St. Kitts Financial Services - Information on Jurisdiction

St. Kitts is a 68 square mile tropical island located in the Eastern Caribbean. It is part of the twin island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. It is located in the center of the chain of Caribbean islands, which places it almost in the middle of the body of water separating North and South America. English is the official language spoken in St. Kitts by the population of approximately 33,000 people.

Legal System

The sources of the laws are the Constitution, legislation passed by the National Assembly, subsidiary legislation; and the common law (adopted from the United Kingdom). There is a three-tiered Court System: - (i) there are two courts of original jurisdiction, the Magistrate's Court which has limited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters; and the High Court whose jurisdiction is similar to that of the High Court in the UK; (ii) the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal; and (iii) the Privy Council in London (which is the final Court of Appeal).

The rules relating to civil procedure have recently been reformed. One of the most novel changes is that the Court itself now manages all cases. The primary objectives of this have been to ensure that actions proceed to trial as quickly as possible and to reduce the number of cases that need to be resolved by a trial.


St. Kitts has very good infrastructure. In addition, it has a modern international airport, which was substantially rebuilt in 1999. It has a cruise port, which can accommodate the largest cruise ships.

The communications system is thoroughly modern and reliable. Further, with the liberalization of the telecommunications industry, the quality of services being provided and the competitive prices of these services have improved considerably with further improvement expected.

Financial Services Industry And Investment In St. Kitts

In April 2001 the Marketing and Development Department was established under the Ministry of Finance. The mandate for this department is to promote St. Kitts financial services, carry out market research in order to develop new products, improve on existing products and to deal with international challenges and developments that can affect the financial services industry or the investment climate of the island, e.g. the OECD initiatives.

A very good partnership has developed between the Marketing and Development Department and the private sector. There is regular dialogue concerning improvement of laws and development of new...

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