Introduction

Gibraltar is located on a peninsula at the southern tip of Spain, linking the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. Gibraltar has a border with Spain of 1.2 kilometers. A small terrain of only 6.5 square kilometers consists of the Rock of Gibraltar, which is 426 meters at its highest point and a narrow coastal lowland heading to the Spanish border.

The climate is Mediterranean, with mild winters and warm summers. Gibraltar has no natural resources including water and arable land.

The country has total population of approximately 30,000, which includes ethnic groups of Spanish, Italian, English, Portuguese and Maltese origin. The official language of Gibraltar is English, but most citizens speak two languages Spanish and English. Italian and Portuguese are also spoken.

History

Gibraltar has been a British Colony since 1704. It obtained this status in 1830, now it is an overseas territory of the UK. The Chief of State is Queen Elizabeth II represented by a Governor and Commander-In-Chief. Gibraltar Constitution provides for full self-government of Gibraltar in all matters except for internal and external security, and foreign affairs. In 1967 Gibraltar's status was established as a tax haven, and now the country is developing as one of the major European offshore financial centres. Despite some pressure from Spain, Gibraltarians have overwhelmingly voted to remain a British dependency in referendums held in 1967 and 2002.

Currency

The Gibraltar pound Sterling, British pound sterling is in free circulation.

Exchange Control

None.

Legal System

Being a self-governing territory, Gibraltar enacts laws independently of the United Kingdom. However, its legal system is based on English common law and statute law, and therefore includes the advantages and security of British company and trust law.

The Constitution was adopted in Gibraltar in 1969, and is unique in the way out the division of power. According to the Constitution, the local Government is responsible for internal affairs; the responsibility of Great Britain is clearly defined and confined to defense, external affairs and the Judiciary. The Judicial Branch of Government consists of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. The final jurisdiction court is the Privy Council in the UK.