.

(5) Parliament may make laws to confer upon the
Supreme Court such additional or supplementary powers as
may appear to be necessary or desirable for enabling the
Court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction
conferred upon it by paragraph (2) of this Article and may
make provision with respect to the practice and procedure
of the Court while exercising that jurisdiction.

Enforcement of
fundamental
rights.

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29. (1) This Article applies to any period when —
(a) The Bahamas is at war; or
(b) there is in force a proclamation (in this section

referred to as a “proclamation of emergency”)
made by the Governor-General and published in
the Gazette declaring that a state of public
emergency exists for the purposes of this
section.

(2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority
of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in
contravention of Article 19, any provision of Article 20
other than paragraph (4) thereof, or any provision of
Articles 21 to 26 (inclusive) of this Constitution to the
extent that the law in question makes in relation to any
period to which this Article applies provision, or authorises
the doing during any such period of anything, which is
reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of any situation
or existing during that period for the purpose of dealing
with that situation.

(3) Where any proclamation of emergency has been
made, copies thereof shall as soon as practicable be laid
before both Houses of Parliament, and if for any cause
those Houses are not due to meet within five days the
Governor-General shall, by proclamation published in the
Gazette, summon them to meet within five days and they
shall accordingly meet and sit upon the day appointed by
the proclamation and shall continue to sit and act as if they
had stood adjourned or prorogued to that day:

Provided that if the proclamation of emergency is
made during the period between a dissolution of
Parliament and the next ensuing general election —

(a) the Houses to be summoned as aforesaid shall be
the Houses referred to in Article 66 of this
Constitution unless the Governor-General is
satisfied that it will be practicable to hold that
election within seven days of the making of the
proclamation of emergency; and

(b) if the Governor-General is so satisfied, he shall
(instead of summoning the Houses so referred to
meet within five days of the making of the
proclamation) summon the Houses of the new
Parliament to meet as soon as practicable after
the holding of that election.

Provisions for
time of war or
emergency.

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(4) A proclamation of emergency shall, unless it is
sooner revoked by the Governor-General, cease to be in
force at the expiration of a period of fourteen days
beginning on the date on which it was made or such longer
period as may be provided under paragraph (5) of this
Article, but without prejudice to the making of another
proclamation of emergency at or before the end of that
period.

(5) If at any time while a proclamation of emergency
is in force (including any time while it is in force by virtue
of the provisions of this paragraph) a resolution is passed
by each House of Parliament approving its continuance in
force for a further period, not exceeding six months,
beginning on the date on which it would otherwise expire,
the proclamation shall, if not sooner revoked, continue in
force for that further period.

30. (1) Subject to paragraph (3) of this Article,
nothing contained in or done under the authority of any
written law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in
contravention of any provision of Articles 16 to 27
(inclusive) of this Constitution to the extent that the law in
question —

(a) is a law (in this Article referred to as “an existing
law”) that was enacted or made before 10th July
1973 and has continued to be part of the law of
The Bahamas at all times since that day;

(b) repeals and re-enacts an existing law without
alteration; or

(c) alters an existing law and does not thereby
render that law inconsistent with any provision
of the said Articles 16 to 27 (inclusive) in a
manner in which, or to an extent to which, it was
not previously so inconsistent.

(2) In subparagraph (1)(c) of this Article the reference
to altering an existing law includes references to repealing it
and re-enacting it with modifications or making different
provisions in lieu thereof, and to modifying it; and in
paragraph (1) of this Article “written law” includes any
instrument having the force of law and in this paragraph
and the said paragraph (1) references to the repeal and re-
enactment of an existing law shall be construed
accordingly.

Saving of existing
law.

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(3) This Article does not apply to any regulation or
other instrument having legislative effect made, or to any
executive act done, after 9th July 1973 under the authority
of any such law as is mentioned in paragraph (1) of this
Article.

31. (1) In this Chapter —
“contravention”, in relation to any requirement,

includes a failure to comply with that
requirement; and cognate expressions shall be
construed accordingly;

“court” means any court of law having jurisdiction in
The Bahamas other than a court established by
a disciplinary law, and includes the Judicial
Committee of Her Majesty’s Privy Council or
any court substituted therefore by any law made
under Article 105 of this Constitution and —
(a) in Article 16, Article 18, Article 19,

paragraphs (2), (3), (5), (8), (9) and (10) of
Article 20, Article 26 and paragraph (3) of
Article 28 of this Constitution includes, in
relation to an offence against a disciplinary
law, a court established by such a law; and

(b) in Article 18, Article 19 and paragraph (3)
of Article 28 of this Constitution includes,
in relation to an offence against a
disciplinary law, any person or authority
empowered to exercise jurisdiction in
respect of that offence;

“disciplinary law” means a law regulating the
discipline of any disciplined force;

“disciplined force” means —
(a) a naval, military or air force;
(b) the Police Force of The Bahamas;
(c) the Prison Service of The Bahamas; or
(d) any other force or service specified by Act

of Parliament to be a disciplined force for
the purposes of this Chapter;

“legal representative” means a person entitled to
practise in The Bahamas as Counsel and
Attorney of the Supreme Court;

“member” in relation to a disciplined force includes
any person who, under the law regulating the
discipline of that force, is subject to that
discipline.

Interpretation.

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(2) Any reference in Articles 16, 19, 25 and 27 of
this Constitution to a criminal offence shall be construed as
including an offence against disciplinary law, and any such
reference in paragraphs (2) to (7) (inclusive) of Article 20
of this Constitution shall, in relation to proceedings before
a court constituted by or under disciplinary law, be
construed in the same manner.

(3) In relation to any person who is a member of a
disciplined force raised under a law of any country other
than The Bahamas and lawfully present in The Bahamas,
nothing contained in or done under the authority of the
disciplinary law of that force shall be held to be
inconsistent with or in contravention of any of the
provisions of this Chapter.

CHAPTER IV
THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL

32. There shall be a Governor-General of The
Bahamas who shall be appointed by Her Majesty and shall
hold office during Her Majesty’s pleasure and who shall be
Her Majesty’s representative in The Bahamas.

33. (1) Whenever the office of Governor-General is
vacant or the holder of the office is absent from The
Bahamas or is for any other reason unable to perform the
functions of his office, those functions shall be per-
formed —

(a) by any person for the time being designated by
Her Majesty in that behalf who is in The
Bahamas and able to perform those functions; or

(b) at any time when there is no person in The
Bahamas so designated and able to perform
those functions, by the holder of the office of
Chief Justice; or

(c) at any time referred to in subparagraph (b) of
this paragraph when the office of Chief Justice is
vacant or the holder thereof is absent from The
Bahamas or is for any other reason unable to
perform those functions, by the President of the
Senate.

Establishment of
office of
Governor-
General.

Acting
Governor-
General.

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(2) The holder of the office of Governor-General or
any person designated under subparagraph (1)(a) of this
Article or by subparagraph (1)(b) of this Article shall not,
for the purposes of this Article, be regarded as absent from
The Bahamas or as unable to perform the functions of the
office of Governor-General at any time when there is a
subsisting appointment of a deputy under Article 34 of this
Constitution.

34. (1) Whenever the Governor-General —
(a) has occasion to be absent from The Bahamas for

a period which he has reason to believe will be
of short duration; or

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

he may, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime
Minister, by instrument under the Public Seal, appoint any
person in The Bahamas to be his deputy during such
absence or illness and in that capacity to perform on his
behalf such of the functions of the office of Governor-
General as may be specified in that instrument.

(2) The power and authority of the Governor-
General shall not be abridged, altered or in any way
affected by the appointment of a deputy under this Article,
and in the exercise of any function that is exercisable by
the Governor-General acting in accordance with his own
deliberate judgment or after consultation with any person
or authority a deputy shall conform to and observe any
instructions that the Governor-General, acting in like
manner, may address to him:

Provided that the question whether or not a deputy
has conformed to or observed any such instructions shall
not be enquired into in any court.

(3) A person appointed as a deputy under this
Article shall hold that appointment for such period as may
be specified in the instrument by which he is appointed,
and his appointment may be revoked at any time by the
Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of
the Prime Minister.

35. (1) Parliament may prescribe the offices that are
to constitute the personal staff of the Governor-General,
the salaries and allowances that are to be paid to the


Deputy to
Governor-
General.

Personal staff of
Governor-
General.

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members of the staff and the other sums that are to be paid
in respect of the expenditure attaching to the office of
Governor-General.

(2) Any salaries or other sums prescribed under
paragraph (1) of this Article are hereby charged on and
shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund.

(3) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (4) of this
Article, power to make appointments to the offices for the
time being prescribed under paragraph (1) of this Article as
offices that are to constitute the personal staff of the
Governor-General, and to remove and to exercise
disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in any
such office, is hereby vested in the Governor-General
acting in accordance with his own deliberate judgment.

(4) The Governor-General, acting in accordance
with his own deliberate judgment, may appoint to any of
the offices prescribed under paragraph (1) of this Article
such public officers as he may select from a list submitted
by the Public Service Commission, but —

(a) the provisions of paragraph (3) of this Article
shall apply in relation to an officer so appointed
as respects his service on the personal staff of
the Governor-General but not as respects his
service as a public officer;

(b) an officer so appointed shall not, during
continuance on the personal staff of the
Governor-General, perform the functions of any
public office; and

(c) an officer so appointed may at any time be
appointed by the Governor-General, if the
Public Service Commission so recommend, to
assume or resume the functions of a public
office and he shall thereupon vacate his office
on the personal staff of the Governor-General,
but the Governor-General may, in his own
deliberate judgment, decline to release the
officer for that appointment.

(5) All offices prescribed under paragraph (1) of
this Article as offices that are to constitute the personal
staff of the Governor-General shall, for the purposes of
Chapter VIII, be deemed to be public offices.

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36. The Governor-General shall keep and use the
Public Seal for sealing all things that shall pass the Public
Seal.

37. A person appointed to the office of Governor-
General or assuming the functions of that office under
Article 33 of this Constitution shall, before entering upon
the duties of that office, take and subscribe the oath of
allegiance and an oath for the due execution of the office of
Governor-General in such form as is prescribed by any law
in force in The Bahamas, such oaths being administered by
the Chief Justice or such other Justice of the Supreme
Court as may be designated by the Chief Justice.

CHAPTER V
PARLIAMENT

PART I
COMPOSITION OF PARLIAMENT

38. There shall be a Parliament of The Bahamas
which shall consist of Her Majesty, a Senate and a House
of Assembly.

PART II
THE SENATE

39. (1) The Senate shall consist of sixteen members
(in this Constitution referred to as “Senators”) who shall be
appointed by the Governor-General by instrument under
the Public Seal in accordance with the provisions of this
Article.

(2) Nine Senators shall be appointed by the
Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of
the Prime Minister.

(3) Four Senators shall be appointed by the
Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of
the Leader of the Opposition.

(4) Three Senators shall be appointed by the
Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of
the Prime Minister after consultation with the Leader of the
Opposition.

Public Seal.

Oaths to be taken
by Governor-
General.

Establishment of
Parliament.

Composition of
Senate.

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(5) Whenever any person vacates his seat as a
Senator for any reason other than a dissolution of
Parliament, the Governor-General shall as soon as
practicable appoint a person to fill the vacancy under the
same provisions of this Article as those under which the
person whose seat has became vacant was appointed.

40. In the exercise of the functions conferred upon
him by Article 39(4) of this Constitution, the purpose of
the Prime Minister shall be to secure that the political
balance of the Senate reflects that of the House of
Assembly at the time.

41. Subject to the provisions of Article 42 of this
Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be appointed as
a Senator if, and shall not be qualified to be so appointed
unless, he is a citizen of The Bahamas, of the age of thirty
years or upwards and has ordinarily resided in The
Bahamas for a period of not less than one year immediately
before the date of his appointment.

42. (1) No person shall be qualified to be appointed
as a Senator who —

(a) is a citizen of a country other than The Bahamas
having become such a citizen voluntarily;

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

(c) is disqualified for membership of the Senate by
any law in force in The Bahamas enacted in
pursuance of paragraph (2) of this Article;

(d) is a member of the House of Assembly;
(e) has been adjudged or otherwise declared

bankrupt under any law in force in The Bahamas
and has not been discharged;

(f) is a person certified to be insane or otherwise
adjudged to be of unsound mind under any law
in force in The Bahamas;

(g) is under sentence of death imposed on him by a
court in The Bahamas, 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


Purpose of
appointment of
certain Senators.

Qualifications for
appointment as
Senator.

Disqualifications
for appointment
as Senator.

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of imprisonment the execution of which has
been suspended;

(h) is disqualified for membership of the House of
Assembly by virtue of any law in force in The
Bahamas by reason of his having been convicted
for any offence relating to elections; or

(i) is interested in any government contract and has
not disclosed to the Governor-General the nature
of such contract and of his interest therein.

(2) Parliament may by law provide that, subject to
such exceptions and limitations (if any) as may be
prescribed therein, a person shall be disqualified for
membership of the Senate by virtue of —

(a) his holding or acting in any office or
appointment specified (either individually or by
reference to a class of office or appointment) by
such law;

(b) his belonging to any armed force of The
Bahamas or to any class of person so specified
that is comprised in any such force; or

(c) his belonging to any police force of The
Bahamas or to any class of person so specified
that is comprised in any such force.

(3) For the purposes of subparagraph (1)(g) of this
Article —

(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.

43. (1) The seat of a Senator shall become vacant —
(a) upon the next dissolution of Parliament after he

has been appointed;
(b) if he resigns by writing under his hand addressed

to the President of the Senate, or, if the office of
President is vacant or the President is absent
from The Bahamas, to the Vice-President;

Tenure of office
of Senators.

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(c) if, with his consent, he is nominated as a
candidate for election to the House of Assembly;

(d) if he is absent from The Bahamas for a period
exceeding forty days at any time when the
Senate is sitting, without the leave of the
President given in accordance with the
provisions of paragraph (2) of this Article;

(e) if he ceases to be a citizen of The Bahamas;
(f) subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of this

Article, if any circumstances arise that, if he
were not a Senator, would cause him to be
disqualified for appointment as such by virtue of
subparagraph (a), (b), (c), (e), (f), (g), or (h) of
Article 42(1) of this Constitution or of any law
enacted in pursuance of Article 42(2) of this
Constitution;

(g) in the case of a Senator who was appointed as
such in accordance with the advice of the Prime
Minister or in accordance with the advice of the
Leader of the Opposition or on the advice of the
Prime Minister after consultation with the
Leader of the Opposition, if the Governor-
General, acting in accordance with the advice of
the Prime Minister or in accordance with the
advice of the Leader of the Opposition or on the
advice of the Prime Minister after consultation
with the Leader of the Opposition, as the case
may be, by instrument under the Public Seal,
declares the seat of that Senator to be vacant; or

(h) if he becomes interested in any government
contract:

Provided that —
(i) if in the circumstances it appears to the Senate to

be just so to do, the Senate may exempt any
Senator from vacating his seat under the
provisions of this subparagraph, if that Senator,
before becoming interested in such contract as
aforesaid or as soon as practicable after
becoming so interested, discloses to the Senate
the nature of such contract and his interest
therein;

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(ii) if proceedings are taken under a law made under
Article 45 of this Constitution to determine
whether a Senator has vacated his seat under the
provisions of this subparagraph he shall be
declared by the court not to have vacated his
seat if he establishes to the satisfaction of the
court that he, acting reasonably, was not aware
that he was or had become interested in such
contract; and

(iii) no proceedings under the preceding
subparagraph shall be instituted by any person
other than a Senator or Member of the House of
Assembly.

(2) The President of the Senate may grant leave to
any Senator to be absent from The Bahamas for any period
not exceeding six months at any one time.

(3) If the circumstances such as are referred to in
subparagraph (1)(f) of this Article arise because a Senator
is under sentence of death or imprisonment, adjudged to be
of unsound mind, declared bankrupt or convicted or
reported guilty of a corrupt or illegal practice at elections
and if it is open to the Senator to appeal against the
decision (either with the leave of a court of other authority
or without such leave), he shall forthwith cease to perform
his functions as a senator but, subject to paragraph (4) of
this Article, he shall not vacate his seat until the expiration
of a period of thirty days thereafter:

Provided that the President of the Senate may, at the
request of the said 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 Senate.

(4) 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 or the
refusal of leave to appeal or for any other reason, it ceases
to be open to the Senator to appeal, he shall forthwith
vacate his seat.

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(5) 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 (3) of this Article and he may
resume the performance of his functions as a Senator.

44. (1) When the Senate first meets after this
Constitution comes into operation or after any general
election and before it proceeds to the despatch of any other
business, the Senate shall, in accordance with such
procedure as may be prescribed by the rules of procedure
of the Senate, elect a Senator to be President of the Senate;
and, if the office of President falls vacant at any time, the
Senate shall, as soon as practicable, proceed in like manner
to fill the vacant office.

(2) When the Senate first meets after this
Constitution comes into operation or after any general
election and before it proceeds to the despatch of any other
business except the election of the President, it shall elect a
Senator to be Vice-President of the Senate; and if the office
of Vice-President falls vacant at any time, the Senate shall,
as soon as practicable, elect a Senator to that office.

(3) The Senate shall not elect a Senator who is a
Minister or Parliamentary Secretary to be the President or
Vice-President of the Senate.

(4) A person shall vacate the office of President or
Vice-President of the Senate —

(a) if he ceases to be a Senator;
(b) if he is appointed to be a Minister or

Parliamentary Secretary;
(c) if he announces the resignation of his office to

the Senate or if, by writing under his hand
addressed, in the case of the President, to the
Clerk of the Senate and, in the case of the Vice-
President, to the President (or, if the office of
President is vacant or the President is absent
from The Bahamas, to the Clerk), he resigns that
office; or

(d) in the case of the Vice-President, if he is elected
to be President.

(5) If, by virtue of Article 43(3) of this Constitution,
the President or Vice-President is required to cease to
perform his functions as a Senator he shall also cease to


President and
Vice-President.

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perform his functions as President or Vice-President, as the
case may be, and those functions shall, until he vacates his
seat in the Senate or resumes the performance of the
functions of his office, be performed —

(a) in the case of the President, by the Vice-
President or, if the office of Vice-President is
vacant or the Vice-President is required to cease
to perform his functions as a Senator by virtue
of Article 43(3) of this Constitution, by such
Senator (not being a Minister or Parliamentary
Secretary) as the Senate may elect for the
purpose;

(b) in the case of the Vice-President, by such
Senator (not being a Minister or Parliamentary
Secretary) as the Senate may elect for the
purpose.

(6) If the President or Vice-President resumes the
performance of his functions as a Senator in accordance
with the provisions of Article 43(5) of this Constitution, he
shall also resume the performance of his functions as
President or Vice-President, as the case may be.

45. (1) The Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction to
hear and determine any question whether —

(a) any person has been validly appointed as a
Senator; or

(b) any Senator has vacated his seat or is required
under Article 43(3) of this Constitution to cease
to perform his functions as a Senator.

(2) Subject to the following provisions of this Article
and to the provisions of Article 43(1) of this Constitution,
Parliament may by law make provision with respect to —

(a) the institution of proceedings for the
determination of any question referred to in
paragraph (1) of this Article; and

(b) the powers, practice and procedure of the
Supreme Court in relation to any such
proceedings.

(3) Proceedings for the determination of any
question referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article shall
not be instituted except with the leave of a Justice of the
Supreme Court.

Determination of
questions as to
membership.

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(4) No appeal shall lie from the decision of a Justice
of the Supreme Court granting or refusing leave to institute
proceedings in accordance with paragraph (3) of this
Article.

PART III
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

46. (1) The House of Assembly shall consist of
thirty-eight members or such greater number of members
as may be specified by an Order made by the Governor-
General in accordance with the provisions of Article 70 of
this Constitution.

(2) The members of the House shall be known as
“Members of Parliament” and shall be persons who, being
qualified for election as Members of Parliament in
accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, have
been so elected in the manner provided by any law in force
in The Bahamas.

47. Subject to the provisions of Article 48 of this
Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be elected as a
member of the House of Assembly if, and shall not be
qualified to be so elected unless, he —

(a) is a citizen of The Bahamas of the age of
twenty-one years or upwards; and

(b) has ordinarily resided in The Bahamas for a
period of not less than one year immediately
before the date of his nomination for election.

48. (1) No person shall be qualified to be elected as
a member of the House of Assembly who —

(a) is a citizen of a country other than The Bahamas
having become such a citizen voluntarily;

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

(c) is disqualified for membership of the House of
Assembly by any law enacted in pursuance of
paragraph (2) of this Article;

(d) has been adjudged or otherwise declared
bankrupt under any law in force in The Bahamas
and has not been discharged;

Composition of
House of
Assembly.

Qualifications for
membership of
House of
Assembly.

Disqualifications
for election as
members of
House of
Assembly.

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(e) is a person certified to be insane or otherwise
adjudged to be of unsound mind under any law
in force in The Bahamas;

(f) is under sentence of death imposed on him by a
court in The Bahamas, 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;

(g) is disqualified for membership of the House of
Assembly by any law in force in The Bahamas
by reason of his holding, or acting in, any office
the functions of which involve —

(i) any responsibility for, or in connection
with, the conduct of any election; or

(ii) any responsibility for the compilation or
revision of any electoral register;

(h) is disqualified for membership of the House of
Assembly by virtue of any law in force in The
Bahamas by reason of his having been convicted
of any offence relating to elections;

(i) is a Senator; or
(j) is interested in any government contract and has

not disclosed the nature of such contract and of
his interest therein by publishing a notice in the
Gazette within one month before the day of
election.

(2) Parliament may by law provide that, subject to
such exceptions and limitations (if any) as may be
prescribed therein, a person shall be disqualified for
membership of the House of Assembly by virtue of —

(a) his holding or acting in any office or
appointment specified (either individually or by
reference to a class of office or appointment) by
such law;

(b) his belonging to any armed force of The
Bahamas or to any class of person so specified
that is comprised in any such force; or

(c) his belonging to any police force or to any class
of person that is comprised in any such force.

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(3) For the purposes of subparagraph (1)(f) of this
Article —

(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.

49. (1) Every Member of the House of Assembly
shall vacate his seat in the House —

(a) upon a dissolution of Parliament;
(b) if he resigns it by writing under his hand

addressed to the Speaker or, if the office of
Speaker is vacant or the Speaker is absent from
The Bahamas, to the Deputy Speaker;

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

(d) if he ceases to be a citizen of The Bahamas;
(e) subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this

Article, if any circumstances arise that, if he
were not a member of the House, would cause
him to be disqualified for election as such by
virtue of subparagraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f),
(g) or (h) of Article 48(1) of this Constitution; or

(f) if he becomes interested in any government
contract:

Provided that —
(i) if in the circumstances it appears to the House of

Assembly to be just to do so, the House of
Assembly may exempt any member of the House
from vacating his seat under the provisions of this
subparagraph, if that member, before becoming
interested in such contract as aforesaid or as soon
as practicable after becoming so interested,
discloses to the House the nature of such contract
and his interest therein;

Tenure of office
of members of
House of
Assembly.

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(ii) if proceedings are taken under a law made under
Article 51 of this Constitution to determine
whether a member of the House has vacated his
seat under the provisions of this subparagraph he
shall be declared by the court not to have
vacated his seat if he establishes to the
satisfaction of the court that he, acting
reasonably, was not aware that he was or had
become interested in such contract; and

(iii) no proceedings under the preceding
subparagraph shall be instituted by any person
other than a Senator or member of the House of
Assembly.

(2) If circumstances such as are referred to in
subparagraph (1)(e) of this Article arise because any
member of the House is under sentence of death or
imprisonment, declared bankrupt, adjudged to be of
unsound mind or convicted of an offence relating to
elections and it is open to the member to appeal against the
decision (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 House but, subject to
paragraph (3) of this Article, 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 extend 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 of Assembly.

(3) If, on the determination of any appeal, such
circumstances continue to exist and no further appeal is
open to the member, or if, by 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.

(4) If at any time before the member 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 (2) of this Article and he may resume the
performance of his functions as a member of the House.

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50. (1) When the House of Assembly first meets
after any general election and before it proceeds to the
despatch of any other business, the House shall, in
accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed by
the rules of procedure of the House, elect from among the
members who are not Ministers or Parliamentary
Secretaries one member to be the Speaker of the Assembly
and another member to be Deputy Speaker; and, if the
office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker falls vacant at any
time before the next dissolution of the House of Assembly,
the House shall, as soon as practicable, proceed in like
manner to fill the vacant office.

(2) A person shall vacate the office of Speaker or
Deputy Speaker —

(a) if he ceases to be a member of the House of
Assembly:

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

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

(c) if he announces the resignation of his office to
the House of Assembly or if, by writing under
his hand addressed, in the case of the Speaker, to
the Clerk of the House and, in the case of the
Deputy Speaker, to the Speaker (or, if the office
of Speaker is vacant or the Speaker is absent
from The Bahamas, to the Clerk), he resigns that
office; or

(d) in the case of the Deputy Speaker, if he is
elected to be Speaker.

(3) If by reason of Article 49(2) of this Constitution
the Speaker or Deputy Speaker is required to cease to
perform his functions as a member of the House of
Assembly, he shall also cease to perform his functions as
Speaker or Deputy Speaker and those functions shall, until
he vacates his seat in the House or resumes the
performance of the functions of his office, be performed —

Speaker and
Deputy Speaker.

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(a) in the case of the Speaker, by the Deputy
Speaker, or, if the office of Deputy Speaker is
vacant or the Deputy Speaker is required to
cease to perform his functions as a member of
the House of Assembly by virtue of Article
49(2) of this Constitution, by such member (not
being a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary) as
the House may elect for the purpose;

(b) in the case of the Deputy Speaker, by such
member (not being a Minister or Parliamentary
Secretary) as the House may elect for the
purpose.

(4) If the Speaker or Deputy Speaker resumes the
performance of his functions as a member of the House in
accordance with the provisions of Article 49(4) of this
Constitution, he shall also resume the performance of his
functions as Speaker or Deputy Speaker, as the case may
be.

51. (1) An Election Court, consisting of two Justices
of the Supreme Court appointed by the Chief Justice or, if
for any reason two such Justices are not available, one such
Justice and the Chief Magistrate or a Stipendiary and
Circuit Magistrate appointed by the Chief Justice, shall
have jurisdiction to hear and determine any question
whether —

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

(b) any member of the House of Assembly has
vacated his seat or is required, under the
provisions of Article 49(2) of this Constitution,
to cease to perform his functions as a member.

(2) Subject to the following provisions of this
Article and to the provisions of Article 49(1) of this
Constitution, Parliament may make, or provide for the
making of provision with respect to —

(a) the institution of proceedings for the
determination of any question referred to in
paragraph (1) of this Article; and

(b) the powers, practice and procedure of an
Election Court in relation to any such
proceedings.

Determination of
questions as to
membership.

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(3) The determination by an Election Court of any
question referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article shall be
final.

(4) Proceedings for the determination of any
question referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article shall
not be instituted except with the leave of a Justice of the
Supreme Court.

(5) An appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal on a
point of law from the decision of a Justice of the Supreme
Court granting or refusing leave to institute proceedings in
accordance with this Article; but, subject as aforesaid, that
decision shall be final.

PART IV
POWERS AND PROCEDURE OF PARLIAMENT

52. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution,
Parliament may make laws for the peace, order and good
government of The Bahamas.

(2) Subject to the provisions of Articles 60, 61, and
62 of this Constitution, the power of Parliament to make
laws shall be exercised by Bills passed by both Houses,
either without amendment or with such amendments only
as are agreed to by both Houses, and assented to by the
Governor-General in accordance with Article 63 of this
Constitution.

53. (1) Without prejudice to the generality of Article
52(1) of this Constitution and subject to the provisions of
paragraph (2) of this Article, Parliament may by law
determine the privileges, immunities and powers of the
Senate and the House of Assembly and the members
thereof.

(2) No process issued by any court in the exercise of
its civil jurisdiction shall be served or executed within the
precincts of the Senate or the House of Assembly while it
is sitting, or through the President or the Speaker, the Clerk
or any other officer of either House.

54. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Article,
Parliament may, by an Act of Parliament passed by both
Houses, alter any of the provisions of this Constitution or
(in so far as it forms part of the law of The Bahamas) any
of the provisions of The Bahamas Independence Act, 1973.

Power to make
laws.

Privileges of
Parliament.

Alteration of this
Constitution.

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(2) In so far as it alters —
(a) Articles 32, 33, 34, 35, 41, 42, 43, 47, 48, 49,

79, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115,
116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124,
125, 126, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135
or 136 of this Constitution; or

(b) Articles 127 or 137 of this Constitution in their
application to any of the provisions specified in
subparagraph (a) of this paragraph,

a Bill for an Act of Parliament under this Article shall not
be passed by Parliament unless —
(i) at the final voting thereon in each House it is

supported by the votes of not less than two-
thirds of all the members of each House; and

(ii) the Bill, after its passage through both Houses,
has been submitted to the electors qualified to
vote for the election of members of the House of
Assembly and, on a vote in such manner as
Parliament may prescribe the majority of the
electors voting have approved the Bill.

(3) In so far as it alters —
(a) this Article;
(b) Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,

15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27,
28, 29, 30, 31, 38, 39, 40, 45, 46, 51, 52, 60, 61,
62, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 93, 94, 95, 96,
97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104 or 105 of
this Constitution; or

(c) Articles 106, 127 or 137 of this Constitution in
their application to any of the provisions
specified in subparagraphs (a) or (b) of this
paragraph; or

(d) any of the provisions of The Bahamas
Independence Act 1973,

a Bill for an Act of Parliament under this Article shall not
be passed by Parliament unless —
(i) at the final voting thereon in each House it is

supported by the votes of not less than three-
quarters of all the members of each House; and

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(ii) the Bill, after its passage through both Houses
has been submitted to the electors qualified to
vote for the election of members of the House of
Assembly and, on a vote taken in such manner
as Parliament may prescribe the majority of the
electors voting have approved the Bill.

(4) In this Article —
(a) references to any of the provisions of this

Constitution or The Bahamas Independence Act,
1973 include references to any law that amends
or replaces that provision; and

(b) references to the alteration of any of the
provisions of this Constitution or The Bahamas
Independence Act, 1973 include references to
the amendment, modification or re-enactment
with or without amendment or modification, of
that provision, the suspension or repeal of that
provision and the making of a different
provision in lieu of that provision.

(5) No Act of Parliament shall be construed as
altering this Constitution unless it is stated in the Act that it
is an Act for that purpose.

55. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution,
each House may regulate its own procedure and for this
purpose may make rules of procedure.

(2) Each House may act notwithstanding any
vacancy in its membership, and the presence or
participation of any person not entitled to be present at or
to participate in the proceedings of the House shall not
invalidate those proceedings.

56. (1) The President of the Senate or, in his
absence, the Vice-President or, if they are both absent, a
Senator (not being a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary)
elected by the Senate for that sitting shall preside at each
sitting of the Senate.

(2) The Speaker or, in his absence, the Deputy
Speaker or, if they are both absent, a member (not being a
Minister or Parliamentary Secretary) elected by the House
for that sitting shall preside at each sitting of the House of
Assembly.

Regulation of
procedure in
Parliament.

Presiding in the
Senate and
House of
Assembly.

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(3) References in this Article to circumstances in
which the President, Vice-President, Speaker or Deputy
Speaker is absent include references to circumstances in
which the office of President, Vice-President, Speaker or
Deputy Speaker is vacant.

57. (1) If at any time during a sitting of either House
objection is taken by a member that there is not a quorum
present and, after such interval as may be prescribed by the
rules of procedure of that House, the person presiding
ascertains that there is still not a quorum present, he shall
thereupon adjourn the House.

(2) For the purposes of this Article —
(a) a quorum of the Senate shall consist of six

Senators including the person presiding; and
(b) a quorum of the House of Assembly shall

consist of ten members including the person
presiding, or of such greater number of members
as may be specified by an Order made by the
Governor-General in accordance with the
provisions of Article 70 of this Constitution.

58. (1) Save as is otherwise provided in this
Constitution, all questions proposed for decision in either
House shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the
members thereof present and voting.

(2) The person presiding in either House shall not
vote —

(a) unless on any question the votes are equally
divided, in which case he shall have and
exercise a casting vote; or

(b) except in the case of the final vote on a Bill for
an Act of Parliament under Article 54 of this
Constitution in which case he shall have an
original vote.

59. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution
and of the rules of procedure of the Senate or the House of
Assembly, as the case may be, any member of either House
may introduce any Bill or propose any motion for debate
in, or may present any petition to, that House, and the same
shall be debated and disposed of according to the rules of
procedure of that House.

Quorum.

Voting.

Introduction of
Bills, etc.

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(2) A Bill other than a Money Bill may be
introduced in either House, but a Money Bill shall not be
introduced in the Senate.

(3) Except on the recommendation of the Cabinet
signified by a Minister, the House of Assembly shall not —

(a) proceed upon any Bill (including any
amendment to a Bill) which, in the opinion of
the person presiding, makes provision for
imposing or increasing any tax, for imposing
any charge on the Consolidated Fund or any
other public fund or altering any such charge
otherwise than by reducing it or for
compounding or remitting any debt due to The
Bahamas; or

(b) proceed upon any motion (including any
amendment to a motion) the effect of which, in
the opinion of the person presiding, is that
provision shall be made for any of the purposes
aforesaid.

(4) The Senate shall not —
(a) proceed upon any Bill, other than a Bill sent

from the House of Assembly, or any amendment
to a Bill which, in the opinion of the person
presiding, makes provision for imposing or
increasing any tax, for imposing any charge on
the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund
or altering any such charge otherwise than by
reducing it or for compounding or remitting any
debt due to The Bahamas; or

(b) proceed upon any motion (including any
amendment to a motion) the effect of which, in
the opinion of the person presiding, is that
provision shall be made for any of the purposes
aforesaid.

60. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution,
if a Money Bill, having been passed by the House of
Assembly 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 that House,
the Bill shall, unless the House of Assembly otherwise
resolves, be presented to the Governor-General for his
assent notwithstanding that the Senate has not consented to
the Bill.

Restriction on
powers of Senate
as to Money
Bills.

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(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 presented to the
Governor-General for assent in pursuance of paragraph (1)
of this Article the certificate of the Speaker signed by him
that it is a Money Bill and that the provisions of that
paragraph have been complied with.

61. (1) If any Bill other than a Money Bill is passed
by the House of Assembly in two successive sessions
(whether or 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,
that Bill shall, on its rejection for the second time by the
Senate, unless the House of Assembly otherwise resolves,
be presented to the Governor-General for assent
notwithstanding that the Senate has not consented to the
Bill:

Provided that the foregoing provisions of this
paragraph shall not have effect unless at least nine months
have elapsed between the date on which the Bill is passed
by the House of Assembly in the first session and the date
on which it is passed by the House of Assembly in the
second session.

(2) For the purposes of this Article a Bill that is sent
to the Senate from the House of Assembly 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 elapsed 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.

(3) The House of Assembly may, if it thinks fit, on
the passage through the House of a Bill that 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 agreed to by the House of


Restriction on
powers of Senate
as to Bills other
than Money
Bills.

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Assembly; but the exercise of this power by the House of
Assembly shall not affect the operation of this Article in
the event of the rejection of the Bill in the Senate.

(4) There shall be inserted in any Bill that is presented
to the Governor-General for assent in pursuance of this
Article 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 Assembly.

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

(6) The provisions of this Article shall not apply to a
Bill which is required by Article 54 of this Constitution to be
passed by both Houses.

62. (1) In Articles 59, 60 and 61 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 the Consolidated Fund or any other public funds
or on monies provided by Parliament 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 the repayment 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 paragraph the expressions “taxation”,
“debt”, “public fund”, “public money”, and “loan” do not
include any taxation imposed, debt incurred, fund or money
provided or loan raised by any local authority or body for
local purposes.

(2) For the purposes of Article 61 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 of Assembly.

Provisions
relating to
Articles 59, 60
and 61.

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(3) Whenever the office of Speaker is vacant or the
Speaker is for any reason unable to perform any function
conferred upon him by paragraph (1) of this Article or by
Articles 60 or 61 of this Constitution, that function may be
performed by the Deputy Speaker.

(4) Any certificate of the Speaker or Deputy
Speaker given under Articles 60 or 61 of this Constitution
shall be conclusive for all purposes and shall not be
questioned in any court.

63. (1) A Bill shall not become law until the
Governor-General has assented thereto in Her Majesty’s
name and on Her Majesty’s behalf and has signed it in
token of such assent.

(2) Subject to the provisions of Articles 60 and 61
of this Constitution, a Bill shall be presented to the
Governor-General for assent if, and shall not be so
presented unless, it has been passed by both Houses either
without amendment or with such amendments only as are
agreed to by both Houses.

(3) Any Bill to which Article 54(2) or (3) of this
Constitution applies shall be presented to the Governor-
General endorsed with certificates of the President of the
Senate and the Speaker that it has been passed by the
requisite majorities in accordance with whichever of those
paragraphs applies to the Bill, and with a certificate of the
Parliamentary Registrar that it has been approved by the
majority of the electors voting on the Bill.

(4) When a Bill is presented to the Governor-
General for assent he shall signify that he assents or that he
withholds assent.

64. No member of either House shall take part in the
proceedings thereof unless he has taken the oath of
allegiance in such manner as is prescribed by any law in
force in The Bahamas:

Provided that the election of a President of the Senate
or the election of a Speaker of the House of Assembly may
take place before the members of the Senate or the House
of Assembly, as the case may be, have taken such oath.

Assent to Bills.

Oath of
allegiance.

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PART V
SUMMONING, PROROGATION AND

DISSOLUTION
65. (1) Each session of Parliament shall be held at

such place and commence at such time as the Governor-
General may by proclamation appoint.

(2) The time appointed for the commencement of
any session of Parliament shall be such that a period of
twelve months does not intervene between the end of one
session and the first sitting of Parliament in the next
session.

66. (1) The Governor-General, acting in accordance
with the advice of the Prime Minister, may at any time by
proclamation prorogue Parliament.

(2) The Governor-General, acting in accordance
with the advice of the Prime Minister, may at any time by
proclamation dissolve Parliament:

Provided that if the office of Prime Minister is vacant
and the Governor-General considers that there is no
prospect of his being able within a reasonable time to
appoint to that office a person who can command the
confidence of a majority of the members of the House of
Assembly, he shall dissolve Parliament.

(3) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (4) of this
Article, Parliament, unless sooner dissolved, shall continue
for five years from the date of its first sitting after any
dissolution and shall then stand dissolved.

(4) At any time when The Bahamas is at war,
Parliament may extend the period of five years specified in
paragraph (3) of this Article for not more than twelve
months at a time:

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

(5) If, between a dissolution of Parliament and the
next ensuing general election of members to the House of
Assembly, an emergency arises of such a nature that, in the
opinion of the Prime Minister, it is necessary for the two
Houses or either of them to be summoned before that
general election can be held, the Governor-General, acting
in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, may
summon the two Houses of the preceding Parliament, and
that Parliament shall thereupon be deemed (except for the


Sessions of
Parliament.

Prorogation and
dissolution of
Parliament.

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purposes of Article 67 of this Constitution) not to have
been dissolved but shall be deemed (except as aforesaid) to
be dissolved on the date on which the polls are held in the
next ensuing general election.

67. (1) After every dissolution of Parliament the
Governor-General shall issue writs for a general election of
members of the House of Assembly returnable within
ninety days from that dissolution.

(2) As soon as may be after every general election
the Governor-General shall proceed under Article 39 of
this Constitution to the appointment of Senators.

(3) Whenever any person vacates his seat as a
member of the House of Assembly for any reason other
than a dissolution of Parliament, the Governor-General
shall issue a writ for the election of a member to fill the
vacancy and such election shall be held within sixty days
after the occurrence of the vacancy or, where the question
whether a vacancy has occurred is determined under
Article 51 of this Constitution, after that determination,
unless Parliament is sooner dissolved or the date by which
Parliament will be dissolved under the provisions of
Article 66 of this Constitution is less than four months after
the occurrence of the vacancy or, as the case may be, that
determination.

PART VI
DELIMITATION OF CONSTITUENCIES

68. The Bahamas shall be divided into thirty-eight
constituencies or such greater number as may be provided
for by an Order made by the Governor-General in
accordance with the provisions of Article 70 of this
Constitution and each such constituency shall return one
member to the House of Assembly.

69. (1) There shall be a Constituencies Commission
for The Bahamas (in this and the next following Article
referred to as “the Commission”).

(2) The Members of the Commission shall be —
(a) the Speaker who shall be Chairman;
(b) a Justice of the Supreme Court who shall be

Deputy Chairman and shall be appointed by the
Governor-General acting on the
recommendation of the Chief Justice;

General
elections, bye-
elections and
appointment of
Senators.

Constituencies.

Constituencies
Commission.

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(c) two members of the House of Assembly who
shall be appointed by the Governor-General
acting in accordance with the advice of the
Prime Minister; and

(d) one member of the House of Assembly who
shall be appointed by the Governor-General
acting in accordance with the advice of the
Leader of the Opposition.

(3) The office of a member of the Commission shall
become vacant —

(a) if he ceases to be the Speaker, a Justice of the
Supreme Court or a member of the House of
Assembly, as the case may be; or

(b) in the case of a member appointed under
subparagraph (2)(b), (c) or (d) of this Article, if
his appointment is revoked by the Governor-
General.

(4) If the office of a member of the Commission,
appointed under subparagraph (2)(b), (c) or (d) of this
Article is vacant or any such member is for any reason
unable to perform the functions of his office, the Governor-
General may appoint a person qualified for appointment
under the said subparagraph (b), (c) or (d), as the case may
be, to act in the office of that member and any person so
appointed may continue so to act until his appointment is
revoked.

(5) In revoking the appointment of a member of the
Commission under subparagraph (3)(b) of this Article, and
in making or revoking an appointment to act in the office
of a member of the Commission under paragraph (4) of
this Article, the Governor-General shall act in the same
manner as he would act if he were making an appointment
to the office of that member under paragraph (2) of this
Article.

(6) Any decision of the Commission shall require
the concurrence of not less than three members of the
Commission.

(7) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (6) of this
Article, the Commission may act notwithstanding a
vacancy in its membership, and no proceedings of the
Commission shall be invalidated by reason only that some
person not entitled to do so has taken part in them.

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70. (1) The Commission shall in accordance with the
provisions of this Article, at intervals of not more than five
years, review the number and boundaries of the
constituencies into which The Bahamas is divided and shall
submit to the Governor-General a single report either —

(a) stating that in the opinion of the Commission, no
change is required; or

(b) recommending certain changes,
and the Governor-General shall cause such report to be laid
before the House of Assembly forthwith.

(2) In carrying out a review for the purposes of this
Article, the Commission shall be guided by the general
consideration that the number of voters entitled to vote for
the purposes of electing every member of the House of
Assembly shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, be the
same and the need to take account of special considerations
such as the needs of sparsely populated areas, the
practicability of elected members maintaining contact with
electors in such areas, size, physical features, natural
boundaries and geographical isolation.

(3) When the Commission intends to proceed under
paragraph (1) of this Article, it shall, by notice in writing,
inform the Prime Minister, who shall cause a copy of that
notice to be published in the Gazette.

(4) As soon as may be after the Commission has
submitted a report recommending changes in the
boundaries of any constituencies, the Prime Minister shall
lay before the House of Assembly for its approval a draft
of an Order by the Governor-General for giving effect,
whether with or without modifications, to the
recommendations contained in the report, and that draft
may make provision for any matters (including variation of
the quorum specified in Article 57 of this Constitution)
which appear to the Prime Minister to be incidental to or
consequential upon the other provisions of the draft.

(5) Where any draft Order laid under this Article would
give effect to any such recommendations with modifications, the
Prime Minister shall lay before the House of Assembly together
with the draft a statement of the reasons for the modifications.

Procedure for
review of
constituencies.

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(6) If the motion for the approval of any draft Order
laid under this Article is rejected by the House of
Assembly, or is withdrawn by leave of the House, an
amended draft shall be laid without undue delay by the
Prime Minister before the House of Assembly.

(7) If any draft Order laid under this Article is
approved by resolution of the House of Assembly, the
Prime Minister shall submit it to the Governor-General
who shall make an Order (which shall be published in the
Gazette) in terms of the draft; and that Order shall come
into force on such day as may be specified therein and,
until revoked by a further Order made by the Governor-
General in accordance with the provisions of this Article,
shall have the force of law in The Bahamas:

Provided that the coming into force of any such
Order shall not affect any election to the House of
Assembly until a proclamation is made by the Governor-
General appointing the date for the holding of a general
election of members of the House of Assembly or affect
the constitution of the House of Assembly then in being.

(8) Save as provided in the next following
paragraph the question of the validity of any Order by the
Governor-General purporting to be made under this Article
and reciting that a draft thereof has been approved by
resolution of the House of Assembly shall not be inquired
into in any court of law.

(9) Parliament may by law provide for an appeal to
the Supreme Court against a statement or recommendation
submitted by the Commission in pursuance of
subparagraph (1)(a) or (b) of this Article.

CHAPTER VI
THE EXECUTIVE

71. (1) The executive authority of The Bahamas is
vested in Her Majesty.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution,
the executive authority of The Bahamas may be exercised
on behalf of Her Majesty by the Governor-General, either
directly or through officers subordinate to him.

(3) Nothing in this Article shall prevent Parliament
from conferring functions on persons or authorities other
than the Governor-General.



Executive
Authority.

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72. (1) There shall be a Cabinet for The Bahamas
which shall have the general direction and control of the
government of The Bahamas and shall be collectively
responsible therefor to Parliament.

(2) The Cabinet shall consist of the Prime Minister
and not less than eight other Ministers (of whom one shall
be the Attorney-General), as may be appointed in
accordance with the provisions of Article 73 of this
Constitution.

73. (1) Whenever there shall be occasion for the
appointment of a Prime Minister, the Governor-General
shall appoint as Prime Minister —

(a) the member of the House of Assembly who is
the leader of the party which commands the
support of the majority of the members of that
House, or

(b) if it appears to him that that party does not have
an undisputed leader in that House or that no
party commands the support of such a majority,
the member of the House of Assembly who, in
his judgment, is most likely to command the
support of the majority of members of that
House,

and who is willing to accept the office of Prime Minister.
(2) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of this

Article, the Ministers other than the Prime Minister shall
be such persons as the Governor-General, acting in
accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, shall
appoint from among the Senators and the members of the
House of Assembly.

(3) If the Attorney-General is appointed from
among the members of the House of Assembly, not more
than three Ministers shall be appointed from among the
Senators, and if the Attorney-General is appointed from
among the Senators, not more than two other Ministers
shall be appointed from among the Senators.

(4) If occasion arises for making an appointment to
the office of Prime Minister while Parliament is dissolved,
a person who was a member of the House of Assembly
immediately before the dissolution may, notwithstanding
any other provision of this Article, be appointed as Prime
Minister.

(5) If occasion arises for making an appointment to
the office of any other Minister while Parliament is

The Cabinet.

Appointment of
Ministers.

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dissolved, a person who, immediately before the
dissolution, was a Senator or a member of the House of
Assembly may, subject to the provisions of paragraph (3)
of this Article, be appointed as a Minister.

74. (1) If the House of Assembly passes a
resolution, supported by the votes of a majority of all the
members of the House, declaring that it has no confidence
in the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister does not
within seven days of the passing of such a resolution either
resign or advise the Governor-General to dissolve
Parliament, the Governor-General shall revoke the
appointment of the Prime Minister.

(2) The Prime Minister shall also vacate his office —
(a) if at any time between the holding of a general

election and the first sitting of the House of
Assembly thereafter he is informed by the
Governor-General that the Governor-General in
pursuance of Article 73(1) of this Constitution is
about to re-appoint him as Prime Minister or to
appoint another person as Prime Minister; or

(b) if for any reason other than a dissolution of
Parliament he ceases to be a member of the
House of Assembly.

(3) A Minister other than the Prime Minister shall
vacate his office —

(a) when any person is appointed or reappointed as
Prime Minister;

(b) if for any reason other than a dissolution of
Parliament he ceases to be a member of the
House from among the members of which he
was appointed; or

(c) if his appointment is revoked by the Governor-
General acting in accordance with the advice of
the Prime Minister.

(4) If at any time the Prime Minister is required
under the provisions of paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) of
Article 49 of this Constitution to cease to perform his
functions as a member of the House of Assembly, he shall
cease during such time to perform any of his functions as
Prime Minister.

(5) If at any time a Minister other than the Prime
Minister is required under the provisions of paragraphs (3),
(4) and (5) of Article 43 or paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) of
Article 49 of this Constitution to cease to perform his
functions as a member of the House to which he belongs,

Tenure of office
of Ministers.

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he shall cease during such time to perform any of his
functions as a Minister.

75. (1) Whenever the Prime Minister is absent from
The Bahamas or is unable by reason of illness or of the
provisions of paragraph (4) of Article 74 of this
Constitution to perform the functions conferred upon him
by this Constitution, the Governor-General may authorise
some other member of the Cabinet to perform those
functions (other than the functions conferred by this
Article) and that member may perform those functions
until his authority is revoked by the Governor-General.

(2) The powers of the Governor-General under this
Article shall be exercised by him in accordance with the
advice of the Prime Minister:

Provided that if the Governor-General considers that
it is impracticable to obtain the advice of the Prime
Minister owing to his absence or illness, or if the Prime
Minister is unable to tender advice by reason of the
provisions of paragraph (4) of Article 74 of this
Constitution, the Governor-General may exercise those
powers without the advice of the Prime Minister.

76. (1) Whenever a Minister other than the Prime
Minister is unable, by reason of his illness or absence from
The Bahamas or absence from his duties on leave, to
perform the functions of his office, the Governor-General
may, in writing, authorise another Minister to perform
those functions or appoint a person to be a temporary
Minister:

Provided that if occasion arises for the making of an
appointment between a dissolution of Parliament and the
next following general election, the preceding provisions
of this Article shall have effect for the purpose as if
Parliament had not been dissolved.

(2) Subject to the provisions of Article 74 of this
Constitution, a temporary Minister shall hold office until
he is notified by the Governor-General in writing that the
Minister on account of whose inability to perform the
functions of his office he was appointed is again able to
perform those functions or that Minister vacates his office.

(3) The powers conferred on the Governor-General
by this Article shall be exercised by him in accordance
with the advice of the Prime Minister.

77. The Governor-General, acting in accordance
with the advice of the Prime Minister, may, by directions
in writing, charge the Prime Minister or any other Minister

Performance of
functions of
Prime Minister
during absence,
illness or
suspension.

Temporary
Ministers.

Allocation of
portfolios to
Ministers.

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with responsibility for any business of the Government of
The Bahamas, including the administration of any
department of Government:

Provided that a Minister appointed from among
members of the House of Assembly shall be charged with
responsibility for finance.

78. (1) The Attorney-General shall have power in
any case in which he considers it desirable so to do —

(a) to institute and undertake criminal proceedings
against any person before any court in respect of
any offence against the law of The Bahamas;

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

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

(2) The powers of the Attorney-General under
paragraph (1) of this Article may be exercised by him in
person or through other persons acting under and in
accordance with his general or special instructions.

(3) The powers conferred upon the Attorney-
General by subparagraphs (1) (b) and (c) of this Article
shall be vested in him to the exclusion of any other person
or authority:

Provided that, where any other person or authority
has instituted criminal proceedings, nothing in this Article
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.

(4) In the exercise of powers conferred upon him by
this Article the Attorney-General shall not be subject to the
direction or control of any other person or authority.

(5) For the purposes of this Article, 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.

79. (1) The Governor-General shall, in the exercise
of his functions, act in accordance with the advice of the
Cabinet or a Minister acting under the general authority of

Functions of
Attorney-General.

Exercise of
Governor-
General’s
powers.

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the Cabinet, except in cases where by this Constitution or
any other law he is required to act in accordance with the
recommendation or advice of, or with the concurrence of,
or after consultation with, any person or authority other
than the Cabinet:

Provided that the Governor-General shall act in
accordance with his own deliberate judgment in the
performance of the following functions —

(a) in the exercise of the power to appoint the Prime
Minister conferred upon him by paragraphs (1)
or (4) of Article 73 of this Constitution;

(b) in the exercise of the powers conferred upon him
by Article 75 of this Constitution (which relates
to the performance of the functions of the Prime
Minister during absence, illness or suspension)
in the circumstances described in the proviso to
paragraph (2) of that Article;

(c) in the exercise of the power to appoint the
Leader of the Opposition and to revoke any such
appointment conferred upon him by Article 82
of this Constitution;

(d) in the exercise of the powers conferred on him
by Article 83(a) of this Constitution during any
vacancy in the office of Leader of the
Opposition;

(e) in the exercise of the power to dissolve
Parliament conferred upon him by the proviso to
Article 66(2) of this Constitution;

(f) in removing a Justice of the Supreme Court from
office under Article 96(5) of this Constitution;

(g) in removing a Justice of Appeal from office
under Article 102(5) of this Constitution;

(h) in the powers relating to appointment, removal
and disciplinary control over members of his
personal staff, conferred on him by Article 35 of
this Constitution.

(2) Where the Governor-General is directed to
exercise any function on the recommendation of any
person or authority, he shall exercise that function in
accordance with such recommendation:

Provided that —
(a) before he acts in accordance therewith, he may,

acting in accordance with his own deliberate
judgment, once refer that recommendation back
for reconsideration by the person or authority
concerned; and

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(b) if that person or authority, having reconsidered the
original recommendation under subparagraph (a)
of this proviso, substitutes therefor a different
recommendation, the provisions of this
paragraph shall apply to that different
recommendation as they apply to the original
recommendation.

(3) Where the Governor-General is directed to
exercise any function after consultation with any person or
authority he shall not be obliged to exercise that function in
accordance with the advice or recommendation of that
person or authority.

(4) Where the Governor-General is directed to
exercise any function on the recommendation or advice of,
or with the concurrence of, or after consultation with, any
person or authority, the question whether he has so
exercised that function shall not be enquired into in any
court.

(5) Where the Governor-General is directed to
exercise any function on the recommendation of the Prime
Minister after consultation with the Leader of the
Opposition, the following steps shall be taken —

(a) the Prime Minister shall first consult the Leader
of the Opposition and thereafter tender his
recommendation to the Governor-General;

(b) the Governor-General shall then inform the
Leader of the Opposition of that
recommendation and if the Leader of the
Opposition concurs therein the Governor-
General shall act in accordance with the
recommendation;

(c) if the Leader of the Opposition does not concur
in the recommendation the Governor-General
shall so inform the Prime Minister and refer the
recommendation back to him;

(d) the Prime Minister shall then advise the
Governor-General and the Governor-General
shall act in accordance with that advice.

(6) Any reference in this Constitution to the
functions of the Governor-General shall be construed as a
reference to his powers and duties in the exercise of the
executive authority of The Bahamas and to any powers and
duties conferred or imposed on him as Governor-General
by or under this Constitution or any other law.

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80. The Prime Minister shall keep the Governor-
General fully informed concerning the general conduct of
the government of The Bahamas and shall furnish the
Governor-General with such information as he may request
with respect to any particular matter relating to the
government of The Bahamas.

81. (1) The Governor-General, acting in accordance
with the advice of the Prime Minister, may appoint
Parliamentary Secretaries from among the Senators and the
members of the House of Assembly to assist Ministers in
the performance of their duties:

Provided that, if occasion arises for making an
appointment while Parliament is dissolved, a person who
was a Senator or a member of the House of Assembly
immediately before the dissolution may be appointed as a
Parliamentary Secretary.

(2) The office of a Parliamentary Secretary shall
become vacant —

(a) if for any reason other than a dissolution of
Parliament he ceases to be a member of the
House from among the members of which he
was appointed;

(b) upon the appointment or re-appointment of any
person as Prime Minister; or

(c) if the Governor-General, acting in accordance
with the advice of the Prime Minister, so directs.

82. (1) There shall be a Leader of the Opposition
who shall be appointed by the Governor-General.

(2) Whenever there shall be occasion for the
appointment of a Leader of the Opposition, the Governor-
General shall appoint the member of the House of
Assembly who, in his judgment, is best able to command
the support of the majority of the members of the House in
opposition to the Government; or if there is no such person,
the member of the House who, in his judgment, commands
the support of the largest single group of members in
opposition to the Government who are prepared to support
one leader:

Provided that this paragraph shall have effect in
relation to any period between a dissolution of Parliament
and the day on which the next election of members of the
House of Assembly is held as if Parliament had not been
dissolved.

Governor-
General to be
informed con-
cerning matters
of Government.

Parliamentary
Secretaries.



Leader of the
Opposition.

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(3) The Leader of the Opposition shall vacate his
office if —

(a) after an election of members of the House of
Assembly following any dissolution of
Parliament he is informed by the Governor-
General that the Governor-General is about to
appoint another person as Leader of the
Opposition;

(b) for any reason other than a dissolution of
Parliament he ceases to be a member of the
House of Assembly;

(c) under the provisions of paragraphs (2), (3) and
(4) of Article 49 of this Constitution he is
required to cease to perform his functions as a
member of the House of Assembly; or

(d) his appointment is revoked under the provisions
of paragraph (4) of this Article.

(4) If in the judgment of the Governor-General the
Leader of the Opposition is no longer the member of the
House of Assembly best able to command the support of
the majority of members of the House in opposition to the
Government or the member of the House who commands
the support of the largest single group of members in
opposition to the Government who are prepared to support
one leader, the Governor-General shall revoke the
appointment of the Leader of the Opposition.

(5) Paragraph (4) of this Article shall not have effect
while Parliament is dissolved.

83. During any period in which there is a vacancy in
the office of Leader of the Opposition by reason of the fact
that no person is both qualified in accordance with this
Constitution for, and willing to accept appointment to, that
office, the Governor-General shall —

(a) act in accordance with his own deliberate
judgment in the exercise of any function in
respect of which it is provided in this
Constitution that the Governor-General shall act
in accordance with the advice of the Leader of
the Opposition; and

(b) act on the recommendation of the Prime
Minister in the exercise of any function in
respect of which it is provided in this
Constitution that the Governor-General shall act
on the recommendation of the Prime Minister

Certain vacancies
in office of
Leader of the
Opposition.

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after consultation with the Leader of the
Opposition.

84. A Minister or Parliamentary Secretary shall not
enter upon the duties of his office unless he has taken and
subscribed the oath of allegiance and such oath for the due
execution of his office as may be prescribed by Parliament.

85. The Governor-General, acting in accordance
with the advice of the Prime Minister, may grant leave of
absence from his duties to any Minister or Parliamentary
Secretary.

86. (1) The Cabinet shall not be summoned except
by the authority of the Prime Minister.

(2) The Prime Minister shall, so far as is
practicable, attend and preside at all meetings of the
Cabinet and in his absence such other Minister shall
preside as the Prime Minister shall appoint.

87. (1) No business shall be transacted at any
meeting of the Cabinet if there are present at the meeting
less than a majority of the members for the time being of
the Cabinet.

(2) Subject to paragraph (1) of this Article, the
Cabinet shall not be disqualified for the transaction of
business by reason of any vacancy in the membership of
the Cabinet (including any vacancy not filled when the
Cabinet is first constituted or is reconstituted at any time)
and the validity of the transaction of business in the
Cabinet shall not be affected by reason only of the fact that
some person who was not entitled so to do took part in
those proceedings.

88. Where any Minister has been charged with
responsibility for any department of Government, he shall
exercise general direction and control over that department;
and, subject to such direction and control, the department
shall be under the supervision of a public officer (in this
Constitution referred to as a Permanent Secretary)
appointed for the purpose:

Provided that two or more Government departments
may be placed under the supervision of one Permanent
Secretary.

89. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and
of any Act of Parliament, the Governor-General may

Oaths to be taken
by Ministers, etc.

Leave of absence
for Ministers, etc.

Summoning of
and presiding in
Cabinet.

Quorum.

Permanent
Secretaries.

Constitution of
offices, etc.

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constitute offices for The Bahamas, make appointments to
any such office and terminate any such appointment.

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

(a) grant to any person convicted of any offence
against the law of The Bahamas a pardon, either
free or subject to lawful conditions;

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

(c) substitute a less severe form of punishment for
that imposed by any sentence for such an
offence; or

(d) remit the whole or any part of any sentence
passed for such an offence or any penalty or
forfeiture otherwise due to Her Majesty on
account of such an offence.

(2) The powers of the Governor-General under
paragraph (1) of this Article shall be exercised by him in
accordance with the advice of a Minister designated by
him, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime
Minister.

91. There shall be an Advisory Committee on the
Prerogative of Mercy which shall consist of —

(a) the Minister referred to in paragraph (2) of
Article 90 of this Constitution, who shall be
Chairman;

(b) the Attorney-General; and
(c) not less than three or more than five other

members appointed by the Governor-General.
92. (1) Where an offender has been sentenced to

death by any court for an offence against the law of The
Bahamas, the Minister shall cause a written report of the
case from the trial Justice of the Supreme Court, together
with such other information derived from the record of the
case or elsewhere as the Minister may require, to be taken
into consideration at a meeting of the Advisory Committee.

(2) The Minister may consult with the Advisory
Committee before tendering any advice to the Governor-
General under paragraph (2) of Article 90 of this
Constitution in any case not falling within paragraph (1) of
this Article.

Powers of
pardon, etc.

Advisory
Committee on
Prerogative of
Mercy.

Functions of
Advisory
Committee.

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(3) The Minister shall not be obliged in any case to
act in accordance with the advice of the Advisory
Committee.

(4) The Advisory Committee may regulate its own
procedure.

(5) In this Article “the Minister” means the Minister
referred to in paragraph (2) of Article 90 of this
Constitution.

CHAPTER VII
THE JUDICATURE

PART I
THE SUPREME COURT

93. (1) There shall be a Supreme Court for The
Bahamas which shall have such jurisdiction and powers as
may be conferred upon it by this Constitution or any other
law.

(2) The Justices of the Supreme Court shall be the
Chief Justice and such number of other Justices as may be
prescribed by Parliament.

(3) No office of Justice of the Supreme Court shall
be abolished while there is a substantive holder thereof.

(4) The Supreme Court shall be a superior court of
record and, save as otherwise provided by Parliament, shall
have all the powers of such a court.

94. (1) The Chief Justice shall be appointed by the
Governor-General by instrument under the Public Seal on
the recommendation of the Prime Minister after
consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.

(2) The other Justices of the Supreme Court shall be
appointed by the Governor-General by instrument under
the Public Seal acting on the advice of the Judicial and
Legal Service Commission.

(3) The qualifications for appointment as a Justice
of the Supreme Court shall be such as may be prescribed
by any law for the time being in force:

Provided that a person who has been appointed as a
Justice of the Supreme Court may continue in office
notwithstanding any subsequent variations in the
qualifications so prescribed.

Establishment of
Supreme Court.

Appointment of
Justices of the
Supreme Court.

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95. (1) If the office of Chief Justice is vacant or if
the Chief Justice is for any reason unable to perform the
functions of his office, then, until a person has been
appointed to that office and assumed its functions or, as the
case may be, until the Chief Justice has resumed those
functions, they shall be performed by such other person,
qualified under paragraph (3) of Article 94 of this
Constitution for appointment as a Justice, as the Governor-
General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime
Minister may appoint for that purpose by instrument under
the Public Seal.

(2) If the office of a Justice of the Supreme Court is
vacant, or if any such Justice is appointed to act as Chief
Justice or as a Justice of Appeal, or is for any reason
unable to perform the functions of his office, the Governor-
General, acting on the advice of the Judicial and Legal
Service Commission, may by instrument under the Public
Seal appoint a person qualified under paragraph (3) of
Article 94 of this Constitution for appointment as a Justice
to act as a Justice of the Supreme Court, and any person so
appointed shall, subject to the provisions of paragraph (5)
of Article 96 of this Constitution, continue to act for the
period of his appointment or, if no such period is specified,
until his appointment is revoked by the Governor-General
acting on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service
Commission.

(3) Any person appointed to act as a Justice under
the provisions of this Article may, notwithstanding that the
period of his appointment has expired or his appointment
has been revoked, sit as a Justice for the purpose of
delivering judgment or doing any other thing in relation to
proceedings which were commenced before him while he
was so acting.

96. (1) Subject to the provisions of paragraphs (4) to
(7) (inclusive) of this Article, a Justice of the Supreme
Court shall hold office until he attains the age of sixty-five
years:

Provided that the Governor-General, acting on the
recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation
with the Leader of the Opposition, may permit a Justice
who attains the age of sixty-five years to continue in office
until he has attained such later age, not exceeding sixty-
seven years, as may (before the Justice has attained the age
of sixty-five years) have been agreed between them.

Acting Justices.

Tenure of office
of Justices of the
Supreme Court.

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(2) Notwithstanding that he has attained the age at
which he is required by or under the provisions of this
Article to vacate his office, a person holding the office of
Justice of the Supreme Court may, with the permission of
the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the
advice of the Prime Minister, continue in office for such
period after attaining that age as may be necessary to
enable him to deliver judgment or to do any other thing in
relation to proceedings that were commenced before him
before he attained that age.

(3) Nothing done by a Justice of the Supreme Court
shall be invalid by reason only that he has attained the age
at which he is required by this Article to vacate his office.

(4) A Justice of the Supreme Court may be removed
from office only for inability to discharge the functions of
his office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind
or any other cause) or for misbehaviour, and shall not be so
removed except in accordance with the provisions of
paragraph (5) of this Article.

(5) A Justice of the Supreme Court shall be
removed from office by the Governor-General by
instrument under the Public Seal if the question of the
removal of that Justice from office has, at the request of the
Governor-General, made in pursuance of paragraph (6) of
this Article, been referred by Her Majesty to the Judicial
Committee of Her Majesty’s Privy Council and the Judicial
Committee has advised Her Majesty that the Justice ought
to be removed from office for inability as aforesaid or for
misbehaviour.

(6) If the Prime Minister (in the case of the Chief
Justice) or the Chief Justice after consultation with the
Prime Minister (in the case of any other Justice) represents
to the Governor-General that the question of removing a
Justice of the Supreme Court from office for inability as
aforesaid or for misbehaviour ought to be investigated,
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
Governor-General acting in accordance with the
advice of the Prime Minister (in the case of the
Chief Justice) or of the Chief Justice (in the case
of any other Justice) from among persons who
hold or have held high judicial office;

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(b) that tribunal shall enquire into the matter and
report on the facts thereof to the Governor-
General and recommend to the Governor-
General whether he should request that the
question of the removal of that Justice should be
referred by Her Majesty to the Judicial
Committee; and

(c) if the tribunal so recommends, the Governor-
General shall request that the question should be
referred accordingly.

(7) The provisions of the Commissions of Inquiry
Act2 as in force immediately before the appointed day
shall, subject to the provisions of this Article, apply as
nearly as may be in relation to tribunals appointed under
paragraph (6) of this Article or, as the context may require,
to the members thereof as they apply in relation to the
Commissions or Commissioners appointed under that Act,
and for that purpose shall have effect as if they formed part
of this Constitution.

(8) If the question of removing a Justice of the
Supreme Court from office has been referred to a tribunal
appointed under paragraph (6) of this Article, the
Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of
the Prime Minister (in the case of the Chief Justice) or of
the Chief Justice after the Chief Justice has consulted with
the Prime Minister (in the case of any other Justice), may
suspend the Justice from performing the functions of his
office.

(9) Any such suspension may at any time be revoked
by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the
advice of the Prime Minister or the Chief Justice (as the
case may be), and shall in any case cease to have effect —

(a) if the tribunal recommends to the Governor-
General that he should not request that the
question of the removal of the Justice from
office should be referred by Her Majesty to the
Judicial Committee; or

(b) the Judicial Committee advises Her Majesty that
the Justice ought not to be removed from office.

(10) The provisions of this Article shall be without
prejudice to the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 95 of
this Constitution.


2 Statute Law of The Bahamas, 2000 Revised Edition, Ch. 184.

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97. A Justice of the Supreme Court shall not enter
upon the duties of his office unless he has taken and
subscribed the oath of allegiance and a judicial oath in such
form as is prescribed by any law in force in The Bahamas.

PART II
COURT OF APPEAL

98. (1) There shall be a Court of Appeal for The
Bahamas which shall have such jurisdiction and powers as
may be conferred upon it by this Constitution or any other
law.

(2) The Justices of Appeal of the Court of Appeal
shall be —

(a) a President;
(b) the Chief Justice by virtue of his office as head

of the Judiciary but who, however, shall not sit
in the Court of Appeal, unless he has been
invited so to sit by the President of the Court;
and

(c) such number of other Justices of Appeal as may
be prescribed by Parliament.

(3) No office of Justice of Appeal shall be abolished
while there is a substantive holder thereof.

(4) The Court of Appeal shall be a superior court of
record and, save as otherwise provided by Parliament, shall
have all the powers of such a court.

99. (1) The President of the Court of Appeal and
other Justices of Appeal shall be appointed by the
Governor-General by instrument under the Public Seal on
the recommendation of the Prime Minister after
consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.

(2) The qualifications for appointment as a Justice
of Appeal shall be such as may be prescribed by any law
for the being in force:

Provided that —
(i) a person shall not be qualified for appointment

as a Justice of Appeal unless he holds or has
held high judicial office; and

(ii) a person who has been appointed as a Justice of
Appeal may continue in office notwithstanding
any subsequent variations in the qualifications
so prescribed.

Oaths to be taken
by Justices of the
Supreme Court.

Establishment of
Court of Appeal.

Justices of the
Court of Appeal.

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100. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this
Part of this Chapter, Parliament may make provision —

(a) for implementing arrangements made between
the Government of The Bahamas and the
Government or Governments of any other part
or parts of the Commonwealth relating to the
establishment of a court of appeal to be shared
by The Bahamas with that part or those parts of
the Commonwealth, and for the hearing and
determination by such a court of appeal of
appeals from decisions of any court in The
Bahamas; or

(b) for the hearing and determination of appeals
from decisions of any court in The Bahamas by
a court established for any other part of the
Commonwealth.

(2) A law enacted in pursuance of paragraph (1) of
this Article may provide that the jurisdiction conferred on
any such court as is referred to in that paragraph shall be to
the exclusion, in whole or in part, of the jurisdiction of the
Court of Appeal established by this Part of this Chapter;
and during any period when jurisdiction is so conferred to
the exclusion of the whole jurisdiction of the said Court of
Appeal, Parliament may suspend the provisions of this Part
establishing that Court.

(3) In paragraph (1) of this Article the expression
“any court in The Bahamas” includes the Court of Appeal
established by this Part of this Chapter.

101. (1) If the office of President of the Court of
Appeal is vacant or if the President of the Court of Appeal
is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his
office, then, until a person has been appointed to that office
and assumed its functions or, as the case may be, until the
President of the Court of Appeal has resumed those
functions, they shall be performed by such other person,
qualified under paragraph (2) of Article 99 of this
Constitution for appointment as a Justice of Appeal, as the
Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of
the Prime Minister, may appoint for that purpose by
instrument under the Public Seal.

(2) If the office of a Justice of Appeal (other than
the President) is vacant, or if any such Justice is appointed
to act as President of the Court of Appeal, or is for any
reason unable to perform the functions of his office, the

Other
arrangements
for appeals.

Acting Justices
of the Court of
Appeal.

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Governor-General, acting on the advice of the Judicial and
Legal Service Commission, may by instrument under the
Public Seal appoint a person qualified under paragraph (2)
of Article 99 of this Constitution for appointment as a
Justice of Appeal to act as a Justice of Appeal, and any
person so appointed shall, subject to the provisions of
paragraph (5) of Article 102 of this Constitution, continue
to act for the period of his appointment or, if no such
period is specified, until his appointment is revoked by the
Governor-General acting on the advice of the Judicial and
Legal Service Commission.

(3) Any person appointed to act as a Justice of
Appeal under the provisions of this Article may,
notwithstanding that the period of his appointment has
expired or his appointment has been revoked, sit as a
Justice for the purpose of delivering judgment or doing any
other thing in relation to proceedings which were
commenced before him while he was so acting.

102. (1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (4) to
(7) (inclusive) of this Article, a Justice of Appeal shall hold
office until he attains the age of sixty-eight years:

Provided that the Governor-General, acting on the
recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation
with the Leader of the Opposition, may permit a Justice of
Appeal who attains the age of sixty-eight years to continue
in office until he has attained such later age, not exceeding
seventy years, as may (before the Justice of Appeal has
attained the age of sixty-eight years) have been agreed
between them.

(2) Notwithstanding that he has attained the age at
which he is required by or under the provisions of this
Article to vacate his office, a person holding the office of
Justice of Appeal may, with the permission of the
Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of
the Prime Minister, continue in office for such period after
attaining that age as may be necessary to enable him to
deliver judgment or to do any other thing in relation to
proceedings that were commenced before him before he
attained that age.

(3) Nothing done by a Justice of Appeal shall be
invalid by reason only that he has attained the age at which
he is required by this Article to vacate his office.

(4) A Justice of Appeal may be removed from office
only for inability to discharge the functions of his office

Tenure of office
of Justices of
Appeal.

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(whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or any
other cause) or for misbehaviour, and shall not be so
removed except in accordance with the provisions of
paragraph (5) of this Article.

(5) A Justice of Appeal shall be removed from
office by the Governor-General by instrument under the
Public Seal if the question of the removal of that Justice of
Appeal from office has, at the request of the Governor-
General made in pursuance of paragraph (6) of this Article,
been referred by Her Majesty to the Judicial Committee of
Her Majesty’s Privy Council and the Judicial Committee
has advised Her Majesty that the Justice of Appeal ought to
be removed from office for inability as aforesaid or for
misbehaviour.

(6) If the Prime Minister (in the case of the
President of the Court of Appeal) or the President of the
Court of Appeal or the Chief Justice after consultation with
the Prime Minister (in the case of any other Justice of
Appeal) represents to the Governor-General that the
question of removing a Justice of Appeal from office for
inability as aforesaid or for misbehaviour ought to be
investigated, 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
Governor-General acting in accordance with the
advice of the Prime Minister (in the case of the
President of the Court of Appeal) or of the
President of the Court of Appeal (in the case of
any other Justice of Appeal) from among
persons who hold or have held high judicial
office;

(b) that tribunal shall enquire into the matter and
report on the facts thereof to the Governor-
General and recommend to the Governor-
General whether he should request that the
question of the removal of that Justice of Appeal
should be referred by Her Majesty to the Judicial
Committee; and

(c) if the tribunal so recommends, the Governor-
General shall request that the question should be
referred accordingly.

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(7) The provisions of the Commissions of Inquiry
Act3 as in force immediately before the appointed day
shall, subject to the provisions of this Article, apply as
nearly as may be in relation to tribunals appointed under
paragraph (6) of this Article or, as the context may require,
to the members thereof as they apply in relation to
Commissions or Commissioners appointed under that Act,
and for that purpose shall have effect as if they formed part
of this Constitution.

(8) If the question of removing a Justice of Appeal
from office has been referred to a tribunal appointed under
paragraph (6) of this Article, the Governor-General acting
in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister (in the
case of the President of the Court of Appeal) or of the
President of the Court of Appeal after the President of the
Court of Appeal has consulted with the Prime Minister (in
the case of any other Justice of Appeal), may suspend the
Justice of Appeal from performing the functions of his
office.

(9) Any such suspension may at any time be revoked
by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the
advice of the Prime Minister or the President of the Court
of Appeal (as the case may be), and shall in any case cease
to have effect if —

(a) the tribunal recommends to the Governor-
General that he should not request that the
question of the removal of the Justice of Appeal
from office should be referred by Her Majesty to
the Judicial Committee; or

(b) the Judicial Committee advises Her Majesty that
the Justice of Appeal ought not to be removed
from office.

(10) The provisions of this Article shall be without
prejudice to the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 101
of this Constitution.

(11) The provisions of this Article and of Article 103
of this Constitution shall not apply to the Chief Justice.

103. A Justice of Appeal shall not enter upon the
duties of his office unless he has taken and subscribed the
oath of allegiance and a judicial oath in such form as is
prescribed by any law in force in The Bahamas.


3 Statute Law of The Bahamas, Revised Edition 2000, Ch. 184.

Oaths to be taken
by Justices of
Appeal.

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PART III
APPEALS TO COURT OF APPEAL AND HER

MAJESTY IN COUNCIL
104. (1)An appeal to the Court of Appeal shall lie as

of right from the final decisions of the Supreme Court
given in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on the
Supreme Court by Article 28 of this Constitution (which
relates to the enforcement of fundamental rights and
freedoms).

(2) An appeal shall lie as of right to the Judicial
Committee of Her Majesty’s Privy Council or to such other
court as may be prescribed by Parliament under Article
105(3) of this Constitution from any decision given by the
Court of Appeal in any such case.

105. (1)Parliament may provide for an appeal to lie
from decisions of the Court of Appeal established by Part
II of this Chapter to the Judicial Committee of Her
Majesty’s Privy Council or to such other court as may be
prescribed by Parliament under this Article, either as of
right or with the leave of the said Court of Appeal, in such
cases other than those referred to in Article 104(2) of this
Constitution as may be prescribed by Parliament.

(2) Nothing in this Constitution shall affect any
right of Her Majesty to grant special leave to appeal from
decisions such as are referred to in paragraph (1) of this
Article.

(3) Parliament may by law provide for the functions
required in this Chapter to be exercised by the Judicial
Committee of Her Majesty’s Privy Council to be exercised
by any other court established for the purpose in
substitution for the Judicial Committee.

106. References in this Part to “the Court of Appeal”
include references to a shared court of appeal established
under Article 100(1) of this Constitution when exercising
jurisdiction in respect of The Bahamas.

Appeals relating
to fundamental
rights and
freedoms.

Appeals to Her
Majesty in
Council in other
cases.

Interpretation of
“Court of
Appeal”.

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CHAPTER VIII
THE PUBLIC SERVICE

PART I
THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

107. (1)There shall be a Public Service Commission
for The Bahamas which shall consist of a Chairman and
not less than two nor more than four other members, who
shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting on the
recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation
with the Leader of the Opposition, by instrument under the
Public Seal.

(2) No person shall be qualified to be appointed as a
member of the Public Service Commission if he is a
member of either House or a public officer.

(3) Subject to the provisions of Article 126 of this
Constitution the office of a member of the Public Service
Commission shall become vacant —

(a) at the expiration of three years from the date of
his appointment or such earlier time as may be
specified in the instrument by which he was
appointed;

(b) if he becomes a member of either House or a
public officer.

(4) If the office of Chairman of the Public Service
Commission is vacant or the holder thereof is for any
reason unable to perform the functions of his office then,
until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the
functions of that office or until the person holding that
office has resumed those functions, as the case may be,
they shall be performed by such one of the other members
of the Commission as may for the time being be designated
in that behalf by the Governor-General, acting on the
recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation
with the Leader of the Opposition.

(5) If the office of a member of the Public Service
Commission other than the Chairman is vacant or the
holder thereof is for any reason unable to perform the
functions of his office, the Governor-General, acting on the
recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation
with the Leader of the Opposition, may appoint a person
who is qualified for appointment as a member of the
Commission to act in the office of that member; and any

Establishment
and composition
of Public Service
Commission.

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person so appointed shall, subject to the provisions of
subparagraph (3)(b) of this Article and Article 126 of this
Constitution, continue so to act until a person has been
appointed to the office in which he is acting and has
assumed the functions thereof or, as the case may be, the
holder thereof resumes those functions or until his
appointment so to act is revoked by the Governor-General,
acting as aforesaid.

(6) A former member of the Public Service
Commission shall not, within a period of five years
commencing with the date on which he last held or acted in
that office, be eligible for appointment to any office power
to make appointments to which is vested by this
Constitution in the Governor-General acting on the
recommendation or in accordance with the advice of the
Public Service Commission.

PART II
APPOINTMENTS, ETC., OF PUBLIC OFFICERS

108. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution
power to make appointments to public offices and to
remove and to exercise disciplinary control over persons
holding or acting in such offices is hereby vested in the
Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of
the Public Service Commission.

109. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the
preceding Article of this Chapter —

(a) power to make appointments to the office of
Permanent Secretary or Head of a Department of
Government (or to be the holder of any such
other office of similar status as the Governor-
General may, acting in accordance with the
advice of the Prime Minister, specify by notice
in the Gazette) is hereby vested in the Governor-
General acting on the recommendation of the
Public Service Commission after the
Commission has consulted the Prime Minister;

(b) power to make appointments to the office of
Permanent Secretary on transfer from another
such office carrying the same salary is hereby
vested in the Governor-General acting on the
advice of the Prime Minister.

(2) In this Article “Permanent Secretary” includes
the Secretary of the Cabinet and the Financial Secretary.

Appointments,
etc. of Public
Officers.

Appointments of
Permanent
Secretaries and
certain other
public officers.

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110. The Governor-General acting in accordance
with the advice of the Public Service Commission, may by
directions given by instrument under the Public Seal
delegate, to such extent and subject to such conditions as
may be specified in those directions, the powers vested in
him by Article 108 of this Constitution (other than powers
to make appointments to the offices referred to in Article
109 of this Constitution and to remove or exercise
disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such
offices) to such public officers as may be so specified.

111. (1) Power to appoint persons to hold or act in
the offices to which this Article applies (including power to
make appointments on promotion and transfer and to
confirm appointments) and to remove persons so appointed
from any such office shall vest in the Governor-General,
acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

(2) Before tendering any advice for the purposes of
this Article in relation to any person who holds or acts in
any public office other than an office to which this Article
applies, the Prime Minister shall consult the Service
Commission which is responsible for advising in respect of
appointments to the office which the person concerned
holds or in which he is acting.

(3) The offices to which this Article applies are the
offices of Ambassador, High Commissioner or any other
principal representative of The Bahamas in any other
country or accredited to any international organisation.

112. (1) Power to make appointments on transfer to
the offices to which this Article applies shall vest in the
Prime Minister.

(2) The offices to which this Article applies are —
(a) offices, the holders of which are required to

reside outside The Bahamas for the proper
discharge of their functions;

(b) such offices in the Ministry responsible for the
conduct of the external affairs of The Bahamas
as may, from time to time, be designated by the
Prime Minister.

113. (1) There shall be a Secretary to the Cabinet
whose office shall be a public office.

(2) Power to appoint any person to the office of
Secretary to the Cabinet and to remove such person from

Delegation of
Governor-
General’s
powers.

Appointments,
etc., of principal
representatives of
The Bahamas
abroad.

Appointments on
transfer in
respect of certain
offices.

Appointment of
Secretary to the
Cabinet.

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that office shall vest in the Governor-General acting in
accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

(3) Before tendering advice for the purposes of this
Article, the Prime Minister shall consult the Public Service
Commission.

(4) The Secretary to the Cabinet shall have charge
of the Cabinet Office and shall be responsible, in
accordance with such instructions as may be given to him
by the Prime Minister, for the supervision of any
department of the Government for which the Prime
Minister has responsibility.

PART III
THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD OF APPEAL

114. (1) There shall be a Public Service Board of
Appeal for The Bahamas which shall consist of the
following members, who shall be appointed by instrument
under the Public Seal —

(a) one member appointed by the Governor-General
acting in accordance with the advice of the Chief
Justice from among persons who hold or have
held high judicial office or are qualified to hold
high judicial office, who shall be Chairman;

(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
appropriate representative body.

(2) A person shall not be qualified for appointment
as a member of the Board if he is a member of either
House.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Article and of
Article 126 of this Constitution, the office of a member of
the Board shall become vacant —

(a) at the expiration of three years from the date of
his appointment;

(b) if he becomes a member of either House.
(4) If at any time any member of the Board is for

any reason unable to exercise the functions of his office,
the Governor-General may appoint a person who is
qualified to be appointed as a member of the Board to act

Public Service
Board of Appeal.

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as a member, and any person so appointed shall, subject to
the provisions of subparagraph (3)(b) of this Article and
Article 126 of this Constitution, continue to act until the
office in which he is acting has been filled or, as the case
may be, until the holder thereof has resumed his functions
or until his appointment to act has been revoked by the
Governor-General.

(5) The Board shall, in the exercise of its functions
under this Constitution, not be subject to the direction or
control of any other person or authority.

(6) In this Article “the appropriate representative
body” means such body representing the interests of public
officers as the Governor-General may, by Order, designate.

115. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Article, an
appeal shall lie to the Public Service Board of Appeal at
the instance of the officer in respect of whom the decision
is made from any decision of the Governor-General, acting
in accordance with the advice of the Public Service
Commission, that any public officer shall be removed from
office or that any penalty should be imposed on him by
way of disciplinary control.

(2) Upon an appeal under paragraph (1) of this
Article the Board may affirm or set aside the decision
appealed from or may make any other decision which the
authority or person from whom the appeal lies could have
made.

(3) Every decision of the Board shall require the
concurrence of a majority of all its members.

(4) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of this
Article, the Board may by regulations make provision
for —

(a) the procedure of the Board;
(b) the procedure in appeals under this Article;
(c) excepting from the provisions of paragraph (1)

of this Article decisions in respect of public
officers holding offices whose emoluments do
not exceed such sum as may be prescribed or
such decisions to exercise disciplinary control,
other than decisions to remove from office, as
may be prescribed.

(5) Regulations made under this Article may, with
the consent of the Prime Minister, confer powers or impose
duties on any public officer or any authority of the

Appeals in
discipline cases.

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Government of The Bahamas for the purpose of the
exercise of the functions of the Board.

(6) The Board may, subject to the provisions of this
Article and to its rules of procedure, act notwithstanding
any vacancy in its membership or the absence of any
member.

PART IV
THE JUDICIAL AND LEGAL SERVICE

COMMISSION
116. (1) There shall be a Judicial and Legal Service

Commission for The Bahamas.
(2) The members of the Judicial and Legal Service

Commission shall be —
(a) the Chief Justice, who shall be Chairman;
(b) such other Justice of the Supreme Court or

Justice of Appeal as may be designated by the
Governor-General, acting on the
recommendation of the Chief Justice, by
instrument under the Public Seal;

(c) the Chairman of the Public Service
Commission; and

(d) two persons appointed by the Governor-General
by instrument under the Public Seal, acting on
the recommendation of the Prime Minister after
consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.

(3) Subject to the provisions of Article 126 of this
Constitution, the office of a member of the Judicial and
Legal Service Commission referred to in subparagraph
(2)(d) of this Article shall become vacant —

(a) at the expiration of three years from the date of
his appointment or such earlier time as may be
specified in the instrument by which he was
appointed;

(b) if he becomes a member of either House.
(4) A person shall not be qualified to be appointed

as a member of the Commission under subparagraph (2)(d)
of this Article unless he holds or is qualified to hold or has
held high judicial office; and a person shall be disqualified
for appointment as such if he is a member of either House.

(5) If the office of Chairman of the Judicial and
Legal Service Commission is vacant or the holder thereof

Establishment and
composition of the
Judicial and Legal
Service
Commission.

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is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his
office, then, until a person has been appointed to and has
assumed the functions of that office or until the person
holding that office has resumed those functions, as the case
may be, they shall be performed by such one of the other
members of the Commission as may for the time being be
designated in that behalf by the Governor-General, acting
on the recommendation of the Chief Justice, or, if he is for
any reason incapacitated from making a recommendation,
of the other Justice of the Supreme Court or Justice of
Appeal who is a member of the Commission.

(6) If at any time one of the members of the
Commission referred to in subparagraph (2)(b), (c) or (d)
of this Article is for any reason unable to exercise the
functions of his office, the Governor-General, in the case
of the Chairman of the Public Service Commission, may
appoint another member of the Public Service Commission
to act as a member, and in the case of a member referred to
in subparagraph (2)(b) or (d) of this Article may, acting on
the same recommendation as for the appointment of that
member, appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed
as a member of the Commission to act as a member. Any
person so appointed shall, subject to the provisions of
subparagraph (3)(b) of this Article and Article 126 of this
Constitution, continue to act until the office in which he is
acting has been filled or, as the case may be, until the
holder thereof has resumed his functions or until his
appointment to act has been revoked by the Governor-
General, acting as aforesaid.

117. (1) Subject to the provisions of this
Constitution, power to make appointments to public offices
to which this Article applies and to remove and to exercise
disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such
offices is hereby vested in the Governor-General acting in
accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal
Service Commission.

(2) This Article applies to such public offices for
appointment to which persons are required to possess legal
qualifications as may be prescribed by Parliament.

Appointments,
etc., of judicial
and legal
officers.

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PART V
THE POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION

118. (1) There shall be a Police Service Commission
for The Bahamas which shall consist of a Chairman and
two other members appointed by the Governor-General
acting on the recommendation of the Prime Minister after
consultation with the Leader of the Opposition, by
instrument under the Public Seal.

(2) No person shall be qualified to be appointed as a
member of the Police Service Commission if he is a
member of either House or a public officer.

(3) Subject to the provisions of Article 126 of this
Constitution, the office of a member of the Police Service
Commission shall become vacant —

(a) at the expiration of three years from the date of
his appointment or at such earlier time as may
be specified in the instrument by which he was
appointed;

(b) if he becomes a member of either House or a
public officer.

(4) If the office of the Chairman of the Police
Service Commission is vacant or the holder thereof is for
any reason unable to perform the functions of his office,
then, until a person has been appointed to and has assumed
the functions of that office or until the person holding that
office has resumed those functions, as the case may be,
they shall be performed by such one of the other members
of the Commission as may for the time being be designated
in that behalf by the Governor-General, acting on the
recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation
with the Leader of the Opposition.

(5) If the office of a member of the Police Service
Commission other than the Chairman is vacant or the
holder thereof is for any reason unable to perform the
functions thereof, the Governor-General, acting on the
recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation
with the Leader of the Opposition, may appoint a person
who is qualified for appointment as a member of the
Commission to act in the office of that member; and any
person so appointed shall, subject to the provisions of
subparagraph (3)(b) of this Article and Article 126 of this
Constitution, continue so to act until a person has been
appointed to the office in which he is acting and has
assumed the functions thereof or, as the case may be, the

Establishment
and composition
of the Police Ser-
vice
Commission.

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holder thereof resumes those functions or until his
appointment so to act is revoked by the Governor-General,
acting as aforesaid.

119. (1) Power to make appointments to the offices
of Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of
Police shall be vested in the Governor-General acting on
the recommendation of the Prime Minister after
consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.

(2) Save as provided under paragraph (1) of this
Article power to make appointments to offices in the Police
Force of or above the rank of Assistant Commissioner of
Police is vested in the Governor-General acting on the
recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation
with the Police Service Commission.

(3) Save as provided in the preceding paragraphs of
this Article, power to make appointments to offices in the
Police Force of or above the rank of Inspector is vested in
the Governor-General, acting on the advice of the Police
Service Commission.

(4) There shall be in the Police Force such number
of Police Promotion Boards, each consisting of officers in
the Police Force above the rank of Inspector, as may be
prescribed by regulations made under this paragraph.

(5) Power to make appointments to offices in the
Police Force below the rank of Inspector shall be vested in
the Commissioner of Police acting after consultation with a
Police Promotion Board.

(6) Power to make postings and appointments on
transfer within the Police Force of officers in that Force
shall be vested in the Commissioner of Police.

120. (1) The Commissioner of Police and Deputy
Commissioner of Police may be removed from office by
the Governor-General but shall not be removed except in
accordance with the provisions of paragraph (2) of this
Article.

(2) The Commissioner of Police or Deputy
Commissioner of Police shall be removed from office by
the Governor-General if the question of his removal from
office has been referred to a tribunal appointed under
paragraph (3) of this Article and the tribunal has
recommended to the Governor-General that he ought to be
removed from office.

Appointment of
Commissioner of
Police and other
officers of the
Police Force.

Removal of the
Commissioner
and Deputy
Commissioner of
Police.

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(3) If the Prime Minister represents to the
Governor-General that the question of removing the
Commissioner of Police or Deputy Commissioner of Police
from office ought to be investigated, then —

(a) the Governor-General acting in accordance with
the advice of the Prime Minister shall suspend
the Commissioner of Police or Deputy
Commissioner of Police from performing the
functions of his office, as the case may be;

(b) the Governor-General shall appoint a tribunal,
which shall consist of a chairman and not less
than two other members, selected by the
Governor-General, acting in accordance with the
advice of the Judicial and Legal Service
Commission, from among persons who hold or
have held or are eligible to hold high judicial
office; and

(c) the tribunal shall enquire into the matter and
report on the facts thereof to the Governor-
General whether the Commissioner of Police or
Deputy Commissioner of Police ought to be
removed from office.

(4) If the question of removing the Commissioner of
Police or Deputy Commissioner of Police from office has
been referred to a tribunal under paragraph (3) of this
Article, the Governor-General shall revoke any such
suspension if the tribunal recommends to the Governor-
General that the Commissioner of Police or Deputy
Commissioner of Police should not be removed from
office.

121. (1) Save as provided under Article 120 of this
Constitution, power to remove and to exercise disciplinary
control over persons holding or acting in the offices of or
above the rank of Assistant Commissioner in the Police
Force is vested in the Governor-General acting in
accordance with the advice of the Police Service
Commission after consultation with the Prime Minister.

(2) Save as provided in Article 120 of this
Constitution and paragraphs (1) and (3) of this Article,
power to remove and exercise disciplinary control over
persons holding or acting in offices in the Police Force is
vested in the Governor-General acting in accordance with
the advice of the Police Service Commission.

Removal and
discipline of
members of the
Force.

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(3) The following powers are vested in the
Commissioner of Police —

(a) in respect of officers of or above the rank of
Assistant Superintendent, the power to
administer reprimands;

(b) in respect of Inspectors, the power to exercise
disciplinary control other than removal or
reduction in rank; and

(c) in respect of officers below the rank of
Inspector, the power to exercise disciplinary
control including the power of removal.

(4) The Commissioner of Police may, by direction
in writing, and subject to such conditions as he thinks fit,
delegate to any officer of the Police Force of or above the
rank of Inspector any of his powers under subparagraph
(3)(c) of this Article other than the power of removal; but
an appeal from any award of punishment by such officer
shall lie to the Commissioner.

(5) Parliament may by law provide that an appeal
shall lie to the Governor-General from a decision of the
Commissioner of Police to remove or exercise disciplinary
control over persons holding or acting in offices in the
Police Force in such cases as may be prescribed by such
law, and in determining any such appeal the Governor-
General shall act in accordance with the advice of the
Police Service Commission.

PART VI
PENSIONS

122. (1) Subject to the provisions of Articles 123 and
124 of this Constitution, the law applicable to the grant and
payment to any officer, or his widow, children, dependants
or personal representatives, of any pension, compensation,
gratuity or other like allowance (in this Article and Articles
123 and 124 of this Constitution referred to as an “award”)
in respect of the service of that officer in a public office
shall be that in force on the relevant date or any later law
that is not less favourable to that person.

(2) In paragraph (1) of this Article “the relevant
date” means —

(a) in relation to an award granted before 10th July
1973, the date on which the award was granted;

Protection of
pension rights.

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(b) in relation to an award granted or to be granted
on or after 10th July 1973 to or in respect of any
person who was a public officer before that date,
9th July 1973;

(c) in relation to an award granted or to be granted
to or in respect of any person who becomes a
public officer on or after 10th July 1973, the
date on which he becomes a public officer.

(3) Where a person is entitled to exercise an option
as to which of two or more laws shall apply in his case, the
law specified by him in exercising the option shall, for the
purposes of this Article, be deemed to be more favourable
to him than the other law or laws.

(4) Awards granted under any law in respect of
service in a public office (not being awards that are a
charge upon some other public fund of The Bahamas) are
hereby charged on the Consolidated Fund.

(5) For the purposes of this Article and of Articles
123 and 124 of this Constitution, service as a Justice of the
Supreme Court or Justice of Appeal shall be deemed to be
service in the public service.

123. (1) The power to grant any award under any
pensions law for the time being in force in The Bahamas
(other than an award to which, under that law, the person to
whom it is payable is entitled as of right) and, in
accordance with any provisions in that behalf contained in
any such law, to withhold, reduce in amount or suspend
any award payable under any such law is hereby vested in
the Governor-General.

(2) The power vested in the Governor-General by
paragraph (1) of this Article shall be exercised by him on
the recommendation of the appropriate Service
Commission.

(3) The appropriate Service Commission shall not
recommend to the Governor-General that any award for
which a person who holds or has held the office of a
Justice of the Supreme Court or Justice of Appeal or
Auditor-General is eligible shall not be granted, or that any
award payable to him shall be withheld, reduced in amount
or suspended, on the ground that he has been guilty of
misbehaviour unless he has been removed from office by
reason of such misbehaviour.

Grant and
withholding of
pensions, etc.

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(4) In this Article and in Article 124 of this
Constitution “the appropriate Service Commission”
means —

(a) in the case of an award that may be granted or is
payable to a person who, having been a public
officer, was immediately before the date on
which he ceased to hold public office serving —

(i) as a Justice of the Supreme Court or
Justice of Appeal;

(ii) in any public office to which the
provisions of Article 117 of this
Constitution applied on that date,

the Judicial and Legal Service Commission;
(b) in the case of an award that may be granted or is

payable to a person who, having been a public
officer, was immediately before the date on
which he ceased to hold public office, serving as
a member of the Police Force, the Police Service
Commission;

(c) in any other case the Public Service
Commission.

(5) In this Article “pension law” means any law
relating to the grant to any person or to the widow,
children, dependants or personal representatives of that
person, of an award of any pension, compensation, gratuity
or other like allowance in respect of the service of that
person in a public office and includes any instrument made
under any such law.

124. (1) The provisions of this Article shall have
effect for the purpose of enabling an officer or his personal
representatives to appeal against any of the following
decisions, that is to say —

(a) a decision of the appropriate Service
Commission embodying a recommendation in
respect of an officer, under Article 123(2) of this
Constitution, not to grant, or to withhold, reduce
in amount or suspend, an award;

(b) a decision of any authority to remove an officer
from office if the consequence of the removal is
that an award cannot be granted in respect of the
officer’s service in a public office; or

(c) a decision of any authority to take some other
disciplinary action in relation to such an officer

Appeals in re-
spect of certain
decisions affect-
ing pensions
benefits.

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if the consequence of the action is or in the
opinion of the authority might be, to reduce the
amount of any award that may be granted in
respect of the officer’s service in a public office.

(2) Where any such decision as is referred to in
paragraph (1) of this Article is taken by any Commission
or authority, the Commission or authority shall cause to be
delivered to the officer concerned, or to his personal
representatives, a written notice of that decision stating the
time, not being less than twenty-eight days from the date
on which the notice is delivered, within which he, or his
personal representatives, may apply to the Commission or
authority for the case to be referred to the Public Service
Board of Appeal.

(3) The Board shall inquire into the facts of the
case, and for that purpose —

(a) shall, if the applicant so requests in writing, hear
the applicant either in person or by a legal
representative of his choice, according to the
terms of the request, and shall consider any
representations that he wishes to make in
writing;

(b) may hear any other person who, in the opinion
of the Board, is able to give the Board
information on the case; and

(c) shall have access to, and shall consider, all
documents that were available to the
Commission or authority concerned and shall
also consider any further document relating to
the case that may be produced by or on behalf of
the applicant or the Commission or authority.

(4) When the Board has completed its consideration
of the case, then —

(a) if the decision that is the subject of reference to
the Board is such a decision as is mentioned in
subparagraph (1)(a) of this Article, the Board
shall advise the appropriate Service Commission
or authority whether the decision should be
affirmed, reversed or modified and the
Commission or authority shall act in accordance
with that advice; and

(b) if the decision that is the subject of the reference
to the Board is such a decision as is referred to
in subparagraph (1)(b) or (c) of this Article, the

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Board shall not have power to advise the
Commission or authority concerned to affirm,
reverse or modify the decision but —

(i) where the officer has been removed from
office the Board may direct that there shall
be granted all or any part of the award
that, under any law, might have been
granted in respect of his service in public
office if he had retired voluntarily at the
date of his removal and may direct that
any law with respect to awards shall in any
other respect that the Board may specify
have effect as if he had so retired; and

(ii) where some other disciplinary action has
been taken in relation to the officer the
Board may direct that, on the grant of any
award under any law in respect of the
officer’s service in a public office, that
award shall be increased by such amount
or shall be calculated in such manner as
the Board may specify in order to offset all
or any part of the reduction in the amount
of that award that, in the opinion of the
Board, would or might otherwise be a
consequence of the disciplinary action,

and any direction given by the Board under this
subparagraph shall be complied with
notwithstanding the provisions of any other
law.

(5) If the appeal relates to a case in which the
officer exercises his right of appeal to the Board under
Article 115(1) of this Constitution, the Board shall first
consider his appeal under that Article and only if it decides
to affirm the decision or to make some other decision the
consequence of which would be to affect the officer’s
award, shall the Board proceed to consider the officer’s
appeal under this Article.

(6) For the purposes of this Article —
(a) “legal representative” means a person entitled to

practise in The Bahamas as a Counsel and
Attorney of the Supreme Court; and

(b) a notice shall be deemed to have been delivered
to an officer one week after it has been posted if,
in the case of an officer on pension and resident

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outside The Bahamas whose residential address
cannot be ascertained, it has been posted
addressed to him at the address to which his
pension is being paid.

PART VII
MISCELLANEOUS

125. (1) In relation to any Commission established
by this Chapter, the Governor-General, acting in
accordance with the advice of the Commission, may by
regulation or otherwise regulate its procedure and, subject
to the consent of the Prime Minister, confer powers and
impose duties on any public officer or any authority of the
Government for the purpose of the discharge of the
functions of the Commission.

(2) At any meeting of any Commission established
by this Chapter a quorum shall be constituted if a majority
of the members are present; and, if a quorum is present, the
Commission shall not be disqualified for the transaction of
business by reason of any vacancy among its members or
the absence of any member, and any proceedings of the
Commission shall be valid notwithstanding that some
person who was not entitled so to do took part therein.

(3) Any question proposed for decision at any
meeting of any Commission established by this Chapter
shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the
members thereof present and voting, and if on any such
question the votes are equally divided the member
presiding shall have and exercise a casting vote.

(4) Any question whether —
(a) any Commission established by this Chapter has

validly performed any function vested in it by or
under this Chapter;

(b) any person has validly performed any function
delegated to him; or

(c) any member of such a Commission or any other
person or authority has validly performed any
other function in relation to the work of the
Commission,

shall not be enquired into in any court.
126. (1) A member of a Commission established

under this Chapter may be removed from office only for
inability to exercise the functions of his office (whether

Procedure of
Commissions.

Removal from
office of certain
persons.

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arising from infirmity of body or mind or any other cause)
or for misbehaviour and shall not be so removed except in
accordance with the provisions of this Article.

(2) A member of a Commission shall be removed
from office by the Governor-General if the question of his
removal from office has been referred to a tribunal
appointed under paragraph (3) of this Article and the
tribunal has recommended to the Governor-General that he
ought to be removed from office for inability as aforesaid
or for misbehaviour.

(3) If the Governor-General, acting in accordance
with the advice of the prescribed authority, considers that
the question of removing a member of a Commission under
this Article ought to be investigated, then —

(a) the Governor-General, acting in accordance with
the advice of the prescribed authority shall
appoint a tribunal which shall consist of a
chairman and not less than two other members,
selected by the Chief Justice, or where the
question concerns the Chairman of the Judicial
and Legal Service Commission by the President
of the Court of Appeal, from among persons
who hold or have held or are qualified to hold
office as a Justice of the Supreme Court; and

(b) the tribunal shall enquire into the matter and
report on the facts thereof to the Governor-
General and recommend to him whether the
member ought to be removed under this Article.

(4) If the question of removing a member of a
Commission has been referred to a tribunal under this
Article, the Governor-General, acting in accordance with
the advice of the prescribed authority, may suspend that
member from the exercise of the functions of his office and
any such suspension may be at any time revoked by the
Governor-General, and shall in any case cease to have
effect if the tribunal recommends to the Governor-General
that that member should not be removed.

(5) In this Article —
“Commission” includes the Public Service Board of

Appeal;
“the prescribed authority” means —

(a) in relation to the Public Service
Commission or the Judicial and Legal

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Service Commission, the Prime Minister
when the question concerns the Chairman
of either of those Commissions, and the
Chairman of the Commission concerned
when the question concerns any other
member of either of those Commissions;
and

(b) in relation to the Public Service Board of
Appeal or the Police Service Commission,
the Prime Minister.

127. In this Constitution references to the public
service shall not be construed as including service in —

(a) the office of Governor-General, Prime Minister
or other Minister, Parliamentary Secretary,
Leader of the Opposition, President and Vice-
President of the Senate, Senator, Speaker and
Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, or
member of the House of Assembly;

(b) the office of a member of the Public Service
Commission, the Public Service Board of
Appeal, the Judicial and Legal Service
Commission or the Police Service Commission;

(c) the staff of the Department of Tourism or of any
other department or agency of the Government
established for special purposes by any law
which specifies that offices therein shall not be
public offices for the purposes of this
Constitution;

(d) the office of a member of any board, committee
or other similar body (whether incorporated or
not) established by any law in force in The
Bahamas; or

(e) except as otherwise provided in this Constitution
the office of a Justice of the Supreme Court, a
Justice of Appeal or any office on the personal
staff of the Governor-General.

CHAPTER IX
FINANCE

128. There shall be in and for The Bahamas a
Consolidated Fund, into which, subject to the provisions of
any law for the time being in force in The Bahamas, shall
be paid all revenues of The Bahamas.



Public Service.

Consolidated
Fund.

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129. (1) The Minister of Finance shall, before the
end of each financial year, cause to be prepared annual
estimates of revenue and expenditure for public services
during the succeeding financial year, which shall be laid
before the House of Assembly.

(2) The estimates of expenditure shall show
separately the sums required to meet statutory expenditure
(as defined in Article 130(7) of this Constitution) and the
sums required to meet other expenditure proposed to be
paid out of the Consolidated Fund.

130. (1) The Minister of Finance shall, in respect of
each financial year, at the earliest convenient moment
before the commencement of that financial year, introduce
in the House of Assembly an Appropriation Bill
containing, under appropriate heads for the several services
required, the estimated aggregate sums which are proposed
to be expended (otherwise than by way of statutory
expenditure) during that financial year.

(2) Subject to paragraphs (4) and (6) of this Article,
the sums set out in the Appropriation Act in respect of a
financial year shall represent the limit and extent of the
public expenditure for that financial year.

(3) Where any sum is set out in the Appropriation
Act in respect of a financial year and at the end of that year
there is an unexpended balance of that sum, the
unexpended balance shall lapse.

(4) The Minister of Finance may, in case of
necessity, from time to time cause to be prepared
supplementary estimates of expenditure which shall be laid
before and voted on by the House of Assembly.

(5) In respect of all supplementary expenditure
voted on by the House of Assembly in pursuance of
paragraph (4) of this Article, the Minister of Finance may,
at any time before the end of the financial year, introduce
into the House of Assembly a Supplementary
Appropriation Bill containing, under appropriate heads, the
aggregate sums so voted and shall, as soon as possible after
the end of each financial year, introduce into the House of
Assembly a final Appropriation Bill containing any such
sums which have not yet been included in any
Appropriation Bill.

(6) That part of any estimate of expenditure laid
before the House of Assembly which shows statutory

Estimates.

Authority for
Public
Expenditure.

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expenditure shall not be voted on by the House, and such
expenditure shall, without further authority of Parliament,
be paid out of the Consolidated Fund.

(7) For the purposes of this Article and Article 129
of this Constitution —

(a) “financial year” means any period of twelve
months beginning on 1st January in any year or
such other date as Parliament may prescribe; and

(b) “statutory expenditure” means expenditure
charged on the Consolidated Fund or on the
general revenues and assets of The Bahamas by
any provision of this Constitution or of any
other law for the time being in force in The
Bahamas.

131. No sum shall be paid out of the Consolidated
Fund except upon the authority of a warrant under the hand
of the Minister of Finance or under the hand of some
person authorised by him in writing; and sums so issued
shall be disposed of for meeting public expenditure
authorised under Article 130 of this Constitution or, in the
case of statutory expenditure, for the purposes appointed
by law.

132. Where at any time for any justifiable reason, the
Appropriation Bill in respect of any financial year has not
come into operation by the beginning of that financial year,
the Minister of Finance may, to such an extent and subject
to such conditions as may be prescribed, or if no conditions
have been prescribed on a resolution to that effect passed
by the House of Assembly, issue a warrant for the payment
out of the Consolidated Fund or other public funds of The
Bahamas of such sums as he may consider necessary for
the continuance of the public service, but a statement of the
sums so authorised shall, as soon as practicable, be laid
before and voted on by the House of Assembly and the
aggregate sums so voted shall be included, under the
appropriate heads, in the next Appropriation Bill
immediately following.

133. (1) Parliament may by law provide for the
establishment of a Contingencies Fund and may authorise
the Minister of Finance to make advances from that Fund if
he is satisfied that there is an unforeseen need for
expenditure for which no provision or no sufficient
provision has been made by an Appropriation Act.

Withdrawal of
money from the
Consolidated
Fund.

Withdrawal of
money in ad-
vance of Appro-
priation Act.

Contingencies
Fund.

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(2) Where any advances are made by virtue of an
authorisation conferred under paragraph (1) of this Article,
a supplementary estimate of the sums required to replace
the amount so advanced shall, as soon as practicable, be
laid before and voted on by the House of Assembly and the
sums so voted shall be included in a Supplementary
Appropriation Bill or a Final Appropriation Bill.

134. The Public Debt of The Bahamas, including the
interest on that debt, sinking fund payments and
redemption monies in respect of that debt and the costs,
charges and expenses incidental to the management of that
debt, is hereby charged on the Consolidated Fund.

135. (1) There shall be paid to the holders of the
offices to which this Article applies such salaries and
allowances as may be prescribed by or under any law.

(2) The salaries payable to the holders of the offices
to which this Article applies are hereby charged on the
Consolidated Fund.

(3) The salary and allowances payable to the holder of
any office to which this Article applies and his other terms of
service shall not be altered to his disadvantage after his
appointment, and, for the purposes of this paragraph, in so far
as the terms of service of any person depend upon the
option of that person, the terms for which he opts shall be
taken to be more advantageous to him than any other terms
for which he might have opted.

(4) This Article applies to the offices of Governor-
General, Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice of Appeal,
Auditor-General and member of any Commission
established by Chapter VIII of this Constitution or of the
Public Service Board of Appeal.

136. (1) There shall be an Auditor-General whose
office shall be a public office.

(2) The Auditor-General shall be appointed by the
Governor-General, by instrument under the Public Seal,
acting on the recommendation of the Public Service
Commission made after the Commission has consulted the
Prime Minister.

(3) The accounts of the Supreme Court, the Senate,
the House of Assembly, all departments and offices of the
Government (but excluding the Department of the Auditor-
General), the Public Service Commission, the Judicial and
Legal Service Commission, the Police Service Commission

Public Debt.

Remuneration of
Governor-Gener-
al and certain
other officers.

Establishment of
office and func-
tions of Auditor-
General.

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and all Magistrates’ Courts shall, at least once in every
year, be audited and reported on by the Auditor-General
who, with his subordinate staff, shall at all times be entitled
to have access to all books, records, returns and reports
relating to such accounts.

(4) The Auditor-General shall submit his reports
made under paragraph (3) of this Article without undue
delay to the Speaker (or, if the office of Speaker is vacant
or the Speaker is for any reason unable to perform the
functions of his office, to the Deputy Speaker) who shall
cause them to be laid before the House of Assembly
without undue delay.

(5) In the exercise of his functions under the
provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) of this Article, the
Auditor-General shall not be subject to the direction or
control of any other person or authority.

(6) The accounts of the department of the Auditor-
General shall be audited and reported on by the Minister of
Finance and the provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) of this
Article shall apply in relation to the exercise by that
Minister of those functions as they apply in relation to
audits and reports made by the Auditor-General.

(7) Nothing in this Article shall prevent the
performance by the Auditor-General of —

(a) such other functions in relation to the accounts
of the Government and the accounts of other
public authorities and other bodies administering
public funds in The Bahamas as may be
prescribed by or under any law for the time
being in force in The Bahamas; or

(b) such other functions in relation to the
supervision and control of expenditure from
public funds in The Bahamas as may be so
prescribed.

(8) The Auditor-General may be removed from
office only for inability to discharge the functions thereof
(whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any
other cause) or for misbehaviour, and shall not be so
removed except in accordance with the provisions of
paragraph (9) of this Article.

(9) The Auditor-General shall be removed from
office by the Governor-General if the question of his
removal from office has been referred to a tribunal

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appointed under paragraph (10) of this Article and the
tribunal has recommended to the Governor-General that he
ought to be removed from office for inability as aforesaid
or for misbehaviour.

(10) If the Prime Minister represents to the
Governor-General that the question of removing the
Auditor-General from office for inability as aforesaid or
for misbehaviour ought to be investigated, 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
Governor-General, acting in accordance with the
advice of the Judicial and Legal Service
Commission, from among persons who hold or
have held or are eligible to hold high judicial
office; and

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

(11) If the question of removing the Auditor-General
from office has been referred to a tribunal under paragraph
(9) of this Article, the Governor-General, acting in
accordance with the advice of the Public Service
Commission, may suspend the Auditor-General from
performing the functions of his office and any such
suspension may at any time be revoked by the Governor-
General, and shall in any case cease to have effect if the
tribunal recommends to the Governor-General that the
Auditor-General should not be removed from office.

CHAPTER X
INTERPRETATION

137. (1) In this Constitution, unless it is otherwise
provided or required by the context —

“Act” or “Act of Parliament” means any law made
by Parliament;

“The Bahamas” means The Commonwealth of The
Bahamas;

“The Commonwealth” means, save as otherwise
prescribed, The Bahamas, the United Kingdom,

Interpretation.

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Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Sri
Lanka, Ghana, Malaysia, Nigeria, Cyprus,
Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Jamaica, Trinidad and
Tobago, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Malta,
Zambia, The Gambia, Singapore, Guyana,
Lesotho, Botswana, Barbados, Mauritius,
Swaziland, Tonga, Fiji, Western Samoa, Nauru,
Bangladesh and any dependency of any such
country;

“election” means an election of a member or
members of the House of Assembly;

“the Gazette” means the Official Gazette of The
Bahamas;

“high judicial office” means the office of 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;

“House” means either the Senate or the House of
Assembly or both, as the context may require;

“law” includes any instrument having the force of
law and any unwritten rule of law, and “lawful”
and “lawfully” shall be construed accordingly;

“Minister” includes a temporary Minister appointed
under Article 76 of this Constitution, except in
relation to Articles 72, 73, 76 and 86 of this
Constitution;

“Minister of Finance” means the Minister, by
whatever title styled, responsible for
Government finance;

“oath” includes affirmation;
“Parliament” means the Parliament of The Bahamas;
“the Police Force” means the Police Force

established in and for The Bahamas and
maintained under the provisions of the Police
Act 19654 or any law amending or replacing
that Act;

“prescribed” means provided by or under an Act of
Parliament;

“public office” means, subject to the provisions of
paragraph (6) of this Article and Article 127 of


4 Statute Law of The Bahamas, 2000 Revised Edition, Ch. 205.

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this Constitution, any office of emolument in
the public service;

“public officer” means the holder of any public office
and includes any person appointed to act in any
such office;

“the public service” means, subject to the provisions
of Article 127 of this Constitution, the service
of the Crown in a civil capacity in respect of the
Government of The Bahamas;

“session” means, in relation to a House, the sittings
of that House commencing when it first meets
after this Constitution comes into operation or
after any general election or prorogation of
Parliament and terminating when Parliament is
prorogued or is dissolved without having been
prorogued;

“sitting” means, in relation to a House, a period
during which that House is sitting continuously
without adjournment and includes any period
during which the House is in committee.

(2) For the purposes of this Constitution the
territory of The Bahamas shall comprise all the areas that
were comprised therein immediately before 10th July 1973
together with such other areas as Parliament may declare to
form part thereof.

(3) For the purposes of Articles 42, 43, 48 and 49 of
this Constitution —

(a) “government contract” means, subject to such
exceptions as Parliament may prescribe, any
contract made with the Government of The
Bahamas or with a department of that
Government or with an officer of that
Government contracting as such; and

(b) a person shall be deemed to be interested in a
government contract if —

(i) subject to such exceptions as Parliament
may prescribe, he is a party to such a
contract or a partner in a firm or director
or manager of a company which is a party
to such a contract; or

(ii) he is otherwise interested in such a
contract in such manner as Parliament may
prescribe.

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(4) In this Constitution, unless it is otherwise
provided or required by the context —

(a) any reference to the date on which this
Constitution comes into operation shall be
construed as a reference to the appointed day
referred to in section 1(2) of the Order in
Council to which this Constitution is scheduled;

(b) any reference to a law (which term shall,
without prejudice to the definition in paragraph
(1) of this Article, include an Act) shall be
construed as including a reference to a law made
at any time before this Constitution comes into
operation;

(c) any reference to power to make appointments to
any office shall be construed as including a
reference to power to make appointments on
promotion and transfer to that office and to
power to appoint a person to act in that office
during any period during which it is vacant or
the holder thereof is unable (whether by reason
of absence or of infirmity of body or mind or
any other cause) to perform the functions of that
office;

(d) any reference to the holder of an office by a term
designating or describing his office shall be
construed as including a reference to any person
for the time being acting in that office or, to the
extent of his authority, otherwise authorised to
perform the functions of that office.

(5) Where by this Constitution any person is
directed, or power is conferred on any person or authority
to appoint a person, to act in or otherwise perform the
functions of an office if the holder thereof is unable to
perform the functions of that office, the validity of any
performance of those functions by the person so directed or
of any appointment made in exercise of that power shall
not be called in question in any court on the ground that the
holder of the office is not unable to perform the functions
of the office.

(6) For the purposes of this Constitution, a person
shall not be considered to hold a public office by reason
only that he is in receipt of a pension or other like
allowance in respect of public service.

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(7) References in this Constitution to the power to
remove a public officer from his office shall, subject to the
provisions of this Constitution, be construed as including
references to any power conferred by any law to require or
permit that officer to retire from the public service.

(8) Save as otherwise provided in this Constitution,
any provision of this Constitution that vests in any person
or authority power to remove any public officer (other than
a public officer mentioned in paragraph (9) of this Article)
from his office shall be without prejudice to the power of
any person or authority to abolish any office or to any law
providing for the compulsory retirement of public officers
generally or any class of public officer on attaining an age
specified therein.

(9) If any circumstances arise that, under the
provisions of this Constitution, require the Governor-
General to remove a Justice of the Supreme Court or a
Justice of Appeal or the Commissioner of Police, the
Deputy Commissioner of Police or the Auditor-General
from office for inability to discharge the functions of his
office, such removal may be carried out either by
dismissing that officer or by requiring him to retire.

(10) Where any power is conferred by this
Constitution to make any proclamation, order, rules or
regulations or to give any direction, the power shall be
construed as including a power exercisable in like manner
to amend or revoke any such proclamation, order, rules,
regulations or direction.

(11) Any person appointed to an office under any
provision in this Constitution may resign that office.
Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution such
resignation shall be made in writing to the person in whom
under this Constitution the power is vested to make
appointments to the office concerned.

(12) Where two or more persons are holding the
same office by reason of an appointment made in
pursuance of paragraph (4) of this Article, then —

(a) for the purposes of any function conferred upon
the holder of that office; and

(b) for the purposes of any reference in this
Constitution to the absence, illness or inability
to perform the functions of his office or the
holder of that office,

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the person last appointed to the office shall be deemed to
be the sole holder of the office.

(13) The Interpretation Act of The Bahamas5 and all
amendments thereto as in force on 10th July 1973 shall
apply, with the necessary adaptations, for the purpose of
interpreting this Constitution and otherwise in relation
thereto as it applies for the purpose of interpreting and in
relation to Acts of Parliament of The Bahamas.




5 Interpretation Act, 1911 (see Supplementary Volume)