The Gibraltar Parliament consists of:
(a) the Speaker; and
(b) at least seventeen Elected Members elected in such a manner and in such number as may be prescribed by any law which may prescribe a number in excess of seventeen Members if such increase or reduction has been approved by a motion supported by a two-thirds majority of the Members of the Parliament.
The Speaker is the only non Elected Member and is appointed by the Parliament by resolution passed by a simple majority of its Members and presented by the Chief Minister acting after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. The Speaker has no original or casting vote. He vacates his office on the dissolution of the Parliament.
As currently constituted the voting system allows for each elector to exercise a maximum of ten votes.
The Governor appoints as Chief Minister the Elected Member of the Parliament who in his judgement is most likely to command the greatest measure of confidence among the Elected Members of the Parliament.
The Chief Minister is also the Leader of the House and within the provisions of the procedural Standing Orders, calls the meetings and sets the agenda. The Standing Orders that regulate the proceedings of the Parliament are an abridged version of the one used in the House of Commons with variations to suit the nature of the Parliament. However, the privileges, the Standing Orders of the House of Commons and the Conventions explained in Erskine May (updated text book on Parliamentary practices at Westminster) are adopted in situations not adequately provided for in the Standing Orders of the Parliament.
There is provision for a Leader of the Opposition who has a special status both in the Parliament as the spokesman of the Elected Members in Opposition and in protocol as representative of the Opposition at official and other functions on matters outside the Parliament.
The life of the Parliament is four years but the Chief Minister can ask the Governor for its dissolution at any time.
Members of the public are allowed to listen and watch the proceedings from the “Strangers’ Gallery”. Journalists are suitably accommodated and the proceedings are broadcast live by Radio Gibraltar.