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Pitcairn Islands

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the Pitcairn Islands



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The Island Council is the legislative body of the Pitcairn Islands. It also doubles as the court of the British dependency, making it one of the few bodies in the world to possess both legislative and judicial authority. (The British House of Lords technically has dual authority also, but in practice only an elite committee of 12 members, known as Law Lords, exercises the judicial function, as one of two supreme courts of the UK.).

The Council has ten members. The Mayor and the Chairman of the Island Council, both of whom are directly elected, hold membership on the council ex officio. Four ordinary councillors are popularly elected. The four ordinary councillors, together with the Council Chairman, co-opt a sixth member. The colonial governor appoints two councillors, one of whom is the Island Secretary. The tenth seat is reserved for a commissioner liaising between the governor and the Council. Apart from the Mayor, who serves a three-year term, and the Island Secretary, whose term is indefinite, all councillors serve one-year terms.

The presiding officer of the council was traditionally the Magistrate, who held executive, legislative, and judicial authority. Following a constitutional review in 1998, his office was divided and replaced by the Mayor and the Council Chairman, effective from 1999).

Latest result

e • d  Summary of the 24 December 2005 Pitcairn Island Island Council election results
Members Seats
Direct elected members 4
Co-opted member 1
Mayor (elected) 1
Chairman of the Island Council (elected) 1
Appointed councillors (including the Island Secretary) 2
Commissioner liaising between the governor and the Council 1
Total 10

Council Membership

Following the general election held on 15 December 2004, the composition of the council was as follows. (the 2005 distribution is not yet available)

  • Jay Warren (Mayor; ex officio member)
  • Mike Warren (Chairman of the Island Council; ex officio member)
  • Leon Salt (Commissioner; ex officio member)
  • Betty Christian (Island Secretary; appointed by the Governor)
  • Meralda Warren
  • Olive Christian
  • Carol Warren
  • Lea Brown

not included: the member co-opted by the five elected members, and one member appointed by the governor.

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