Judiciary of Bhutan

Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court

The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall extend to the whole of Bhutan, all persons therein, and all persons with an established legal relationship to Bhutan.

Jurisdiction of the High Court

The jurisdiction of the High Court extends to the whole of Bhutan. It has original jurisdiction over cases; arising out of or under international treaties, conventions and covenants; where the lower court does not otherwise have original jurisdiction; between two or more Dzongkhags; in which Bhutan or the Government of Bhutan is a party and of rights of habeas corpus. The High Court shall admit appeals against interlocutory orders of a Dzongkhag Court or a Dungkhag Court, if there are sufficient reasons for admitting them. (A Court passes an interlocutory order during the course of a trial to prevent any harm or injury that may be suffered by the petitioner owing to any action or inaction of a person or authority in case a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order is not issued.)

Jurisdiction of the Dzongkhag Court

The Dzongkhag Court has original jurisdiction in all cases where venue exists in its territorial jurisdiction and where original jurisdiction of the High Court does not apply.

Jurisdiction of the Dungkhag Court

The Dungkhag Court has original jurisdiction in all cases where venue exists in its territorial jurisdiction and where the original jurisdiction of the High Court and Dzongkhag Court does not apply.

Appellate Authority

His Majesty, in exercise of his Royal Prerogatives may grant amnesty and reduction of sentences.
The Supreme Court/High Court of Bhutan shall be the highest appellate authority to review, reverse and overrule an order, decision or Judgment.
The Supreme Court and the High Court shall have powers to issue or to be moved by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by the Constitution in the form of directions, orders or writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate.
The Dzongkhag Court has appellate jurisdiction over an appeal from an order, decision or judgment of Dungkhag Court subordinate to it.

Advisory Jurisdiction

Where a question of law or fact is of such a nature and of such public importance that it is expedient to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court/High Court, His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo may refer the question to the Supreme Court for its consideration. The Court shall hear the reference and submit to His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo its opinion thereon.

Judicial Review

The Supreme Court/High Court shall have the power to review any official acts that are contrary to the provisions of the Constitution. It is also provided in Cha 4 of the Kadyon that if the Supreme Court upon/High Court review discovers and finds the allegation by a department to be untrue, such department shall be liable in accordance with the law of the land.


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