The Queen is head of state, and, on the advice of the Prime Minister, she appoints a Governor-General to be her representative in Jamaica. The Governor-General must have no affiliation to any
Neither the Queen nor the Governor-General has any real authority in conducting the administration of the country. Real legislative and executive responsibilities rest with the elected representatives of the people.
The Governor-General represents the Queen on ceremonial occasions such as the opening of
Parliament, the presentation of honours and military parades.
Under the Constitution, he is given authority to act in many matters e.g. in appointing and disciplining officers of the civil service, in proroguing Parliament and so on, but only in few cases is he empowered to act entirely on his own discretion. The Governor-General also exercises the
prerogative of mercy on behalf of the Queen.
In exercising the prerogative of mercy (including the power to grant pardon to any person who has been sentenced to death), the Governor-General acts on the advice of the Jamaican Privy Council.
Privy Council of Jamaica
The Privy Council of Jamaica consists of six members who are appointed by the Governor-General, after consultation with the Prime Minister. The functions of the Privy Council are usually limited to advising the Governor-General on the exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy and the discipline of the civil service, local government officers, and the police, in cases where appeals are made.