The Court of Appeal is a superior court of record and has only appellate jurisdiction meaning
that the court only hears appeals from the Supreme court and Resident Magistrate’s Courts.
The Court consists of the President of the Court of Appeal and six Judges of Appeal.
Judges of the Court of Appeal are appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of
the Judicial Services Commission. The Chief Justice and the President of the Court of Appeal
are appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister after
consultation with the Leader of Opposition.
Court of Appeal
Supreme Courts (Highest Instance)
The Supreme Court is the highest court of original jurisdiction in Jamaica.
The court has unlimited original jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters and hears
appeals from various administrative bodies and subordinate courts.
The Court has 6 Divisions: Civil, Criminal, the Gun Court, The Commercial Court,
The Revenue Court and the Review/ Constitutional Court.
The Circuit Court is the criminal jurisdiction of the Supreme Court that is
convened in Parishes (Districts) for the proper administration of justice.
The Court consists of the Chief Justice, a Senior Puisne Judge and at least twenty
other Puisne Judges. Puisne Judges must be Attorneys-at-law of at least
ten years standing. Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the Governor
General on the recommendation of the Judicial Services Commission.
Supreme Court of Jamaica
First Instance Courts
This Resident Magistrate’s Court presides over both civil and criminal matters.
There is a Resident Magistrate’s Court for every Parish and it has jurisdiction
within that Parish and one mile beyond its boundary line.
The Court consists of the following divisions:
The Family Court, the Juvenile Court, the Traffic Court, Gun Court,
Small Claims Court, the Drug Court and the Night Court.
The Resident Magistrate must be an Attorney-at-law of at least
five years standing. Resident Magistrates are appointed by the
Governor General and the Judicial Services Commission
Resident Magistrate Courts
Small Claims Court
Minor Courts Justices of the Peace
Petty Session Court
Jurisprudence (Case Law)
Court of Appeal Judgments
Supreme Court Judgments
The Courts of Jamaica Structure