Introduction

The Family Court was established as a Court of Record by Act of Parliament No. 53 of 1992.  The Court became operational in 1995.  The Court is headed by its President and carries out its statutory functions through its members of staff (See Appendix I). The Court has the sole jurisdiction to deal with matters arising under the following enactments:-

Location : E Moussa Enterprise Bargaining Centre on Lower Bay street Kingstown.

 

The Education Act
The Employment of Children (Prohibition) Act 1940
The Employment of Women, Young Persons, and Children Act
The Immunisation of Children Act
The Juveniles Act
The Law of Minors Act
The Maintenance Act
The Maintenance Orders Reciprocal Enforcement Act
The Adoption of Children Act, 1959
Sexual offences matters falling under Cap. VIII of the Criminal Code (at the summary) level; and
The Domestic Violence (Summary Proceedings) Act 1995

 

Given its broad jurisdictional purview, one can readily appreciate the importance of the Family Court.  It is the Juvenile Court for youthful offenders (under 16 years of age), it is the Court of summary jurisdiction for Domestic Violence matters, it is the Court through which the vast majority of sexual offence matters are legally mandated to be heard (at the preliminary stage and in summary jurisdiction), and the Court where the majority of custody matters are heard.