This court, formerly known as the Court of Magistrates of Judicial Police for the Islands of Gozo and Comino, was established on the 15 October 1814 by a Proclamation issued by Sir Thomas Maitland, the first British Governor of Malta. Originally its competence was limited. Since 1855 it has had a two-fold jurisdiction in civil matters: superior and inferior. Ordinance XV of 1913 gave the court also a commercial jurisdiction. A Magistrate sits in this court and deals with claims against persons residing or having their ordinary abode in the Islands of Gozo or Comino.
In its inferior jurisdiction the court hears and determines all claims for an amount that does not exceed eleven thousand six hundred and forty six euros and eighty seven euro cents (€11,646.87) but which exceed the competence of the Small Claims Tribunal. Appeals are heard in Gozo by the Court of Appeal (composed of a single Judge).
In its superior jurisdiction, the Court of Magistrates (Gozo) deals with cases which in Malta are heard and determined by the Civil Court, with the exception of cases where a person claims that his fundamental rights, as protected by the Constitution or by the European Convention on Human Rights, have been, are being or are likely to be breached. The Court of Magistrates (Gozo) in its superior jurisdiction is divided into three sections: the General Jurisdiction Section, the Voluntary Jurisdiction Section and the Family Section. Appeals from the Court of Magistrates (Gozo) in its superior jurisdiction are heard in Malta before the Court of Appeal (composed of the Chief Justice and two other Judges).
The Court of Magistrates (Gozo) has also a criminal jurisdiction identical to that of the Court of Magistrates (Malta), with the exception that extradition proceedings are always heard before the latter court. Appeals from decisions of the Court of Magistrates (Gozo) as a Court of Criminal Judicature are heard in Gozo by the Court of Criminal Appeal (composed of a single Judge). Below is a picture of the building in The Citadel, Victoria, where the courts sit in Gozo. The Juvenile Court, however, holds its sittings in another building.