Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal is the highest court of the land. Article 50 of the Constitution of the Republic of Vanuatu provides that the Court of Appeal is composed of at least 2 judges of the Supreme Court sitting together.  More often than not, the Court of Appeal panel is made up of more than 2 judges.  The Court of Appeal meets 3 times a year for 2 weeks each session.  It hears all Civil and Criminal appeals from the Supreme Court.  It may substitute its own judgment or opinion, but may not interfere with the exercise of discretion of the Supreme Court unless it is manifestly wrong.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the President of the Court of Appeal and all the Judges of the Supreme Court are called upon by the Chief Justice to compose the Court of Appeal from time to time. The Chief Justice also invites judges from outside the jurisdiction to sit on the Court of Appeal through their appointments as acting Judges of the Supreme Court.