The Court System in Jamaica

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A court is a tribunal or governmental institution with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out administration of justice in civil, criminal and administrative matters. The legal tradition prominent in the Commonwealth Caribbean is that of the common law tradition, which originated in England, the court system of the territories is also influenced by tradition. The courts in the region are modeled on those of England. The power to create and regulate such court systems, however, is no longer derived from colonizing power, but from the written Constitutions and other local statutory instruments to be found in the territories which have gained independence. In the majority of the Commonwealth Caribbean the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council sits at the apex of this hierarchy of courts while others have replaced it with the Caribbean Court of Justice (the CCJ). Consequently, decisions of judgments emanating from the Privy Council or the Caribbean Court of Justice are the most authoritative in the hierarchy. Next in the hierarchical structure are the Courts of Appeal, then the Supreme Courts or High Courts followed by intermediate courts such as the Family Courts, Resident Magistrates' Courts and Juvenile Courts which are inferior courts and has the least authority.

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

This court is comprised of Law Lords of the United Kingdom and hears appeals from decisions of the Court of Appeal of Jamaica. Like most of the British Commonwealth, the final court of appeal in Jamaica and the Caribbean is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council which sits in England. Decisions of the Court of Appeal in Jamaica can be appealed to the Privy Council. The Privy Council's jurisdiction extends to most of the British Caribbean. The decisions are by way of advice to Her Majesty the Queen of England who is also Jamaica's Head of State () The section of the Jamaican Constitution Order in Council 1962...
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