Government of the British Indian Ocean Territory

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The British Indian Ocean Territory, or in abbreviated form BIOT, is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. It is administered by a Commissioner, resident in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

Home of the British Representative in the Territory

In terms of law, the territory is governed by the laws of the UK, where applicable; and in the case of persons subject to United States military law a special agreement applies;[1] the laws of the territory are based on the constitution, set out in the British Indian Ocean Territory (Constitution) Order 2004,[2] which gives the Commissioner full powers to make laws for the territory.[3][4]

The chief of state from 6 February 1952 has been Queen Elizabeth II; the commissioner for the territory has been Tony Crombie since January 2004, and the administrator has been Charles A Hamilton since 2002. The commissioner and administrator are both resident in the UK; the representative of the British government on the island is Cdr D. Howard RN.

There are no elections on the territory; the position of the monarch is hereditary and the commissioner and administrator are appointed by the monarch.

Capital punishment is prohibited under the domestic law of the British Indian Ocean Territory, although in practice United States military law (which does provide for capital punishment) applies for most BIOT residents.

Chief Justices:


  1. ^ U.S./U.K. BIOT agreements, 1966-1987 Archived 2012-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "British Indian Ocean Territory (Constitution) Order 2004 - a Freedom of Information request to Privy Council Office". 9 November 2012.
  3. ^ British Indian Ocean Territory (British Overseas Territory), Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 34 September 2017.
  4. ^ Cormacain, R. ‘Prerogative legislation as the paradigm of bad law-making: the Chagos Islands’ (2013) 39 Commonwealth Law Bulletin 487.
  5. ^ "Spry, Sir John Farley (1910-1999) Knight" (PDF). Middle East Centre, St Antony’s College. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  6. ^ The International Who's Who 2004
  7. ^ "Simon Bryan QC appointed as Chief Justice of the Falkland Islands and Other Overseas Territories". Essex Court. Retrieved 21 June 2016.

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