Summary Court


What is the Summary Court?

All criminal proceedings are commenced in the Summary Court.  A case may be allocated to the Magistrate's Court, or Sent to the Supreme Court but the majority will stay in the Summary Court.

Who is the Judge?

The Justices of the Peace sit in the Summary Court.  There will ordinarily be 3 Justices' sitting in court, but they are able to sit with just 2.  The Justices of the Peace sit with a legally qualified Clerk who provides them with legal advice about the case and court procedure.

Justices of the Peace also perform a number of judicial functions outside of the court room, namely;

  • Deciding on applications for Search Warrants
  • Deciding on applications for Telecommunications Warrants
  • Swearing in Royal Falkland Islands Police Officers

What is Committal/Transfer/Allocation/Sending from the Summary Court?

  • Committal  - after conviction, the Summary Court may commit a matter for sentence to the Magistrate's Court if they believe that the likely sentence imposed will exceed their limit.
  • Transfer - a case may be transferred between the Summary Court and Magistrate's Court for case management  purposes prior to trial, or enforcement after the conclusion.
  • Allocation - all cases start in the Summary Court.  On first appearance if a not guilty plea is entered,  in certain circumstances including if a matter is likely to exceed the powers of the Summary Court, it may make an order allocating the case to the Magistrate's Court for the trial.
  • Sending - If a case relates to an indictable offence the Summary Court must send it for hearing to the Supreme Court. 

What is the Sentencing Power of the Summary Court?

The Summary can impose a maximum of 6 months' imprisonment (for a single offence or, if more than one offence, the aggregate sentence) and/or a fine of £5000.

For information about how a sentence is decided please see The Overarching Sentencing Guideline