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Cook Islands System of Government Information
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|Pacific Governments - Cook Islands|
GOVERNMENT OF COOK ISLANDS
(See Sources of Law for a full overview)
(i) Executive Branch:
Head of State: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in right of New Zealand - represented in Cook Islands by the Queen's Representative, appointed by the Queen (3 year term).
Head of Government: Prime Minister - the Queen's Representative appoints the Prime Minister, being a Member of Parliament, who has the confidence of a majority in the Parliament.
Cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers - Prime Minister + 6-8 Ministers, being members of Parliament, appointed by the the Queen's Representative on the advice of the Prime Minister; responsible to Parliament.
Executive Council: consists of the Queen's Representative and the Cabinet.
(ii) Legislative Branch:
Parliament - The Parliament of the Cook Islands is unicameral and consists of 25 members elected by popular vote. The Parliament serves a five-year term.
House of Arikis - consists of up to 14 Arikis (Chiefs) appointed by the Queen's Representative. Function - to consider any matters regarding the welfare of the people of the Cook Islands as are submitted to it by Parliament, and to express its opinion and make recommendations to Parliament. No legislative power.
(iii) Judicial Branch:
High Court (constituted by Justices of the Peace) - Justices of the Peace are appointed by the Queens Representative, acting on the advice of the Executive Council and sit in the High Court by virtue of the Judicature Act 1980-81.
High Court (constituted by a Judge) - established under the Constitution, it consists of the Chief Justice and any other Judge appointed by the Queens Representative acting on the advice of the Executive Council.
Court of Appeal - established under the Constitution, it consists of three Judges. The Chief Justice and puisne Judges of the High Court are Judges of the Court of Appeal and other Judges may be appointed by the Queens Representative acting on the advice of the Executive Council.
Privy Council - Appeal from decisions of the Court of Appeal to the Privy Council is allowed by statute in certain circumstances.
(See Court System for a full overview)
No formal regional government.