How the laws are presented and how they can be accessed
- Important Notice – Accessing this website and using any information derived from it is subject to the following stipulations:The South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Gazette is the publication of record and has been from 3 October 1985 onwards. Prior to that date the Falkland Islands Gazette was the publication of record. Nothing published on or by this website alters that position.
- (i) everything published on this website is designed to assist those interested in identifying the laws that applied or apply in South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands; and
- (ii) what is published is believed to be accurate; the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands is not responsible for and will accept no liability with regard to any use or application of any information taken from or derived from this website.
- These webpages reflect the history of the law in the territory of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. Whilst the history of this territory is closely linked to that of the Falkland Islands it is not the same. Nothing in these webpages should be construed as making any representations regarding the history or status of the Falkland Islands.
This website seeks to publish or identify all laws derived in or from:
- South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (from 3 October 1985 onwards)
- The Dependencies of the Falkland Islands (from 24 December 1908 to 3 October 1985) and
- The Falkland Islands (from 1843 to 3 October 1985) that applied or apply in South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands as follows:
There was no local law making in this period. The laws that applied would have been Royal Prerogatives (e.g. Orders in Council), English Common Law, doctrines of Equity etc. together with relevant statutes of the United Kingdom1 Parliament. Please refer to resources in the UK such as National Archives and legislation.gov.uk for these laws.
1843 – 1908
The Ordinances and subsidiary legislation in the period 1843-1852 can be found in the hand-written books and ledgers held in the Falkland Islands National Archives.
Research to date has shown that in the period 1846-1852 there were 31 Ordinances validly enacted. The Militia Ordinance of 1851 was disallowed and the six Ordinances ostensibly enacted in 1852 were considered to have been ‘illegal’ as the Legislative Council was comprised of too many members. This table contains more information.
The 1884 Consolidation of Laws contains a chronological table of Ordinances from 1853 – 1884 restricted to those that were published in that consolidation.
The 1915 Consolidation of Laws contains a fuller chronological table of Ordinances passed in the period 1853 -1913 and lists how each were ‘repealed or otherwise affected.’ A similar table is contained in the 1951 Consolidation of Laws.
Laws from the period 1853 – 1900 (where not contained in the 1884 or 1915 consolidations) should be sourced from the Falkland Islands National Archives.
This website re-publishes the Falkland Islands Gazettes from 1891 onwards. Earlier Gazettes are available from the Falkland Islands National Archives. The Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance 1900 s4 required drafts of every Ordinance to be published in the Gazette. The practice became established around that time of publishing the Ordinances as enacted in the Gazette too.
Dependencies – law by notice
1908 – 1948
All laws in this period are available through this website.
(1) The laws in this period are all published in the relevant Falkland Islands Gazette available from this website and Falkland Islands National Archive.
(2) Laws in the period 1920-1981 were also published in year books. Those books were gathered together in irregular groups. They are available from this website and from Falkland Islands National Archive. The year books available from this website have been updated as follows:(i) 1920-1925 did not contain subsidiary legislation or proclamations etc. These materials have been added informally; (ii) 1982-1985 these books were not produced – however versions of what they could have contained have been created informally; (iii) 1985 – to date. Year books for this period have been created informally. These year books can be accessed here.
(3) If dealing with Falkland Islands laws in this period and questioning whether they applied in the Dependencies:
a) Review the tables of Falkland Islands laws that were applied in the Dependencies by virtue of Dependencies Ordinances 1908 s3:
i) as published in the 1951 consolidation (this table omits the notice of 9 January 1950); and
ii) as published with this website.
b) Review the individual Notices that can be found in the Gazettes and on this website.
c) Consider whether the Ordinance itself contained a statement asserting that it applied in the Dependencies.
d) Review the chronological table of Ordinances covering the period 1853-1951 published in the 1951 consolidation. This table contains annotations giving an indication whether the Ordinance was considered to apply to the Dependencies when reviewed at that time. The assertions made in this table are not considered to be correct for the period to 1908.
(4) With minor exceptions all laws from this period that remained in force were consolidated into the 1951 consolidation that was brought into force in 12 March 1953.
Dependencies – separate Ordinances
1949 – 1985
Many laws from this period remain in force. They fall into four sequences:
(1) 1951 Consolidation – the Revised Edition of the Laws etc.;
(2) Substantive Ordinances passed specifically for the Dependencies;
(3) Application of Colony Laws Ordinances passed for the Dependencies applying Falkland Islands Ordinances there; and
(4) Falkland Islands Laws applied in the Dependencies by Application of Colony Laws Ordinances.
In this period, with the exception of the 64 Ordinances published in the 1951 Consolidation and Application of Colony Laws Ordinance (Cap 1 DS) also published in the 1951 Consolidation it is essential to check that the Ordinance (etc.) under consideration has been applied to the Dependencies in accordance with the provisions of Application of Colony Laws Ordinance (Cap 1 DS). (See the notes relating specifically to this issue on Application of Colony Laws Ordinance (Cap 1 DS) page.
First Sequence – 1951 Consolidation the ‘Revised Edition of the Laws etc.’
(1) The starting point is to consider the 64 Ordinances and tables published in 1951 in the two-volume publication ‘Revised Edition of the Laws etc.’. These laws were brought into force on 12 March 1953 by Proclamation No2.
(2) Application of Colony Laws Ordinance (Cap 1 DS) section 6 applied these 64 Ordinances to the Dependencies (retrospectively) with effect from 1 January 1949.
(3) These 64 Ordinances, any amending or repealing Ordinances and any subsidiary legislation or other regulations, rules etc made pursuant to them are published on this website on the 1951 Consolidation – the Revised Edition of the Laws webpage.
(4) These 64 Ordinances are listed alphabetically and quote their Chapter (or Cap) number from their publication in the 1951 Consolidation.
(5) Each Ordinance is presented with an index document that shows how the original, substantive Ordinance evolved over time. Some remain in force unamended, some were amended, and some repealed. The amending/repealing Ordinances, the relevant Application of Colony Laws Ordinances any subsidiary legislation are presented alongside the Ordinance as originally published in the 1951 Consolidation.
Second Sequence – Substantive Dependencies Ordinances (and secondary legislation) relating to matters not covered by the 64 Ordinances in the ‘Revised Edition of the Laws etc.’
(1) After the Application of Colony Laws (Cap 1 DS) came into force (retrospectively) on 1 January 1949 no new Falkland Islands Ordinance could apply in the Dependencies without an Ordinance being passed to that effect in the Dependencies.
(2) The effect of Application of Colony Laws (Cap 1 DS) was to create a separate series of Ordinances specifically for the Dependencies. These Ordinances were enacted for the Dependencies by the Governor.
(3) These Dependencies Series Ordinances fall into two categories:
(i) Substantive new Ordinances (and amendments/ repeals etc. to them) relating to matters not contained within the 1951 Consolidation (this sequence) and
(ii) Application of Colony Laws Ordinances – better referred to as ACLOs – that were typically simple enactments applying Falkland Islands Ordinances to the Dependencies (third sequence).
(4) This website presents these substantive Ordinances in chronological order based on when the original Ordinance was enacted.
(5) Each Ordinance is presented with an index document that shows how the individual Ordinance evolved over time. Some remain in force, unamended, some were amended, and some repealed. The amending/repealing Ordinances, any subsidiary legislation are presented alongside the Ordinance.
Third sequence – Application of Colony Laws Ordinances (‘ACLOs’)
(1) Application of Colony Laws Ordinances (‘ACLO’ or ‘ACLOs’) were simple, short Ordinances used to apply Falkland Islands Ordinances to the Dependencies.
(2) Typically, there was one ACLO enacted each year in this period. In some years a second one was enacted. In 1964 there were three. There are some years where there were none. Where more than one ACLO passed in a year in addition to its sequence number in the Dependencies Series of Ordinances the fact that it was the second or third ACLO was identified in its title. The one exception to this came in 1965 where two ACLOs were given the same short title of ‘Application of Colony Laws Ordinance 1965.’ They can be distinguished from each other as one was the second and the other was the fourth Ordinance enacted for the Dependencies that year.
(3) These ACLOs are presented twice on this website. First, they are accessible separately through the ACLOs webpage and secondly each ACLO is included in the tab relating to the substantive Ordinance whether it is:
(i) an amending or repealing Ordinance related to one of the 64 Ordinances published in the 1951 Consolidation or
(ii) a Falkland Islands Ordinance (including an amending or repealing Ordinance) relating to a matter not contained within the 64 Ordinances published in the ‘Revised Edition of the Laws etc.’ applied to the Dependencies by an ACLO.
Fourth sequence – substantive or amending Falkland Islands Ordinances applied in the Dependencies by an ACLO.
(1) The substantive Ordinances (and any amending/ repealing or secondary legislation) are presented chronologically from the date the substantive Ordinance was first made in the Falkland Islands – in other words coinciding with the date in its short title.
(2) The date that such an Ordinance was commenced in the Dependencies is usually defined in the ACLO that applied the Ordinance to the Dependencies. This can be months, if not years later than the commencement in the Falkland Islands. Do not rely on the chronological presentation as being indicative of the date of commencement in the Dependencies.
(3) Each substantive Ordinance is presented with an index document that shows how the individual Ordinance evolved over time. Some remain in force, unamended, some were amended, and some repealed. The amending/repealing Ordinances, the relevant Application of Colony Laws Ordinances and any subsidiary legislation are presented alongside the substantive Ordinance.
(4) Any amending or repealing Ordinance will appear with the substantive Ordinance being amended or repealed and reference to it will be made in the index accompanying the substantive Ordinance.
British Overseas Territory
1985 – to date
These are the Ordinances and other laws passed for South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands since it became a separate British Overseas Territory.
The substantive Ordinances from this period are listed chronologically – using the date given in the Ordinance’s short title. Any amending or repealing Ordinance is listed with the substantive Ordinance. An index sheet is provided to assist keeping track of amendments etc.
- The vast majority of substantive law applying in South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands will be found either in the 1951 Consolidation the ‘Revised Edition of the Law of the Falkland Islands Dependencies’ or in the laws made subsequently.
- However there is at least one instance of a Dependencies Ordinance applying a Falkland Islands Ordinance that predates the 1951 Consolidation. The Dependencies Ordinance: Application of Colony Laws Ordinance 1952 applied the Falkland Islands Ordinance: Export and Imports (Emergency Powers) Ordinance 1939 to the Dependencies on its promulgation on 2 May 1952 and deemed that this law was in force in the Dependencies since 9 December 1939. It is arguable that a considerable body of law, principally relating to Constitutional matters, or to the publication of the 1951 Consolidation remains in force at least to the extent that it is not spent.
- There are three key dates to bear in mind when considering laws in the period immediately before and after the publication of the ‘Revised Edition of the Law of the Falkland Islands Dependencies.’ These dates are:
a) 1 January 1949 – the date when Application of Colony Laws Ordinance (Cap 1 DS) came into effect and required thenceforward that any new laws of the Falkland Islands could only be applied to the Dependencies if there was an Ordinance of the Dependencies applying that law
b) 31 December 1950 – the ‘end date’ chosen for the 1951 Consolidation.
c) 12 March 1953 – the date when the versions of the laws contained in the 1951 Consolidation came into force.
These dates are particularly important when considering new or amending Ordinances that came into effect at some point between 1 January 1949 – 12 March 1953.
- Those responsible for producing the 1951 Consolidation codified many of the laws ahead of publication. In the two years 1948 and 1949 some 60 or substantive law Ordinances were enacted.
- Leaving aside the 64 Ordinances and their subsidiary legislation published in the 1951 Consolidation all new Ordinances (including amendments etc.) for the Dependencies enacted after 1 January 1949 and prior to 3 October 1985 had to comply with Application of Colony Law Ordinance (Cap 1 DS). If you are considering the application of an Ordinance originating in the Falkland Islands to the Dependencies in this period you should verify that the formalities were complied with (principally that an Ordinance of the Dependencies – typically one entitled ‘Application of Colony Laws Ordinance [year]’ applied the Falkland Islands Ordinance to the Dependencies). When applying such an Ordinance to the Dependencies please consider in particular the effect of Application of Colony Laws Ordinance (Cap 1 DS) section 3 which states:
“(1) Any Ordinance or part of any Ordinance of the Colony which shall be in force in the Dependencies shall be in force therein so far only as the circumstances of the Dependencies and their inhabitants permit, and subject to such qualifications as local circumstances render necessary.
(2) Any Ordinance or part of any Ordinance of the Colony which shall be in force in the Dependencies shall be read with such formal alterations as to names, localities, courts officers, persons and otherwise as may be necessary to make it applicable to the circumstances.”
- Any subsidiary legislation passed in the Falkland Islands pursuant an Ordinance that was also in force in the Dependencies was automatically in effect in the Dependencies unless the then Governor in Council made alternative provision for the Dependencies – see Application of Colony Law Ordinance (Cap 1 DS) section 4.
- Section 4 Application of Colony Law Ordinance (Cap 1 DS) was amended by Application of Colony Laws (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance 1966. The effect of this Ordinance was to broaden the references to subsidiary legislation in s4 overtly and to confirm the validity of any action taken in the Dependencies pursuant to any subsidiary legislation that may or may not have been within the old s4 definition.