Simon Bryan QC

  Simon Bryan QC Photo

 

 

The Chief Justice, Simon Bryan Q.C., studied law at Magdalene College Cambridge and graduated from Cambridge University in 1987 with a double-first class honours degree in law, following which he was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1988 by Lincoln's Inn. He has practised at the English Commercial Bar since 1989 specialising in shipping, energy and international commercial litigation. He was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 2006, a Recorder of the Crown Court in 2009 and a Deputy High Court Judge in 2013, sitting in the Administrative Court where he hears judicial review cases. The same year he was elected as a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn. He is also an arbitrator and mediator, and acts as an advocacy trainer for Lincoln's Inn. He was appointed Chief Justice of the Falkland Islands in May 2015 and also holds office as Chief Justice of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, Judge of the Supreme Court of the British Antarctic Terrority and Chief Justice of the British Indian Ocean Territory. The Chief Justice does not reside in the Falkland Islands and attends when required.

Martine Kushner

Martine Kushner web

 

 

 

Martine spent her early years at the Bar undertaking a common law practice including family, crime and personal injury. She has since specialised in family work covering all fields and representing all sides, parents, Local Authorities and children. She has sat as a Recorder (part-time Judge) for thirteen years in crime, family and civil.

She is a regular lecturer for Jordan’s Publishers for Human Rights, private and public law.

Martine co-authored ‘Family Law and the Human Rights Act 1998.

As Senior Magistrate for the Falkland Islands, Martine also acts as Acting Judge for the Supreme Court and holds office as Senior Magistrate for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the British Antarctic Territory. She is also Her Majesty’s Coroner for all three jurisdictions.

Justices of the Peace for the Falkland Islands

What is a Justice of the Peace?

The office of Justice of the Peace or JP has existed for hundreds of years. People holding the office perform an essential public service by dispensing justice within the criminal justice system and hearing a range of non-criminal cases.

The summary court is the first tier within the Falkland Islands' justice system. It comprises :

  • The Adult Court – for criminal cases involving people over 18.
  • The Youth Court – for cases involving young people aged from 10-17.
  • The Family Proceedings Court – where some family disputes are settled.
  • The hearing of employment matters - for individuals asserting their rights relating to their employment

Defendants who are found guilty in the summary court can appeal against the verdict or sentence to a more senior court. The prosecution has a more limited right to appeal, but only if the Justices have made an error of law. In practice, very few decisions are ever appealed.

Individual Justices do not hear cases on their own. They usually sit as one of a bench of three JPs, together with a qualified Legal Adviser who is there to advise on points of law and procedure.

The Falkland Islands currently has 11 active Justices of the Peace who sit regularly with their Legal Adviser to dispense justice in all manner of cases before the court. Below is some explanation of the categories of cases that they regularly deal with.

If you are interested in the work of the JPs please see the more detailed guidance at the bottom of this page. If you would like to become a JP please contact the court.

 

Criminal Cases

Everyone charged with a criminal offence is presumed innocent unless proved guilty, and is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time. JPs, just like other judges, have to make sure this happens in their courts.

All criminal cases start in the summary court. JPs will decide whether they feel they have sufficient sentencing powers to deal with the matter or if it ought to be dealt with by a court with greater sentencing powers.  The Justices may also decide that a matter should be dealt with by the Magistrate's Court because the defendant has other matters before the Magistrate's Court, or there is a co-accused already before the Magistrate's Court, or because the case may involve complex points of law, or because the matter is of particular public interest, or for any other reason that is in the interests of justice.

For those crimes JPs deal with, they set the timetable for hearings, decide bail, hear the evidence, decide whether the accused is guilty or innocent and, if guilty, decide on the most appropriate sentence.

Sentencing

When sentencing, JPs consider the details of the offending and any aggravating and mitigating factors. They then decide which sentence has the greatest chance of rehabilitating the offender, punishing them and preventing them from committing further offences.

Youth Courts

Most criminal cases involving young people aged 10 to 17 are dealt with in the Youth Court. The main aim of the Youth Court is to prevent offending and re-offending by young people.

Family Proceedings Courts

Some JPs are specially trained to deal with family cases. These are usually either when a young person is at risk of serious harm, or when there is a family dispute concerning children, often when parents have split up.

Licensing Courts

Justices are responsible for granting or refusing licences to people who want to sell alcohol to the public. This includes extending licensing hours for special events and hearing applications for occasional licences.

Collecting fines

Summary courts deal with people who fail to pay their fines and other financial penalties when they have been imposed by the Justices.

  

Serving as a Justice of the Peace: A detailed guide to becoming a JP