Cocos (Keeling) Islands: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands
conventional short form: Cocos (Keeling) Islands
etymology: the name refers to the abundant coconut trees on the islands and to English Captain William KEELING, the first European to sight the islands in 1609
Dependency statusnon-self governing territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport
Government typenon-self-governing overseas territory of Australia
CapitalWest Island West Island
geographic coordinates: 12 10 S, 96 50 E
time difference: UTC+6.5 (11.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisionsnone (territory of Australia)
Independencenone (territory of Australia)
National holidayAustralia Day, 26 January (1788)
Constitution23 November 1955 (Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act 1955); amended many times, last in 2010 (2016)
Legal systemcommon law based on the Australian model
Citizenshipsee Australia
Suffrage18 years of age
Executive branchchief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia General Sir Peter COSGROVE (since 28 March 2014)
head of government: Administrator (nonresident) Barry HAASE (since 6 October 2014)
cabinet: NA
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Australian prime minister; administrator appointed by for a 2-year term and represents the monarch and Australia
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Cocos (Keeling) Islands Shire Council (7 seats; members directly elected by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms with a portion of the membership renewed every 2 years)
elections: held every 2 years with half the members standing for election; last held in October 2015 (next to be held in October 2017)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): under the terms of the Territorial Law Reform Act 1992, Western Australia provides court services as needed for the island including the Supreme Court and subordinate courts (District Court, Magistrate Court, Family Court, Children's Court, and Coroners' Court)
Political parties and leadersnone
Political pressure groups and leadersThe Cocos Islands Youth Support Centre
International organization participationnone
Diplomatic representation in the USnone (territory of Australia)
Diplomatic representation from the USnone (territory of Australia)
Flag descriptionthe flag of Australia is used
National anthem
note: as a territory of Australia, "Advance Australia Fair" remains official as the national anthem, while "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see Australia)