Judiciary of Gibraltar
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The judiciary of Gibraltar is a branch of the Government of Gibraltar that interprets and applies the law of Gibraltar, to ensure equal justice under law, and to provide a mechanism for dispute resolution. The legal system of Gibraltar is based on English law and is a mix of common law and statute. The hierarchical system of courts includes a magistrates' court, a supreme court and a non-resident appellate court.
Court of Appeal
The next highest Court is the Court of Appeal. This Court is composed of an odd number of judges not less than three. The Chief Justice is an ex-officio member of the Court of Appeal but may not hear appeals of his own decisions.
Supreme Court of Gibraltar
The Supreme Court is composed of two judges — the Chief Justice and a further judge appointed by the Governor. The Court hears civil and criminal proceedings, including Family Jurisdiction, Court of Protection, Admiralty Jurisdiction and Ordinary (Chancery) Jurisdiction. The Supreme Court hears appeals from the Court of First Instance and the Magistrates' Court.
The lower courts are the Court of First Instance, comparable to a County Court in England and Wales — this court deals with civil litigation up to the value of £1,000, the Coroner's Court and the Magistrates' Court — this court hears mainly criminal and family cases. Below the Magistrates' Court, there are also tribunals for social security, tax and employment matters.
New courts were opened in September 2012 by the Minister of Justice Gilbert Licudi. The new purpose-built building houses seven courts, one for a Coroner, two for Magistrates and four supreme courts.