16.1 The island of Jamaica is situated in the Caribbean Sea to the south-east of Cuba and has a population of approximately three million. The capital is Kingston where the main port is located. A former British colony, the country gained its independence on 6 August 1962 and is now an independent parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth. The head of State is Queen Elizabeth II who is represented in Jamaica by the Governor-General. The legal system is based on English common law and the organs of government are the legislature (consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives), the executive (the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister) and the judiciary which is independent of both the legislature and the executive. The Prime Minister is the leader of the party having a majority of the 63 seats in the House of Representatives and is responsible for forming the government. The legal tender is the Jamaican dollar (JMD or J$).