The office of the Leader of the Opposition is established in the Constitution. Jamaica led the Commonwealth of Nations in the enshrinement of this office in the Constitution.
The Leader of the Opposition must be consulted on a number of important matters, such as the appointments of the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal and the members of the services commissions.
The Opposition Leader nominates eight of the 21 Senators, and since the votes of two-thirds of all the members of the Senate are required for parliamentary amendment of the most significant constitutional provisions, then at least one senator nominated by the Leader of the Opposition must support any constitutional amendment in order for it to gain parliamentary approval.
The Governor-General appoints as Leader of the Opposition, the member of the House of Representatives who can command the support of a majority of those members who do not support the Government. This is normally the leader of the minority party in the house.