Holding court in the Falklands

Barrister Carl Gumsley
Barrister Carl Gumsley
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A LEGAL eagle from South Yorkshire is heading to the far side of the world to become the leading judicial figure in the most southerly British outpost - the Falklands.

Sheffield University graduate Carl Gumsley will become the most southerly British judge in the world when he takes up the position of Senior Magistrate for the Falkland Islands later this month.

The 45-year-old barrister, from Doncaster, will also have jurisdiction for the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands and the British Antarctic.

Mr Gumsley, who practises criminal law from the Trinity Chambers in Newcastle upon Tyne, will have a role similar to a Crown Court and County Court judge in the UK.

He will also be the island’s coroner and rule in family court and Admiralty issues.

Based in Stanley, he will be the only resident judicial figure on the Islands, although the Chief Justice visits at least once a year.

The Falklands have their own laws and legal system, although they are heavily based upon and influenced by English law, and Mr Gumsley will deal with crime, family, commercial, as well as wildlife and fisheries matters.

The islands have a population of around 3,000, boosted by a large number of military personnel.

Mr Gumsley will hold the post for a minimum of two years.

His wife Jackie will be heading to the Falklands with her husband and their pet dogs.

Mr Gumsley, who this month has been sitting as a Recorder at Doncaster Crown Court, told The Star: “I applied for the post because I wanted the challenge of doing something different.

“Jackie is looking forward to the different lifestyle and I am looking forward to the job, which will be a lot broader than what I do now.

“The lifestyle and the scenery will be very different and we are looking forward to the outdoors and wildlife.”

He added: “This fantastic opportunity will allow me to do what I love, against the background of the stunning beauty of the Falkland Islands, its incredible wildlife and the legendary hospitality of the people.

“I am looking forward to dealing with the variety of different areas of law which the post demands.”