Find Legal expertise in St Kitts and Nevis
- Legal System
St Kitts and Nevis’ legal system is based on English Common Law. Appeals are conducted first to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, and ultimately to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court is based in St Lucia and is the Supreme Court for member states in the region.
The legal profession in St Kitts and Nevis is a fused profession in which attorneys are court room advocates as well as solicitors. In contrast, foreign lawyers practicing in the country remain separated into barristers and solicitors. Solicitors qualified in England and Wales can be admitted to the Bar in St Kitts and Nevis if they have at least five years post qualification work experience, whereas other foreign qualified lawyers must additionally take a six month conversion course.
To standardise legal education in the Caribbean region the governments of Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands are members of the Council of Legal Education (CLE). The CLE has three law schools in the region based in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
Bar associations in the region are represented by two larger unifying bodies, the Organisation of Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Associations (OCCBA) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Bar Association. The St Kitts and Nevis Bar Association is represented by both larger organisations. In 2012 there were around 20 legal practitioners at the public bar in St Kitts and Nevis and over 80 practitioners at the private bar. There are around 40 law firms in the country.
Not included in the World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013.