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Home > The High Court

The High Court

The High Court is divided into three (3) Divisions, each exercising separate jurisdiction. A Judge of the High Court may sit in any Division.

The Divisions of the High Court are:

1. the Civil Division;

2. the Criminal Division; and

3. the Family Division.

Proceedings in the Civil and Family Divisions are heard before a Judge sitting alone, whereas in the Criminal Division, criminal cases or Indictments, are tried by a Judge sitting with a Jury.

Criminal matters invariably come before the Criminal Division after an accused person has been examined by a Magistrate at a preliminary inquiry and been committed to stand trial in the High Court. Additionally, provided that certain statutory conditions are met, an accused person may elect to bypass the preliminary inquiry stage and have his case committed for trial in the High Court utilizing a procedure known as a ‘Paper Committal’. In either case, following committal by the Magistrate, an Indictment may be issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions and filed with the Registrar of the Supreme Court. The issuance and filing of the Indictment marks the formal commencement of criminal proceedings in the High Court Criminal Division.

Part 60 of the Civil Procedure Rules gives the High Court jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from decisions of any tribunal or person under any enactment while Part 61  gives jurisdiction to hear an appeal by way of case stated or a reference on a question of law where provision is made under a particular enactment for such appeal or reference.