The government system in the Kingdom of Bahrain is democratic, sovereignty being in the hands of the people, the source of all powers. The system of government rests on the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers while maintaining cooperation among them in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. None of the three powers may assign all or part of its powers to another power. However, limited legislative delegation for a particular period and on specific subject(s) is permissible, whereupon the powers shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of the Delegation Law.
Legislative power is vested in the King and the National Assembly in accordance with the Constitution. Executive power is vested in the King together with the Cabinet and the ministers, and judicial rulings are issued in the King’s name. The King is the Head of the State, and its supreme representative, and his person is inviolate. He is the loyal protector of the religion and the homeland, and the symbol of national unity.
The King safeguards the legitimacy of the government and the supremacy of the constitution and the law, and cares for the rights and freedoms of individuals and organisations. The King exercises his powers directly and through his ministers. Ministers are jointly answerable to him for general government policy, and each Minister is answerable for the business of his ministry.
The King appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister by Royal Order, and appoints and dismisses ministers by Royal Decree. The King appoints and dismisses members of the Consultative Council (Shura Council) by Royal Order.
The King is the Supreme Commander of the Defence Force. He Commands it and charges it with national tasks within the homeland and outside it. The Defence Force is directly linked to the King, and maintains the necessary secrecy in its affairs. The King chairs the Higher Judicial Council. The King appoints judges by Royal Order, as proposed by the Higher Judicial Council.
The King awards honours and decorations in accordance with the law. The King establishes, grants and withdraws civilian and military ranks and other honorary titles by Royal Order, and can delegate others to carry out these functions on his behalf. The currency is issued in the name of the King in accordance with the law. Upon ascending the throne, the King takes the following oath at a special meeting of the National Assembly:
“I swear by Allah Almighty that I shall respect the Constitution and the laws of the State, that I shall defend the freedoms, interests and assets of the people, and that I shall safeguard the independence of the nation and the integrity of its territories.”
Public powers in the Kingdom of Bahrain are traditional divided into three key powers (the legislative, the executive and the judiciary). These powers represent the concept of the state. They work independently or cooperatively. The Constitution governs the method of their work, their administrative organisation and the relationship among them and their relationship with the individuals. These powers have the following functions
- The Legislative Power exercises legislative and oversight functions. Legislation is the enactment of laws, while oversight is supervising the performance of the Executive. Legislation is vested in the King and the National Assembly with its two chambers, the Council of Representatives and the Consultative (Shura) Council.
- The Executive Power implements laws and cares for the interests of the country. The Executive Power is vested in the King and Cabinet which consists of the Prime Minister and the Ministers.
- The Judicial Power specialises in implementation of the rule of law in disputes among individuals or between individuals and the various authorities in the country.