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Nauru Courts System Information

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Pacific Courts - Nauru

NAURU*

 

HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

        Has jurisdiction to hear appeals from the Supreme Court against any final first instance judgment.

        May hear appeals with leave of the trial judge or the High Court, against an interlocutory order or judgment.

        With the leave of the High Court it may hear an appeal from the Supreme Court exercising jurisdiction in appeals from the district court.

        No appeal is permitted in the following cases:

        where the appeal involves the interpretation or effect of the Constitution;

        from a determination by the Supreme Court of a question concerning membership of Parliament;

        from a consent order;

        from a judgment given on appeal from the Nauru Lands Committee;

        from an order allowing an extension of time in which to appeal;

        from an order giving unconditional leave to defend;

        from a decision which is provided by statute to be final;

        from an order absolute for the dissolution or nullity of marriage where an opportunity to appeal from the decree nisi was not taken.

        'Ordinary' appeals may be made by persons convicted on trial before the Supreme Court in the following circumstances:

        against the conviction on any ground involving only a question of fact, a mixed question of fact and law or a question only of law;

        against sentence unless it is one that is fixed by law and only where the High Court has jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

        May hear 'further' appeals from decisions made by the Supreme Court acting in its appellate jurisdiction with leave of the High Court.

SUPREME COURT

        Has unlimited original civil jurisdiction and although the Courts Act does not so specify it is assumed that it has original criminal jurisdiction in line with the superior courts of other jurisdictions within the USP region.

        Hears civil and criminal appeals from final decisions of the district court.

       Criminal appeals may be based on questions of fact or of law. 

DISTRICT COURT

        Hears and determines all civil cases involving not more than A$3,000.

        Again, the Courts Act does not specify any particular parameters for the criminal jurisdiction of the district court.  The general jurisdiction contained in s 18 is sufficiently wide to encompass the criminal jurisdiction that would be associated with a comparable court (i.e. a magistratesí court) in other jurisdictions.

 

FAMILY COURT

        Is a separate court.

        Has specific jurisdiction under the Maintenance Ordinance 1959-1967 and the Adoption of Children Ordinance 1965-1967.

        Proceedings are not open to the public.


* For more information on the court system in Nauru see Jennifer Corrin-Care, Tess Newton and Don Paterson Introduction to South Pacific Law (Cavendish Publishing Ltd, London, 1999) 293-296.


© 2001 University of the South Pacific

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