Nevis Government and Legal System
Overview – Nevis is a member of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, and it retains the
right to secede from the Federation if there is a 2/3 majority vote by public referendum
(what a policy!). In fact, recently there was a vote for secession, but it failed because not
enough people wanted it. It was voted one of the 10 freest nations in the world, and if they
people do not want something, they do not get it anyway.
How Decisions Are Made –The three branches of government are the Executive,
Legislative, and Judicial. The Executive branch is comprised of the governor general, Primer
Minister, and his cabinet. The cabinet leader is the head of the majority party in the House
The Parliament is the Legislative branch, and this is a bicameral institution, since it is based
on the British Parliamentary System. The public elects all of these officials. And finally, the
Judicial branch is comprised of the magistrate’s courts and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme
Court. The magistrate’s courts will decide everyday court cases and they can be appealed to
the ECSC. Judges in the latter institution are appointed, not elected. Final appeals can then
be made to her Majesty’s Privy Council based in London, England. Another governing body
is called the National Assembly, which has representatives from both the islands of St. Kitts
Similar to the EU, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States works together to
coordinate visa-free travel, economic cooperation, and other such legal integration, but St.
Kitts and Nevis remains a sovereign nation, as a free member of the British Commonwealth.
And since none of the neighboring nations are police states, there is not a huge threat
looming over them if they don’t cooperate in some kind of information sharing agreement or
It is a recognized member of United Nations, and not only a province of some larger
country, and since its independence has remained a stable political and economic
Right Wing or Left Wing? - Nevis can be considered more of a right wing government.
For one, there is not a lawsuit culture. In fact, lawsuits are discouraged by the fact that a
foreigner must post a $25,000 USD bond before beginning such a process and must pay
legal damages to the other party if they lose. Lawyers also will not work on contingency and
so they must be paid up front. It’s not a free-for-all court system, which, some might argue,
is an anomaly.