History of the Court
The Supreme Court was established in Jamaica shortly after the island's acquisition by the English in 1655. In January of 1880, the jurisdiction of the several superior courts which were in existence was consolidated under the Judicature (Supreme Court) Act and this Act is the one that now governs the Supreme Court. The court presently consists of a Chief Justice, The Hon. Mrs. Justice Zaila McCalla, O.J., twenty-eight Puisne Judges, two Masters and two Registrars.
The Court has both civil and criminal jurisdiction. In the case of the former, it handles divorces, probates and claims for damages exceeding $230,000.00, etc. Very serious criminal offences are tried at this Court.
The present building, Public Building East on King Street, was erected shortly after the 1907 earthquake and fire that devastated Kingston. It currently houses the Supreme Court, the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court, the Revenue Court, and the High Court division of the Gun Court