Function of The Registrar

Mrs. Sharada D. Ferguson
Registrar, Court of Appeal

The Registrar is the civil service administrative head of department for the purposes of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission Regulations as well as the Public Service Commission Regulations and the accounting officer for the purposes of the Financial Administration and Audit Act. The Registrar also has judicial functions. Any correspondence intended to reach the Justices of Appeal or an individual Justice of Appeal is required to be addressed to the Registrar and all official correspondence emanating from the court should be signed on behalf of the Registrar of the Court.

The Registrar is responsible for ensuring that the mail is dealt with in accordance with the provisions of General Orders.

The Registrar is responsible for the recruitment, promotion and discipline of support staff members.

By section 6 of the Court of Appeal Act (Ch. 52), it is the duty of the Registrar " to take all necessary steps for obtaining a hearing [under the Act] of all appeals and applications made to the court and to obtain and lay before the court in proper form all documents, exhibits and other things relating to the proceedings in respect of which the appeal or application has been brought and which appear necessary for the determination thereof by the court."

In civil appeals, the Registrar is also required to summon the parties to appear before the Registrar to settle the record for an appeal under rule 13 of the Court of Appeal Rules.

The Registrar also has a discretion, in civil cases, to refuse to file or receive any documents which do not strictly comply with rule 15 of the Court of Appeal Rules.

If an appellant does not comply with the requirements of rule 13(3), (in civil cases) it is the duty of the Registrar to certify that fact to a Justice of Appeal who will then order that the appeal be dismissed with or without costs.

In criminal appeals to the Court against conviction or sentence, a person desiring to appeal shall commence his appeal by submitting to the Registrar a Notice of Appeal or a Notice of Application for leave to appeal or Notice of Application for extension of time within which such notice shall be given.

In all cases, it is the duty of the Registrar to notify the Registrar of the court below of the final determination of this court as well as any orders or directions made or given by this court in relation to any appeal or any matter connected with such an appeal.

In addition, once an appeal has been finally determined by this court, it is the duty of the Registrar to return to the proper officer of the court below any original depositions, exhibits, information, plea or other documents usually kept by such officer, or forming part of the record of the court below

With regard to magisterial appeals, where an appeal relates to a case which has been tried by the Chief Magistrate or a stipendiary and circuit magistrate or a circuit justice on circuit, the Registrar is to receive "without delay" from the magistrate's court a copy of the conviction order or judgment and all papers relating to the appeal - see section 237 of the Criminal Procedure Code Act (Ch 91 of the 2002 Edition of the Statute Laws of The Bahamas - "the CPC")).

Under section 243 of the CPC it is the statutory duty of the Registrar to set each magisterial appeal down for hearing and to cause notice of such fixture to be published in such manner as the court may direct. It is the duty of the Registrar to ensure that the records of the Court are kept in proper order. As far as the budget permits, it is the duty of the Registrar to ensure that all necessary material - including reference and other books and research tools - are available for the Justices of Appeal. By rule 35(3) of the Court of Appeal Rules the Registrar shall be the taxing officer where the costs of an appeal is allowed and the Court orders the costs to be taxed.


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