There are four different courts in Bermuda which include:
- Magistrates’ Court
- Supreme Court
- Court of Appeal
- Privy Council
The main function of the Magistrates’ Court is to decide on the summary of criminal matters. This Court studies the evidence and decides on a sentence, without a jury. If the Magistrate decides that your offence is extremely serious, then the case has to be sent to the Supreme Court. Appeals from judgements made in these courts are heard by the Supreme Court.
Criminal offences that are very serious are tried in the Supreme Court to be heard by a judge and jury. The most common examples are robberies, burglaries or when a person seriously injures or kills someone. Criminal and Civil trials are held in open court in one of the five Supreme Courtrooms.
The Court of Appeal entertains appeals from the Supreme Court. The Court sits three times a year, usually for three weeks at a time. Certain administrative and interlocutory matters can be dealt with by a judge of the Supreme Court exercising the powers conferred by the Act upon a Single Justice of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal entertains appeals from the Supreme Court. Any person not satisfied with a decision of the Court of Appeal can appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
Court Room Locations
Criminal and Civil Trials are held in open court in one of the five courtrooms listed below.
Many Supreme Court civil matters are, however, dealt with in the private office (or ‘Chambers’) of one of the Judges. This practice is used for all hearings short of the final trial, and for matters of an administrative nature. Such hearings are less formal than in open court, and counsel and the judge are not robed.
Court 1 is on the ground floor of the Sessions House, at 21 Parliament Street, Hamilton HM 12. The public entrance is on the east side of the building. Deliveries can be made to entrance on the west side, where access is controlled by an intercom.
Court 2 is upstairs in the Sessions House. The public entrance is on the east side of the building.
Court 3 is upstairs at 113 Front Street, Hamilton. The public entrance is from the yard in the rear (access from Court Street), and up covered outside steps.
Commercial Courts 1 &2 are located on the 2nd Floor of the Government Administration Building, 30 Parliament Street, Hamilton HM12.
The Chief Justice's Chambers is located on the 2nd Floor of the Government Administration Building, 30 Parliament Street, HM12.
The Chambers of the other Judges are situated in the Sessions House at 21 Parliament Street, Hamilton. Access is by the door on the west side of the building, and is controlled by an intercom.
The Administration of the Supreme Court is carried out by the Supreme Court Registry. This is where you file papers, and pay court fees or fines. It is situated at 113 Front Street, Hamilton.
If you have to attend court and are unsure which courtroom to attend, please call (441) 292-1350 in advance to inquire.