Commonwealth of St Lucia
EC dollar ($EC)
St Lucia is an independent state, located in the Caribbean island chain, north of St Vincent and the Grenadines and south of Martinique. It is part of the Windward Islands, situated in the Lesser Antilles. The original inhabitants of St Lucia, the Carib Indians, signed a treaty with France in 1660, making the French the first European settlers on the island. Between 1660 and 1814, St Lucia changed hands numerous times between the British and the French, however from 1814 until independence in 1979, St Lucia was administered by the British. This history of rule by both the British and the French has created a country with features representative of both, including in language, culture and notably, the legal system. The St Lucian legal system operates as a mixed jurisdiction, whereby the laws are rooted in both a civil system (based on the Quebec Civil Code of 1866) and a common law system. St Lucia is a member of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, an international organisation of 57 members. The aim of the organisation is to bring together states which have a relationship with France, predominantly through the language, but also those states with an affiliation to the French culture.
Amongst others, St Lucia is a member of CARICOM, the Commonwealth and the OECS. As a member of the OECS and its economic union, the currency of St Lucia is EC dollars ($EC). The capital city of St Lucia is Castries, and the island has a total population of approximately 178,000 in 2016, sitting on a landmass of 617 km sq. St Lucia is divided into 11 districts, as established by the French during their original inhabitation of the island and maintained by the British. Whist English is the official language of St Lucia, Kwéyòl, a creole French language, often referred to as Patois, is spoken by the majority of the population.
St Lucia operates as a Parliamentary Democracy and a Constitutional Monarchy. Under the Constitution, Queen Elizabeth II is the current Head of State, and the Prime Minister is the Head of Government. The Queen is represented locally by a Governor General. Parliament therefore consists of Her Majesty, an appointed Senate and an elected House of Assembly