I - Introduction
The senate consists of seventeen (17) senators appointed by the Governor General. In the event of a senator's seat becoming temporarily vacant due to non-attendance, suspension or illness, the Governor General may nominate a replacement to take the senator's seat on a temporary basis.
II - System of Appointment
Term of office : 5 years. Most recent appointments : 12 March 2009.
Criteria for eligibility: 21 years of age, British Commonwealth citizen, residence for at least one month prior to the appointment, English mother tongue.
Ineligibility : citizen of a foreign power, undischarged bankrupt, suffering from mental illness, sentenced to death, sentenced to prison for one year or more, convicted of electoral fraud, convicted of any crime in the ten years prior to the appointment.
Incompatibilities : those who hold certain public offices, electoral officers, and ministers of religion. (parliamentary secretaries (secretaries of State) are appointed by the Governor General with the agreement of the Prime Minister from among members of the House of Representatives or from the senators. Similarly, a senator or member of the House of Representatives may be appointed on a temporary basis as a minister (in the event of absence from Antigua and Barbuda or illness). The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the appointment of senators.
III - Organization Of Session
The Governor General decides on the opening and closing date for senatorial business. No parliamentary sitting may be suspended for more than three consecutive months in the course of a parliamentary session (nor more than six months following the prorogation of Parliament, or four months following its dissolution). A parliamentary sitting must adjourn unless there is a quorum of six members (excluding the Speaker).
IV - Relations With The Other Chamber And The Executive
The Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda consists of Her Majesty the Queen of England, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
V - Composition Of The Senate
The Senate shall consist of seventeen persons who, being qualified for appointment as Senators in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, have been so appointed in accordance with the provisions of this section and such temporary members (if any) as may be appointed in accordance with the provisions of section 32 of this Constitution.
2. Ten Senators shall be appointed by the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.
3. Four Senators shall be appointed by the Governor-General acting in accordancewith the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.
4. One Senator shall be appointed by the Governor-General in his discretion from outstanding persons or persons representing such interests as the Governor-General considers ought to be represented in the Senate.
5. One Senator shall be appointed by the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Barbuda Council.
6. One Senator, being an inhabitant of Barbuda, shall be appointed by the GovernorGeneral in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.