Title and jurisdiction over the territory were vested in the British Crown by the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. It is a self-governing British Overseas Territory.
The Common Law and rules of equity apply.
The Gibraltar Parliament has full legislative powers except for foreign affairs and defence. Most enactments are modelled on UK equivalents.
Gibraltar is part of the EU, having joined the European Economic Community under the United Kingdom in 1973. Article 355(3) (ex Article 299(4)) applies the treaty to "the European territories for whose external relations a Member State is responsible", a provision which in practice only applies to Gibraltar. Although part of the EU, it is outside the customs union and VAT area and is exempted from the Common Agricultural Policy and is not form part of the Schengen Area. As a separate jurisdiction to the UK, Gibraltar's government and parliament are responsible for the transposition of EU law into local law.
Our Court system largely follows that of England and Wales. A Magistrates’ Court predominantly deals with criminal and administrative matters.