Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act


Published: 2000-08-18

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Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act
EVIDENCE (PROCEEDINGS IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS) [CH.66 – 1



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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

EVIDENCE (PROCEEDINGS IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS)


CHAPTER 66

EVIDENCE (PROCEEDINGS IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS)


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Application for assistance in obtaining evidence.
4. Application to the Supreme Court.
5. Power of Supreme Court to give effect to application.
6. Privilege of witnesses.
7. Power of Supreme Court to assist in obtaining evidence for international proceedings.
8. Rules of court.
9. Pending applications, etc., not affected by Act.



EVIDENCE (PROCEEDINGS IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS) [CH.66 – 3



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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 66

EVIDENCE (PROCEEDINGS IN OTHER
JURISDICTIONS)

Act to make new provision for enabling the Supreme
Court to assist in obtaining evidence required for the
purposes of civil proceedings in other jurisdictions; to extend
the Powers of the Court to issue process for securing the
attendance of witnesses; and for connected purposes.

[Assent 27th June, 2000]
[Commencement 18th August, 2000]

1. This Act may be cited as the Evidence
(Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act, 2000.

2. (1) In this Act —
“civil proceedings”, in relation to the requesting

court, means proceedings in any civil or com-
mercial matter;

“Court” means the Supreme Court;
“property” includes any land, chattel or other

corporeal property of any description;
“request” includes any commission, order or other

process issued by or on behalf of the requesting
court.

(2) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as
enabling the Court to make an order that is binding on the
Crown or on any person in his capacity as an officer or
servant of the Crown.

3. (1) Application may be made to the Supreme
Court by or on behalf of a court or tribunal (“the requesting
court”) exercising jurisdiction in a country or territory
outside The Bahamas for an order for evidence to be
obtained in The Bahamas.

(2) On receipt of an application under subsection (1),
the Registrar shall send the document to the Attorney-
General and the Attorney-General shall make an applica-
tion to the Supreme Court for an order and take such other
steps as may be necessary to give effect to the request.

14 of 2000
33 of 2000
42 of 2000

Short title.

Interpretation.

Application for
assistance in
obtaining
evidence.

CH.66 – 4] EVIDENCE (PROCEEDINGS IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS)




STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

4. Where an application is made to the Supreme
Court for an order for evidence to be obtained in The
Bahamas and the Court is satisfied —

(a) that the application is made in pursuance of a
request issued by or on behalf of a court or
tribunal (“the requesting court”) exercising
jurisdiction in a country or territory outside The
Bahamas; and

(b) that the evidence to which the application relates
is to be obtained for the purposes of civil
proceedings which either have been instituted
before the requesting court or whose institution
before that court is contemplated and for which
investigations have commenced,

the Court shall have the powers conferred on it by the
following provisions of this Act.

5. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the
Court shall have power, on any such application as is
mentioned in section 4, by order to make such provision
for obtaining evidence in The Bahamas as may appear to
the Court to be appropriate for the purpose of giving effect
to the request in pursuance of which the application is
made; and any such order may require a person specified
therein to take such steps as the Court may consider
appropriate for that purpose.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection
(1) but subject to the provisions of this section, an order
under this section may, in particular, make provision —

(a) for the examination of witnesses, either orally or
in writing;

(b) for the production of documents;
(c) for the inspection, photographing, preservation,

custody or detention of any property;
(d) for the taking of samples of any property and the

carrying out of any experiments on or with any
property;

(e) for the medical examination of any person;
(f) without prejudice to paragraph (e), for the taking

and testing of samples of blood from any person.
(3) An order under this section shall not require any

particular steps to be taken unless they are steps which can
be required to be taken by way of obtaining evidence for


Application to
the Supreme
Court.

33 of 2000, s. 2.

Power of
Supreme Court to
give effect to
application.

EVIDENCE (PROCEEDINGS IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS) [CH.66 – 5



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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

the purposes of civil proceedings in the Court (whether or
not proceedings of the same description as those to which
the application for the order relates); but this subsection
shall not preclude the making of an order requiring a
person to give testimony (either orally or in writing)
otherwise than on oath where this is asked for by the
requesting court.

(4) An order under this section shall not require a
person —

(a) to state what documents relevant to the
proceedings to which the application for the
order relates are or have been in his possession,
custody or power; or

(b) to produce any documents other than particular
documents specified in the order as being
documents appearing to the Court to be, or
likely to be, in his possession, custody or power.

(5) A person who, by virtue of an order under this
section, is required to attend at any place shall be entitled
at the discretion of the Court to the like conduct money and
payment for expenses and loss of time payable by the
applicant.

6. (1) A person shall not be compelled by virtue of
an order under section 5 to give any evidence which he
could not be compelled to give —

(a) in civil proceedings in The Bahamas; or
(b) subject to subsection (2), in civil proceedings in

the country or territory in which the requesting
court exercises jurisdiction.

(2) Subsection (1)(b) shall not apply unless the
claim of the person in question to be exempt from giving
the evidence is either —

(a) supported by a statement contained in the
request (whether it is so supported
unconditionally or subject to conditions that are
fulfilled); or

(b) conceded by the applicant for the order,
and where such a claim made by any person is not
supported or conceded as aforesaid he may (subject to the
other provisions of this section) be required to give the
evidence to which the claim relates but that evidence shall
not be transmitted to the requesting court if that court, on
the matter being referred to it, upholds the claim.

Privilege of
witnesses.

CH.66 – 6] EVIDENCE (PROCEEDINGS IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS)




STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) Without prejudice to subsection (1), a person
shall not be compelled by virtue of an order under section 5
to give any evidence if his doing so would be prejudicial to
the security of The Bahamas; and a certificate signed by or
on behalf of the Minister of National Security to the effect
that it would be so prejudicial for that person to do so shall
be conclusive evidence of that fact.

(4) In this section references to giving evidence
include references to answering any question and to
producing any document and the reference in subsection
(2) to the transmission of evidence given by a person shall
be construed accordingly.

7. (1) The Governor-General may by Order direct
that, subject to such exceptions, adaptations or modifica-
tions as may be specified in the Order, the provisions of
sections 4 to 6 shall have effect in relation to international
proceedings of any description specified in the order.

(2) In this section “international proceedings”
means proceedings before the International Court of Justice
or any other court, tribunal, commission, body or authority
(whether consisting of one or more persons) which, in
pursuance of any international agreement or any resolu-
tion of the General Assembly of the United Nations,
exercises any jurisdiction or performs any functions of a
judicial nature or by way of arbitration, conciliation or
inquiry or is appointed (whether permanently or tempora-
rily) for the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction or
performing any such functions.

8. (1) The power to make rules of court under
section 76 of the Supreme Court Act, 1996 shall include
power to make rules of court —

(a) as to the manner in which any such application
as is mentioned in section 4 is to be made;

(b) subject to the provisions of this Act, as to the.
circumstances in which an order can be made
under section 5; and

(c) as to the manner in which any such reference as
is mentioned in subsection (2) of section 6 is to be
made,


Power of
Supreme Court
to assist in
obtaining
evidence for
international
proceedings.

Rules of court.
Ch. 53.

EVIDENCE (PROCEEDINGS IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS) [CH.66 – 7



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and any such rules may include such incidental, supple-
mentary and consequential provision as the authority
making the rules may consider necessary or expedient.

(2) Until rules are made pursuant to subsection (1),
Order 65 of the Rules of the Supreme Court shall apply to
the obtaining of evidence for the purposes of this Act.

9. Nothing in this Act shall affect —
(a) any application to the Court or judge which is

pending at the commencement of this Act;
(b) any certificate given for the purposes of any

such application;
(c) any power to make an order on such an

application; or
(d) the operation or enforcement of any order made

on such an application.

Pending
applications, etc.,
not affected by
Act.