Responsibilities and Duties of the Governor-General


The Governor-General performs and exercises, on the Sovereign’s behalf, the following duties and responsibilities, as in the Constitution:
  • Ceremonial Duties including:
    (a) Presiding over Swearing-In Ceremonies of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of Saint Lucia and Cabinet Ministers;
    (b) Presiding over the State Opening of Parliament and delivering the Speech from the Throne
    (c) Taking the Salute during the Independence  Day Parade
  • Signing of State documents, which include giving Royal Assent to Acts or Bills passed by the House of Assembly and the Senate into law.
  • Holding weekly meetings with the Prime Minister on matters of state and governance.
  • Exercising Constitutional and Parliamentary Responsibilities for the following purposes:
    (a) Emergency Powers (Section 14 of the Constitution)
    (b) Declaration of State of Emergency (Section 17 of the Constitution)
    (c) Summoning, Prorogation and Dissolution of Parliament (Section 54-55 of the Constitution)
    (d) Prerogative of Mercy (Section 74 of the Constitution)
  • Exercising Executive Authority over the following Constitutional Appointments:
    (a) Prime Minister
    (b) Leader of Opposition
    (c) Cabinet Ministers
    (d) Members of the Senate
    (e) Senior civil servants
    (f) Commissions and Boards
Executive authority also includes the power under the Constitution to make or revoke appointments to government or public offices and to Commissions and Boards (see Annex 2) after careful consultation or advice has been given in accordance with the relevant sections of the Constitution.

However, where it does not apply, the Governor-General is authorised to act in his/her own deliberate judgement as stated under the following provisions of the Constitution:
    (a) Composition of the Senate (Section 24(c))
    (b) Inability (of Senator to perform functions) (Section 28(c))
    (c) Electoral Commission (Section 57(3)(a))
    (d) Public Service Board of Appeal (Section 95(1)(a))
Appointments to the Commissions and Boards are made on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.

The Governor-General acts on the advice of the Service Commissions when making appointments to public offices, and also when removing or exercising disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in any such office.

Promoting Foreign Relations

The Governor-General represents Saint Lucia to the rest of the world, such as the receiving of foreign ambassadors when they present Letters of Credence; High Commissioners and Heads of regional and international organisations when they make courtesy calls upon their appointment to office; entertaining visiting Heads of State or royalty; and when the Governor-General makes State visits overseas to other countries in support of Saint Lucia’s diplomatic, economic and cultural relations.

Promoting Social and Cultural Identity

The Governor-General provides leadership in those aspects of the social, cultural, intellectual and economic life of the country which fall within the remit of the Office of Governor-General. These include providing a focus for national identity, unity and pride by attendance at events of national significance such as National Day and Independence Day activities and on Remembrance Sunday, which is held in commemoration of the Nation’s war dead.

Recognising Excellence and Achievement

The Governor-General recognises success, achievement and excellence through the investiture ceremonies held by the State for the Order of Saint Lucia and the Sovereign’s New Year and Birthday Honours; award ceremonies held by the educational and private sector; and by supporting service to others, particularly through service groups and various eligible national organisations where the Governor-General serves and discharges his/her duties as Patron.

Swearing-In Ceremonies

The Governor-General presides over the swearing-in ceremonies where the Oaths of Office and Allegiance are taken upon appointment by the following:

(a) The Prime Minister
(e) Justices of the Peace
(b) Cabinet Ministers of Government
(e) Members of the Integrity Commission
(c) Parliamentary Secretaries
(g) Members of the Service Commissions
(d) Magistrates
(h) Members of Tribunals