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This information is being maintained for archive/historical purposes only.
It will not be updated.




Section 69 – 70

A Referendum is:

  • The process of national voting similar to a National Elections.
  • Usually used to garner national opinion on issues of national importance.
  • Most often used for certain national questions such as the adoption or amendment for a Constitution.

The Constitution highlights various ways in which a referendum can take place – on questions of national importance, including independence, people-initiated referendums and future constitutional changes whereby the United Kingdom does not object to a local referendum taking place on the issue.


The LA is able to enact referendum laws for questions of national importance as it did with the Referendum (Constitutional Modernisation) Bill in 2008. This continues under the new Constitution. Yet, if a MLA raises the question of independence in the LA with a view to holding a referendum, it will automatically be deemed a question of national importance and immediate steps taken to debate and pass an independant referendum bill.

People Initiated Referendums

To encourage public participation in governance and politics, the electorate is able to trigger a referendum by presenting to Cabinet a petition signed by 25% of the voting public. Once Cabinet receives a valid petition, it is responsible for wording the referendum question, and deciding the referendum date. A people-initiated referendum will only be legally binding, if more than 50% of the electorate vote in favour of the question. However, before this provision can be applied, a law must be enacted to direct the process of petitioning and the referendum.

Future Constitutional Changes

As part of the Constitutional package, Letters of Entrustment have been agreed by the United Kingdom and Cayman Islands Government.  One of the agreements is that future constitutional changes that are not minor or uncontroversial should be made by national referendum once the United Kingdom has no objections.

Last Updated: 2010-08-17