The House of Assembly of the British Virgin Islands, until 2007 known as the Legislative Council, has 15 members; 13 directly elected for four year terms—nine in single-seat constituencies and four "at large"—one ex officio member and one Speaker chosen from outside the house.

The first assembly followed the fifteenth legislature. The Hon. Ingrid Moses-Scatliffe was elected Speaker of the House on 14 September 2007.

 

History

The history of legislatures in the British Virgin Islands can be roughly divided into two: colonial legislatures in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and then a hiatus, followed by the modern legislature after the re-introduction of democracy in 1950.

The first Legislative Council of modern times was formed in 1950 pursuant to the Constitution Act, 1950. It had eight members, two ex-official members, two nominated members and four elected members. Requirements for standing for election included income, property, and a deposit (forfeited with failure to garner a certain percentage of votes). The four members were elected in the 1950 on a Territory-wide basis.

In 1954 the existing constitutional provisions were replaced by the Constitution and Elections Ordinance, 1954 which expanded the elected membership to six, divided amongst five district seats (with Road Town having two representatives). The 1967 Constitution expanded the elected membership to seven, with each district having a single representative. In 1977 the Elections Ordinance, 1977 expanded the number of district seats to nine. Pursuant to the Elections Act, 1994 the British Virgin Islands introduced four Territorial at-large seats in addition to the nine district seats, creating a total of 13 elected members to sit alongside the two ex-officio members (the Speaker and the Attorney General). 

 

British Virgin Islands legislatures
Election Years Term Elected seats
Legislative Council
1950 1950 - 1954 First 4 - Four at-large
1954 1954 - 1957 Second 5 - Five territorial
1957 1957 - 1960 Third 5 - Five territorial
1960 1960 - 1963 Fourth 5 - Five territorial
1963 1963 - 1967 Fifth 5 - Five territorial
1967 1967 - 1971 Sixth 7 - Seven territorial
1971 1971 - 1975 Seventh 7 - Seven territorial