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Legal System

The legal system of Antigua and Barbuda is based on English Common Law. The judiciary, consisting of inferior and superior courts, holds the responsibility for decisions over cases. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, with headquarters in St Lucia, is responsible for the administration of justice in its member states, which includes Antigua and Barbuda.

The High Court has 16 judges, two of whom are permanently resident in the country and sit in the court of summary jurisdiction. The magistrates’ court has control over less serious cases. The Court of Appeal is itinerant.  The High Court’s jurisdiction includes fundamental rights and freedoms, and constitutional issues. In terms of the judiciary, the final appellate jurisdiction is currently the UK Privy Council; however there are plans to enable the Caribbean Court of Justice to fulfil this role.

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Dwight C.R. Gardiner