The Judiciary is an independent branch of government, established under the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles and subject only to the Constitution and the other laws of Seychelles. The Judiciary has the responsibility for the fair, just and timely resolution of legal disputes brought before the Courts of Seychelles.
In terms of Article 119 of the Constitution the judicial power of Seychelles is vested in the Judiciary which consists of –
(a) the Court of Appeal of Seychelles;
(b) the Supreme Court of Seychelles (which includes the Constitutional Court); and
(c) such other subordinate courts or tribunals established by Acts, including the Rent Board, the Juvenile Court, the Family Tribunal and the Employment Tribunal.
FUNCTIONS OF THE COURT
The Courts hear cases concerning all aspects of the lives of the people in Seychelles, including family disputes, employment related matters, civil disputes, constitutional questions and criminal cases as well appeals from these cases. The courts can also enforce foreign judgments, oversee processes such as bankruptcy proceedings or executorship of deceased estates, and certify (apostille) documents for use abroad.
The Court of Appeal is the apex court and can hear appeals from all other courts, subject to the rules of appeal. It is headed up by the President of the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court is the main court for the hearing of serious criminal cases or high value or important civil cases. The Supreme Court is headed up by the Chief Justice. The Constitutional Court is formed when a panel of two or more Supreme Court judges sitting together to determine whether there has been a breach of a constitutional provision.
Magistrates’ courts, the Family Tribunal, Employment Tribunal, Juvenile Court and Rent Board are ‘subordinate’ courts which deal with the vast majority of legal cases. They are all courts of first instance because they are often the first place that a case is brought.
ADMINISTRATION OF JUDICIARY
The Judiciary is administered by the Chief Justice with a management team which includes the Registry, the Court Administration and the Office of the Chief Justice. The administration of the Judiciary ensures that the court processes are able to run smoothly and efficiently with appropriate resources, facilities and staffing.
APPOINTMENT OF JUDGES
Justices of Appeal, Judges and the Master of the Supreme Court are appointed by an independent body called the Constitutional Appointment Authority (CAA) established by Article 139 of the Constitution.
Magistrates and members of the other subordinate courts and tribunals are appointed by the President or by the Minister for that policy area according to the provisions of the Act which establishes that court or tribunal.