The Cayman Islands legal system is based on English common law, with the addition of local statutes which have, in many respects, adapted the common law to be more suitable for local application.
The Islands have a good legal and judicial system, which is constantly being upgraded to enhance the islands’ safety and reputation as a leading financial centre. The courts system is a simple one, with practice and procedure based on English law. Minor criminal and civil cases are tried by a Stipendiary Magistrate sitting in the Summary Court. All serious crimes and most civil cases are tried by the Grand Court, presided over by the Chief Justice and Grand Court Judges permanently residing in the Islands. Appeals lie from the Grand Court to the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, which sits in Grand Cayman and, from there, to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England. New residents, especially those from the US, may be surprised to find that barristers in court wear wigs and gowns.