The early records of the Supreme Court in Nevis stem from the passage in 1871 of the Leeward Islands Act. This created the Federal Colony of the Leeward Islands, under a single Governor, in which Nevis was one of six Presidencies with its own Administrator. One of the expressions of the Federal structure was the creation of a single Supreme Court for the colony with a Chief Justice, originally sitting in Antigua. This court sat in circuit around the Presidencies. Its remit included serious criminal cases, appeals from Magistrates' courts and civil cases. It was a matter of some debate whether acting as a circuit court created an unhealthy dependence on planters on whom the judges relied for accommodation. This organisation was enlarged by the addition of a circuit Court of Appeal in 1885. The records in this series include Proceedings, Minutes and Cause Lists. Some of the volumes include records of the Court of Summary Jurisdiction. Further research will establish how comprehensive the overall coverage is. One revelation in the reorganisation of the courthouse vault in 2017 was the finding of a wooden box full of the notebooks of the Supreme Court judges from the 1970s - these lay beyond the scope of the present EAP project. It is assumed that the Supreme Court records were held in the Nevis courthouse in the Secretary's office. It is not known when they were removed to the vault. Legal custody of the Supreme Court records lies with the ECSC Registrar for St Kitts and Nevis, based in Basseterre, St Kitts under the practical supervision of the Assistant Registrar in Nevis. Extent and format of original material: 1 series comprising 9 bound volumes.
This series contains the following files.
- EAP794/1/3/1: Supreme Court 1874-1955;
- EAP794/1/3/2: Supreme Court 1875-1879;
- EAP794/1/3/3: Supreme Court 1875-1882 Volume A;
- EAP794/1/3/4: Supreme Court 1875-1882 Volume B;
- EAP794/1/3/5: Supreme Court 1886-1904;
- EAP794/1/3/6: Supreme Court 1879-1891;
- EAP794/1/3/7: Supreme Court 1891-1910;
- EAP794/1/3/8: Supreme Court 1911-1938;
- EAP794/1/3/9: Supreme Court 1938-1962;