Council Committees
Council Committees

56.—(1) There shall be such number of Council Committees as the Governor may from time to time determine.

(2) A Council Committee shall consist of—

(a) such number of persons who are Members of the Legislative Council; and

(b) such number, if any, of persons who are not Members of the Council,

as the Governor, acting after consultation with the Chairman of the Committee, may decide.

(3) There shall be a Chairman of each Council Committee who shall be an Elected Member of the Legislative Council.

(4) The Chairman and the other members of a Council Committee shall be appointed by the Governor, acting in accordance with the following provisions of this section, by notice published in the Gazette.

(5) Subject to subsection (6), the Governor shall appoint as Chairman of a Council Committee such Elected Member of the Legislative Council as shall have been nominated for that office by the votes of a majority of all the Elected Members of the Council.

(6) If, within such period as the Governor in his or her judgement considers reasonable, no person has been nominated in accordance with subsection (5) for the office of Chairman of a Council Committee, the Governor shall, acting in his or her discretion, forthwith appoint an Elected Member of the Legislative Council as Chairman of that Committee.

(7) The Governor shall appoint the members of a Council Committee other than the Chairman after consultation with the Chairman of that Committee.

Tenure of office of members of Council Committees

57.—(1) The office of a member of a Council Committee shall become vacant—

(a) if his or her appointment is terminated by the Governor, acting in accordance with subsections (2) to (4), by notice published in the Gazette;

(b) in the case of a person who was an Elected Member of the Legislative Council at the time of his or her appointment—

(i) if he or she ceases to be an Elected Member of the Council otherwise than by reason of a dissolution of the Council; or

(ii) at the first sitting of the Council after any dissolution of the Council; and

(c) in the case of a member who was not an Elected Member of the Legislative Council at the time of his or her appointment, if he or she is elected to be a Member of the Council.

(2) The Governor shall terminate the appointment of a Chairman of a Council Committee appointed under section 56(5) if a motion that his or her appointment should be terminated receives in the Legislative Council the affirmative votes of a majority of all the Elected Members of the Council.

(3) The Governor may, acting in his or her discretion, terminate the appointment of a Chairman of a Council Committee appointed under section 56(6).

(4) The Governor may terminate the appointment of a member of a Council Committee other than the Chairman after consultation with the Chairman of that Committee.

Functions of Council Committees

58.—(1) A Council Committee shall be appointed by the Governor for such general or special purposes as would be most suitably regulated or managed by means of a committee.

(2) The Governor may, by directions in writing, charge any Council Committee with responsibility for any subject or department of government, except for any matter referred to in section 44(1)(a), (b), (c), (d) or (e).

Rules of procedure and meetings of Council Committees

59.  The Governor may by order make the rules of procedure of Council Committees and may likewise determine the quorum and place of meeting of each Committee.

Powers and Procedure of Legislative Council
Power to make laws

60.  Subject to this Constitution, the Legislature may make laws for the peace, order and good government of St Helena.

Meetings of Legislative Council

61.—(1) Meetings of the Legislative Council shall be held at such places and begin at such times as the Council shall determine by resolution or, in the absence of such resolution, as the Speaker shall appoint.

(2) The first meeting of the Legislative Council after a general election shall be held at a time and place appointed by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion.

(3) If—

(a) more than six weeks have elapsed since the last sitting day of the most recent meeting of the Legislative Council, and no time has been appointed for the next meeting, or that time is more than eight weeks after that day; or

(b) a proclamation of a state of emergency is in force under a law, and, after five days from the date on which the emergency was proclaimed, a place and time have not been appointed for a meeting of the Council as soon as practicable,

any four or more Elected Members may request the Speaker to appoint a time and place for the next meeting; and on receiving such a request, the Speaker shall appoint the earliest practicable time, and the place, for the holding of that meeting.

(4) There shall be at least three meetings of the Legislative Council during each calendar year.

Presiding in Legislative Council or otherwise discharging the functions of Speaker

62.—(1) At sittings of the Legislative Council there shall preside—

(a) at the first meeting of the Council after a general election, until a Speaker has been elected, the Governor;

(b) at any time when there is a person holding the office of Speaker, the Speaker;

(c) in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker; or

(d) except at the first meeting of the Council after a general election, in the absence of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, such Member of the Council as may be elected by the Elected Members then present to preside until the Speaker or Deputy Speaker is again present.

(2) The Deputy Speaker may attend any sitting of the Legislative Council at which the Speaker presides but may not take part in the proceedings of the Council at that sitting.

(3) At any time after the election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, other than a time when the Legislative Council is sitting, the other functions of the Speaker shall be discharged by—

(a) the Speaker;

(b) if the Speaker is not available, the Deputy Speaker; or

(c) if neither the Speaker nor the Deputy Speaker is available, the Clerk of Councils.

Legislative Council may transact business notwithstanding vacancies

63.  The Legislative Council shall not be disqualified for the transaction of business by reason of any vacancy in its membership (including any vacancy not filled when the Council first meets after a general election or an election to fill a vacancy among the Elected Members of the Council), and any proceedings in the Council shall be valid even though some person who was not entitled to do so sat or voted in the Council or otherwise took part in those proceedings.

Quorum

64.—(1) A quorum shall consist of seven Elected Members of the Legislative Council (including any Member presiding).

(2) If at any sitting of the Legislative Council a quorum is not present and any Member of the Council who is present objects on that account to the transaction of business and, after such interval as may be prescribed in the Standing Orders of the Council, the person presiding at the sitting ascertains that a quorum is still not present, he or she shall adjourn the Council.

Governor’s right to address Legislative Council

65.  The Governor, acting in his or her discretion, shall have the right to address the Legislative Council at a time during a meeting of the Council fixed by the Speaker at the Governor’s request.

Power to require officers of the St Helena Public Service to attend meetings

66.  The Speaker or other person presiding, acting in his or her discretion, may require any officer of the St Helena Public Service to attend a meeting of the Legislative Council when, in the opinion of the Speaker or other person presiding, the business before the Council makes the presence of that officer desirable.

Voting

67.—(1) Save as otherwise provided in this Constitution, all questions proposed for decision in the Legislative Council shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the Elected Members present and voting.

(2) The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker shall not have a deliberative vote nor a casting vote.

(3) Any Elected Member presiding shall have a deliberative vote but not a casting vote.

(4) If, on any question, the votes are evenly divided, the motion shall be lost.

(5) The ex officio Members of the Legislative Council shall not vote in the Council.

Standing Orders

68.  The Legislative Council may make, amend and revoke Standing Orders consistent with this Constitution for the regulation and orderly conduct of its proceedings and the despatch of business and for the passing of Bills and for their presentation to the Governor for assent.

Public Accounts Committee

69.—(1) There shall be a Public Accounts Committee which shall consist of—

(a) a chairman and one other member appointed by the Governor, acting after consultation with the Elected Members of the Legislative Council, from among persons who are not Members of the Council; and

(b) three Elected Members of the Legislative Council, who shall be elected by the Council by a majority of the votes of all its Elected Members.

(2) A person may be appointed or elected under subsection (1) for any period not exceeding four years.

(3) A member of the Public Accounts Committee shall vacate his or her seat on the Committee—

(a) at the expiration of the period for which he or she was appointed or elected;

(b) if he or she resigns office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the Governor;

(c) in the case of an appointed member, if he or she becomes a Member of the Legislative Council or if he or she is removed by the Governor, acting after consultation with the Elected Members of the Council; or

(d) in the case of an elected member, if he or she ceases to be a Member of the Legislative Council or if he or she is removed by resolution of the Council.

(4) If in respect of any item of business before the Public Accounts Committee the Governor, acting after consultation with the chairman of the Committee, considers that a member of the Committee has a conflict of interests, the Governor, acting after consultation with the Elected Members of the Legislative Council, may appoint another person temporarily to replace that member of the Committee for the purpose of dealing with the business in question; and a member so replaced shall not sit on the Committee when the Committee is dealing with that business.

(5) The Public Accounts Committee may invite any person to assist it in its work and to participate in its proceedings.

(6) The Public Accounts Committee shall examine and report to the Legislative Council on—

(a) the annual statement of accounts as audited by the Chief Auditor and laid before the Council; and

(b) such management letters and reports of the Chief Auditor as have been laid before the Council or as the Chief Auditor has brought to the attention of the Council;

and shall have such other functions, and shall operate under such procedures, as may be prescribed by Ordinance or by Standing Orders of the Council.

(7) The Public Accounts Committee shall have power—

(a) to summon any person to appear before it; and

(b) subject to the provisions of any law, to require any person so summoned to answer questions and to provide information to the Committee.

(8) The Public Accounts Committee shall report to the Legislative Council by the date set by the Council or by its terms of reference, whichever is the earlier; and except as otherwise provided in the Committee’s terms of reference, such a report may be with or without recommendations.

(9) If the Legislative Council adopts a report of the Public Accounts Committee, and requests the responsible member of the Executive Council to advise the Legislative Council of the action proposed to be taken by the Government of St Helena in respect of the report, the member concerned shall convey the Government’s response to the Council not later than the first sitting day following the expiration of six weeks after the date of the Council’s request, unless the Council extends the time for the response.

(10) In the exercise of its functions, the Public Accounts Committee shall act independently and shall not be subject to the direction or control of the Governor, the Executive Council or any other person or authority.

Privileges

70.  The privileges, immunities and powers of the Legislative Council, the Speaker and its other Members may be determined and regulated by Ordinance but shall not exceed the corresponding privileges, immunities and powers of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom or of its members.

Code of Conduct

71.  Subject to this Constitution and to any other law, and to the Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, a Code of Conduct, approved by the Legislative Council, shall detail the behaviour expected of members of the Executive Council and of the Speaker and other Members of the Legislative Council, and shall regulate their relationship with officers of the St Helena Public Service.

Remuneration of elected members of Executive Council, other Elected Members of Legislative Council, Speaker and Deputy Speaker

72.—(1) Subject to subsection (2), the elected members of the Executive Council, the other Elected Members of the Legislative Council, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker shall receive such remuneration and allowances and other benefits as are provided by Ordinance.

(2) The Legislative Council shall not proceed on any Bill for an Ordinance referred to in subsection (1) unless the report of an independent body appointed by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, recommending the appropriate levels of such remuneration and other allowances and benefits (if any) has been laid before the Council and has been published; and no Ordinance shall provide for levels of remuneration, allowances or benefits that exceed the levels recommended in such report.

(3) Neither subsection (1) nor the provision made by an Ordinance referred to in that subsection is authority for the payment of that remuneration or any other monetary allowances or benefits, and such remuneration and such allowances and benefits (if any) shall be paid only under the authority of the Appropriation Ordinance or a Supplementary Appropriation Ordinance, or, in the absence of such an Ordinance for the financial year in respect of which they are due, under the authority otherwise conferred by this Constitution.

Introduction of Bills

73.—(1) Subject to this Constitution and to the Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, any Member may introduce any Bill or propose any motion for debate in, or may present any petition to, the Council, and the same shall be debated and disposed of according to the Standing Orders of the Council.

(2) Except on the recommendation of the Governor, the Legislative Council shall not—

(a) proceed on any Bill (including any amendment to a Bill) which, in the opinion of the person presiding in the Council, makes provision for imposing or increasing any tax, for imposing or increasing any charge on the revenues or other funds of St Helena, or for altering any such charge otherwise than by reducing it, or for compounding or remitting any debt due to St Helena;

(b) proceed on any motion (including any amendment to a motion) the effect of which, in the opinion of the person presiding in the Council, is that provision would be made for any of the purposes aforesaid; or

(c) receive any petition which, in the opinion of the person presiding in the Council, requests that provision be made for any of the purposes aforesaid.

Assent to Bills

74.—(1) A Bill shall not become law until—

(a) the Governor has assented to it in Her Majesty’s name and on Her Majesty’s behalf and has signed it in token of that assent; or

(b) Her Majesty has given Her assent to it through a Secretary of State and the Governor has signified that assent by a proclamation published in the Gazette.

(2) When a Bill is presented for assent, the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, shall either assent to it or reserve the Bill for the signification of Her Majesty’s pleasure.

(3) Unless he or she has been authorised by a Secretary of State to assent to it, the Governor shall reserve for the signification of Her Majesty’s pleasure any Bill which appears to him or her, acting in his or her discretion—

(a) to be inconsistent with one or more of the partnership values declared in section 2;

(b) to be repugnant to or inconsistent with this Constitution; or

(c) to determine or regulate the privileges, immunities or powers of the Legislative Council or its Members.

(4) A Bill assented to by the Governor shall become law on the date of assent.

(5) A Bill reserved for the signification of Her Majesty’s pleasure shall become law on the date on which the Governor’s proclamation signifying the giving of that assent is published in the Gazette.

Disallowance of laws

75.—(1) Any law to which the Governor has given his or her assent may be disallowed by Her Majesty through a Secretary of State.

(2) Whenever a law has been disallowed by Her Majesty the Governor shall, as soon as practicable, cause notice of the disallowance to be published in the Gazette, and the law shall be annulled with effect from the date of the publication of that notice.

(3) Section 16(1) of the Interpretation Act 1978(5) shall apply to the annulment of any law under this section as it applies to the repeal of an Act of Parliament, save that any enactment repealed or amended by or in pursuance of that law shall have effect as from the date of the annulment as if that law had not been made.

Dissolution of Legislative Council

76.—(1) The Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may at any time, by proclamation published in the Gazette, dissolve the Legislative Council.

(2) The Governor shall dissolve the Legislative Council at the expiration of four years from the date when the Council first meets after a dissolution unless it has been sooner dissolved.

Recalling dissolved Legislative Council in case of emergency

77.—(1) If, after a dissolution of the Legislative Council and before the holding of the ensuing general election, an emergency arises of such a nature that the Governor considers it necessary for the Council to be recalled, the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may summon the Council that has been dissolved; and that Council shall thereupon be deemed (except for the purposes of section 78) not to have been dissolved.

(2) Except for the purposes of section 78, a Legislative Council so recalled shall be deemed to be dissolved on the date on which the next ensuing general election is held.

General elections and bye-elections

78.—(1) There shall be a general election of the Elected Members of the Legislative Council at such time, being not less than six weeks nor more than three months after the date of every dissolution of the Council, as the Governor shall appoint by proclamation published in the Gazette.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), whenever any Elected Member vacates his or her seat as a Member of the Legislative Council for any reason other than a dissolution thereof, an election to fill the vacancy shall be held at such time, being not less than six weeks nor more than three months after the date of the vacancy, as the Governor shall appoint by proclamation published in the Gazette.

(3) An election to fill a vacancy shall not be held under subsection (2) if the Legislative Council is sooner dissolved or the date on which the Council must be dissolved under section 76(2) is less than four months after the date of the vacancy.

(4) For the purposes of this section, the date of a vacancy in the seat of an Elected Member is the date on which the vacancy occurred, or, if the existence of a vacancy is determined by the Supreme Court under section 52, the date of that determination.

The Clerk of Councils

79.  The Clerk of Councils shall have charge of the Legislative Council Office and shall be responsible to the Speaker for arranging the business and keeping the records of the Legislative Council, and for the performance, with respect to the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, the Elected Members and any committee of the Council, of such secretarial and other functions as may be required.

PART 6 THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

The Courts of St Helena

80.—(1) The courts of St Helena shall be the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal and such subordinate courts as may be established by Ordinance.

(2) Her Majesty in Council continues to have such jurisdiction in respect of St Helena as is provided by law.

Independence of the judiciary

81.  The judges and judicial officers appointed to preside or sit in any court of St Helena shall exercise their judicial functions independently from the legislative and executive branches of government.

Supreme Court
Constitution of Supreme Court

82.—(1) There shall be a Supreme Court for St Helena which shall be a superior court of record.

(2) Subject to this Constitution, the Supreme Court shall have and may exercise all such jurisdiction in and in relation to St Helena as is necessary to administer the law of St Helena.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), the Supreme Court shall possess and may exercise in and in relation to St Helena, subject to this Constitution and to any other law, all the jurisdiction which is vested in, or is capable of being exercised by, Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice in and in relation to England.

(4) The Supreme Court shall have and use a seal bearing a device and impression of the Royal Arms within a border bearing the words “Seal of the St Helena Supreme Court”.

Sittings of Supreme Court

83.—(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Supreme Court may sit in St Helena or outside St Helena.

(2) The Chief Justice and any other judge or acting judge of the Supreme Court may hold sittings of the Court when outside St Helena, if satisfied that—

(a) a matter arising in a proceeding before the Court needs to be dealt with promptly;

(b) every party to the proceeding is able to participate, in person or through a legal representative, by teleconference or other means of electronic, oral or written communication;

(c) no injustice will result; and

(d) the course proposed is in the public interest.

(3) The Chief Justice when outside St Helena may exercise such powers of revision, variation, confirmation or setting aside of any sentence or order made by a subordinate court as are conferred on him or her by any law.

Judges of Supreme Court

84.—(1) The judges of the Supreme Court shall be a Chief Justice and such number of other judges (if any) as may be prescribed by law; but the office of any judge shall not, without his or her consent, be abolished during his or her continuance in office.

(2) If the office of Chief Justice is vacant, or the Chief Justice has not assumed, or is for any reason unable to perform the functions of, that office, those functions may be performed by—

(a) the next most senior judge of the Supreme Court in terms of the date of his or her appointment; or

(b) if there is no such judge, or if for any reason no such judge is able to perform the functions of the office of Chief Justice, then, unless this Constitution otherwise provides, those functions may be performed by an acting judge of the Supreme Court authorised to perform those functions by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion.

(3) If—

(a) in the circumstances described in subsection (2), there is no other judge who can perform the functions of the Chief Justice; or

(b) the state of the business of the Supreme Court makes it desirable that an additional person should be appointed by whom the Supreme Court may be held,

the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may decide that an acting judge should be appointed to hold the Supreme Court.

(4) The Chief Justice and any other judge or acting judge of the Supreme Court shall have such legal qualifications, experience and personal qualities—

(a) as may be prescribed by a law in force at the time of his or her appointment; or

(b) in the absence of such a law, as make him or her a fit and proper person for appointment to the office concerned.

Exercise of jurisdiction of Supreme Court

85.—(1) The Chief Justice or any other judge or acting judge of the Supreme Court may hold the Supreme Court.

(2) A judge holding the Supreme Court has, in exercise of the jurisdiction of that Court, all the powers and authority of the Court, and, if not the Chief Justice, has the jurisdiction, powers, authority, privileges and immunities conferred on the Chief Justice.

(3) If, at any time, there are two or more judges who may hold the Supreme Court, each of them may hold sittings of the Court simultaneously.

(4) In this section, “Chief Justice” means the person holding the office of Chief Justice.

Court of Appeal
Constitution of Court of Appeal

86.—(1) There shall be a Court of Appeal for St Helena which shall be a superior court of record.

(2) The judges of the Court of Appeal shall be the President, and two or more Justices of Appeal.

(3) A person shall be qualified for appointment as the President or a Justice of Appeal of the Court if—

(a) he or she is, or has been, a judge of a superior court in some part of the Commonwealth or in Ireland; or

(b) he or she is entitled to practise as a legally qualified advocate or a solicitor in such a court and has been so entitled for not less than five years.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), a person shall be regarded as entitled to practise as such an advocate or a solicitor if he or she has been called, enrolled or otherwise admitted in that capacity (and has not subsequently been disbarred or removed from the roll of advocates or solicitors) even if, during any relevant period—

(a) the person was holding or acting in any office that precluded him or her from practising in a court; or

(b) the person did not hold a practising certificate or had not satisfied any other like condition of being permitted to practise.

(5) If the office of President of the Court of Appeal is vacant or the President has not assumed, or is for any reason unable to perform the functions of, that office, those functions shall be performed by the next most senior Justice of Appeal in terms of the date of his or her appointment.

(6) If the office of a Justice of Appeal is vacant, or any Justice of Appeal is discharging the functions of President or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of the office, the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may decide that a person qualified for appointment as a Justice of Appeal should be appointed to sit as an Acting Justice of Appeal.

(7) The Court of Appeal shall have and use a seal bearing a device and impression of the Royal Arms within a border bearing the words “Seal of the St Helena Court of Appeal”.

Jurisdiction of Court of Appeal

87.—(1) The Court of Appeal shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine such appeals from the courts of St Helena as may be prescribed by this Constitution or any other law.

(2) Except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, an appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from the Supreme Court—

(a) as of right, if the Supreme Court certifies that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation or effect of any provision of this Constitution;

(b) as of right, or, as the case may be, with the leave of the Supreme Court, in such other cases involving the exercise of the criminal, civil or appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as may be provided by this Constitution or any other law;

(c) with the leave of the Supreme Court in any other case, if in the opinion of that Court the question involved in the appeal is one which by reason of its general or public importance, or of the magnitude of the interests affected, or for any other reason, ought to be submitted to the Court of Appeal for decision; and

(d) subject to such limitations as may be provided by law, if the Court of Appeal, in any case in which it thinks fit, and at any time, grants special leave to appeal to that Court from a judgment of the Supreme Court, subject to such conditions as to security for costs or otherwise as the Court of Appeal thinks fit.

(3) In connection with any appeal from a court of St Helena, the Court of Appeal shall, subject to this Constitution and any other law, have all the powers and jurisdiction that are possessed by that court under any law; and decisions of the Court of Appeal in respect of any appeal from a court of St Helena shall, subject as aforesaid, be enforced in St Helena in the same way as decisions of that court.

Practice and procedure on appeals

88.—(1) Rules made under section 89 may fix the number of judges of the Court of Appeal who may sit for any purpose; but, subject to subsection (2)—

(a) an uneven number shall sit, which for the purposes of any final determination by the Court other than the summary dismissal of an appeal, shall not be fewer than three; and

(b) any determination by the Court on any matter (whether final or otherwise) shall, where more than one judge sits, be according to the opinion of a majority of the judges who sit for the purpose of determining that matter.

(2) If, in a circumstance referred to in section 86(6), it is not practicable for the Governor to make an appointment under section 90(3), two judges of the Court of Appeal may hear, or continue to hear, and may determine, an appeal that has been set down for hearing; but—

(a) if those judges are not in agreement about the determination of any matter arising in the course of the proceedings, the presiding judge shall decide; and

(b) if those judges are not in agreement as to whether the appeal should be allowed, the presiding judge shall discontinue the appeal, and the matter shall be required to be reheard before the Court of Appeal consisting of three or a greater uneven number of judges of the Court.

(3) Subject to subsections (1) and (2), rules made under section 89 may provide for a reference from a decision of a single judge to the Court of Appeal.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), the Court of Appeal may sit in St Helena or outside St Helena.

(5) The Court of Appeal may sit outside St Helena, if satisfied that—

(a) every party to the proceeding is able to participate, in person or through a legal representative, by teleconference or other means of electronic, oral or written communication;

(b) no injustice will result; and

(c) the course proposed is in the public interest.

General
Rules of Court

89.—(1) The President of the Court of Appeal may make Rules of Court consistent with this Constitution and with any law for regulating the practice and procedure of the Court of Appeal.

(2) The Chief Justice may make Rules of Court consistent with this Constitution and with any law for regulating the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court and any subordinate court.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (1) and (2), Rules of Court may be made for the following purposes—

(a) regulating the practice and procedure of the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court with respect to appeals from the Supreme Court or a subordinate court, and, in connection with such appeals, for regulating the practice and procedure of any court from which such appeals may be brought;

(b) regulating the practice and procedure of the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court with respect to proceedings held outside St Helena;

(c) regulating the sittings of the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court or a subordinate court and the selection of judges of any of those courts for the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction of that court;

(d) regulating the right of practising before the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court or a subordinate court and the representation of persons concerned in any proceedings in those courts;

(e) prescribing the cases in which, and conditions on which, an appellant in a criminal appeal to any court shall be entitled to be present at the hearing of the appeal;

(f) providing for summary determination of any appeal to the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court which appears to the court concerned to be frivolous or vexatious or to be brought for the purposes of delay;

(g) prescribing forms and fees in respect of proceedings in the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court or a subordinate court and regulating the costs of and incidental to any such proceedings;

(h) prescribing and regulating the powers and duties of registrars and officers of the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court or a subordinate court; and

(i) prescribing the time within which any requirement of the rules of the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court or a subordinate court is to be complied with.

Appointment of judges and judicial officers

90.—(1) The Governor, on instructions from Her Majesty given through a Secretary of State, shall appoint—

(a) the Chief Justice and any other judges of the Supreme Court; and

(b) the President of the Court of Appeal and the Justices of Appeal.

(2) The Governor, acting in accordance with the recommendation of the Chief Justice, if the person holding that office is available, shall appoint any acting judge of the Supreme Court.

(3) The Governor, acting in accordance with the recommendation of the President of the Court of Appeal, if the person holding that office is available, shall appoint any Acting Justice of Appeal.

(4) The Governor, acting in accordance with the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, shall appoint any judicial officers.

(5) Before entering upon the duties of the office, every holder of a judicial office referred to in this section shall make an oath or affirmation of allegiance and the judicial oath or affirmation in the forms set out in the Schedule.

Tenure of office of judges and judicial officers

91.—(1) The Chief Justice and any other judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed for a term ending when the appointee attains the age of 70 or such later age as may be agreed at the time of appointment between that judge and the Governor, acting with the approval of a Secretary of State.

(2) The President of the Court of Appeal and the Justices of Appeal shall be appointed for a term ending when the appointee attains the age of 70 or such later age as may be agreed at the time of appointment between that judge and the Governor, acting with the approval of a Secretary of State.

(3) An acting judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed either—

(a) for a term specified in the instrument of appointment; or

(b) if the appointee is acting in the place of a Chief Justice or other judge whose office is vacant, or who has not assumed, or is for any reason unable to perform the functions of, that office, for a term expiring on the assumption or resumption by the Chief Justice or other judge of the functions of the office.

(4) An Acting Justice of Appeal shall be appointed for a term expiring when the vacant office of Justice of Appeal has been filled, when a Justice of Appeal is no longer discharging the functions of President, or when a Justice of Appeal is again able to perform the functions of the office, as the case may be.

(5) A judge or judicial officer may, when his or her appointment expires, continue so to act for the purposes of giving judgment or otherwise in relation to any proceeding commenced before him or her while his or her appointment was subsisting.

(6) A judge may resign from office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the Governor.

(7) A judicial officer shall be appointed for life, or until the appointee reaches such an age as may be prescribed by Ordinance.

(8) A judicial officer—

(a) may resign from office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the presiding member of the Judicial Service Commission;

(b) shall be deemed to have resigned from office if he or she—

(i) is elected as a Member or as the Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Council; or

(ii) continues to hold, or accepts, an appointment as an officer of the St Helena Public Service, unless, under a law, such an officer is entitled to serve as a judicial officer on a basis that is consistent with the independence of the judiciary and with the efficiency of the Public Service.

Remuneration

92.—(1) A judge or a judicial officer shall receive such remuneration as is determined by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, and that remuneration shall be charged on and paid out of the Consolidated Fund.

(2) The remuneration of a judge or a judicial officer shall not be diminished during his or her continuance in office.

Removal from office

93.—(1) A judge or judicial officer may be removed from office only on the ground of—

(a) inability to discharge the functions of the office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or from any other cause); or

(b) misbehaviour,

and shall not be removed except in accordance with this section.

(2) A judge shall be removed from office by the Governor by instrument under the public seal if the question of the removal of that judge from office has, at the request of the Governor made in pursuance of subsection (3), been referred by Her Majesty to the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty’s Privy Council under section 4 of the Judicial Committee Act 1833(6) or any other enactment enabling Her Majesty in that behalf, and the Judicial Committee has advised Her Majesty that the judge should be removed from office on a ground referred to in subsection (1).

(3) If the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, considers that the question of removing a judge from office on a ground referred to in subsection (1) ought to be investigated, then—

(a) the Governor shall appoint a tribunal, which shall consist of a chairman and two other members; but the chairman and at least one of the other members shall be a serving or former judge of a superior court in some part of the Commonwealth or in Ireland;

(b) the tribunal shall inquire into the matter and report on the facts thereof to the Governor and advise the Governor whether he or she should request that the question of the removal of that judge should be referred by Her Majesty to the Judicial Committee; and

(c) if the tribunal so advises, the Governor shall request that the question should be referred accordingly.

(4) If the question of removing a judge from office has been referred to a tribunal under subsection (3) the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may suspend the judge from performing the functions of his or her office.

(5) Any suspension made under subsection (4) may at any time be revoked by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, and shall in any case cease to have effect—

(a) if the tribunal advises the Governor that he or she should not request that the question of the removal of the judge from office should be referred by Her Majesty to the Judicial Committee; or

(b) if the Judicial Committee advises Her Majesty that the judge should not be removed from office.

(6) The Governor shall remove a judicial officer from office if—

(a) the question of doing so has been considered by the Judicial Service Commission; and

(b) the Commission has recommended to the Governor that the judicial officer concerned should be removed from office on a ground referred to in subsection (1).

(7) A person who has been removed from office as a judicial officer by the Governor on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission may apply to the Supreme Court for redress on the ground that any finding of fact or law on which the Commission based its recommendation for removal was unjustified or wrong; and, for the purpose of affording such redress, the Supreme Court may make such declarations and orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it considers appropriate.

Judicial Service Commission

94.—(1) There shall be a Judicial Service Commission for St Helena (“the Commission”) which shall consist of—

(a) the Chief Justice, who shall preside;

(b) the Attorney General;

(c) the Public Solicitor, if a person for the time being holds that office; and

(d) a person who has St Helenian status who is neither a Member of the Legislative Council, an officer of the St Helena Public Service, a judge or a judicial officer, appointed by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, for a term of three years.

(2) The office of the member of the Commission appointed under subsection (1)(d) shall become vacant if—

(a) he or she becomes an officer of the St Helena Public Service, accepts appointment as a judge or a judicial officer, or becomes a Member of the Legislative Council;

(b) he or she resigns from office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the Governor; or

(c) the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, and being satisfied that the member should be removed from office on the ground of inability to discharge the functions of the office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or from any other cause) or misbehaviour, removes that member from office.

(5)

1978 c.30. Back [5]

(6)

1833 c.41. Back [6]