As in most countries, the legislature, in the form of the House of Assembly, passes all laws for Gibraltar. European Union Law is also applicable in Gibraltar. Relevant EU directives are transposed into local Law by the Gibraltar Parliament.
The judicial system in Gibraltar is based on the adversarial system of law and follows the three tiers of English legal principles – statute, common law and rules of equity.
As is the case in the Crown Court and High Courts in England and Wales the Supreme Court of Gibraltar deals with the more serious criminal matters and more substantial civil claims.
Appeals from the Supreme Court are heard by the Court of Appeal which is usually made up of three Lord Justices of Appeal (most of whom are currently drawn from the English Court of Appeal). Appeal from the Court of Appeal lies to the Privy Council.
The legal profession in Gibraltar is a fused profession, meaning that both barristers and solicitors carry out similar work, with either profession being able to deal with a matter from its inception through to a court hearing. Barristers and Solicitors have organised the conduct of their professional services through legal partnerships.
Barristers and solicitors are in the main trained in England. The Admissions and Disciplinary Committee, appointed by the Chief Justice pursuant to the Supreme Court Ordinance, is responsible for the discipline of barristers and solicitors.
Legal work in Gibraltar is diverse and, apart from the normal general practice associated with a city and financial centre, there is a strong Admiralty Jurisdiction and a large corporate sector. Most members provide corporate services for clients.
The Regulator (FSC) and OECD
The Regulator (FSC)
In Gibraltar, the regulatory and supervisory function for financial services is vested with the Financial Services Commission (FSC). The Commission is a statutory body corporate established by the Financial Services Commission Act 2007. It consists of the Chief Executive as ex-officio member and seven other persons, at least two of these persons shall have significant experience of regulation and supervision of finance services business in another jurisdiction. The Chief Executive and the other members are appointed by the Minister with Responsibility for Financial Services. The Commission has a separate Chairman appointed from within the seven members of the Commission. Mission Statement: “To provide financial services regulation in an effective and efficient manner in order to protect the public from financial loss and enhance Gibraltar’s reputation as a quality financial centre.”
The FSC is located at:
Financial Services Commission
PO Box 940 Suite 3
Tel +350 200 40283
Fax (+350) 200 40282
Gibraltar has a network of Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs). Full details of agreements signed, including dates of entry into force, are available on the OECD dedicated website: http://www.eoi-tax.org/jurisdictions/GI#agreements
We continue to actively pursue further TIEAs. In addition, Gibraltar has TIEA-equivalent arrangements with all EU member states under the provisions of the Directive 2011/16/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation, which came into effect on 1 January 2013.