The Judicature

CHAPTER VII THE JUDICATURE

PART 1 SUPREME COURT

81. Establishment of Supreme Court

1. There shall be for Barbados a Supreme Court of Judicature, consisting of a High Court and a Court of Appeal, with such jurisdiction, powers and authority as may be conferred upon those Courts respectively by this Constitution or any other law.

2. The judges of the Supreme Court shall be the Chief Justice and such number of Puisne Judges as may be prescribed by Parliament.

3. No office of Puisne Judge shall be abolished while there is a substantive holder thereof.

4. The Supreme Court shall be a superior court of record and, save as otherwise provided by Parliament, shall have all the powers of such a court.

82. Appointment of Judges

1. The Chief Justice shall be appointed by the Governor General, by instrument under the Public Seal, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation with the leader of the Opposition.

2. The Puisne Judges shall be appointed by the Governor General, by instrument under the Public Seal, acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission.

3. The qualifications for appointment as a Judge shall be such as may be prescribed by any law for the time being in force:
Provided that a person who has been appointed as a Judge may continue in office notwithstanding any subsequent variations in the qualifications so prescribed.

83. Acting Judges

1. If the office of Chief Justice is vacant or if the holder thereof is performing the functions of the office of Governor General or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office, then, until a person has been appointed to that office and assumed its functions or, as the case may be, until the holder thereof has resumed those functions, they shall be performed by such other person, qualified under section 81(3) for appointment as a Judge, as the Governor General, acting on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, may appoint to act as Chief Justice by instrument under the Public Seal.

2. If the office of a Puisne Judge is vacant, or if any such Judge is appointed to act as Chief Justice or is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office, or if the Chief Justice advises the Governor General that the state of business of the Supreme Court so requires, the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, may, by instrument under the Public Seal, appoint a person qualified under section 81(3) for appointment as a Judge to act as a Judge, and any person so appointed shall continue to act until his appointment is revoked by the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission.

3. A person may be appointed under the provisions of this section to act as Chief Justice or other Judge notwithstanding that he has attained the age at which that office is required by section 84(1) to be vacated by the holder thereof.

4. Any person so appointed may, notwithstanding that the period of his appointment has expired or his appointment has been revoked, sit as a Judge for the purpose of delivering judgment or doing any other thing in relation to proceedings which were commenced before him while he was acting as such.

84. Oaths to be taken by Judges

A Judge shall not enter upon the duties of his office until he has taken and subscribed the oath of allegiance and the judicial oath in the form set out in the First Schedule.

85. Tenure of office of Judges

1. Subject to the following provisions of this section, a person holding the office of a Judge shall vacate office when he attains the age of sixty five years:
Provided that the Governor General, acting in the case of the Chief Justice on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or in the case of any other Judge in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, may permit a Judge who attains the age of sixty five years to continue in office until he has attained such later age, not exceeding sixty seven years, as may have been agreed between the Governor General and that Judge.

2. Notwithstanding that he has attained the age at which he is required by the provisions of this section to vacate his office, a person may sit as a Judge for the purpose of delivering judgment or doing any other thing in relation to proceedings which were commenced before him before he attained that age.

3. A Judge may be removed from office only for inability to discharge the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) or for misbehavior, and shall not be so removed except in accordance with the provisions of subsection (4).

4. A Judge shall be removed form office by the Governor General, by instrument under the Public Seal, if the question of the removal of that Judge form office has, at the request of the Governor General, made in pursuance of subsection (5), been referred by Her majesty to the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty's Privy Council and the Judicial Committee has advised Her Majesty that the Judge ought to be removed from office for inability as aforesaid or for misbehavior.

5. If the Prime Minister (in the case of the Chief Justice) or the Chief Justice after consultation with the Prime Minister (in the case of any other Judge) advises the Governor General that the question of removing a Judge form office for inability as aforesaid or for misbehavior ought to be investigated, then -
  1. the Governor General shall appoint a tribunal which shall consist of a Chairman and not less than two other members selected by the Governor General in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister (in the case of the Chief Justice) or of the Chief Justice (in the case of any other Judge) from among person who hold or have held office as a judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such court:
  2. that tribunal shall enquire into the matter and report on the facts thereof to the Governor General and advise the Governor General whether he should request that the question of the removal of that Judge should be referred by Her Majesty to the Judicial Committee: and
  3. if the tribunal so advises, the Governor General shall request that the question should be referred accordingly.
6. The provisions of the Second Schedule shall apply in relation to tribunals appointed under subsection (5).

7. If the question of removing a Judge from office has been referred to a tribunal appointed under subsection (5), the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister (in the case of the Chief Justice) or of the Chief Justice after the Chief Justice has consulted with the Prime Minister (in the case of any other Judge), may suspend the Judge from performing the functions of his office.

8. Any such suspension may at any time be revoked by the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister or the Chief Justice (as the case may be), and shall in any case cease to have effect -
  1. if the tribunal advises the Governor General that he should not request that the question of the removal of the Judge from office should be referred by Her Majesty to the Judicial Committee: or
  2. the Judicial Committee advises Her Majesty that the Judge ought not to be removed from office.
9. The provisions of this section shall be without prejudice to the provisions of section 82(2)

PART 2 APPEALS

86. Constitution of Court of Appeal

1. Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), the Court of Appeal established by Part 1 of this Chapter shall be constituted by three Judges sitting together.

2. A Judge shall not sit as a Judge of the Court of Appeal on the hearing of an appeal -
  1. from any decision given by himself or any decision given by any court of which he was sitting as a member; or
  2. against a conviction or sentence if he was the judge by or before whom the appellant was convicted.

87. Other arrangements for appeals

1. Notwithstanding anything contained in Part 1 of this Chapter, Parliament may make provision -
  1. for implementing arrangements made, between the Government of Barbados and the Government or Governments of any other part of parts of the Commonwealth relating to the establishment of a court of appeal to be shared by Barbados with that part or those parts of the Commonwealth, and for the hearing and determination by such a court of appeals from decisions of any court in Barbados; or
  2. for the hearing and determination of appeals from decisions of any court in Barbados by a court established for any other part of the Commonwealth.
2. A law enacted in pursuance of subsection (1) may provide that the jurisdiction conferred on any such court as is referred to in that subsection shall be to the exclusion, in whole or in part, of the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal established by Part 1 of this Chapter; and during any period when jurisdiction is so conferred to the exclusion of the whole jurisdiction of the said Court of Appeal, Parliament may suspend the provisions of the said Part 1 establishing that Court.

3. In subsection (1) the expression "any court in Barbados" includes the Court of Appeal established by Part 1 of this Chapter.

88. Appeals relating to fundamental rights and freedoms

1. An appeal to the Court of Appeal shall lie as of right form final decisions of the High Court given in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on the High Court by section 24 (which relates to the enforcement for fundamental rights and freedoms).

2. An appeal shall lie as of right to Her Majesty in Council from any decision given by the Court of Appeal in any such case.

3. In this section "the Court of Appeal" means such court as may be vested with jurisdiction to hear appeals from any court in Barbados in pursuance of section 86 or, if there is no such court, the Court of Appeal established by Part 1 of this Chapter.

89. Appeals to Her Majesty in Council in other cases

1. Parliament may provide for an appeal to lie from -
  1. decision of the Court of Appeal established by Part 1 of this Chapter; or
  2. decisions of any other court in exercise of jurisdiction conferred by a law enacted in pursuance of section 86(1), to Her Majesty in Council, either as of right or with the leave of the said Court of Appeal or other court, as the case may be, in such cases other than those referred to in section 87(2) as may be prescribed by Parliament.
2. Nothing in this Constitution shall effect any right of Her Majesty to grant special leave to appeal from decision such as are referred to in subsection (1).