Supreme Court

Criminal Court of First Instance

What is the Supreme Court?

All criminal proceedings are commenced in the Summary Court.  A case must be sent to the Supreme Court if the offence is an indictment offence.

Who is the Judge?

The Chief Justice sits in the Supreme Court.  For trials on indictment, the Chief Justice may also sit with a Jury of 7 people.  This is the decision of the Defendant, not the court. 

If the Chief Justice is unable to sit, the Acting Judge  of the Supreme Court may sit instead. 

How is a Jury Selected?

If a Defendant choses a trial by Judge and Jury, the Registrar of the Supreme Court will make arrangements for a 'jury in waiting' to attend on the day of the trial.  These will be members of the community who meet the following criteria;

  • Aged between 18 and 75
  • Registered as a voted on the Falkland Islands Register of Electors
  • Holds a permanent residence permit; or
  • Holds a work permit or residence permit (or is named as a dependent on a work permit or a residence permit) and has been ordinarily resident in the Falkland Islands for 12 months.

There are some who will be ineligible to serve on a jury due to their employment (e.g. Members of the Legislative Assembly, Police Officers).  There are also some who will be disqualified from serving, for example a person who has at any time been sentenced for a matter which would be recognised as a criminal offence within the Falkland Islands to imprisonment for life, custody for life, or to imprisonment or detention of 5 years or more. 

For more information please see Part 18 and Schedule 6 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Ordinance 2014.

What is the Sentencing Power of the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court may impose imprisonment for any period, or a fine of any amount, or both.   However, this is subject to the maximum penalty prescribed for an offence.

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