Litigation in the Cayman Islands is conducted in a way that will be familiar in common law jurisdictions such as the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Court decisions are based on Cayman Islands' laws and cases which have been decided by Cayman Islands Courts. Where no Cayman Islands' law or case on an issue exists, then reference will be made to cases from other countries operating a common law system.

The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory. The Governor, a Cabinet of ministers made up of elected members of the Legislative Assembly have executive and legislative power, subject to a power of disallowance by the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth affairs. The Cayman Islands enacts statutes and regulations, and English statutes prior to 1727 also apply. English and European Union laws do not apply unless expressly extended to the Cayman Islands.

Litigation in regard to civil matters (i.e. not criminal cases) can take place in the Summary Court for cases worth CI$20,000 (US$24,390.00) or less and in the Grand Court for all other cases. The Courts have made rules for when and how proceedings can be started and the process for setting out each party's case, giving evidence and Trial. There are several divisions of the Grand Court including the Civil Division, the Financial Services Division and the Family Division. Fees are payable to the Court in regard to commencing and conducting a case. The Courts of the Cayman Islands have a website which provide much information of their operation, the rules, fees etc.

There are two levels of Appeal, the first being the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, which sits in the Cayman Islands and the last being the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council which sits in London, England.

The courts of the Cayman Islands will have jurisdiction over a wide range of situations including where a person resides in the Cayman Islands, a company is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, the dispute is about Land in the Cayman Islands, a Trust is governed by laws of the Cayman Islands and where a breach of contract or a tort has occurred in the Cayman Islands.


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