BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY - POLITICS AND LAW

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View of East Point, Diego Garcia from air

Politics and law

As a territory of the United Kingdom, the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. There is no Governor appointed to represent the Queen on the territory, as there are no longer any native inhabitants. The head of government is the Commissioner, currently Colin Roberts (since July 2008, replacing Leigh Turner) and Administrator John McManus (since April 2011, replacing Joanne Yeadon), all of whom reside in England. The Commissioner's representative in the territory is the officer commanding the detachment of British forces.



The laws of the territory are based on the constitution, set out in the British Indian Ocean Territory (Constitution) Order 2004, which gives the Commissioner full powers to make laws for the territory. Applicable treaties between the United Kingdom and the United States govern the use of the military base. The United States is required to ask permission of the United Kingdom to use the base for offensive military action.



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