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Supreme Court (Civil) Jurisdiction


The Supreme Court (Civil) has unlimited jurisdiction to hear and determine any civil proceedings.  The Chief Justice or an Acting Judge of the Supreme Court will hear any case brought in this court.

Civil proceedings is a broad term used to describe all matters before the court that are not criminal and may include matters such as disputes over money, property, land and claims for injury and loss.

Both the Magistrate's Court and the Summary Court also hold civil jurisdiction, but their powers are limited. In a matter where all courts hold jurisidction, it is only when the Magistrate's Court or Summary Court does not have sufficient powers to deal with a case that the Supreme Court shall exercise its civil jurisdiction. For example, the Magistrate's Court (Civil) has jurisdiction to hear cases valued up to £50,000. Where a claim valued is at more than £50,000 it will be heard in the Supreme Court (Civil). 

There are some areas of civil law that only the Supreme Court holds jurisdiction for, such as divorce, administration of estates, admiralty, defamation and some family law cases. In those circumstances the matter must be dealt with by the Chief Justice.

The Supreme Court (Civil) also has sole jurisidction to hear applications for judicial review, including those from the Coroner's Court, and to hear applications for redress of contraventions of the Constitution in the Falkland Islands.

In addition to this, the Court deals with appeals from both the Magistrate's and Summary Courts (Civil) in relation to decisions made by those courts.

The practice and procedure of the Supreme Court (Civil) is governed by the England and Wales Rules of the Supreme Court 1965 (as amended) and the Rules of the Supreme Court (S R & O No.3 of 1949). When dealing with civil appeals the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court shall be the same as the High Court or Crown Court in England. Please note - The Civil Procedure Rules of England and Wales do not apply in the Falkland Islands.

More detailed information has been provided in relation to some of the more common applications before the Supreme Court which may be accessed by clicking on the relevant drop down menu.