The Executive

Section 51. Executive authority.
(1) The executive authority of Saint Christopher and Nevis is vested in Her Majesty.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Constitutional, the executive authority of Saint Christopher and Nevis may be exercised on behalf of Her Majesty by the Governor-General either directly or through officers subordinate to him.

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

(4) In this section references to the executive authority of Saint Christopher and Nevis include references to the executive authority of the island of Nevis with respect to the specified matters.

Section 52. Ministers.
(1) There shall be a Prime Minister of Saint Christopher and Nevis who shall be appointed by the Governor-General.

(2) Whenever the Governor-General has occasion to appoint a Prime Minister he shall appoint a representative who appears to him likely to command the support of the majority of the Representatives.

(3) There shall be, in addition to the office of Prime Minister, an office of Deputy Prime Minister and such other offices of Minister of the Government as may be established by Parliament, or, subject to the provisions of any law enacted by Parliament by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

(4) Appointments to the office of Minister, other than the office of Prime Minister, shall be made by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, from among the members of the National Assembly.

(5) If occasion arises for making an appointment to the office of Prime Minister or any other Minister while Parliament is dissolved, then, notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (2) and (4), a person who was a Representative immediately before the dissolution may be appointed as Prime Minister and a Person who was a Representative or a Senator immediately before the dissolution may be appointed as any Minister other than Prime Minister.

(6) The Governor-General shall remove the Prime Minister from office if a resolution of no confidence in the Government is passed by the National Assembly and the Prime Minister does not within three days either resign from his office or advice the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament.

(7) If, at any time between the holding of a general election of Representatives and the first meeting of the National Assembly thereafter, the Governor-General considers that in consequence of changes in the membership of the Assembly resulting from that election the Prime Minister will not be able to command the support of the majority of the representatives, the Governor-General may remove the Prime Minister from office.

(8) The office of any Minister shall become vacant-
  1. if the holder of the office ceases to be a member of the National Assembly otherwise than by reason of the dissolution of Parliament;
  2. in the case of the Prime Minister, if, when the Assembly first meet after any dissolution of Parliament, he is not then a Representative;
  3. in the case of any other Minister, if, when the Assembly first meets after any dissolution of Parliament, he is not then a Representative or a Senator; or
  4. if, by virtue of section 31(4), he is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the Assembly.
(9) The office of a Minister other than the Prime Minister shall become vacant-
  1. if the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, so directs;
  2. if the Prime Minister resigns from office within three days after a resolution of no confidence in the Government has been passed by the National Assembly or is removed from office under subsection (6) or (7); or
  3. on the appointment of any person to the office of Prime Minister.
(10) In the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by subsections (2) and (7) the Governor-General shall act in his own deliberate judgment.

Section 53. Cabinet.
(1) There shall be for Saint Christopher and Nevis a Cabinet of Ministers which shall consist of the Prime Minister and the other Ministers.

(2) At any time when the office of Attorney-General is a public office the Attorney-General shall, by virtue of holding or acting in that office, be a member of the Cabinet in addition to the Minister.

(3) The functions of the Cabinet shall be to advice the Governor-General in the government of Saint Christopher and Nevis and the Cabinet shall be collectively responsible to the National Assembly for any advice given to the Governor-General by or under the general authority of the Cabinet and for all things done by or under the authority of any Minister in the execution of his office.

(4) Subsection (3) shall not apply in relation to-
  1. the appointment and removal from office of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries, the assignment of responsibility to any Minister under section 54, or the authorization of another Minister to perform the functions of the Prime Minister during absence or illness;
  2. the dissolution of Parliament;
  3. the matters referred to in section 66 (which relate to the prerogative of mercy);or
  4. in relation to the government of the island of Nevis, any matter in respect of which parliament has no power to make laws for the island of Nevis.
Section 54. Allocation of portfolios.
The Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, may, by directions in writing, assign to the Prime Minister, or any other Minister responsibility for any business of the Government, including the administration of any department of the Government.

Section 55. Absence or illness of Prime Minister.
(1) Whenever the Prime Minister is absent from Saint Christopher and Nevis or by reason of illness is unable to perform the functions conferred upon Minister to perform those functions (other than the functions conferred by this section) and that Minister may perform those functions until his authority is revoked by the Governor-General.

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

Provided that if the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment, considers that it is impracticable to obtain the advice of the Prime Minister owing to his absence or illness he may exercise those powers without that advice and in his own deliberate judgment.

Section 56. Exercise of Governor-General's functions.
(1) In the exercise of his functions the Governor-General shall act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or a Minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet except in cases where he is required by this Constitution to act in accordance with the advice of, or the recommendation of, any person or authority other than the Cabinet:

Provided that the foregoing provisions shall not apply where the Governor-General is authorized to act in his own deliberate judgment in accordance with the following provisions-
  1. section 23 (which relates to the Governor-General's deputy);
  2. section 33 and 34 (which relate respectively to the Electoral Commission and to the Supervisor of Elections);
  3. section 49 (which relates to the Constituency Boundaries Commission);
  4. sections 52 and 55 (which relates to Minister);
  5. section 58 (which relates to the Leader of the Opposition);
  6. section 77 (which relates to the Public Service Commission);
  7. section 78 (which relates to the appointment etc. of public officers);
  8. section 86 (which relates to the Public Service Board of Appeal); and
  9. section 102 (which relates to the Nevis Island Administration).
(2) Where the Governor-General is directed to exercise any function in accordance with the recommendation of any person or authority, he shall exercise that function accordingly:

Provided that before that Governor-General acts in accordance with a recommendation in any case he may, acting in his own deliberate judgment, once request the person or authority by whom it is made to reconsider the recommendation and if, upon any reconsideration of a recommendation, the person or authority makes a different recommendation, the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment, may likewise once request the person or authority by whom it is made to reconsider that different recommendation.

(3) 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 for appointment to that office in accordance with section 58 and willing to accept appointment or if the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment, considers that it is not practicable for him to obtain the advice of, or to consult, the Leader of the Opposition within the time within which it may be necessary for him to act, he may act without that advice and in his own deliberate judgment or, as the case may be, without such consultation, in the exercise of any power conferred upon him by this Constitution in respect of which it is provided that he shall act on the advice of, or after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.

(4) Nothing in subsection (1) shall require the Governor-General to act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or a Minister in exercise of the functions conferred upon him by the following provisions-
  1. the provison to section 47(4) (which requires the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament in certain circumstances);
  2. section 52(6) (which requires the Governor-General to remove the Prime Minister from office in certain circumstances);
  3. section 57 (which entitles the Governor-General to information);
  4. sections 58(5), 77(5), 81(7), 82(7) and 86(5) (which requires the Governor-General to remove the holders of certain offices from office in certain circumstances).
(5) The references in this section to sections 47, 52, 55, 57 and 58 include references to those sections as applied with modifications by section 104 (which relates to institution established for the island of Nevis by Chapter X).

Section 57. Governor-General to be kept informed.
The Prime Minister shall keep the Governor-General fully informed concerning the general conduct of the Government and shall furnish the Governor-General with such information as he may request with respect to any particular matter for which the Government is responsible.

Section 58. Leader of the Opposition.
1) There shall (except at times when no Representative is eligible for appointment) be a Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly who shall be appointed by the Governor-General.

(2) Whenever there is occasion for the appointment of a Leader of the Opposition the Governor-General shall appoint the Representative who appears to him to command the support of the largest single group of Representatives who do not support the Government:

Provided that no Representative shall be eligible for appointment unless it appears to the Governor-General that Representative commands the support of at least one other Representative.

(3) If occasion arises to appoint a Leader of the Opposition during the period between a dissolution of Parliament and the day on which the ensuing election of Representatives is held, an appointment may be made as if Parliament has not been dissolved.

(4) The office of Leader of the Opposition shall become vacant-
  1. if he ceases to be a member of the National Assembly otherwise than by reason of a dissolution of Parliament;
  2. if, when the Assembly first meets after a dissolution of Parliament, he is not then a Representative;
  3. if, by virtue of section 31(4), he is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the Assembly; or
  4. if he is removed from office by the Governor-General under subsection (5).
(5) If it appears to the Governor-General that the Leader of the Opposition is no longer able to command the support of a majority of the Representatives who do not support the Government or (if no Representative appears to him to be able to command such support) the support of the largest single group of Representatives who do not support the Government, he shall remove the Leader of the Opposition from office.

(6) The power of the Government-General under this section shall be exercised by him in his own deliberate judgment.

Section 59. Parliamentary Secretaries.
(1) The Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, may appoint Parliamentary Secretaries from among the members of the National 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 Representative or a Senator immediately before the dissolution may be appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary.

(2) The office of a Parliamentary Secretary shall become vacant-
  1. if the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, so directs;
  2. if the Prime Minister resigns from office with three days after a resolution of no confidence in the Government has been passed by the National Assembly or is removed from office under section 52(6);
  3. upon the appointment of any person to the office of Prime Minister;
  4. if the holder of the office ceases to be a member of the Assembly otherwise than by reason of a dissolution of Parliament;
  5. if, when the Assembly first meets after the dissolution of Parliament, he is not then a Representative or a Senator; or
  6. if, by virtue of section 31 (4), he is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the Assembly.
Section 60. Oaths.
A Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary shall not enter upon the duties of his office unless he has taken and subscribed the oath of allegiance, the oath of office and the oath of secrecy.

Section 61. Permanent Secretaries.
Where any Minister has been charged with responsibility for any department of the Government, he shall exercise general direction and control over that department; and, subject to such direction and control every department of the Government shall be under the supervision of a permanent secretary whose office shall be a public office;

Provided that two or more departments may be placed under the supervision of one permanent secretary.

Section 62. Secretary to Cabinet.
(1) There shall be a Secretary to the Cabinet whose office shall be a public office.

(2) The Secretary to the Cabinet, who shall have charge of the Cabinet Office, shall be responsible, in accordance with such instructions as may be given to him by the Prime Minister, for arranging the business for, and keeping the minutes of, the Cabinet and for conveying the decisions of the Cabinet to the appropriate person or authority and shall have such other functions as the Prime Minister may direct.

Section 63. Constitution of offices etc.
Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and of any other law, the Governor-General may constitute offices for Saint Christopher and Nevis, make appointments to any such office and terminate any such appointment.

Section 64. Attorney-General.
(1) There shall be an Attorney-General who shall be the principal legal adviser to the Government.

(2) The office of Attorney-General shall be either a public office or the office of a Minister.

(3) No person shall be qualified to hold or act in the office of Attorney-General unless he is qualified for elections as Representative or appointment as a Senator and is also qualified to practice as a barrister in Saint Christopher and Nevis.

Section 65. Control of public prosecutions.
(1) There shall be a Director of Public Prosecutions whose office shall be a public office.

(2) The Director of Public Prosecutions shall have power in any case in which he considers it desirable so to do-
  1. to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court of law (other than in a court-martial) in respect of any offence under a law alleged to have been committed by that person;
  2. to take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that have been instituted or undertaken by any other person or authority; and
  3. to discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by himself or any other person or authority.
(3) The power of the Director of Public Prosecutions under subsection (2) may be exercised by him in person or through other persons acting under and in accordance with his general or special instructions.

(4) The power conferred on the Director of Public Prosecutions by paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (2) 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 subsection shall prevent the withdrawal of those proceedings by or at the instance of that person or authority and with the leave of the court.

(5) For the purposes of this section, any appeal from a judgment in 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 (including Her Majesty in Council) shall be deemed to be part of those proceedings:

Provided that the power conferred of the Director of Public Prosecutions by subsection (2)(c) shall not be exercised in relation to any appeal by a person convicted in any criminal proceedings or to any case stated or question of law reserved at the instance of such a person.

(6) In the exercise of the functions vested in him by subsection (2) and by section 26 (5) and 101(6), the Director of Public Prosecutions shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

Section 66. Prerogative of mercy.
(1) The Governor-General may-
  1. grant a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions, to any person convicted of any criminal offence under a law;
  2. grant to any person a respite, either indefinite or for a specified period, of the execution of any punishment imposed on that person for any such offence;
  3. substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on any person for any such offence; or
  4. remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed on any person for any such offence or of any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to the Crown on account of any such offence.
(2) The powers of the Governor-General under this section shall be exercised by him in accordance with the advice of such Minister as may from time to time be designated by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

Section 67. Committee on Prerogative of Mercy.
(1) There shall be for Saint Christopher and Nevis an Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy (hereinafter in this section referred to as the Committee) which shall consist of-
  1. the Minister for the time being designated under section 66(2), who shall be chairman;
  2. the Attorney-General; and
  3. not less than three nor more than four other members appointed by the Governor-General.
(2) A member of the Committee appointed under subsection (1)(c) shall hold his seat thereon for such period as may be specified by the Governor-General at the time of his appointment:

Provided that his seat shall become vacant-
  1. in the case of a person who was a Minister when he was appointed, if he ceases to be a Minister; or
  2. if the Governor-General so directs.
(3) The Committee may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership or the absence of any member and its proceedings shall not be invalidated by the presence or participation of any person not entitled to be present at or to participate in those proceedings.

(4) The Committee may regulate its own procedure.

(5) In the exercise of his functions under this section, the Governor-General shall act in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

Section 68. Functions of Committee.
(1) Where any person has been sentenced to death (otherwise than by a court-martial) for a criminal offence under any law, the Minister for the time being designated under section 66(2) shall cause a written report of the case from the trial judge (or the Chief Justice, if a report from the trial judge cannot be obtained) together with such other information derived from the record of the case or elsewhere as he may require, to be taken into consideration at a meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Prerogative of Mercy; and after obtaining the advice of the Committee he shall decide in his own deliberate judgment whether to advise the Governor-General to exercise any of his power under section 66(1).

(2) The Minister for the time being designated under section 66(2) may consult with the Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy before tendering any advice to the Governor-General under tat subsection in any case not falling within subsection (1) of this section but he shall not be obliged to act in accordance with the recommendation of the Committee.