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The Senate is a component of the Parliament of Barbados, which also includes the Sovereign (represented by the Governor-General) and the House of Assembly. The Senate is the upper house of Parliament whereas the House of Assembly is the lower house.



All 21 Barbadian Senators are technically appointed by the Queen, but this duty is (along with all of the Queen's other Barbadian duties) carried out by the Governor-General. The Governor-General appoints 12 Senators on the advice of the prime minister and 2 on the advice of the leader of the Opposition. The remaining seven Senators are appointed by the Governor-General at his discretion.

Potential Senators must meet certain criteria before they can be appointed to the upper chamber. In order to be eligible for appointment, a person must be a Barbadian citizen of at least 21 years of age who has resided in the country for the past twelve months. A person is ineligible for appointment if they are in bankruptcy, have a mental illness, hold an alligiance to a foreign state, have a capital punishment sentence, have been in prison for a time exceeding six months, or have been convicted of a crime involving electoral fraud, treason, or other dishonourable acts. Furthermore, a Senator cannot also serve as a civil servant, a member of the armed forces or police, a judge, a public prosecutor, or a controller.

Senators serve five year terms. The Senate is dissolved along with the House of Assembly before each election.


Both the Senate and the House of Assembly constitutionally share most of the same powers, however, much as in other Westminster System Parliaments, the lower house is dominant. All legislation can be introduced and amended in either house with the exception of money bills; money bills always originate in the House of Assembly, and the Senate is limited in the amendments it can make to them. If the budget is approved by the House of Assembly, but it is not approved unamended by the Senate within one month, it can be directly submitted to the Governor-General. If regular legislation is approved by the House of Assembly twice in two consecutive sessions, but is not approved of by the Senate either time, it can also be submitted directly to the Governor-General.


When a session begins, the Senate elects a President and a Vice President. These officers may not be ministers or a parliamentary secretaries. The President usually does not vote unless there is a tie.

See also




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