Gibraltar is a UK Overseas Territory located at one of the most southerly tips of Western Europe. It is set within the central European time zone and is only two and a half hours flying time from London with flights also to other major cities in the UK. Although small geographically, Gibraltar has one of the most diversified and thriving small economies in Europe, built largely on shipping and port services, strong financial, gaming and property sectors and a growing tourism sector.
Gibraltar has its own legal system, a common law system modeled on that of the UK with English as its official language. This robust legal system, alongside its thorough and dynamic regulatory system and a favourable tax system, makes Gibraltar an attractive jurisdiction for businesses. The laws of Gibraltar are based on English laws but with their own variations to take into account local requirements. Gibraltar’s legal system is overseen by an independent judiciary and has a fused legal profession, where barristers and solicitors enjoy the same rights and privileges in terms of appearances in court and direct contact with clients.
Gibraltar is largely self-governing with its own democratically elected Parliament and its own constitution enacted in 2006. Through this Gibraltar Constitution, Gibraltar’s defence and foreign affairs fall under the responsibility of the UK government, and it is the UK government that appoints Gibraltar’s Governor, who is the representative of the Crown in Gibraltar. However, the Constitution also allows Gibraltar autonomy in all other areas of governance and thus it is able to maintain an independent tax status and enact its own laws.