Monday, 6 July 2015
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council - finding judgments and case papers
A number of Privy Council decisions are already available via BAILII (the British and Irish Legal Information Institute). Included are all decisions from 1996 as well as selected historical decisions from the early 19th century onwards.
The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies is now digitising its post-1945 print collection of Privy Council case papers. The digitised papers (case for the appellant, case for the respondent, record of proceedings, factums and appendices) are gradually being made available as searchable PDF files alongside the judgment texts already freely available on BAILII.
For examples of case papers see http://ials.sas.ac.uk/library/pcdocs/pcddd_20cent_examples.htm.
Why are these judgments and papers important?
The Judicial Committee of The Privy Council is the court of final appeal for the UK overseas territories and Crown dependencies and for those Commonwealth countries that have retained the appeal to Her Majesty in Council or, in the case of Republics, to the Judicial Committee.
Historically it was the supreme appellate court of the British Empire, whose decisions also provided valid precedents for British courts.