Legal Environment

The Turks and Caicos Islands is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom with an executive headed by a Governor appointed by the United Kingdom Government. The Magistrate's Court is a summary court with both civil and criminal jurisdiction. In those criminal cases where it has no jurisdiction it acts as a court of inquiry with jurisdiction to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support an indictment. In this respect it is much like the Grand Jury in the United States Context.

The Supreme Court is headed by the Chief Justice and is similar in jurisdiction to the High Court in England. There is appeal from the Magistrate's Court to the Supreme Court and from the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal, which sits twice per year as a tribunal. The President of the Court of Appeal is currently Privy Councilor Edward Zacca.

Appeals from the Court of Appeal are to the Privy Council which sits in London and is the final Court of Appeal.

There is a local Legislature called the House of Assembly, which is responsible for passing the local statutes, called Ordinances.

As a Territory of the United Kingdom the Turks and Caicos must comply with many of the Conventions and International Treaties to which the United Kingdom is a party.