The Supreme Court has a number of divisions where a subset of judges hear certain types of cases. The Circuit Court is the criminal division that holds sessions in each parish. The Justices of the Peace (Appeals) Act states that “the Circuit Court of each parish on this island shall be the court of appeal for cases arising in each of those parishes.”  The other divisions of the Supreme Court are the Firearms Court, the Commercial Court, the Revenue Court and the Family Court. In the Civil Division of the Supreme Court, the judge sits alone without a jury, except in cases of defamation. The Supreme Court is also the constitutional court of Jamaica. The Court of Appeal is the court to which all appeals are referred first. The Court of Appeal is the fourth stage of the judicial structure. Its procedure is regulated by law. It may confirm, annul or amend decisions in all cases where appeals may be lodged by one of the courts of first instance.
This level of jurisdiction is the third tier of the Jamaican judicial system. Each municipality or county has a court of first instance that can hear appeals or criminal and civil cases. The jurisdiction of each of these courts extends one mile beyond the boundaries of the respective municipality. Crimes such as rape, murder and treason are not condemned by these courts. Here are some of the subdivisions within this level: The Jamaican legal system is based on British common law. Justice is administered by a network of courts. Jamaican courts are as follows: Municipal judges preside over a number of courts at this level. In addition to exercising jurisdiction in criminal matters, parish court judges preside over the coroner`s court, the traffic court, the narcotics court, the tax court, the family court, the juvenile court and the civil court. The jurisdiction of the civil courts is limited to claims not exceeding $250,000.00. At the fourth level, or lowest level in the hierarchical pyramid of Jamaican courts, is the Petty Sessions Court, the court that hears minor criminal cases such as resistance to arrests, etc. There are several small session courts in Jamaica and more than one may be present in each city or district. Justices of the peace act as judges in small sessions.
The Jamaican judiciary is based on the judiciary of the United Kingdom. The country`s courts are basically divided and organized into 4 main levels, with each level having its own functions and responsibilities. From the Court of Appeal to the small session, there is an appropriate hierarchical structure and division of certain cases and appeals dealt with by the courts. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction in civil, criminal, family, commercial, inheritance and admiralty cases. There are also specialized courts that also exercise superior jurisdiction headed by Supreme Court judges. These are the High Court and Circuit Court Divisions of the Firearms Court and the Revenue Court of Appeal: the court to which all cases in Jamaica are first referred for appeal, the jurisdiction of the court is limited by law to appeals from the lower courts. The Court consists of a President, a President of the Supreme Court and a maximum of twelve other judges. Most cases are first heard at the local or district level, and then move forward if the person is not satisfied with the results announced by the lower court. To better understand the hierarchical structure of the courts, you can read the following information.
The Jamaican judiciary is based on the judiciary of the United Kingdom.  The courts are organized at four levels, with additional provisions for appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London. The Court of Appeal is the highest court of appeal. The Supreme Court has unlimited jurisdiction in all cases and sits as a district court to hear criminal cases. The parish court (formerly known as Resident Magistrate`s Court) in each parish hears criminal and civil cases, with the exception of serious crimes. Small sessions are held between justices of the peace, who have the power to try minor offences.   The structure of the Jamaican judicial system is based on five basic levels. The lowest level is the Petty Sessions Court.
This court is presided over by justices of the peace. The Petty Sessions Court requires that at least two judges be properly composed. Sometimes judges exercise jurisdiction in these courts and the presiding judge exercises jurisdiction over two justices of the peace. The judicial system is based on English common law and includes the Supreme Court (including the Commercial Court, the Firearms Court and the Revenue Court); the Court of Appeal; Magistrates` Courts (including traffic courts); family courts and small session courts. At the third level, the Supreme Court is the highest court of first instance. It is a superior court with unlimited power. It has both inherent and legal jurisdiction. Courts with equivalent jurisdiction in other countries are sometimes referred to as “high courts”. There has been much constitutional debate about whether the CCJ should become the final appellate court for Jamaican law and replace the Privy Council as the appellate court. While an amendment of this magnitude would require an amendment to the Jamaican constitution, it seems likely that the CCJ will one day be the final court of appeal for Jamaican jurisdiction – although decisions previously made by the Privy Council still have authority.
Small sessions hear minor criminal cases, such as resistance to arrest. Justices of the peace are judges in small sessions. Small session courts require that at least two justices of the peace be properly composed. In 2001, Jamaica signed the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court. The role of the Court of Justice is twofold: it has jurisdiction at first instance and acts as an international court in the interpretation and application of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, which created CARICOM; and it is intended to replace the Privy Council as the Court of Appeal for the Caribbean countries of the Commonwealth.   In 2004, the Jamaican Parliament approved the creation of the CCJ as the highest court of its original jurisdiction to interpret the Revised Treaty of Chagaramus, while attempting to replace the Privy Council as the final court of appeal in Jamaica. However, in 2005, the Privy Council struck down the amendment to the Court of Appeal as a last resort as unconstitutional, as the status of the Privy Council is a firmly established provision in the Jamaican Constitution and therefore more should be done to remove the Privy Council as the Court of Appeal. Council decided that, although Parliament had the power to withdraw appellate powers from the Privy Council, it could not confer jurisdiction on the CJC by an ordinary act. Instead, such an amendment must meet stricter standards for changing the “entrenched” provisions of the Jamaican Constitution.