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Registrar of the Supreme Court

By virtue of section 73 of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, Cap. 117A, the Registrar is responsible for the administration of the several departments or sections of the Supreme Court and of the Registration Office and shall be assisted by the Deputy and Assistant Registrars and such other officers as are necessary for the purpose of carrying out the Registrar’s functions under the Act and the several enactments vesting duties, authority and responsibility in the Registrar.

Section 75 of the Act establishes a distinct department of the Supreme Court referred to as the “Court Service” the function of which is, inter alia, “to facilitate the conduct of the business of all the courts in Barbados”.

Registrar’s Administrative Functions

In facilitating the business of the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the Magistrates’ Courts through the “Court Service” of the Registration Department, the Registrar’s administrative functions, as Head of Department, include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintaining regular liaison with the Chief Justice in his capacity as Head of the Judiciary, with a view to facilitating a two-way flow of information between the Office of the Registrar and the Office of the Chief Justice relating to all matters affecting the “Court Service” and the Judicature of this Island;
  • Implementing and giving effect to such directions and Practice Directions regarding the practice and procedure to be followed in the Supreme Court or the Magistrates’ Courts as may from time to time be issued by the Chief Justice pursuant to Rules of Court;
  • Implementing and giving effect to policy decisions of the Judicial Council on matters of jurisdiction and procedure and the administration of all the courts;
  • In consultation with the Chief Justice and the Judicial Council, actively administering the “Court Service”, including adopting systems and reforms designed to ensure that business of the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the Magistrates’ Courts is efficiently organized;
  • Preparing, publishing and maintaining the Supreme Court Hearing Lists in accordance with Practice Directions issued by the Chief Justice pursuant to Rules of Court;
  • Responding to queries and complaints of Judges and magistrates with respect to such matters as the state of the working environment and physical condition of the courts, security, missing court files or documents and staffing issues;
  • Hearing and providing solutions to queries and complaints from attorneys-at-law, prisoners, jurors, members of the public and other stakeholders when required;

Registrar’s Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Duties

The Registrar has power to transact all such business and exercise all such authority and jurisdiction as under the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, Cap. 117A or by Rules may be transacted and exercised by a Judge in Chambers. The Registrar shall, in particular, perform such duties as are necessary for the due conduct and discharge of the business of the Courts and as the Judges thereof may direct.

Additionally, the Registrar shall exercise such judicial and quasi-judicial functions as may be allocated to the Registrar by the Chief Justice in accordance with rule 2.4(3) of the Supreme Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2008, including, but not limited to:

  • Applications for the taxation of bills of costs in matters governed by the Rules of the Supreme Court, 1982;
  • Assessment of costs under the Supreme Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2008;
  • Taxation of Attorney/Client Bills of Costs for work done at the client’s request;
  • Applications under Part 7 for leave to serve process out of the jurisdiction;
  • Applications under Part 8.2(1)(b) for permission to issue and serve a Claim form without the statement of claim, affidavit or other document;
  • Applications under Part 8.11 for extension of time for service of a Claim form;
  • Requests under Part 12 for entry of Default Judgment;
  • Requests under Part 14 for entry of Judgment on Admissions;
  • Taking of an account in any case where by the Rules such account may be ordered to be taken by a Judge, and where, in a particular case, it has been ordered that the account be taken by the Registrar;
  • Applications for the Grant of probate or letters of administration or the resealing of a grant of probate or administration except where the proceedings are contentious;
  • Applications under Part 48 for provisional or final charging orders except where any objection cannot be resolved summarily;
  • Requests under Part 49.3 for issuance of a stop notice;
  • Judgment Summonses not involving the making of a committal order;
  • Applications for relief under section 13 of the Bills of Sale Act, Cap. 306;
  • Settling of appellate records in appeals from Magistrates’ Courts and the High Court in accordance with Parts 62.12 and 62.13;
  • Conducting judicial sales in Foreclosure proceedings under the Judicial Sale of Land Act, Cap. 227 and issuing Registrar’s conveyances when required;
  • Such other matters as the parties thereto may by consent in writing agree to refer to the Registrar.

Other Duties.

The Registrar also performs numerous miscellaneous duties, including:

  • Issuing jury summonses under the Juries Act, Cap.115A;
  • Sealing of documents and court orders and signing of all judgments, orders and directions of the court;
  • Signing Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates in accordance with the Registration Office Act, Cap. 33;
  • Administering oaths as an ex officio Justice of the Peace;
  • Performing duties as a Notary Public in and for the Island of Barbados;
  • Issuing Apostille certificates certifying the authenticity of public documents under the Public Documents (Exemptions from Diplomatic or Consular Legalization) Act, Cap. 122 in accordance with Barbados’ obligations under the 1961 Hague Convention.