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British Virgin Islands Constitution

PART II

The Governor

3. (1) There shall be a Governor of the Virgin Islands who shall be appointed by Her Majesty by Commission under Her Sign Manual and Signet and shall hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure. (1) There shall be a Governor of the Virgin Islands who shall be appointed by Her Majesty by Commission under Her Sign Manual and Signet and shall hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure.

(2) The Governor shall, for the purpose of administering the Government of the Virgin Islands, have such powers and duties as are conferred or imposed on him by this Order or any other law and such other powers as Her Majesty may from time to time be pleased to assign to him, and, subject to the provisions of this Order and of any other law by which any such powers or duties are conferred or imposed, shall do and execute all things that belong to his office (including the exercise of any powers with respect to which he is empowered by this Order to act in his discretion) according to such instructions, if any, as Her Majesty may from time to time see fit to give him:

Provided that the question whether or not the Governor has in any matter complied with any such instruction shall not be enquired into in any court.

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

4. (1) There shall be a Deputy Governor who shall be such person as Her Majesty may designate in that behalf by instructions given through a Secretary of State and who shall hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure. (1) There shall be a Deputy Governor who shall be such person as Her Majesty may designate in that behalf by instructions given through a Secretary of State and who shall hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure.

(2) If the office of Deputy Governor is vacant or the person holding that office is acting in the office of Governor under section 5 of this Order or is absent from the Virgin Islands or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of the office of Deputy Governor, such person as Her Majesty may designate in that behalf by instructions given through a Secretary of State shall act in the office of Deputy Governor during Her Majesty's pleasure.

5. (1) During any period when the office of Governor is vacant or the Governor is absent from the Virgin Islands or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office-(1) During any period when the office of Governor is vacant or the Governor is absent from the Virgin Islands or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office -

(a) The Deputy Governor; or

(b) if the office of Deputy Governor is vacant or the Deputy Governor is absent from the Virgin Islands, or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of the office of Governor,

such person as Her Majesty may designate in that behalf by instructions given through a Secretary of State (in this section referred to as "the person designated"), shall, during Her Majesty's pleasure, act in the office of Governor and shall perform the functions of that office accordingly.

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

(3) The Deputy Governor shall not continue to act in the office of Governor after the Governor has notified him that he is about to assume or resume the functions of that office, and the person designated shall not continue to act in that office after the Governor or Deputy Governor has so notified him.

(4) The Governor or the Deputy Governor shall not, for the purposes of this section, be regarded as absent from the Virgin Islands or as unable to perform the functions of his office-

(a) by reason that he is in passage from one part of the Virgin Islands to another; or

(b) at any time when there is a subsisting appointment of a deputy under the next following section; or

(c) by reason of absence from the Virgin Islands for a period not exceeding forty-eight hours for the purpose of visiting the United States Virgin Islands.

(5) In this section "the Governor" means the person holding the office of Governor and "the Deputy Governor" means the person holding the office of the Deputy Governor.

6. (1) Whenever the Governor- (1) Whenever the Governor-

(a) has occasion to be absent from the seat of Government but not from the Virgin Islands; or

(b) has occasion to be absent from the Virgin Islands for a period which he has reason to believe will be of short duration; or

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

he may, acting in his discretion, by instrument under the public seal, appoint the Deputy Governor, or if he is not available any other person in the Virgin Islands, 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 as may be specified in that instrument.

(2) The power and authority of the Governor shall not be abridged, altered or in any way affected by the appointment of a deputy under this section, and a deputy shall conform to and observe all instructions that the Governor may from time to time address to him:

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

(3) A person appointed as a deputy under this section 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 Her Majesty by instructions given through a Secretary of State or by the Governor, acting in his discretion.

7. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Governor shall consult with the Executive Council in the formulation of policy and in the exercise of all functions conferred upon him by this Order or any other law for the time being in force in the Virgin Islands, except-

(a) when acting under instructions given to him by Her Majesty through a Secretary of State; or

(b) when exercising any function conferred upon him by this Order or any such other law which is expressed to be exercisable by him in his discretion, or in accordance with the advice of, or after consultation with, any person or authority other than the Executive Council; or

(c) in any case which, in his opinion, involves a matter for which he is responsible under section 19 of this Order:

Provided that in exercising his powers in relation to matters to which sub-paragraph (c) of this subsection applies, the Governor shall consult with the Chief Minister.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the Governor shall not be obliged to consult with the Executive Council or the Chief Minister if, in his judgment-

(a) Her Majesty's service would sustain material prejudice; or

(b) the matter is too unimportant to require consultation; or

(c) the urgency of the matter requires him to act before he can consult the Executive Council,

but in any case falling within paragraph (c) of this subsection he shall, as soon as practicable, communicate to the Executive Council the measures which he has adopted and the reasons therefor.

(3) In any case in which the Governor is required, under the provisions of this section, to consult the Executive Council, he shall act in accordance with the advice of the Executive Council unless in his opinion such advice would affect a matter for which he is responsible under section 19 of this Order.

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

(5) Whenever the Governor, in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section, acts contrary to the advice given by the Executive Council, he shall, as soon as practicable, report his action and the reasons therefor to a Secretary of State.

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

8. Subject to the provisions of any law for the time being to force in the Virgin Islands, the Governor or any person duly authorised by him in that behalf by writing under his hand, in Her Majesty's name and on Her Majesty's behalf, may, under the public seal, make grants and disposition of lands or other immovable property in the Virgin Islands or interests in such property that are vested in Her Majesty for the purposes of the Government of the Virgin Islands.

9. Subject to the provisions of Part V of this Order and of any law for the time being in force in the Virgin Islands, the Governor, in Her Majesty's name and on Her Majesty's behalf, may-

(a) constitute offices for the Virgin Islands and make appointments to be held during Her Majesty's pleasure, thereto, and

(b) dismiss any person so appointed or take such disciplinary action in relation to him as the Governor may think fit.

10. (1) The Governor may, in Her Majesty's name and on Her Majesty’s behalf-

(a) grant to any person concerned in or convicted of any offence against any law in force in the Virgin Islands 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 sentence passed 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) In the exercise of his powers under this section the Governor shall consult with the Committee established under section II of this Order, but he shall decide whether to exercise any of those powers in any case in his own deliberate judgement, whether the members of the Committee concur in his decision or otherwise.

(3) Without prejudice to the provisions of the last foregoing subsection, whenever any person has been sentenced to death (otherwise than by Court Martial) for an offence against any law in force in the Virgin Islands the Governor shall call upon the judge who presided at the trial to make him a written report of the case of such offender and shall cause such report, together with such other information derived from the record of the case or elsewhere as the Governor may require, to be taken into consideration at a meeting of the Committee so that the Committee may advise him on the exercise of his powers under this section in relation to that person:

Provided that if it is impracticable to obtain such a report, the Governor may act without such a report, but in that case shall, if practicable, cause to be taken into consideration a report furnished by the registrar of the court after consulting counsel for the prosecution and defence in the case.

11. (1) There shall be for the Virgin Islands an Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy (in this section and section 10 referred to as the Committee), which shall consist of the Attorney General, the Chief Medical Officer and four members appointed by the Governor after consultation with the Chief Minister.

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

(3) No business shall be transacted at any meeting of the Committee unless there are at least three members present, of whom one shall be the Attorney General.

(4) The office as a member of the Committee of any member appointed by the Governor under subsection (1) of this section shall become vacant if the Governor, acting after consultation with the Chief Minister, revokes his appointment as a member of the Committee.

(5) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, the Committee disqualified for the transaction of business by reason of any vacancy in the membership of the Committee and the validity of the transaction of any business by the Committee shall not be affected by reason only of the fact that some person who was not entitled to do so took part in the proceedings.

(6) Subject to the provisions of this section the Committee may regulate its own proceedings.

12. The Governor shall keep and use the public seal for sealing all things whatsoever that shall pass the said seal.