Criminal Jurisdiction of the Magistrate's Court
The Magistrate's Court generally exercises summary jurisdiction in criminal law cases which are liable to attract a sentence of a maximum of two years and/or a fine of £20,000. However, there are a number of Laws, for example those involving Sea Fisheries, that provide the Judge with the authority to pass a sentence with a higher fine.
The vast majority of "lesser" criminal prosecutions, including traffic offences, are dealt with by the Magistrate's Court.
The Magistrate's Court hold committal proceedings to establish whether there is a case to answer in those criminal cases which it is proposed should be heard in the Royal Court.
Civil Jurisdiction of the Magistrate's Court
The Magistrate's Court has jurisdiction in civil matters where the sum in dispute does not exceed £10,000. These are commonly known as petty debt cases.