Crown Proceedings Act


Published: 1964-01-07

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Crown Proceedings Act
CROWN PROCEEDINGS [CH.68 – 1


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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CROWN PROCEEDINGS
CHAPTER 68

CROWN PROCEEDINGS

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.

PART I
SUBSTANTIVE LAW


3. Right to sue the Crown.
4. Liability of the Crown in tort.
5. Provisions as to industrial property.
6. Application of law as to indemnity, contribution, and contributory negligence.
7. Liability in connection with postal packets.
8. Provisions relating to the armed forces.
9. Saving in respect of acts done under prerogative and statutory powers.

PART II
JURISDICTION AND PROCEDURE


10. Civil proceedings how instituted.
11. Interpleader.
12. Parties to proceedings.
13. Service of documents.
14. Nature of relief.
15. Costs in civil proceedings to which the Crown is a party.
16. Appeals and stay of execution.
17. Scope of Part II.

PART III
JUDGMENTS AND EXECUTION


18. Interest on debts, damages and costs.
19. Satisfaction of orders against the Crown.
20. Execution by the Crown.
21. Attachment of moneys payable by the Crown.

[CH.68 – 2] CROWN PROCEEDINGS





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

PART IV
MISCELLANEOUS AND SUPPLEMENTAL

Miscellaneous
22. Discovery.
23. Exclusion of proceedings in rem against the Crown.
24. Limitation of actions.
25. Application to the Crown of certain statutory provisions.
26. No abatement on demise of Crown.
27. Abolition of certain writes.

Supplemental
28. Rules of court.
29. Pending proceedings.
30. Financial provisions.
31. Repeals.
32. Savings.

SCHEDULE — Proceedings Abolished by the Act.

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CHAPTER 68
CROWN PROCEEDINGS.

An Act to amend the law relating to the civil liabilities
and rights of the Crown and to civil proceedings by and
against the Crown, to amend the law relating to the civil
liabilities of persons other than the Crown in certain cases
involving the affairs or property of the Crown, and for
purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[Assent 20th December, 1963]
[Commencement 7th January, 1964]

1. This Act may be cited as the Crown Proceedings
Act.

2. (1) Any reference in this Act to the provisions of
this Act shall, unless the context otherwise requires,
include a reference to rules of court from time to time in
force in relation to this Act.

(2) In this Act, unless the context otherwise
requires —

“agent”, when used in relation to the Crown, includes
an independent contractor employed by the
Crown;

“civil proceedings” includes proceedings in the
Supreme Court for the recovery of fines or
penalties;

“officer”, in relation to the Crown, includes the
Governor-General and any servant of Her
Majesty in right of Her Government of The
Bahamas, and accordingly (but without preju-
dice to the generality of the foregoing provision)
includes a Minister of the Crown in Her
Government of The Bahamas;

“order” includes a judgment, decree, rule, award or
declaration;

35 of 1963
6 of 1970
E.L.A.O., 1974
7 of 1979

Short title.

Interpretation.

[CH.68 – 4] CROWN PROCEEDINGS





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

“proceedings against the Crown” includes a claim by
way of set-off or counterclaim raised in proceed-
ings by the Crown;

“statutory duty” means any duty imposed by or under
any Act.

(3) References in this Act to any enactment shall be
construed as references to that enactment as amended by or
under any other enactment, including this Act.

(4) Any reference in Part III or Part IV of this Act to
civil proceedings by or against the Crown, or to civil
proceedings to which the Crown is a party, shall be
construed to include a reference to civil proceedings to
which the Attorney-General, or any Government depart-
ment, or any officer of the Crown as such, is a party:

Provided that the Crown shall not, for the purposes of
Part III or Part IV of this Act, be deemed to be a party to
any proceedings by reason only that they are brought by
the Attorney-General upon the relation of some other
person.

PART I
SUBSTANTIVE LAW

3. Where any person has a claim against the Crown
after the commencement of this Act, and, if this Act had
not been passed, the claim might have been enforced,
subject to the grant of the Governor-General’s fiat, by
petition of right, or might have been enforced by a
proceeding provided by any statutory provision repealed by
this Act, then, subject to the provisions of this Act, the
claim may be enforced as of right, and without the fiat of
the Governor-General, by proceedings taken against the
Crown for that purpose in accordance with the provisions
of this Act.

4. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the
Crown shall be subject to all those liabilities in tort to
which, if it were a private person of full age and capacity,
it would be subject —

(a) in respect of torts committed by its servants or
agents;

Right to sue the
Crown.

Liability of the
Crown in tort.

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(b) in respect of any breach of those duties which a
person owes to his servants or agents at common
law by reason of being their employer; and

(c) in respect of any breach of the duties attaching
at common law to the ownership, occupation,
possession or control of property:

Provided that no proceedings shall lie against the
Crown by virtue of paragraph (a) of this subsection in
respect of any act or omission of a servant or agent of the
Crown unless the act or omission would apart from the
provisions of this Act have given rise to a cause of action
in tort against that servant or agent or his estate.

(2) Where the Crown is bound by a statutory duty
which is binding also upon persons other than the Crown
and its officers, then, subject to the provisions of this Act,
the Crown shall, in respect of a failure to comply with that
duty, by subject to all those liabilities in tort (if any) to
which it would be so subject if it were a private person of
full age and capacity.

(3) Where any functions are conferred or imposed
upon an officer of the Crown as such either by any rule of
the common law or by statute, and that officer commits a
tort while performing or purporting to perform those
functions, the liabilities of the Crown in respect of the tort
shall be such as they would have been if those functions
had been conferred or imposed solely by virtue of
instructions lawfully given by the Crown.

(4) Any enactment which negatives or limits the
amount of the liability of any Government department or
officer of the Crown in respect of any tort committed by
that department or officer shall, in the case of proceedings
against the Crown under this section in respect of a tort
committed by that department or officer, apply in relation
to the Crown as it would have applied in relation to that
department or officer if the proceedings against the Crown
had been proceedings against that department or officer.

(5) No proceedings shall lie against the Crown by
virtue of this section in respect of anything done or omitted
to be done by any person while discharging or purporting
to discharge any responsibilities of a judicial nature vested
in him, or any responsibilities which he has in connection
with the execution of judicial process.

[CH.68 – 6] CROWN PROCEEDINGS





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(6) No proceedings shall lie against the Crown by
virtue of this section in respect of any act, neglect or
default of any officer of the Crown, unless that officer has
been directly or indirectly appointed by the Crown and was
at the material time paid in respect of his duties as an
officer of the Crown wholly out of the revenue of The
Bahamas or was at the material time holding an office in
respect of which the Minister for the time being
responsible for finance certifies that the holder thereof
would normally be so paid.

5. (1) Where after the commencement of this Act
any servant or agent of the Crown infringes a patent, or
infringes a registered trade mark, or infringes any copy-
right and the infringement is committed with the authority
of the Crown, then subject to the provisions of this Act,
civil proceedings in respect of the infringement shall lie
against the Crown.

(2) Save as expressly provided by this section no
proceedings shall lie against the Crown by virtue of this
Act in respect of the infringement of a patent, in respect of
the infringement of a registered trade mark, or in respect of
the infringement of any such copyright as is mentioned in
subsection (1) of this section.

6. (1) Where the Crown is subject to any liability by
virtue of this Part of this Act, the law relating to indemnity
and contribution shall be enforceable by or against the Crown
in respect of the liability to which it is so subject as if the
Crown were a private person of full age and capacity.

(2) Without prejudice to the general effect of section 3
of this Act, the Contributory Negligence Act (which
amends the law relating to contributory negligence) shall
bind the Crown.

7. (1) Subject as hereinafter provided, no proceedings
in tort shall lie against the Crown for anything done or
omitted to be done in relation to a postal packet by any person
while employed as a servant or agent of the Crown or for
anything done or omitted to be done in relation to a
telephonic communication by any person so employed; nor
shall any officer of the Crown be subject, except at the suit of
the Crown, to any civil liability for any of the matters
aforesaid.

Provisions as to
industrial
property.

Application of
law as to
indemnity,
contribution, and
contributory
negligence.

Ch. 75.

Liability in
connection with
postal packets.

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(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 11 of
the Post Office Act, proceedings shall lie against the Crown
under this subsection in respect of loss of or damage to a
registered local postal packet, not being a telegram, in so far
as the loss or damage is due to any wrongful act done or any
neglect or default committed by a person employed as a
servant or agent of the Crown while performing or
purporting to perform his functions as such in relation to the
receipt, carriage, delivery or other dealing with the packet:

Provided that —
(a) no proceedings shall lie under this subsection in

respect of any postal packet registered before the
commencement of this Act;

(b) the amount recoverable in any proceedings under
this subsection shall not exceed the market value
of the packet in question (excluding the market
value of any message or information which it
bears) at the time when the cause of action arises;

(c) the amount recoverable in any such proceedings
shall not in any event exceed the maximum
amount which, under the Post Office Act, is
available for compensating the persons
aggrieved having regard to the fee paid in
respect of the registration of the packet; and

(d) the Crown shall not be liable under this
subsection in respect of any packet unless such
conditions as are prescribed by the Post Office
Act in relation to registered local postal packets
have been complied with in relation to that
packet.

For the purpose of any proceedings under this
subsection, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is
shown on behalf of the Crown, that the loss of or damage
to the packet was due to some wrongful act done, or some
neglect or default committed, by a person employed as
servant or agent of the Crown while performing or
purporting to perform his functions as such in relation to
the receipt, carriage, delivery or other dealing with the
packet.

Ch. 300.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) No relief shall be available under subsection (2)
of this section except upon a claim by the sender or the
addressee of the packet in question; and the sender or
addressee of the packet shall be entitled to claim any relief
available under the said subsection in respect of the packet,
whether or not he is the person damnified by the injury
complained of, and to give a good discharge in respect of
all claims in respect of the packet under the said
subsection:

Provided that where the court is satisfied, upon an
application by any person who is not the sender or
addressee of the packet, that the sender and the addressee
are unable or unwilling to enforce their remedies in respect
of the packet under the said subsection, the court may,
upon such terms as to security for costs and otherwise as
the court thinks just, allow that other person to bring
proceedings under the said subsection in the name of the
sender or the addressee of the packet.

Any reference in this subsection to the sender or
addressee of the packet includes a reference to his personal
representatives.

(4) Where by virtue of subsection (3) of this section
any person recovers any money or property which, apart
from that subsection, would have been recoverable by
some other person, that money or property so recovered
shall be held on trust for that person.

(5) In this section the expression —
“postal packet” has, subject as hereinafter provided,

the same meaning as in the Post Office Act;
“local postal packet” means a postal packet which is

posted in The Bahamas for delivery in The
Bahamas, to the person to whom it is addressed;

“sender”, in relation to a postal packet, has the same
meaning as in the Post Office Act.

(6) Any reference in this section to a postal packet
shall be construed as including a reference to the contents
of such a packet.

Ch. 300.

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8. (1) Nothing done or omitted to be done by a
member of the Defence Force while on duty as such shall
subject either him or the Crown to liability in tort for
causing the death of another person, or for causing
personal injury to another person, in so far as the death or
personal injury is due to anything suffered by that other
person while he is a member of the Defence Force if —

(a) at the time that thing is suffered by that other
person, he is either on duty as a member of the
Defence Force or is, though not on duty as such
on any land, premises, ship, aircraft, or vehicle
for the time being used for the purposes of the
Defence Force; and

(b) the Minister responsible for Pensions and Gratu-
ities, certifies that his suffering that thing has
been or will be treated as attributable to service
for the purposes of entitlement to a gratuity or
pension under any written law relating to the
disablement or death of members of the Defence
Force:

Provided that this subsection shall not exempt a
member of the said Defence Force from liability in tort in
any case in which the court is satisfied that the act or
omission was not connected with the execution of his
duties as a member of the Defence Force.

(2) No proceedings in tort shall lie against the
Crown for death or personal injury due to anything
suffered by a member of the Defence Force if —

(a) that thing is suffered by him in consequence of
the nature or condition of any such land,
premises, ship, aircraft or vehicle as aforesaid,
or in consequence of the nature or condition of
any equipment or supplies used for the purposes
of Defence Force;

(b) the Minister responsible for Pensions and gratu-
ities certifies as mentioned in subparagraph (b)
of subsection (1),

nor shall any act or omission of an officer of the Crown
subject him to liability in tort for death or personal injury,
in so far as the death or personal injury is due to anything
suffered by a member of the Defence Force being a thing
as to which the conditions aforesaid are satisfied.

Provisions
relating to the
armed forces.
7 of 1979, 3rd
Sch.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

[CH.68 – 10] CROWN PROCEEDINGS





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) The Minister responsible for Defence, if satisfied
that it is the fact —

(a) that a person was or was not on any particular
occasion on duty as a member of the Defence
Force; or

(b) that at any particular time any land, premises,
ship, aircraft, vehicle, equipment or supplies was
or was not, or were or were not, used for the
purposes of the Defence Force,

may issue a certificate certifying that to be the fact; and
any such certificate shall, for the purposes of this section,
be conclusive as to the fact which it certifies.

9. (1) Nothing in Part I of this Act shall extinguish
or abridge any powers or authorities which, if this Act had
not been passed, would have been exercisable by virtue of
the prerogative of the Crown, or any powers or authorities
conferred on the Crown by any statute and, in particular,
nothing in the said Part I shall extinguish or abridge any
power or authorities exercisable by the Crown, whether in
time of peace or war for the purposes of defence or of
training or maintaining the efficiency of, any of the
Defence Forces.

(2) Where in any proceedings under this Act it is
material to determine whether anything was properly done
or omitted to be done in the exercise of the prerogative of
the Crown, the Governor-General may, if satisfied that the
act or omission was necessary for any such purpose as is
mentioned in the last preceding subsection, issue a
certificate to the effect that the act or omission was
necessary for that purpose; and the certificate shall, in
those proceedings, be conclusive as to the matter so
certified.

PART II
JURISDICTION AND PROCEDURE

10. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, all such
civil proceedings by or against the Crown as are mentioned
in the Schedule to this Act are hereby abolished, and all
civil proceedings by or against the Crown shall be
instituted and proceeded with in the Supreme Court and in
accordance with rules of court and not otherwise:

E.L.A.O., 1974.

Saving in respect
of acts done
under preroga-
tive and statutory
powers.

Civil proceedings
how instituted.

Schedule.

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Provided that where any enactment now or at any
time hereafter in force requires or permits civil proceedings
to be taken in a court of a stipendiary and circuit magistrate
such court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any
such proceedings notwithstanding that the Crown is a party
thereto.

(2) In this section the expression “rules of court”
means, in relation to any claim against the Crown in the
Supreme Court which falls within the jurisdiction of that
court as a prize court, rules of court made under section 3
of the Prize Courts Act, 1894.

11. The Crown may obtain relief by way of inter-
pleader proceedings, and may be made a party to such
proceedings, in the same manner in which a subject may
obtain relief by way of such proceedings or be made a
party thereto.

12. (1) Civil proceedings by or against the Crown
shall be instituted by or against the Attorney-General.

(2) No proceedings instituted in accordance with
this Part of this Act by or against the Attorney-General
shall abate or be affected by any change in the person
holding the office of Attorney-General.

13. All documents required to be served on the
Crown for the purpose of or in connection with any civil
proceedings by or against the Crown shall be served on the
Attorney-General.

14. In any civil proceedings by or against the Crown
the court shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have
power to make all such orders as it has power to make in
proceedings between subjects, and otherwise to give such
appropriate relief as the case may require:

Provided that —
(a) where in any proceedings against the Crown any

such relief is sought as might in proceedings
between subjects be granted by way of injunction
or specific performance, the court shall not grant
an injunction or make an order for specific
performance, but may in lieu thereof make an
order declaratory of the rights of the parties; and

57 & 58 Vict.
c. 39.

Interpleader.

Parties to
proceedings.

Service of
documents.

Nature of relief.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(b) in any proceedings against the Crown for the
recovery of land or other property the court shall
not make an order for the recovery of the land or
the delivery of the property, but may in lieu
thereof make an order declaring that the plaintiff
is entitled as against the Crown to the land or
property or to the possession thereof.

(2) The court shall not in any civil proceedings
grant any injunction or make any order against an officer
of the Crown if the effect of granting the injunction or
making the order would be to give any relief against the
Crown which could not have been obtained in proceedings
against the Crown.

15. In any civil proceedings or arbitration to which
the Crown is a party, the costs of and incidental to the
proceedings shall be awarded in the same manner and on
the same principles as in cases between subjects, and the
court or arbitrator shall have power to make an order for
the payment of costs by or to the Crown accordingly:

Provided that —
(a) in the case of proceedings to which by reason of

any enactment or otherwise the Attorney-Gen-
eral, a Government department or any officer of
the Crown as such is authorised to be made a
party, the court or arbitrator shall have regard to
the nature of the proceedings and the character
and circumstances in which the Attorney-Gen-
eral, the department or officer of the Crown
appears, and may in the exercise of its or his
discretion order any other party to the proceed-
ings to pay the costs of the Attorney-General,
department or officer, whatever may be the result
of the proceedings; and

(b) nothing in this section shall affect the power of
the court or arbitrator to order, or any enact-
ment providing for, the payment of costs out of
any particular fund or property, or any enact-
ment expressly relieving any department or
officer of the Crown of the liability to pay costs.

Costs in civil
proceedings to
which the Crown
is a party.

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16. Subject to the provisions of this Act, all enact-
ments and rules of court relating to appeals and stay of
execution shall, with any necessary modification, apply to
civil proceedings by or against the Crown as they apply to
proceedings between subjects.

17. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, any
reference in this Part of this Act to civil proceedings by the
Crown shall be construed as a reference to the following
proceedings only —

(a) proceedings for the enforcement or vindication
of any right or the obtaining of any relief which,
if this Act had not been passed, might have been
enforced or vindicated or obtained by any such
proceedings as are mentioned in paragraph 1 of
the Schedule to this Act;

(b) proceedings for the enforcement or vindication
of any right or the obtaining of any relief which,
if this Act had not been passed, might have been
enforced or vindicated or obtained by an action
at the suit of any Government department or any
officer of the Crown as such; and

(c) all such proceedings as the Crown is entitled to
bring by virtue of this Act.

The expression “civil proceedings by or against the
Crown” shall be construed accordingly.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this section, any
reference in this Part of this Act to civil proceedings
against the Crown shall be construed as a reference to the
following proceedings only —

(a) proceedings for the enforcement or vindication
of any right or the obtaining of any relief which,
if this Act had not been passed, might have been
enforced or vindicated or obtained by any such
proceedings as are mentioned in paragraph 2 of
the Schedule to this Act;

(b) proceedings for the enforcement or vindication
of any right or the obtaining of any relief which,
if this Act had not been passed, might have been
enforced or vindicated or obtained by an action
against the Attorney-General, any Government
department, or any officer of the Crown as such;
and

Appeals and stay
of execution.

Scope of Part II.

Schedule.

Schedule.

[CH.68 – 14] CROWN PROCEEDINGS





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(c) all such proceedings as any person is entitled to
bring against the Crown by virtue of this Act.

The expression “civil proceedings by or against the
Crown” shall be construed accordingly.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in the preceding provi-
sions of this section, the provisions of this Part of this Act
shall not have effect with respect to any of the following
proceedings, that is to say —

(a) proceedings brought by the Attorney-General on
the relation of some other person;

(b) proceedings by or against the Attorney-General
relating to charitable trusts.

PART III
JUDGMENTS AND EXECUTION

18. (1) The provisions of any law relating to the
payment of interest on judgment debts in proceedings
between subjects shall apply to judgment debts due from or
to the Crown.

(2) Where any costs are awarded to or against the
Crown in the Supreme Court, interest shall be payable
upon those costs unless the court otherwise orders, and any
interest so payable shall be at the same rate as that at which
interest is payable upon judgment debts due from or to the
Crown.

(3) The provisions of any law empowering a court
to award interest on debts and damages shall apply to
judgments given in proceedings by and against the Crown.

(4) This section shall apply both in relation to
proceedings pending at the commencement of this Act and
in relation to proceedings instituted thereafter.

19. (1) Where in any civil proceedings by or against
the Crown, or in connection with any arbitration to which
the Crown is a party, any order (including an order for
costs) is made in favour of any person against the Crown,
the proper officer of the court shall, on an application in
that behalf made by or on behalf of that person at any time
after the expiration of twenty-one days from the date of the


Interest on debts,
damages and
costs.

Satisfaction of
orders against
the Crown.

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order or, in case the order provides for the payment of
costs and the costs require to be taxed, at any time after the
costs have been taxed, whichever is the later, issue to that
person a certificate in the prescribed form containing
particulars of the order:

Provided that, if the court so directs, a separate
certificate shall be issued with respect to the costs (if any)
ordered to be paid to the applicant.

(2) A copy of any certificate issued under this
section may be served by the person in whose favour the
order is made upon the Attorney-General.

(3) If the order provides for the payment of any
money by way of damages or otherwise, or of any costs,
the certificate shall state the amount so payable, and the
Minister responsible for finance shall, subject as herein-
after provided, cause to be paid to the person entitled or to
his attorney the amount appearing by the certificate to be
due to him together with the interest, if any, lawfully due
thereon:

Provided that the court by which any such order as
aforesaid is made or any court to which an appeal against
the order lies may direct that, pending an appeal or
otherwise, payment of the whole of any amount so payable,
or any part thereof, shall be suspended, and if the
certificate has not been issued may order such direction to
be inserted therein.

(4) Save as aforesaid no execution or attachment or
process in the nature thereof shall be issued out of the court
for enforcing payment by the Crown of any such money or
costs as aforesaid, and no person shall be individually
liable under any order for the payment by the Crown of any
such money or costs.

(5) This section shall apply both in relation to
proceedings pending at the commencement of this Act and
in relation to proceedings instituted thereafter.

20. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, any order
made in favour of the Crown against any person in any civil
proceedings to which the Crown is a party may be enforced in
the same manner as an order made in an action between
subjects, and not otherwise.

Execution by the
Crown.

[CH.68 – 16] CROWN PROCEEDINGS





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

This subsection shall apply both in relation to
proceedings pending at the commencement of this Act and
in relation to proceedings instituted thereafter.

(2) Sections 3 and 4 of the Debtors Act, (which
provide respectively for the abolition of imprisonment for
debt, and for saving the power of committal in case of
small debts) shall apply to sums of money payable and
debts due to the Crown.

(3) Nothing in this section shall affect any
procedure which immediately before the commencement
of this Act was available for enforcing an order made in
favour of the Crown in proceedings brought by the Crown
for the recovery of any fine or penalty, or the forfeiture or
condemnation of any goods, or the forfeiture of any ship or
any share in a ship.

21. Where any money is payable by the Crown to
some person who, under any order of court, is liable to pay
any money to any other person, and that other person
would, if the money so payable by the Crown were money
payable by a subject, be entitled under rules of court to
obtain an order for the attachment thereof as a debt due or
accruing due, or an order for the appointment of a
sequestrator or receiver to receive the money on his behalf,
the Supreme Court may, subject to the provisions of this
Act and in accordance with rules of court, make an order
restraining the first-mentioned person from receiving that
money and directing payment thereof to that other person,
or to the sequestrator or receiver:

Provided that no such order shall be made in respect
of —

(a) any wages or salary payable to any officer of the
Crown as such;

(b) any money which is subject to the provisions of
any enactment prohibiting or restricting assign-
ment or charging or taking in execution; or

(c) any money payable by the Crown to any person
on account of a deposit in the Post Office
Savings Bank.

Ch. 70.

Attachment of
moneys payable
by the Crown.

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PART IV
MISCELLANEOUS AND SUPPLEMENTAL

Miscellaneous
22. (1) Subject to and in accordance with rules of

court —
(a) in any civil proceedings in the Supreme Court to

which the Crown is a party, the Crown may be
required by the court to make discovery of
documents and produce documents for inspec-
tion; and

(b) in any such proceedings as aforesaid, the Crown
may be required by the court to answer inter-
rogatories:

Provided that this section shall be without prejudice
to any rule of law which authorises or requires the
withholding of any document or the refusal to answer any
question on the ground that the disclosure of the document
or the answering of the question would be injurious to the
public interest.

(2) Any order of the court made under the powers
conferred by paragraph (b) of subsection (1) shall direct by
what officer of the Crown the interrogatories are to be
answered.

(3) Without prejudice to the proviso to subsection
(1), any rules made for the purposes of this section shall be
such as to secure that the existence of a document will not
be disclosed if, in the opinion of a Minister of the Crown in
the Government of The Bahamas, it would be injurious to
the public interest to disclose the existence thereof.

23. (1) Nothing in this Act shall 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
aircraft, or of any cargo or other property belonging to the
Crown, or give to any person any lien on any such ship,
aircraft, cargo or other property.

(2) Where proceedings in rem have been instituted
in the Supreme Court or the court of a stipendiary and
circuit magistrate against any such ship, aircraft, cargo or
other property, the court may, if satisfied, either on an


Discovery.

Exclusion of
proceedings in
rem against the
Crown.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

application by the plaintiff for an order under this
subsection or an application by the Crown to set aside the
proceedings, that the proceedings were so instituted by the
plaintiff in the reasonable belief that the ship, aircraft,
cargo or other property did not belong to the Crown, order
that the proceedings shall be treated as if they were in
personam duly instituted against the Crown in accordance
with the provisions of this Act, or duly instituted against
any other person whom the court regards as the proper
person to be sued in the circumstances, and that the
proceedings shall continue accordingly.

(3) Any such order may be made upon such terms,
if any, as the court thinks just; and where the court makes
any such order it may make such consequential orders as
the court thinks expedient.

24. Nothing in this Act shall prejudice the right of
the Crown to rely upon the law relating to the limitation of
time for bringing proceedings against public authorities.

25. (1) This Act shall not prejudice the right of the
Crown to take advantage of the provisions of any statute
although not named therein; and it is hereby declared that
in any civil proceedings against the Crown the provisions
of any Act which could, if the proceedings were between
subjects, be relied upon by the defendant as a defence to
the proceedings, whether in whole or in part, or otherwise,
may, subject to any express provision to the contrary, be so
relied upon by the Crown.

(2) Section 5 of the Debtors Act (which empowers
the court in certain circumstances to order the arrest of a
defendant about to quit The Bahamas) shall, with any
necessary modifications, apply to civil proceedings in the
Supreme Court by the Crown.

26. No claim by or against the Crown, and no
proceedings for the enforcement of any such claim, shall
abate or be affected by the demise of the Crown.

27. No writ of extent or diem clausit extremum shall
issue after the commencement of this Act.

Limitation of
actions.

Application to
the Crown of
certain statutory
provisions.

Ch. 70.

No abatement on
demise of Crown.

Abolition of
certain writs.

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Supplemental
28. (1) Any power to make rules of court under any

law shall include power to make rules for the purpose of
giving effect to the provisions of this Act, and any such
rules may contain provisions to have effect in relation to
any proceedings by or against the Crown in substitution for
or by way of addition to any of the provisions of the rules
applying to proceedings between subjects.

(2) Provision shall be made by rules of court with
respect to the following matters —

(a) for providing for service of process, or notice
thereof, in the case of proceedings by the Crown
against persons, whether British subjects or not,
who are not resident in The Bahamas;

(b) for securing that where any civil proceedings are
brought against the Crown in accordance with
the provisions of this Act the plaintiff shall,
before the Crown is required to take any step in
the proceedings, provide the Crown with such
information as the Crown may reasonably
require as to the circumstances in which it is
alleged that the liability of the Crown has arisen
and as to the departments and officers of the
Crown concerned;

(c) for providing that in the case of proceedings
against the Crown the plaintiff shall not enter
judgment against the Crown in default of
appearance or pleading without the leave of the
court to be obtained on an application of which
notice has been given to the Crown;

(d) for excepting proceedings brought against the
Crown from the operation of any rule of court
providing for summary judgment without trial,
and for enabling any such proceedings to be put
in proper cases into any special list which may
be kept for the trial of short causes in which
leave to defend is given under any such rule of
court as aforesaid;

(e) for enabling evidence to be taken on commission in
proceedings by or against the Crown;

Rules of court.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(f) for providing —
(i) that a person shall not be entitled to avail

himself of any set-off or counterclaim in
any proceedings by the Crown for the
recovery of taxes, duties or penalties, or to
avail himself in proceedings of any other
nature by the Crown of any set-off or
counterclaim arising out of a right or claim
to repayment in respect of any taxes, duties
or penalties; and

(ii) that the Crown, when sued in the name of
the Attorney-General, shall not be entitled
to avail itself of any set-off or counterclaim
without the leave of the court.

(3) Provision may be made by rules of court for
regulating any appeals to the Supreme Court, whether by
way of case stated or otherwise, under any statute relating
to the revenue, and any rules made under this subsection
may revoke any written law or rules in force immediately
before the commencement of this Act so far as they
regulate any such appeals, and may make provision for any
matters for which provision was made by any written law
or rules so in force.

29. Save as otherwise expressly provided, the provi-
sions of this Act shall not affect proceedings by or against the
Crown which have been instituted before the com-
mencement of this Act; and for the purposes of this section
proceedings against the Crown by petition of right shall be
deemed to have been so instituted if a petition shall have been
filed in the Supreme Court.

30. (1) Any expenditure incurred by or on behalf of
the Crown in right of its Government of The Bahamas by
reason of the passing of this Act shall be defrayed out of
moneys provided by Parliament.

(2) Any sums payable to the Crown in right of its
Government of The Bahamas by reason of the passing of
this Act shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

31. (1) Nothing in this Act shall apply to
proceedings by or against, or authorise proceedings in tort
to be brought against, Her Majesty in Her private capacity.

Pending
proceedings.

Financial
provisions.

Savings.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(2) Except as therein otherwise expressly provided
nothing in this Act shall —

(a) affect the law relating to prize salvage, or apply
to proceedings in causes or matters within the
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as a prize
court or to any criminal proceedings;

(b) authorise proceedings to be taken against the
Crown under or in accordance with this Act in
respect of any alleged liability of the Crown
arising otherwise than in respect of its Govern-
ment of The Bahamas, or affect proceedings
against the Crown in respect of any such alleged
liability as aforesaid;

(c) affect any proceedings by the Crown otherwise
than in right of its Government of The Bahamas;

(d) subject the Crown to any greater liabilities in
respect of the acts or omissions of any indepen-
dent contractor employed by the Crown than
those to which the Crown would be subject in
respect of such acts or omissions if it were a
private person;

(e) affect any rules of evidence or any presumption
relating to the extent to which the Crown is
bound by any statute;

(f) affect any right of the Crown to demand a trial at
bar or to control or otherwise intervene in
proceedings affecting its rights, property or
profits;

(g) affect any liability imposed upon the Public
Trustee or on the Government of The Bahamas
by the Public Trustee Act,

and, without prejudice to the general effect of the
foregoing provisions, Part III of this Act shall not apply to
the Crown except in right of its Government of The
Bahamas.

(3) A certificate of the Minister responsible for
National Security —

(a) to the effect that any alleged liability of the
Crown arises otherwise than in respect of its
Government of The Bahamas; or

6 of 1979, s. 17.

Ch. 177.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(b) to the effect that any proceedings by the Crown
are proceedings otherwise than in right of its
Government of The Bahamas,

shall, for the purposes of this Act, be conclusive as to the
matter so certified.

(4) Where any property vests in the Crown by virtue
of any rule of law which operates independently of the acts
or the intentions of the Crown, the Crown shall not by
virtue of this Act be subject to any liabilities in tort by
reason only of the property being so vested; but the
provisions of this subsection shall be without prejudice to
the liabilities of the Crown under this Act in respect of any
period after the Crown or any person acting for the Crown
has in fact taken possession or control of any such
property, or entered into occupation thereof.

(5) This Act shall not operate to limit the discretion
of the court to grant relief by way of mandamus in cases in
which such relief might have been granted before the
commencement of this Act, notwithstanding that by reason
of the provisions of this Act some other and further remedy
is available.

SCHEDULE (Sections 10 and 17)

PROCEEDINGS ABOLISHED BY THE ACT
1. (a) Latin informations and English informations.
(b) Writs of capias and respondendum, writs of subpoena ad

respondendum, and writs of appraisements.
(c) Writs of scire facias.
(d) Proceedings for the determination of any issue upon

a writ of extent or of diem clausit extremum.
(e) Proceedings by or on behalf of the Crown under the

Official Contracts Act (No. 18 of 1906).
2. (a) Proceedings against Her Majesty by way of petition

of right, including proceedings by way of petition of right
intituled in the Admiralty Division under section 52 of the Naval
Prize Act 1864 (27 & 28 Vict. c. 25).

(b) Proceedings against Her Majesty by way of
monstrans de droit.

(c) Proceedings in claims against the Crown under the
Petition of Right Act (No. 21 of 1980).

(d) Proceedings against the Crown under the Official
Contracts Act (No. 18 of 1906).

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