Time Zone: AST
Capital City: Road Town
Currency: US Dollar
Country Code: 284
Major Industry: Financial Services/Tourism
The BVI is an archipelago of more than 40 islands, rocks and cays located in the north-eastern Caribbean. Fifteen of these islands are populated, with the majority of the population found on four islands: Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada. The capital city of Road Town, which is the BVI’s main commercial centre, is on Tortola. The islands are located about 60 miles east of Puerto Rico and lie next to the US Virgin Islands.
The BVI is part of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court system. The territory’s judicial system consists of a Court of Appeals, High Court, Magistrate’s Court and an Office of the Registrar of the High Court. The highest court of appeal for the BVI is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London.
The BVI is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, with a large degree of internal self-government. The BVI has been under the British flag since 1672.
A thirteen-member unicameral House of Assembly is the highest law-making body in the Territory. Following an election, the majority political party forms the Government, and names the Premier, who in turn names four other Ministers of Government. The five Ministers of Government, along with the Attorney General as an ex officio member, form the Cabinet, which sets government policy. The Governor, who is appointed by the Queen, is responsible for the administration of the courts, internal security, defense and the public service; all other areas are the responsibility of the local Government.