Supreme Court Act


Published: 1997-01-01

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Supreme Court Act
SUPREME COURT [CH.53 – 1





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

SUPREME COURT
CHAPTER 53

SUPREME COURT

LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES
1 - 2 LRO 1/2010
3 - 4 LRO 1/2008
5 - 6 LRO 1/2010
7 - 8 LRO 1/2008
9 - 38 Original
39 - 40 LRO 1/2010
41 - 45 Original

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS


PART I
PRELIMINARY


SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.

PART II
JUDGES OF THE COURT


3. Number of Justices.
4. Qualifications of judges.
5. Powers of single judge in court or in chambers.
6. Proceeding to be disposed of by single judge.


PART III
JURISDICTION OF THE COURT


7. General jurisdiction of Court.
8. Admiralty jurisdiction of the Court.
9. Mode of exercise of admiralty jurisdiction.
10. Jurisdiction in personam of Court in collision and other similar cases.
11. Savings.
12. Interpretation.
13. Probate jurisdiction.
14. Matrimonial jurisdiction.

PART IV
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

15. Rules as to exercise of jurisdiction.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

16. Law and equity to be concurrently administered.
17. Orders of mandamus, prohibition and certiorari.
18. Injunction restraining persons from acting in offices.
19. Application for judicial review.
20. Application for habeas corpus.
21. Injunctions and receivers.
22. Orders of interim payments.
23. Powers of Court exercisable before action commenced.
24. Power of Court to order closure, etc., of documents before

commencement of proceedings.
25. Power or Court to order disclosure, etc. by person not a party after

action commenced.
26. Provisions supplementary to sections 23, 24 and 25.
27. Application to Crown.
28. Execution of instruments by order of the Court.
29. Restriction on institution of vexatious actions.
30. Costs.

PART V
PROBATE CAUSES AND MATTERS


31. Power to grant probate administration where no estate.
32. Application for grants.
33. Records or grants.
34. Power to grant representation of real and personal estate separately or

together.
35. Subpoena to bring in testamentary document.
36. Examination of person with knowledge of testamentary document.
37. Summons to executor to prove or renounce will.
38. Power to revoke administration or probate.
39. Administration bond.
40. Section 39 not to apply to Public Trustee.
41. Provision for rectifying mistakes of omission without fraud.
42. Provisions as to number or personal representative.
43. Power to grant representation to a trust corporation.
44. Discretion of court as to persons to whom administration may be

granted.
45. Administration pendente lite.
46. Grant of special administration where personal representative is abroad.
47. Administration during minority of executor.
48. Administration with will annexed.
49. Resealing of grants.
50. Deposits to credit of deceased persons, how dealt with.
51. Grants to consular officers.
52. Interpretation for the purposes of Part V.



PART VI
SITTINGS OF COURT, MODE OF TRIAL,

ADJOURNMENT

53. Court House.

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS


54. Sittings: criminal matters.
55. Sittings: civil actions.
56. Civil actions: mode of trial.
57. Sittings in Chambers.
58. Powers as to adjournment.


PART VII
JUDGMENTS


59. Power of Provost Marshal to attach money, cheques and other

securities by writs of execution.
60. Power to hold securities and sue for recovery of amounts secured.
61. Payment to Provost Marshal discharge for amount paid.
62. Provost Marshal to pay money recovered in discharged debt and any

surplus to be paid to judgment debtor.
63. Equitable charges in right judgment debt.
64. Receivers.


PART VIII
OFFICES AND OFFICERS OF THE COURT


65. Registrar.
66. Office of Registrar.
67. Deputy Registrars and Assistant Registrars.
68. Master.
69. Taxing masters.
70. Admiralty marshal.
71. Bailiffs.
72. Provost Marshal.


PART IX
MISCELLANEOUS


73. Power to administer oaths.
74. Seal of the Court.
75. Rules Committee.
76. Rules of Court.
77. Record of court proceedings.

SCHEDULE — Persons Empowered to Administer Oaths









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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 53

SUPREME COURT
An Act to consolidate with amendments the Supreme

Court Act and other written laws relating to the Supreme
Court in The Bahamas and the administration of justice
therein; to repeal certain obsolete or unnecessary written
laws so relating; and for connected purposes.

[Assent 2nd July, 1996]
[Commencement 1st January, 1997]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1. This Act may be cited as the Supreme Court Act.
2. In this Act —
“action” means a civil proceeding commenced by writ

or in such other manner as may be prescribed by
rules, but does not include a criminal proceeding
by the Crown;

“cause” includes any action, suit or original proceed-
ing between a plaintiff and a defendant and any
criminal proceeding by the Crown;

“Court” means the Supreme Court established under
Article 93 of the Constitution;

“defendant” includes any person served with any writ
of summons or process, or served with notice
of, or entitled to attend, any proceedings;

“former” and “formerly” mean, save where otherwise
in this Act provided, immediately prior to the
commencement of this Act;

15 of 1996
24 of 1998
9 of 2006
6 of 2008

Short title.

Interpretation.

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“judge” means the Chief Justice or any justice
appointed under Article 94 or 95 of the
Constitution;

“judgment” includes decree;
“matrimonial cause” means any action for divorce,

nullity of marriage or judicial separation;
“matter” includes every proceeding in court not in a

cause;
“party” means every person who pursuant to or by

virtue of rules of court or any other written law
has been served with notice of or has intervened
in any proceeding although not named in the
record;

“petitioner” includes every person making any
application to the Court either by petition,
motion or summons, otherwise than as against a
defendant;

“plaintiff” includes every person asking any relief
(otherwise than by way of counterclaim) against
any other person by any form of proceeding
whether the proceeding is by action, suit,
petition, motion, summons or otherwise;

“pleading” includes any petition or summons and
also includes the statements in writing of the
claim or demand of any plaintiff, and of the
defence of any defendant thereto, and of the
reply of the plaintiff to any counterclaim of a
defendant;

“prescribed” means prescribed by rules;
“repealed Act” means the Supreme Court Act

repealed by this Act;
“rules” means rules of court made under section 76

and includes forms;
“suit” includes action.

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

PART II
JUDGES OF THE COURT

3. (1) There shall be in addition to the Chief Justice
not more than eleven and not less than two Justices of the
Court.

(2) The title of Senior Justice may be conferred upon
any number of Justices (not exceeding two in number) by the
Governor-General under the Public Seal acting on the advice
of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission.

(3) The Court shall be deemed to be fully constituted
during and notwithstanding any vacancy in the office of any
judge.

4. A person shall be qualified to be a judge of the
Court —

(a) if such person is a counsel and attorney who is a
member of the Bar of The Bahamas and has
practised as such for a period of not less than ten
years;

(b) if such person is a counsel who is a member of
the Bar of a Commonwealth country
membership of which is a qualification for
admission to practice as counsel and attorney in
The Bahamas and has practised as counsel for a
period of not less than ten years.

5. (1) Subject to this or any other Act and to rules
of court, a judge may exercise in court or in chambers all
or any part of the jurisdiction vested in the Court in all
such causes and matters and in all such proceedings in any
causes or matters as might formerly have been heard in
court or in chambers, respectively, by a single judge of the
Supreme Court, or as may be directed of authorized to be
so heard by rules of court or by or in pursuance of any Act
passed after the commencement of the repealed Act, that is
to say, the ninth day of August, 1897, and for the time
being in force.

Number of
Justices.

9 of 2006.

Qualifications of
judges.

Powers of single
judge in court or
in chambers.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

(2) Subject to subsection (3), any judge sitting alone
shall be qualified to exercise all the jurisdiction, authority
and powers of the court.

(3) The Rules Committee may make rules under
section 76 prescribing the jurisdiction, authority and
powers of the court which shall be exercised by two or
more judges sitting together.

6. Subject to this or any other Act and to rules of
court, every proceeding in the Court in its civil jurisdiction
and all business arising therefrom shall, so far as is
practicable and convenient, be heard and disposed of
before a single judge, and all proceedings in an action
subsequent to the hearing or trial shall so far as is practical
and convenient, be taken before the judge before whom the
trial or hearing took place.

PART III
JURISDICTION OF THE COURT

7. (1) Subject to this or any other law, the Court shall
have —

(a) unlimited original jurisdiction in civil and
criminal causes and matters; and

(b) such appellate jurisdiction as may be conferred
upon it by this or any other law.

(2) For the proper exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction,
the Chief Justice may, by order, establish divisions of the Court
for the hearing of specific matters.

8. (1) The admiralty jurisdiction of the Court shall
be to hear and determine any of the following questions or
claims —

(a) any claim to the possession or ownership of a
ship or to the ownership of any share therein;

(b) any question arising between the co-owners of a
ship as to possession, employment or earnings
of that ship;

(c) any claim in respect of a mortgage of or a charge
on a ship or any share therein;

(d) any claim for damage done by a ship;

Proceeding to be
disposed of by
single judge.

General jurisdic-
tion of Court.

Admiralty juris-
diction of the
Court.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(e) any claim for damage received by a ship;
(f) any claim for loss of life or personal injury

sustained in consequence of any defect in a ship
or in its apparel or equipment or of the wrongful
act, neglect or default of the owners, charterers
or persons in possession or control of a ship or
of the master or crew thereof or of any other
person for whose wrongful acts, neglects or
defaults the owners, charterers or persons in
possession or control of a ship are responsible,
being an act, neglect or default in the navigation
or management of the ship, in the loading,
carriage or discharge of goods on, in or from the
ship or in the embarkation, carriage or
disembarkation of persons on, in or from the
ship;

(g) any claim for loss of or damage to goods carried
in a ship;

(h) any claim arising out of any agreement relating
to the carriage of goods in a ship or to the use or
hire of a ship;

(i) any claim in the nature of salvage;
(j) any claim in the nature of towage in respect of a

ship or an aircraft;
(k) any claim in the nature of pilotage in respect of a

ship or an aircraft;
(l) any claim in respect of goods or materials

supplied to a ship for its operation or
maintenance;

(m) any claim in respect of the construction, repair
or equipment of a ship or dock charges or dues;

(n) any claim by a master or member of the crew of
a ship for wages and any claim by or in respect
of a master or member of the crew of a ship for
any money or property which, under any of the
provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, is
recoverable as wages in the court and in the
manner in which wages may be recovered;

(o) an claim by a master, shipper, charterer or agent
in respect of disbursements made on account of
a ship;

Ch. 268.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(p) any claim arising out of an act which is or is
claimed to be a general average act;

(q) any claim arising out of bottomry;
(r) any claim for the forfeiture or condemnation of a

ship or of goods which are being or have been
carried or have been attempted to be carried in a
ship or for the restoration of a ship or any such
goods after seizure or for droits of Admiralty;

together with any other jurisdiction which was formerly
vested in the Court as being a court with admiralty
jurisdiction.

(2) The jurisdiction of the Court under paragraph
(b) of subsection (1) includes power to settle any account
outstanding or unsettled between the parties in relation to
the ship and to direct that the ship or any share thereof
shall be sold and to make such other order as the court
thinks fit.

(3) The reference in paragraph (i) of subsection (1)
to claims in the nature of salvage includes a reference to
such claims for services rendered in saving life from a ship
or an aircraft or in preserving cargo, apparel or wreck.

(4) The provisions of subsections (1) to (3) apply —
(a) in relation to all ships or aircraft, whether

Bahamian or not and whether registered or not
and wherever the residence or domicile of their
owners may be;

(b) in relation to all claims, wheresoever arising
(including, in the case of cargo or wreck
salvage, claims in respect of cargo or wreck
found on land); and

(c) so far as they relate to mortgages and charges, to
all mortgages or charges, whether legal or
equitable, including mortgages and charges
created under foreign law:

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall be
construed as extending the cases in which money or
property is recoverable under any of the provisions of the
Merchant Shipping Act or the Civil Aviation Act.

Ch. 268.
Ch. 284.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

9. (1) Subject to section 10, an action in personam
may be brought in the Court in all cases within the jurisdiction
of the Court.

(2) In the cases mentioned in paragraphs (a), (b), (c)
and (r) of subsection (1) of section 8 an action in rem may
be brought in the Court against the ship, aircraft or
property in question.

(3) In any case in which there is a maritime lien or
other charge on any ship, aircraft or other property an
action in rem may be brought in the court against that ship,
aircraft or property for the amount claimed.

(4) In the case of any such claim as is mentioned in
paragraphs (d) to (q) of subsection (1) of section 8,
where —

(a) the claim arises in connection with a ship; and
(b) where the person who would be liable on the

claim in an action in personam was, when the
cause of action arose, the owner or charterer of,
or in possession or in control of the ship,

an action in rem may (whether the claim gives rise to a
maritime lien on the ship or not) be brought in the court
against —

(i) that ship, if at the time when the action is
brought it is beneficially owned as respects all
the shares therein by that person; or

(ii) any other ship which, at the time when the
action is brought, is beneficially owned as
aforesaid.

(5) In the case of a claim in the nature of towage or
pilotage in respect of an aircraft, an action in rem may he
brought against that aircraft, if at the time when the action
is brought it is beneficially owned by the person who
would be liable on the claim in an action in personam.

(6) Notwithstanding anything in subsections (1) to
(5) the admiralty jurisdiction of the Court shall not be
invoked by an action in rem in the case of any such claim
as is mentioned in paragraph (n) of subsection (1) of
section 8 unless the claim relates wholly or partly to wages
(including any sum allotted out of wages or adjudged by
the Director of Maritime Affairs to be due by way of
wages).

Mode of exercise
of admiralty
jurisdiction.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(7) Where, in the exercise of its admiralty jurisdiction
the Court orders any ship, aircraft or other property to be
sold, the Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and
determine any question arising as to the title to the
proceeds of sale.

(8) In determining for the purposes of subsections
(4) and (5) whether a person would be liable on a claim in
an action in personam it shall be presumed that the person
is ordinarily resident or has a place of business within The
Bahamas.

10. (1) This section shall apply to claims for damage,
loss of life or personal injury arising out of a collision
between slips or out of the carrying out of or omission to
carry out a manoeuvre in the case of one or more of two or
more ships or out of non-compliance, on the part of one or
more of two or more ships, with the collision regulations.

(2) The Court shall not entertain any action in
personam to enforce such claims unless —

(a) the defendant is ordinarily resident or has a
place of business within The Bahamas;

(b) the cause of action arose within the territorial
waters of The Bahamas; or

(c) an action arising out of the same incident or
series of incidents is proceeding in the Court or
has been heard and determined in the Court.

(3) For the purpose of subsection (2) the expression
“territorial waters of The Bahamas” includes any port,
dock or harbour of The Bahamas.

(4) The Court shall not entertain any action in
personam to enforce such claims until any proceedings
previously brought by the plaintiff in any court outside The
Bahamas against the same defendant in respect of the same
incident or series of incidents have been discontinued or
otherwise come to an end.

(5) The provisions of subsections (2) to (4) shall apply
to counterclaims (not being counterclaims in proceedings
arising out of the same incident or series of incidents) as
they apply to actions in personam, but as if the references
to the plaintiff and the defendant were respectively
references to the plaintiff on the counterclaim and the
defendant to the counterclaim.

Jurisdiction in
personam of
Court in collision
and other similar
cases.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(6) The provisions of subsections (2) to (5) shall not
apply to any action or counterclaim if the defendant thereto
submits or has agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of the
Court.

(7) Subject to subsection (4), the Court shall have
jurisdiction to entertain an action in personam to enforce
such claims whenever any of the conditions specified in
paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of subsection (2) are satisfied,
and the rules of court relating to the service of process
outside the jurisdiction shall make such provision as may
appear to the Rules Committee to be appropriate having
regard to this subsection.

(8) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared
that this section applies in relation to the jurisdiction of the
Court not being its admiralty jurisdiction, as well as in
relation to its admiralty jurisdiction, if any.

11. Nothing in this Act shall —
(a) be construed as limiting the jurisdiction of the

Court to refuse to entertain an action for wages
by the master or a member of the crew of a ship,
not being a Bahamian ship;

(b) affect the provisions of section 237 of the
Merchant Shipping Act;

(c) affect proceedings in respect of any cause of
action arising before the commencement of this
Act;

(d) authorise proceedings in rem in respect of any
claim against the Crown or the arrest, detention
or sale of any of Her Majesty’s ships or Her
Majesty’s aircrafts, or of any cargo or other
property belonging to the Crown.

12. For the purposes of sections 8 to 11 —
“collision regulations” has the same meaning as in

section 2 of the Merchant Shipping Act;
“goods” includes baggage;
“master” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the

Merchant Shipping Act and accordingly includes
every person (except a pilot) having command or
charge of a ship;

Savings.

Ch. 268.

Interpretation.
Sections 8 to 11.

Ch. 268.

Ch. 268.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

“ship” includes any description of vessel used in
navigation;

“towage” and “pilotage” in relation to an aircraft
mean towage and pilotage while the aircraft is
water borne.

13. Subject to the provisions of Part V, the Court
shall have all such jurisdiction in relation to probates and
letters of administration as it formerly had and in particular
all such contentious and non-contentious jurisdiction in
relation to —

(a) testamentary causes or matters;
(b) the grant, amendment or revocation of probate

and letters of administration; and
(c) the real and personal estate of deceased persons.
14. (1) The Court shall have such jurisdiction in

relation to matrimonial causes and matters as is vested in
it by the Matrimonial Causes Act or any other law.

(2) No person shall after the commencement of
this Act be entitled to petition the Court for restitution of
conjugal rights.

PART IV
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

15. The jurisdiction vested in the Court shall so far
as regards procedure and practice, be exercised —

(a) in the manner provided by this Act or by rules of
court;

(b) where no such provision has been made, in
accordance with former practice as near as may
be; or

(c) where there is no former practice, in such manner
as seems to the Court just and practicable in the
circumstances.

Probate
jurisdiction.

Matrimonial
jurisdiction.

Ch. 125.

Rules as to
exercise of
jurisdiction.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

16. (1) Subject to this or any other Act, in every
civil cause or matter the Court shall continue to administer
law and equity and wherever there is any conflict or
variance between the rules of equity and the rules of law
with reference to the same matter, the rules of equity shall
prevail.

(2) The court shall give the, same effect as hitherto —
(a) to all equitable estates, titles, rights, reliefs,

defences and counterclaims and to all equitable
duties and liabilities; and

(b) subject thereto, to all legal claims and demands
and all estates, titles, rights, duties, obligations
and liabilities existing by the law of The
Bahamas whether written or unwritten;

and subject to this or any other Act, shall so exercise its
jurisdiction in any cause or matter before it as to secure
that as far as possible all matters in dispute between the
parties are completely and finally determined, and all
multiplicity of legal proceedings with respect to any of
these matters is avoided.

(3) Nothing in this Act shall affect the power of the
Court to stay any proceedings before it, where it thinks fit
to do so, either of its own motion or on the application of
any person whether or not a party to the proceedings.

17. (1) The Court shall have jurisdiction to make
orders of mandamus, prohibition and certiorari in those
classes of cases in which it had power to do so immediately
before the commencement of this Act.

(2) Every such order shall be final, subject to any
right of appeal therefrom.

18. (1) In those classes of cases in which it formerly
had power to do so, the Court shall have jurisdiction to
grant an injunction restraining any person from acting in
any office in which that person is not entitled to act.

(2) The Court may also, if the case so requires, declare
the office vacant.

Law and equity
to be concu-
rrently adminis-
tered.

Orders of man-
damus, prohibi-
tion and
certiorari.

Injunction re-
straining persons
from acting in
offices.

CH.53 – 16] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

19. (1) An application for one or more of the
following forms of relief, namely —

(a) an order of mandamus, prohibition or certiorari;
(b) a declaration or injunction under subsection (2);

or
(c) an injunction under section 18 restraining a

person not entitled to do so from acting in an
office to which that section applies,

shall be made in accordance with rules of court by a
procedure to be known as an application for judicial
review.

(2) A declaration may be made or an injunction
granted under this subsection in any case where an
application for judicial review seeking that relief, has been
made and the Court considers that, having regard to —

(a) the nature of the matters in respect of which
relief may be granted by orders of mandamus,
prohibition or certiorari;

(b) the nature of the persons and bodies against
whom relief may be granted by such orders; and

(c) all the circumstances of the case,
it would be just and convenient for the declaration to be
made or the injunction to be granted, as the case may be.

(3) No application for judicial review shall be made
unless the leave of a judge has been obtained in accordance
with rules of court; and the judge shall not grant leave to
make such an application unless the applicant has a
sufficient interest in the matter to which the application
relates.

(4) On an application for judicial review the Court
may award damages to the applicant if —

(a) the applicant has joined with the application a
claim for damages arising from any matter to
which the application relates; and

(b) the court is satisfied that if the claim had been in
an action begun by the applicant at the time of
making the application an award of damages
would have been made.

Application for
judicial review.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(5) If, on an application for judicial review seeking
an order of certiorari, the Court quashes the decision to
which the application relates, the Court may remit the
matter to the court, tribunal or authority concerned, with a
direction to reconsider it and reach a decision in
accordance with the finding of the Court.

20. (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in
any law, where a criminal or civil application for habeas
corpus has been made by or in respect of any person, no
such application shall again be made by or in respect of
that person on the same grounds whether to the same court
or judge or to any other court or judge unless fresh
evidence is adduced in support of the application.

(2) In every case where the person by or in respect
of whom an application for habeas corpus is made is
restrained as a person liable, or treated by any written law
as liable, to be detained in pursuance of an order made
under part VI of the Mental Health Act, the application
shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to
constitute a criminal cause or matter.

(3) In this section “application for habeas corpus”
means an application for a writ of habeas corpus ad
subjiciendum and references to a criminal application or a
civil application shall be construed according as to whether
the application does or does not constitute a criminal cause
or matter.

21. (1) The Court may by order (whether interlocu-
tory or final) grant an injunction or appoint a receiver in all
cases in which it appears to the Court to be just and
convenient to do so.

(2) Any such order may be made either uncondition-
ally or on such terms and conditions as the Court thinks
fit.

(3) If, whether before, or at, or after the hearing of
any cause or matter, an application is made for an
injunction to prevent any threatened or apprehended
waste or trespass, the injunction may be granted, if the
Court thinks fit, whether the person against whom the
injunction is sought is or is not in possession under claim
of title or otherwise, or (if out of possession) does or does
not claim a right to do the act sought to be restrained
under any colour of title, and whether the estates claimed
by both or either of the parties are legal or equitable.

Application for
habeas corpus.

Ch. 230.

Injunctions and
receivers.

CH.53 – 18] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

22. (1) As regards proceedings pending in the Court,
provision may be made by rules of court enabling the
Court in such circumstances as may be specified to make
an order requiring a party to the proceedings to make an
interim payment of such amount as may be specified in the
order whether by payment into court or (if the order so
provides) by payment to another party to the proceedings.

(2) Any such rules which make provision in accor-
dance with subsection (1) may include provision for
enabling a party to any proceedings who, in pursuance of
such an order, has made an interim payment to recover the
whole or part of the amount of the payment in such
circumstances, and from such other party to the proceed-
ings, as may be determined in accordance with the rules.

(3) Any rules made by virtue of this section may
include such incidental, supplementary and consequential
provisions as the Rules Committee may consider necessary
or expedient.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed as
affecting the exercise of any power relating to costs,
including any power to make rules of court relating to
costs.

(5) In this section “interim payment” in relation to a
party to any proceedings, means a payment on account of
any damages, debt or other sum (excluding any costs)
which that party may be held liable to pay to or for the
benefit of another party to the proceedings if a final
judgment or order of the court in the proceedings is given
or made in favour of that other party and any reference to a
party to any proceedings includes any person who, for the
purposes of the proceedings, acts as next friend or guardian
of a party to the proceedings.

23. On the application of any person in accordance
with rules of court, the Court shall in such circumstances
as may be specified in the rules, have power to make an
order providing for any one or more of the following
matters, that is to say —

Orders of interim
payments.

Powers of Court
exercisable
before action
commenced.

SUPREME COURT [CH.53 – 19





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(a) the inspection, photographing, preservation,
custody and detention of property which appears
to the court to be property which may become
the subject-matter of subsequent proceedings in
the court, or as to which any question may arise
in any such proceedings; and

(b) the taking of samples of any such property as is
mentioned in paragraph (a) and the carrying out
of any experiment on or with any such property.

24. On the application, in accordance with rules of
court, of a person who appears to the Court to be likely to
be a party to subsequent proceedings in that court in which
a claim in respect of personal injuries to a person or in
respect of a person’s death is likely to be made, the Court
shall, in such circumstances as may be specified in the
rules, have power to order a person who appears to the
court to be likely to be a party to the proceedings and to be
likely to have or to have had in his possession, custody or
power any documents which are relevant to an issue arising
or likely to arise out of that claim —

(a) to disclose whether those documents are in his
possession, custody or power; and

(b) to produce to the applicant such of those
documents as are in his possession, custody or
power.

25. (1) On the application, in accordance with rules
of court, of a party to any proceedings in which a claim in
respect of personal injuries to a person or in respect of a
person’s death is made, the Court, shall, in such
circumstances as may be specified in the rules, have power
to order a person who is not a party to the proceedings and
who appears to the Court to be likely to have or have had in
his possession, custody, or power any documents which are
relevant to an issue arising out of the claim —

(a) to disclose whether those documents are in his
possession, custody or power; and

(b) to produce to the applicant such of those
documents as are in his possession, custody or
power.

Power of Court
to order closure,
etc., of docu-
ments before
commencement
of proceedings.

Power or Court
to order disclo-
sure, etc. by per-
son not a party
after action com-
menced.

CH.53 – 20] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) On the application, in accordance with rules of
court, of a party to any such proceedings as are referred to
in subsection (1), the Court shall, in such circumstances as
may be specified in the rules, have power to make an order
providing for any one or more of the following matters,
that is to say —

(a) the inspection, photographing, preservation,
custody and detention of property which is not
the property of, or in the possession of, any
party to the proceedings, but which is the subject
matter of the proceedings or as to which any
question arises in the proceedings; and

(b) the taking of samples of any such property as is
mentioned in paragraph (a) and the carrying out
of any experiment on or with any such property.

(3) The provisions of subsections (1) and (2) are
without prejudice to the exercise by the Court of any power
to make orders which is exercisable apart from those
provisions.

26. (1) The power to make rules of court under
section 76 shall include power to make rules as to the
circumstances in which an order under section 24 or 25,
can be made; and any such rules may include such
incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as
the Rules Committee may consider necessary or expedient.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection
(1), rules of court shall be made for the purpose of ensuring
that the costs of and incidental to proceedings for an order
under section 24 or 25 incurred by the person against
whom the order is sought shall be awarded to that person
unless the Court otherwise directs.

(3) In section 23, 24 and 25 —
“property” includes any land, chattel or other

corporeal property of any description;
“personal injuries” includes any disease and any

impairment of a person’s physical or mental condition.

Provisions sup-
plementary to
sections 23, 24
and 25.

SUPREME COURT [CH.53 – 21





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

27. The Crown shall be bound —
(a) by the provisions of section 22 so far as (but not

further than) any proceedings to which that
section is applicable can be brought by or
against the Crown in accordance with the Crown
Proceedings Act,

(b) by the provisions of section 23 in so far as it
relates to property (within the meaning of that
section) as to which it appears to the Court that
it may become the subject matter of subsequent
proceedings involving a claim in respect of
personal injuries to a person or in respect of a
person’s death,

(c) by the provisions of sections 24 and 25:
Provided that the court shall not make an order under

any of the aforesaid sections, if it considers that
compliance with the order if made would be likely to be
injurious to the public interest.

28. Where any person neglects or refuses to comply
with a judgment or order directing him to execute any
conveyance, contract or other document, or to endorse any
negotiable instrument, the Court may, on such terms and
conditions, if any, as may be just, order that the
conveyance, contract or other document shall be executed
or that the negotiable instrument shall be endorsed by such
person as the Court may nominate for the purpose, and a
conveyance, contract, document or instrument so executed
or endorsed shall operate and be for all purposes available
as if it had been executed or endorsed by the person
originally directed to execute or endorse it.

29. (1) If, on an application made by the Attorney-
General under this section, the Court is satisfied that any
person has habitually and persistently and without any
reasonable ground instituted vexatious legal proceedings
whether in the Court or in any inferior court and whether
against the same person or against different persons, the
Court may, after hearing that person or giving him an
opportunity to be heard, order that no legal proceedings
shall, without leave of the Court or a judge, be instituted
by him in any court and that any legal proceedings
instituted by him before the making of the order shall not


Application to
Crown.

Ch. 68.

Execution of in-
struments by or-
der of the Court.

Restriction on
institution of
vexatious
actions.

CH.53 – 22] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

be continued by him without such leave, and such leave
shall not be given unless the Court or judge is satisfied that
the proceedings are not an abuse of the process of the
Court and that there is a prima facie ground for the
proceedings.

(2) If the person against whom an order is sought
under this section is unable on account of poverty to retain
a counsel and attorney, the Court shall assign a counsel and
attorney to him.

(3) A copy of an order made under this section shall
be published in the Gazette.

30. (1) Subject to this or any other Act and to rules
of court, the costs of and incidental to all proceedings in
the Court, including the administration of estates and
trusts, shall be in the discretion of the Court or judge and
the Court or judge shall have full power to determine by
whom and to what extent the costs are to be paid.

(2) Nothing in this section shall alter the practice in
any criminal cause or matter or in bankruptcy.

PART V
PROBATE CAUSES AND MATTERS

31. Notwithstanding anything contained in any other
provision of this Act the court shall have jurisdiction to
make a grant of probate or letters of administration in
respect of a deceased person notwithstanding that the
deceased person left no estate.

32. An application for the grant or revocation of
probate or administration may be made through, and a
caveat against a grant of probate or administration may be
entered in, the Registry of the Court.

33. (1) There shall continue to be kept in the
Registry records of all grants which are made by the court
and for this purpose the Registry may be referred to as the
Probate Registry.

(2) The records shall be in such form and shall contain
such particulars as the Chief Justice shall direct.

Costs.

Power to grant
probate adminis-
tration where no
estate.

Application for
grants.

Records or
grants.

SUPREME COURT [CH.53 – 23





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

34. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Court may
grant probate or administration in respect of any part of the
estate of a deceased person limited in any way the Court
thinks fit.

(2) Where the estate of a deceased person is known
to be insolvent, the grant of representation of it shall not be
severed except as regards a trust estate in which the
deceased had no beneficial interest.

(3) Provision may be made by probate rules and
orders for adapting to the case of real estate, the practice
and procedure on the grant of administration.

35. (1) Where it appears that any person has
possession of, custody of or power over any document
which is or purports to be a testamentary document the
court may, whether or not any legal proceedings are
pending, issue a subpoena requiring such person to bring in
the document in such manner as the Court may in the
subpoena direct.

(2) Any person who, having been required by the
court to do so under this section, fails to bring in any
document shall be guilty of contempt of court.

36. (1) Where it appears that there are reasonable
grounds for believing that any person has knowledge of
any document which is, or purports to be a testamentary
document, the Court may, whether or not any legal
proceedings are pending, order such person to attend for
the purpose of being examined in open Court.

(2) The Court may —
(a) require any person who is before it in compliance

with an order under subsection (1) to answer any
question relating to the document concerned;
and

(b) if appropriate, order such person to bring in the
document in such manner as the court may
direct.

(3) Any person who, having been required by the
Court to do so under this section fails to attend for
examination, answer any question or bring in any
document shall be guilty of contempt of court.

Power to grant
representation of
real and personal
estate separately
or together.

Subpoena to
bring in testa-
mentary docu-
ment.

Examination of
person with
knowledge of
testamentary
document.

CH.53 – 24] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

37. The Court may summon any person named as an
executor in a will to prove or renounce probate of the will
and to do such other things concerning the will as the Court
had power to order such a person to do before the
commencement of this Act.

38. (1) Where it appears to the Court that a grant of
probate or administration either ought not to have been
made or contains an error, the Court may call in the grant
and if satisfied that it could be revoked at the instance of
any party interested, may revoke it.

(2) A grant of probate or administration may be
revoked under subsection (1) without being called in if it
cannot be called in.

(3) Where it appears to the Court that a grant
resealed pursuant to section 49 ought not to have been
resealed, the Court may call in the relevant document and
may, if satisfied that the resealing could be cancelled at the
instance of a party interested, cancel the resealing.

(4) A resealing may be cancelled under subsection
(3) without the relevant document being called in, if it
cannot be called in.

(5) In subsections (3) and (4) “the relevant
document” means the original grant or, where some other
document was sealed by the Court, that document.

39. (1) The Court shall not make a grant of
administration until the applicant for such a grant has
given a bond (in this section referred to as an “adminis-
tration bond”) to the judge and, subject to the provisions
of this section, if the judge so requires, with one or more
sureties conditioned —

(a) for duly collecting, getting in and administering
the real and personal estate of the deceased;

(b) for returning within six months after the date of
such bond to the office of the Registrar a true
and correct account in such form as may be
directed by probate rules and orders, showing
the value of the personal estate and effects of the
deceased person; and

Summons to ex-
ecutor to prove
or renounce will.

Power to revoke
administration or
probate.

Administration
bond.

SUPREME COURT [CH.53 – 25





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(c) for the payment, within the said period of six
months, of the full amount of the fees which shall
become due and payable under and by virtue of
any Act or shall be otherwise payable on the
estate in respect of which such administration is
required to be granted.

(2) The judge shall have power to enforce any
administration bond or to assign it in accordance with the
provisions of this section to some other person.

(3) An administration bond shall be in such form as
may be directed by probate rules and orders.

(4) An administration bond shall be in a penalty of
double the amount at which the estate and effects of the
deceased are sworn unless the judge in any case thinks fit
to direct the same to be reduced, and the judge may also
direct that more bonds than one be given so as to limit the
liability of any surety to such amount as the judge thinks
reasonable.

(5) Where it appears to the satisfaction of a judge that
the condition of an administration bond has been broken,
the judge may, on an application in that behalf, order that
the bond shall be assigned to such person as may be
specified in the order, and the person to whom the bond is
ordered to be assigned shall be entitled, by virtue of the
order, to sue thereon in his own name as if it had originally
been given to him instead of to a judge and to recover
thereon as trustee for all persons interested, the full
amount recoverable in respect of the breach of the
condition thereof.

(6) Without prejudice to any proceedings instituted
before the date of commencement of this Act, any
administration bond given under the repealed Act may be
enforced or assigned as if it had been given to a judge
under this section.

(7) Probate rules and orders may be made by the
Rules Committee under this Act for providing that sureties
to administration bonds shall not be required when the
grant is made to a trust corporation or to two or more
individuals or in any other proper case.

CH.53 – 26] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

40. Section 39 shall not apply in the case of an
application for a grant of probate or administration of the
estate and effects of any deceased person made by or on
behalf of the Public Trustee appointed under the Public
Trustee Act:

Provided that such Public Trustee shall be subject to
the same liabilities and duties as if he had given the bond
required by such section:

Provided also that all fees of court or stamp duties
imposed by any Act or rule on or in respect of any bond or
other document shall nevertheless be paid by such Public
Trustee as if he had given such bond.

41. If any executor or administrator shall, through
mistake or misapprehension, or otherwise without fraud,
have omitted out of such return any part of the personal
estate or effects of the testator or intestate, it shall be
lawful for such executor or administrator, at any time
within three months after the discovery of such omission,
to amend his return, and to pay the additional fees due on
the estate of the deceased without being liable to any
penalty or forfeiture under this Act.

42. (1) The Court shall not grant probate or admin-
istration to more than four persons in respect of the same
part of the estate of a deceased person.

(2) Where under a will or an intestacy any beneficiary
is a minor or a life interest arises any grant of probate or
administration shall be made either to a trust corporation
(with or without an individual) or to not less than two
individuals unless it appears to the Court to be expedient in
all the circumstances to appoint an individual as sole
administrator.

(3) For the purpose of determining whether a
minority or life interest arises, the Court may act on such
prima facie evidence furnished by the applicant or any
other person or such evidence as may be prescribed by
probate rules and orders.

(4) If there is only one personal representative, not
being a trust corporation, then during the minority of a
beneficiary or the subsistence of a life interest and until the
estate is fully administered, the Court may, on the


Section 39 not to
apply to Public
Trustee.

Ch. 177.

Provision for
rectifying mis-
takes of omission
without fraud.

Provisions as to
number or
personal
representative.

SUPREME COURT [CH.53 – 27





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

application of any person interested or of the guardian,
committee or receiver of any such person, appoint one or
more personal representatives in addition to the original
personal representative in accordance with probate rules
and orders.

43. (1) The Court may —
(a) where a trust corporation is named in a will as

executor, whether alone or jointly with another
person, grant probate to the corporation either
solely or jointly with another person, as the case
may require; and

(b) grant administration to a trust corporation either
solely or jointly with another person,

and the corporation may act accordingly as executor or
administrator as the case may be.

(2) Probate or administration shall not be granted to
a nominee on behalf of a trust corporation.

(3) Any officer authorized for the purpose by a trust
corporation or the directors or governing body thereof may,
on behalf of the corporation swear affidavits, give security
and do any other act or thing which the Court may require
with a view to the grant to the corporation of probate or
administration and the acts of an officer so authorized shall
be binding on the corporation.

44. In granting administration the Court shall have
regard to the rights of all persons interested in the estate of
the deceased person or the proceeds of sale thereof, and in
particular administration with the will annexed may be
granted to a devisee or legatee and any such administration
may be limited in any way the Court thinks fit:

Provided that —
(a) where the deceased died wholly intestate as to his

estate, administration shall be granted to one or
more persons interested in the residuary estate of
the deceased, if they make an application for the
purpose; and

Power to grant
representation to
a trust corpora-
tion.

Discretion of
Court as to per-
sons to whom
administration
may be granted.

CH.53 – 28] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(b) if by reason of the insolvency of the estate of the
deceased or of any other special circumstances, it
appears to the Court to be necessary or expedient
to appoint as administrator some person other
than the person who, but for this provision,
would by law be entitled to the grant of
administration, the Court may, in its discretion,
notwithstanding anything in this Act, appoint as
administrator such person as it thinks expedient
and any administration granted under this
provision may be limited in any way the Court
thinks fit.

45. (1) Where any legal proceedings touching the
validity of the will of a deceased person, or for obtaining,
recalling or revoking any grant, are pending, the Court may
grant administration of the estate to an administrator
pending suit, who shall, subject to subsection (2), have all
the rights and powers of a general administrator.

(2) An administrator pending suit shall be subject to
the control of the Court and act under its direction; and
except in such circumstances as may be prescribed no
distribution of the estate or any part of the estate of the
deceased person shall be made by such an administrator
without leave of the Court.

(3) The Court may, out of the estate of the deceased,
assign to an administrator appointed under this section
such reasonable remuneration as the Court thinks fit.

46. (1) If at the expiration of twelve months from
the death of a person, any personal representative of the
deceased to whom a grant has been made is residing out of
the jurisdiction of the Court the Court may, on the
application of any person interested in the estate of the
deceased, grant to such person in the prescribed form
special administration of the estate of the deceased.

(2) The Court may, for the purpose of any legal
proceedings to which the administrator under the special
administration is a party, order the transfer into Court of
any money or securities belonging to the estate of the
deceased person and all persons shall obey any such order.

Administration
pendente lite.

Grant of special
administration
where personal
representative is
abroad.

SUPREME COURT [CH.53 – 29





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(3) If a personal representative capable of acting as
such returns to and resides within the jurisdiction of the
Court while any legal proceedings to which the special
administrator is a party are pending, that personal
representative shall be made a party to the legal
proceedings and the costs of and incidental to the special
administration and the legal proceedings shall be paid by
such person and out of such fund as the Court in which the
proceedings are pending may direct.

47. (1) Where an infant is sole executor of a will,
administration with the will annexed shall be granted to the
infant’s guardian, or to such other person as the Court
thinks fit, until the infant attains the age of eighteen years
when probate may then be granted.

(2) Where a testator by his will appoints an infant to
be an executor, the appointment shall not operate to
transfer any interest in the property of the deceased to the
infant or to constitute the infant a personal representative
for any purpose unless and until probate is granted under
this section.

48. Administration with the will annexed shall con-
tinue to be granted in every case where such a grant could
have been made before the commencement of this Act, and
in such case the will of the deceased shall be performed
and observed in like manner as if probate thereof had been
granted to an executor.

49. (1) Where a Court of Probate in Great Britain or
in any other part of the Commonwealth or in the United
States of America has granted probate or letters of
administration (by whatever name called) in respect of the
estate of a deceased person, the probate or letters so
granted may, on being produced to, and a copy thereof
deposited with, the Court, be sealed with the seal of the
Court and thereupon shall be of like force and effect and
have the same operation in The Bahamas as if granted by
the Court:

Provided that the Court before sealing a probate or
letters of administration under this section —

(a) may require such evidence, if any, as it thinks fit
as to the domicile of the deceased person; and

Administration
during minority
of executor.

Administration
with will
annexed.

Resealing of
grants.

CH.53 – 30] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(b) shall be satisfied that all fees have been duly
paid and all securities have been given in respect
of such part of the estate in The Bahamas which
the laws of The Bahamas require to be paid and
given on probate or letters of administration
being granted:

And provided further that the Court may, if it thinks
fit, on the application of any creditor, require before
sealing that adequate securities be given for the payment of
all debts due from the estate to creditors in The Bahamas.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a duplicate of
any probate or letters of administration sealed with the seal
of the court granting the same, or a copy thereof certified
as correct by or under the authority of the Court granting
the same, shall have the same effect as the original.

50. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of this or any
other Act or law to the contrary, the manager or assistant
manager of a bank may, without the production of probate
or letters of administration, pay any sum standing to the
credit of a deceased person to any person (in this section
referred to as the claimant) who upon producing satisfac-
tory proof of the death of such deceased person and upon
producing such evidence as may be required by the manager
or assistant manager, appears to such manager or assistant
manager to be entitled by law to the said sum standing to the
credit of such deceased person:

Provided —
(a) before any payment is made to any person under

this section, the claimant shall make and deliver
to the bank a declaration in the form prescribed
by section 8 of the Oaths Act (in this section
referred to as a statutory declaration) to the
effect that the deceased person has no real estate
in The Bahamas and his total personal estate
does not exceed the amount standing to his credit
at the bank;

(b) the claimant shall deliver to the bank evidence
that at least three months’ notice has been given
by the claimant by advertisement in three issues
of the Gazette and in three issues of a daily


Deposits to credit
of deceased per-
sons, how dealt
with.

Ch. 60.

SUPREME COURT [CH.53 – 31





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

newspaper in The Bahamas calling on all persons
having any claims to the estate of the deceased
person to notify the bank in writing of such
claims;

(c) that no other claims to the estate of the deceased
person have been received by the bank; and

(d) the bank shall forward the statutory declaration
and the evidence of the advertisement to the
Registrar General.

(2) The bank shall not be liable in respect of any
claim by any person in connection with a payment made in
accordance with this section but any person may never-
theless recover any sum lawfully due to him from the
person receiving any payment so made.

51. (1) Where any person who is a national of a state
with which the Government of The Bahamas has
concluded a consular convention is named as executor in
the will of a deceased person disposing of property in The
Bahamas, or is otherwise a person to whom a grant of
representation to the estate in The Bahamas of a deceased
person may be made, then if the Court is satisfied, on the
application of a consular officer of the said state, that the
said national is not resident in The Bahamas, and if no
application for a grant of such representation is made by a
person duly authorised by power of attorney to act for him
in that behalf, the Court shall make to that officer any such
grant of representation to the estate of the deceased as
would be made to him if he were so authorised as
aforesaid.

(2) Where any person who is a national of such a
state —

(a) is entitled to any money or other property in The
Bahamas forming a part of the estate of a
deceased person, or to receive payment in The
Bahamas of any money becoming due on the
death of a deceased person; or

(b) is among the persons to whom any money or
other property of a deceased person may under
any Act, whether passed before or after the
commencement of this Act, be paid or delivered
without grant of probate or other proof of title,

Grants to
consular officers.

CH.53 – 32] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

then if the said national is not resident in The Bahamas, a
consular officer of that state shall have the like right and
power to receive and give a valid discharge for any such
money or property as if he were duly authorised by power
of attorney to act for him in that behalf:

Provided that no person shall be authorised or
required by this subsection to pay or deliver any money or
property to a consular officer if it is within his knowledge
that any other person in The Bahamas has been expressly
authorised to receive that money or property on behalf of
the said national.

(3) Notwithstanding any rule of law conferring
immunity or privilege in respect of the official acts and
documents of consular officers, a consular officer shall not
be entitled to any immunity or privilege in respect of any
act done by virtue of powers conferred on him by or under
this section or in respect of any document for the time
being in his possession relating thereto.

52. In this Part and in the other provisions of this
Act relating to probate causes and matters, unless the
context otherwise requires, the following expressions shall
have the meanings hereby assigned to them respectively —

“administration” includes all letters of administration
of the effects of deceased persons, whether with
or without a will annexed and whether granted
for general, special or limited purposes; and
includes Scottish confirmations;

“estate” means real and personal estate, and the
expression “real estate” includes —
(a) chattels real and land in possession,

remainder and reversion, and every interest
in or over land to which the deceased person
was entitled at the time of his death; and

(b) real estate held on trust or by way of
mortgage, whether by way of sale, demise
or sub-demise, or of security, but not money
to arise under a trust for sale of land nor
money secured or charged on land;

“grants” means a grant of probate or administration;

Interpretation for
the purposes of
Part V.

SUPREME COURT [CH.53 – 33





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

“non-contentious or common form probate business”
means the business of obtaining probate and
administration where there is no contention as
to the right thereto, including the passing of
probate and administration through the Court
where the contest has terminated, and all
business of a non-contentious nature in matters
of testacy and intestacy not being proceedings
in any action, and also the business of lodging
caveats against the grant of probate or admin-
istration;

“testamentary cause or matter” includes all causes or
matters relating to the grant or revocation of
probate or administration;

“trust corporation” means the Public Trustee or a
corporation either appointed by the Court in any
particular case to be a trustee or authorized by
rules under the Public Trustee Act, to act as
custodian trustee;

“will” includes any testamentary instrument of which
probate may be granted.

PART VI
SITTINGS OF COURT, MODE OF TRIAL,

ADJOURNMENT
53. (1) Sittings of the Court shall be held in the Court

House in or at Nassau and in the Court House in or at
Freeport, respectively, and in such other places, in any part
of The Bahamas, as the Chief Justice may direct by notice
signified under the hand of the Registrar and posted at the
Court House at Nassau and at such place as it is directed that
the Court shall sit.

(2) Unless otherwise directed by the Chief Justice or
provided by rules of court, matters filed in the office of the
Registrar which is located in Freeport shall be heard by the
Court sitting in Freeport and other matters filed in the
office of the Registrar in Nassau shall be heard by the
Court sitting in Nassau.

54. (1) Sittings of the Court shall commence on the
second Wednesday in the month of January and the Court
shall sit throughout the legal year —

Ch. 177.

Court House.

Sittings: criminal
matters.

CH.53 – 34] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(a) for the trial of criminal informations by a jury;
and

(b) for the hearing of appeals in criminal causes and
matters,

at such times and in such places as the Chief Justice may
direct.

(2) No criminal matter shall lapse by reason of non-
completion before commencement of a new legal year.

(3) In this section and in this Act “legal year” means
the period commencing the second Wednesday in January
in one year and ending the day before the second
Wednesday in January the following year.

55. (1) Subject to rules of court, such number of
judges of the Court as may be requisite, having regard to
the business to be disposed of shall, so far as is reasonably
practicable sit —

(a) continuously in Nassau; and
(b) elsewhere in The Bahamas, at such times and in

such places as the Chief Justice may direct, for
the trial of civil actions.

(2) The Court shall sit for the purpose of hearing
appeals in civil causes and matters at such times and in
such places as the Chief Justice may direct.

56. Subject to this section, if on the application of
any party to an action to be tried in the Court made not
later than such time before the trial as may be limited by
rules of court, the Court or a judge is satisfied that —

(a) a charge of fraud against that party; or
(b) a claim in respect of libel, slander, malicious

prosecution or false imprisonment,
is in issue, the action shall be ordered to be tried with a
jury unless the Court or judge is of opinion that the trial
thereof requires any prolonged examination of documents
or accounts or any scientific or local investigation which
cannot conveniently be made with a jury, but save as
aforesaid, any action to be tried in the Court may in the
discretion of the Court or judge be ordered to be tried
either with or without a jury:

Sittings: civil
actions.

Civil actions:
mode of trial.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

Provided that the provisions of this section shall be
without prejudice to the power of the Court or a judge to
order, in accordance with rules of court, that different
questions of fact arising in any action be tried by different
modes of trial, and where any such order is made the
provisions of this section requiring trial with a jury in
certain cases shall have effect only as respect questions
relating to any such charge or claim as aforesaid.

57. Except in cases where it is otherwise expressly
provided, a judge may sit in chambers at any time to hear
and determine all matters brought before him on summons
or motion and it shall be lawful for him to direct that any
motion be heard in open court or adjourned into court if in
his discretion he considers it expedient that any matter be
heard in court.

58. It shall be lawful for a judge whether sitting in
court or in chambers from time to time to adjourn the
hearing of any case to such time as seems expedient.

PART VII
JUDGMENTS

59. By virtue of any writ of fieri facias to be sued
out of the Supreme Court, the Provost Marshal, or other
officer having the execution thereof, shall seize and take
any money and any cheques, bills of exchange, promissory
notes, bonds, specialties, or other securities for money,
belonging to the person against whose effects such writ of
fieri facias is sued out.

60. The Provost Marshal or other officer shall hold
any such cheques, bills of exchange, promissory notes,
bonds, specialties or other securities for money as a
security or securities for the amount by which such writ of
fieri facias directed to be levied and raised, and may sue in
the name of such Provost Marshal or other officer, for the
recovery of the sum or sums secured thereby, if and when
the time of payment thereof shall have arrived:

Sittings in
Chambers.

Powers as to
adjournment.

Power of Provost
Marshal to attach
money, cheques
and other securities
by writs of
execution.

Power to hold
securities and sue
for recovery of
amounts secured.

CH.53 – 36] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

Provided that no Provost Marshal or other officer
shall be bound to sue any party liable upon any such
cheque, bill of exchange, promissory note, bond, specialty
or other security, unless the party suing out such execution
enters into a bond, with two sufficient sureties, for
indemnifying him from all costs and expenses to be
incurred in the prosecution of such action, or to which he
may become liable in consequence thereof, the expense of
such bond to be deducted out of any money to be recovered
in such action.

61. The payment to the Provost Marshal or other
officer, by the party liable on any such cheque, bill of
exchange, promissory note, bond, specialty, or other
security, with or without suit, or the recovery and levying
execution against the party so liable, shall discharge such
party to the extent of such payment, or of such recovery
and levy in execution, as the case may be, from his liability
on any such cheque, bill of exchange, promissory note,
bond, specialty or other security.

62. The Provost Marshal or other officer shall pay
over to the party suing out such writ any money recovered
by him or such part thereof as is sufficient to discharge the
amount by such writ directed to be levied and, if after
satisfaction of the amount so to be levied, together with the
Marshal’s poundage and expenses, any surplus remains in
the hands of the Provost Marshal or other officer, the same
shall be paid to the party against whom such writ has been
issued.

63. (1) A judgment entered up in the Supreme Court
(whether before or after the commencement of this Act)
against any person (in this section called a “judgment
debtor”) shall operate as an equitable charge upon every
estate or interest (whether legal or equitable) in all land to
or over which the judgment debtor at the date of entry or at
any time thereafter is or becomes —

(a) beneficially entitled; or
(b) entitled to exercise a power of disposition for his

own benefit without the assent of any other
person;

Payment to Pro-
vost Marshal
discharge for
amount paid.

Provost Marshal
to pay money re-
covered in dis-
charged debt and
any surplus to be
paid to judgment
debtor.

Equitable
charges in right
judgment debt.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

and the judgment shall bind:
(i) the judgment debtor,

(ii) all persons deriving title under him subsequent
to the entry of the judgment, and

(iii) all persons capable of being bound by a
disposition by the judgment debtor made after
the entry of the judgment, including the issue of
his body and all other persons (if any) whom he
might, without the assent of another person,
have barred from any remainder, reversion or
other interest, in the land.

(2) A charge imposed under subsection (1) shall
have the like effect and shall be enforceable in the same
manner as an equitable charge created by the debtor by
writing under his hand.

(3) The preceding provisions of this section shall
apply in relation to a judgment, order, decree or award
(however called) of any court or arbitrator (including any
foreign court or arbitrator) which is or has become
enforceable, as if it were a judgment or order of the
Supreme Court as they apply in relation to a judgment or
order of the Supreme Court.

(4) A charge imposed by this section shall take
priority over all other mortgages or charges affecting the
land other than —

(a) any mortgage or charge registered prior to the
date of the entering up of the judgment; or

(b) any further advance made under the security of a
mortgage or charge registered prior to such date
which provides for the mortgagee or chargee to
make further advances.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (4), “registered”
means lodged and accepted for record in the Registry in
accordance with the Registration of Records Act.

64. (1) The power of the Court to appoint a receiver
by way of equitable execution shall be extended so as to
operate in relation to all legal estates and interests in land.

Ch. 187.

Receivers.

CH.53 – 38] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) The said power shall be in addition to and not in
derogation from any power of the Court to appoint a
receiver in proceedings for enforcing such a charge.

PART VIII
OFFICES AND OFFICERS OF THE COURT
65. (1) The Governor-General, acting in accordance

with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service
Commission may appoint any person who —

(a) is a member of the Bar of The Bahamas of at
least five years standing; or

(b) has been for at least five years in possession of
such academic and professional qualifications as
would qualify him for admission to practise as a
counsel and attorney under the provisions of the
Legal Profession Act, 1992,

to be the Registrar of the Supreme Court.
(2) The Registrar shall have such jurisdiction,

powers and duties as are by this Act or rules of court
conferred or imposed upon the Registrar.

66. (1) The office of the Registrar shall be located in
Nassau and in Freeport and shall be the Registry of the
Court.

(2) The Registry shall be kept open for the
transaction of business on every day of the year except
Saturdays and Sundays and public holidays, from the hour
of nine-thirty o’clock in the morning until the hour of three
o’clock in the afternoon, unless the court shall direct that
the office hours shall be otherwise than as aforesaid.

(3) Save as may otherwise be provided by rules of
court, documents in respect of —

(a) proceedings in which the majority of the parties
thereto reside or have their principal place of
business in the northern region;

(b) proceedings in which the subject matter of the
cause of action is located in the northern region;
or

Registrar.

Ch. 64.

Office of
Registrar.

SUPREME COURT [CH.53 – 39





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(c) proceedings in which the cause of action arose
in, or the subject matter has a closer connection
with, the northern region, shall be filed in the
office located in Freeport.

(4) Proceedings to which subsection (3) does not
apply shall be filed in the office located in Nassau.

(5) Documents relating to proceedings instituted by
the Crown in the criminal jurisdiction of the Court shall be
filed by the Crown in Nassau regardless of the place of
residence of the accused to whom the proceedings relate or
the place where the offence took place but any such
proceedings may be heard in the Court House in or at
Freeport having regard to the convenience of the witnesses
or other relevant factors.

(6) In this section, a reference to the “northern
region” is a reference to the Family Islands of Grand
Bahama, the Abacos and the Biminis.

67. (1) The Governor-General acting in accordance
with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service
Commission may appoint such persons in possession of
such qualifications as are accepted as an academic
qualification for admission to practise as counsel and
attorney under the provisions of the Legal Profession Act,
to be respectively Deputy Registrars of the Supreme Court
and Assistant Registrars of the Supreme Court.

(2) The Deputy Registrars and Assistant Registrars,
shall have all such powers and perform all such duties as
may be prescribed by this Act or by rules of court, and
carry out all such functions and transact all such business
as the Registrar, with the approval of the Chief Justice,
shall require.

68. The Registrar, Deputy Registrars and Assistant
Registrars shall be Masters of the Court and as such shall
have all such authority and jurisdiction to transact civil
business of the Court as may be conferred upon a Master
by rules of court.

69. For the purpose of taxation of costs, the
Registrar, the Deputy Registrars and the Assistant
Registrars shall be taxing masters.

Deputy Regis-
trars and Assis-
tant Registrars.

Ch. 64.

Master.
6 of 2008.

Taxing masters.

CH.53 – 40] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

70. The Governor-General acting in accordance
with the advice of the Public Service Commission may
appoint a marshal to the Court in its admiralty jurisdiction.

71. (1) The Governor-General acting in accordance
with the advice of the Public Service Commission may
appoint such numbers of bailiffs, marshals and assistant
marshals of the Court as may be necessary.

(2) A bailiff, marshal or assistant marshal shall
have, in the exercise of his duties and functions, all the
powers and privileges of a peace officer and shall perform
such duties as the Chief Justice may direct.

72. The Commissioner of Police shall be the Provost
Marshal of the Court.

PART IX
MISCELLANEOUS

73. Without prejudice to the provisions of any other
Act or of rules of court, the persons specified in the
Schedule shall have power to administer oaths and take
solemn declarations or affirmations in lieu of oaths in all
matters transacted in court or in chambers or in the office
of the Registrar.

74. (1) The Court shall have and use a seal with the
inscription “Supreme Court, The Commonwealth of The
Bahamas” surrounding the coat-of-arms of The Bahamas.

(2) The seal shall be kept at the office of the
Registrar and shall remain in his custody.

(3) All writs and other processes of the Court shall
be sealed with the seal of the Court.

75. (1) There shall be established a Rules Committee
which shall consist of —

(a) the Chief Justice, who shall be chairman;
(b) the Attorney-General or a Counsel and Attorney

in the public service designated by him;
(c) a Justice nominated by the Chief Justice; and

Admiralty
marshal.

Bailiffs.

Provost Marshal.

Schedule.

Power to
administer oaths.

Seal of the Court.

9 of 2006, s. 3.

Rules
Committee.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(d) two counsel and attorneys in active practice
before the Court appointed by the Chief Justice
after consultation with the President of the Bar
Association by writing under his hand who shall
hold office for such time as may be specified in
the appointment.

(2) A quorum of the Rules Committee shall consist
of the Chief Justice and any two of the other members of
the Committee, one of whom shall be a counsel and
attorney in active practice.

76. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the
Rules Committee may make rules of court for the purpose
of giving effect to this Act and for regulating and
prescribing the practice and procedure of the Court in all
matters whether civil or criminal and whether within its
original or appellate jurisdiction and in particular, but
without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing —

(a) for prescribing fees of Court;
(b) for regulating any matter relating to the costs of

proceedings in the Court;
(c) prescribing the persons having power to

administer any oath or solemn declaration in lieu
of an oath in any matter transacted in Court or
chambers;

(d) for regulating and prescribing the procedure and
practice to be followed in appeals from any
Court, body or person to the Court;

(e) for prescribing in what cases civil trails in the
Court are to be with a jury and in what cases
they are to be without a jury;

(f) for regulating the means by which particular
facts may be proved, and the mode in which
evidence thereof may be given in any proceedings
or on any application in connection with or at
any stage of any proceedings;

(g) for regulating or making provision with respect
to matters which are regulated or with respect to
which provision was made by rules made under
the repealed Act, or by any rules or regulations
in force immediately before the date of
commencement of this Act with respect to the
practice and procedure in matrimonial causes
and matters, and with respect to applications and
proceedings relating to legitimacy declarations;

Rules of Court.

CH.53 – 42] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(h) for regulating the procedure and practice of the
Court with respect to probate business.

(2) No rule of court which provides for an expenditure
out of public funds or which imposes a new fee of court or
which increases or reduces an existing fee of court shall be
made without the concurrence of the Minister of Finance
but the validity of a rule of court shall not in any
proceedings in any court be called into question either by
the court or by any party to the proceedings on the ground
only that it was a rule to which the concurrence of the
Minister of Finance was necessary and that the Minister of
Finance did not concur or is not expressed to have
concurred in the making thereof.

(3) Rules of court made in pursuance of this section
shall be published in the Gazette and shall come into
operation on publication or on such other date as may be
specified in such rules which shall not be subject to the
provisions of section 31 of the Interpretation and General
Clauses Act.

(4) When in any Act in force before the date of
commencement of this Act, a power is conferred upon the
Chief Justice to make rules or rules of court, whether with
or without the approval of the Governor-General, such
power shall on and after that date, be read and construed as
a power vested in the Rules Committee to make rules in
pursuance of this section.

77. (1) There shall, whenever possible, be provided
adequate equipment for recording mechanically the evidence
and proceedings in every cause or matter, whether civil or
criminal, heard before the Court:

Provided that in any of the following cases, that is to
say —

(a) where the presiding judge and the parties or their
counsel and attorneys consider that a recording
is unnecessary;

(b) where the equipment is out of order; or
(c) where the equipment cannot be operated due to

the absence of the operating staff whether such
absence is caused by illness or otherwise,

Ch. 2.

Record of court
proceedings.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

the presiding judge may order that in the case of paragraph
(a), the particular cause or matter be heard or shall proceed,
as the case may be, without mechanically recording the
evidence therein; and, in the case of either paragraphs (b)
or (c), that all causes or matters shall be heard or shall
proceed, as the case may be, without mechanically
recording the evidence therein until such time as the
disability ceases.

(2) Every such recording shall be preserved and
filed by the Court in the cause or matter to which it relates
and shall constitute the record of the Court in regard to the
evidence and proceedings taken and had in that particular
cause or matter.

(3) In the following cases and subject to the
following conditions the recording of any cause or matter
shall be transcribed and such transcription shall also
constitute the record of the Court in regard to the evidence
and proceedings taken and had in that particular cause or
matter —

(a) in all civil causes or matters when an application
therefor is made by motion by any of the parties
or their counsel and attorneys prior to the
commencement of the hearing of the particular
cause of matter;

(b) in all criminal causes or matters provided that
application be made therefor to the presiding
judge before the accused person is placed in
charge of the jury;

(c) in all causes or matters on appeal when
application is made therefor by any of the parties
or their counsel and attorneys either before or
after the hearing of the said appeal;

(d) at the instance and in the discretion of the
presiding judge in any cause or matter
whatsoever where no application for
transcription has been made under paragraphs
(a), (b) or (c).

(4) In all cases where the transcription is made under
the provisions of this section such transcription shall
(subject to the payment of any fee therefor) be continu-
ously supplied to the parties or their counsel and attorneys
during the proceedings of the Court as expeditiously as


CH.53 – 44] SUPREME COURT





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

possible, and the parties or their counsel and attorneys shall
(subject to the payment of any fee therefor) have the right
to be supplied with the transcription of all proceedings so
far as they have gone before any submission or addresses
are made at the trial of the particular cause or matter, save
that the failure to be so supplied shall not be the ground for
an adjournment of the proceedings unless the Court
considers it necessary to do so in the interest of justice.

(5) In all cases where a transcription of the evidence
is required to be supplied to the parties or their counsel and
attorneys under this section (except in any criminal cause
or matter where the transcription shall be supplied without
charge) the prescribed fees shall be paid in respect of such
transcription.

(6) Either the said recording or the said transcription
thereof or both such recording and transcription, as the
case may be, shall be receivable in evidence notwithstand-
ing any law to the contrary.

(7) The provisions of this section shall be in addition
to and not in derogation of the provisions of any law
relating to the taking of notes by the presiding judge or the
Registrar of the Court.

(8) For the purposes of this section and any other
law, a reference to a “transcription” of the evidence or
record of the proceedings in the Court includes a reference
to a typewritten record of the evidence and proceedings
mechanically recorded as in this section provided and
includes any notes of evidence, prepared by a person
designated by the Registrar by notice published in the
Gazette to perform the duties of court reporter, and
authenticated by that reporter.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

SCHEDULE (Section 73)

PERSONS EMPOWERED TO ADMINISTER OATHS
The Registrar
The Deputy Registrars
The Assistant Registrars
Any clerk in the office of the Registrar designated for the
purpose by the Registrar or a Deputy Registrar.
Bailiffs