Please be advised that new Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2022 (“CPR”) of The Bahamas came into effect in The Bahamas March 1, 2023.
With the principal intention of improving access to the courts, the CPR aims to reduce the cost of civil litigation, simplify procedural requirements, modernize outdated terminology, and eliminate unnecessary complexities in the litigation process.
The Bahamian judiciary has eagerly anticipated the official promulgation of the CPR for some time, and, as noted by incumbent Chief Justice Sir Ian Winder in January, the CPR are expected to transform the civil justice system. Previously, civil litigation in The Bahamas has been carried on pursuant to the Rules of the Supreme Court (“RSC”) enacted in 1978; the only major legislative intervention occurring in 2004 when Order 31A enacted a case management system.
Similar civil procedure rules replaced the RSC in England and Wales in 1999 and were adopted by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (“ECSC”) in 2000. Last year, former Chief Justice Sir Brian Moree, QC expressed his optimism regarding the upcoming implementation of the CPR, asserting that positive by-products of these rules have been observed in numerous jurisdictions throughout the Commonwealth. Countries such as Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago each implemented versions of the civil procedure rules during the 2000s and, most recently, Guyana effected its civil procedure rules in 2016. As drafted, the CPR is closely aligned to those of England and Wales and the Judiciary of The Bahamas has used the civil procedure rules of the ECSC and the wider Caribbean as quantifiable guidelines.
GSO looks forward to the CPR having a positive impact on the litigation process and appreciates your patience as we work together to embrace these new rules and regulations.
Giahna Soles-Hunt, email@example.com
Emma Van-Wynen, firstname.lastname@example.org