UK Laws - Legal Portal
 
Navigation
News

Courts Act 2003 (c. 39)

(The document as of February, 2008)

-- Back--

Page 1

Pages: P.1 | P.2 | P.3 | P.4 | P.5 | P.6 | P.7 | P.8 | P.9 | P.10 | P.11 | P.12 | P.13 | P.14 | P.15 | P.16 | P.17

Courts Act 2003

2003 CHAPTER 39

CONTENTS

Content
  1. Part 1

    Maintaining the court system

    1. The general duty

      1. 1. The general duty

    2. Court staff and accommodation

      1. 2. Court officers, staff and services

      2. 3. Provision of accommodation

    3. Courts boards

      1. 4. Establishment of courts boards

      2. 5. Functions of courts boards

    4. Abolition of magistrates' courts committees

      1. 6. Abolition of magistrates' courts committees, etc.

  2. Part 2

    Justices of the peace

    1. The commission of the peace and local justice areas

      1. 7. The commission of the peace for England and Wales

      2. 8. Local justice areas

    2. Lay justices

      1. 9. Meaning of "lay justice"

      2. 10. Appointment of lay justices etc.

      3. 11. Resignation and removal of lay justices

      4. 12. The supplemental list

      5. 13. Entry of names in the supplemental list

      6. 14. Removal of names from the supplemental list

      7. 15. Lay justices' allowances

      8. 16. Records of lay justices

    3. Chairman and deputy chairmen and the bench

      1. 17. Chairman and deputy chairmen: selection

      2. 18. Rights to preside and size of bench

    4. Supplementary provisions about the bench

      1. 19. Training, development and appraisal of lay justices

      2. 20. Rules

      3. 21. Duty to consult lay justices on matters affecting them etc.

    5. District Judges (Magistrates' Courts)

      1. 22. Appointment etc.

      2. 23. Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate)

      3. 24. Deputy District Judges (Magistrates' Courts)

      4. 25. District Judges (Magistrates' Courts) as justices of the peace

      5. 26. District Judges (Magistrates' Courts) able to act alone

    6. Justices' clerks and assistant clerks

      1. 27. Justices' clerks and assistant clerks

      2. 28. Functions

      3. 29. Independence

    7. Places, dates and times of sittings

      1. 30. Places, dates and times of sittings

    8. Protection and indemnification of justices and justices' clerks

      1. 31. Immunity for acts within jurisdiction

      2. 32. Immunity for certain acts beyond jurisdiction

      3. 33. Striking out proceedings where action prohibited

      4. 34. Costs in legal proceedings

      5. 35. Indemnity

    9. Fines officers and designated officers

      1. 36. Fines officers

      2. 37. Designated officers and magistrates' courts

    10. Application of receipts of magistrates' courts etc.

      1. 38. Application of receipts of designated officers

  3. Part 3

    Magistrates' courts

    1. Criminal jurisdiction and procedure

      1. 43. Summons or warrant for suspected offender

      2. 44. Trial of summary offences

      3. 45. Power to make rulings at pre-trial hearings

      4. 46. Power to transfer criminal cases

    2. Civil jurisdiction and procedure

      1. 47. Jurisdiction to issue summons and deal with complaints

      2. 48. Power to transfer civil proceedings (other than family proceedings)

    3. Family proceedings courts and youth courts

      1. 49. Family proceedings courts

      2. 50. Youth courts

  4. Part 4

    Court security

    1. 51. Court security officers

    2. 52. Powers of search

    3. 53. Powers to exclude, remove or restrain persons

    4. 54. Surrender and seizure of articles

    5. 55. Powers to retain articles surrendered or seized

    6. 56. Regulations about retention of articles

    7. 57. Assaulting and obstructing court security officers

  5. Part 5

    Inspectors of court administration

    1. 58. Inspectors of court administration etc.

    2. 59. Functions of inspectors

    3. 60. Functions of Chief Inspector

    4. 61. Rights of entry and inspection

  6. Part 6

    Judges

    1. Offices, titles, styles etc.

      1. 62. Head and Deputy Head of Civil Justice

      2. 63. Ordinary judges of the Court of Appeal

      3. 64. Power to alter judicial titles

    2. Flexibility in deployment of judicial resources

      1. 65. District Judges (Magistrates' Courts) as Crown Court judges etc.

      2. 66. Judges having powers of District Judges (Magistrates' Courts)

      3. 67. Removal of restriction on Circuit judges sitting on certain appeals

  7. Part 7

    Procedure rules and practice directions

    1. Criminal Procedure Rules and practice directions

      1. 68. Meaning of "criminal court"

      2. 69. Criminal Procedure Rules

      3. 70. Criminal Procedure Rule Committee

      4. 71. Power to change certain requirements relating to Committee

      5. 72. Process for making Criminal Procedure Rules

      6. 73. Power to amend legislation in connection with the rules

      7. 74. Practice directions as to practice and procedure of the criminal courts

    2. Family Procedure Rules and practice directions

      1. 75. Family Procedure Rules

      2. 76. Further provision about scope of Family Procedure Rules

      3. 77. Family Procedure Rule Committee

      4. 78. Power to change certain requirements relating to Committee

      5. 79. Process for making Family Procedure Rules

      6. 80. Power to amend legislation in connection with the rules

      7. 81. Practice directions relating to family proceedings

    3. Civil Procedure Rules

      1. 82. Civil Procedure Rules

      2. 83. Civil Procedure Rule Committee

      3. 84. Power to change certain requirements relating to Committee

      4. 85. Process for making Civil Procedure Rules

  8. Part 8

    Miscellaneous

    1. Provisions relating to criminal procedure and appeals

      1. 86. Alteration of place fixed for Crown Court trial

      2. 87. Appeals to Court of Appeal: procedural directions

      3. 88. Extension of time for criminal appeals to House of Lords

      4. 89. Retirement age of Registrar of Criminal Appeals

      5. 90. Appeals to Courts-Martial Appeal Court: procedural directions

      6. 91. Extension of time for appeals from Courts-Martial Appeal Court

    2. Fees and costs

      1. 92. Fees

      2. 93. Award of costs against third parties

      3. 94. Award of costs in appeals under Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

    3. Fines

      1. 95. Fixing of fines: failure to furnish statement of financial circumstances

      2. 96. Recovery of fines etc. by deductions from income support: failure to provide information

      3. 97. Collection of fines and discharge of fines by unpaid work

    4. Register of judgments etc. and execution of writs

      1. 98. Register of judgments and orders etc.

      2. 99. High Court writs of execution

    5. Damages

      1. 100. Periodical payments

      2. 101. Periodical payments: security

    6. Provisions relating to Northern Ireland

      1. 102. Power to alter judicial titles: Northern Ireland

      2. 103. Official Solicitor of Northern Ireland

      3. 104. Alteration of place fixed for Crown Court trial: Northern Ireland

      4. 105. Extension of time for criminal appeals to House of Lords: Northern Ireland

      5. 106. Fees: Northern Ireland

  9. Part 9

    Final provisions

    1. 107. Interpretation

    2. 108. Rules, regulations and orders

    3. 109. Minor and consequential amendments, repeals, etc.

    4. 110. Commencement

    5. 111. Extent

    6. 112. Short title

    1. Schedule 1

      Constitution and procedure of courts boards

    2. Schedule 2

      Abolition of magistrates' courts committees: transfers

      1. Part 1

        Property transfer schemes

      2. Part 2

        Staff transfers

      3. Part 3

        Miscellaneous and supplementary

    3. Schedule 3

      Pre-trial hearings in magistrates' courts

    4. Schedule 4

      Further functions conferred on District Judges (Magistrates' Courts)

    5. Schedule 5

      Collection of fines

      1. Part 1

        Introductory

      2. Part 2

        Immediate payment of fines: discounts

      3. Part 3

        Attachment of earnings orders and applications for benefit deductions

      4. Part 4

        Making of collection orders

      5. Part 5

        Discount where collection order made

      6. Part 6

        Variation of collection orders containing payment terms

      7. Part 7

        Effect of first default on collection order containing payment terms

      8. Part 8

        Operation of collection orders containing reserve terms

      9. Part 9

        Operation of collection orders after increase imposed

      10. Part 10

        Supplementary provisions

    6. Schedule 6

      Discharge of fines by unpaid work

    7. Schedule 7

      High Court writs of execution

    8. Schedule 8

      Minor and consequential amendments

    9. Schedule 9

      Transitional provisions and savings

    10. Schedule 10

      Repeals

An Act to make provision about the courts and their procedure and practice; about judges and magistrates; about fines and the enforcement processes of the courts; about periodical payments of damages; and for connected purposes.

[20th November 2003]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--



Part 1 Maintaining the court system

The general duty

1 The general duty

(1) The Lord Chancellor is under a duty to ensure that there is an efficient and effective system to support the carrying on of the business of--

(a) the Supreme Court,

(b) county courts, and

(c) magistrates' courts,

and that appropriate services are provided for those courts.

(2) In this Part--

(a) "the Supreme Court" includes the district probate registries, and

(b) "magistrates' court" includes a committee of justices.

(3) In this Part references to the Lord Chancellor's general duty in relation to the courts are to his duty under this section.

(4) The Lord Chancellor must, within 18 months of the coming into force of this section, and afterwards annually, prepare and lay before both Houses of Parliament a report as to the way in which he has discharged his general duty in relation to the courts.



Court staff and accommodation

2 Court officers, staff and services

(1) The Lord Chancellor may appoint such officers and other staff as appear to him appropriate for the purpose of discharging his general duty in relation to the courts.

(2) The civil service pension arrangements for the time being in force apply (with any necessary adaptations) to persons appointed under subsection (1) as they apply to other persons employed in the civil service of the State.

(3) "The civil service pension arrangements" means--

(a) the principal civil service pension scheme (within the meaning of section 2 of the Superannuation Act 1972 (c. 11)), and

(b) any other superannuation benefits for which provision is made under or by virtue of section 1 of the 1972 Act for or in respect of persons in employment in the civil service of the State.

(4) Subject to subsections (5) and (6), the Lord Chancellor may enter into such contracts with other persons for the provision, by them or their sub-contractors, of officers, staff or services as appear to him appropriate for the purpose of discharging his general duty in relation to the courts.

(5) The Lord Chancellor may not enter into contracts for the provision of officers and staff to discharge functions which involve making judicial decisions or exercising any judicial discretion.

(6) The Lord Chancellor may not enter into contracts for the provision of officers and staff to carry out the administrative work of the courts unless an order made by the Lord Chancellor authorises him to do so.

(7) Before making an order under subsection (6) the Lord Chancellor must consult--

(a) the Lord Chief Justice,

(b) the Master of the Rolls,

(c) the President of the Family Division, and

(d) the Vice-Chancellor,

as to what effect (if any) the order might have on the proper and efficient administration of justice.

(8) An order under subsection (6) may authorise the Lord Chancellor to enter into contracts for the provision of officers or staff to discharge functions--

(a) wholly or to the extent specified in the order,

(b) generally or in cases or areas specified in the order, and

(c) unconditionally or subject to the fulfilment of conditions specified in the order.

3 Provision of accommodation

(1) The Lord Chancellor may provide, equip, maintain and manage such court-houses, offices and other accommodation as appear to him appropriate for the purpose of discharging his general duty in relation to the courts.

(2) The Lord Chancellor may enter into such arrangements for the provision, equipment, maintenance or management of court-houses, offices or other accommodation as appear to him appropriate for the purpose of discharging his general duty in relation to the courts.

(3) The powers under--

(a) section 2 of the Commissioners of Works Act 1852 (c. 28) (acquisition by agreement), and

(b) section 228(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (c. 8) (compulsory acquisition),

to acquire land necessary for the public service are to be treated as including power to acquire land for the purpose of its provision under arrangements entered into under subsection (2).

(4) "Court-house" means any place where a court sits, including the precincts of any building in which it sits.



Courts boards

4 Establishment of courts boards

(1) England and Wales is to be divided into areas for each of which there is to be a courts board.

(2) The areas are to be those specified by an order made by the Lord Chancellor.

(3) Each area established by an order under subsection (2) is to be known by such name as is specified in the order (but subject to subsection (4)).

(4) The Lord Chancellor may make orders altering the areas.

(5) "Altering", in relation to an area, includes (as well as changing its boundaries)--

(a) combining it with one or more other areas,

(b) dividing it between two or more other areas, and

(c) changing its name.

(6) Before making an order under subsection (4), the Lord Chancellor must consult any courts board affected by the proposed order.

(7) When making an order under subsection (2) the Lord Chancellor must have regard to the desirability of specifying areas which are the same as--

(a) the police areas listed in Schedule 1 to the Police Act 1996 (c. 16) (division of England and Wales, except London, into police areas), and

(b) the area consisting of the Metropolitan Police District and the City of London police area.

(8) Schedule 1 contains provisions about the constitution and procedure of courts boards.

5 Functions of courts boards

(1) Each courts board is under a duty, in accordance with guidance under this section--

(a) to scrutinise, review and make recommendations about the way in which the Lord Chancellor is discharging his general duty in relation to the courts with which the board is concerned, and

(b) for the purposes mentioned in paragraph (a), to consider draft and final business plans relating to those courts.

(2) In discharging his general duty in relation to the courts, the Lord Chancellor must give due consideration to recommendations made by the boards under subsection (1).

(3) If the Lord Chancellor rejects a recommendation made by a courts board under subsection (1) as a result of the board's consideration of a final business plan, he must give the board his written reasons for so doing.

(4) The courts with which a courts board is concerned are--

(a) the Crown Court,

(b) county courts, and

(c) magistrates' courts,

in the board's area.

(5) The Lord Chancellor must prepare and issue the boards with guidance about how they should carry out their functions under subsection (1).

(6) The guidance may in particular contain provisions about the procedures to be followed in connection with draft and final business plans.

(7) The Lord Chancellor may from time to time issue the boards with revised guidance and revoke previous guidance.

(8) Guidance issued under this section must be laid before both Houses of Parliament.



Abolition of magistrates' courts committees

6 Abolition of magistrates' courts committees, etc.

(1) The Greater London Magistrates' Courts Authority (the magistrates' courts committee for Greater London) and all the magistrates' courts committees for areas of England and Wales outside Greater London are abolished.

(2) In consequence of that--

(a) England and Wales outside Greater London is no longer divided into magistrates' courts committee areas, and

(b) the office of justices' chief executive is abolished.

(3) Schedule 2 (abolition of magistrates' courts committees: transfers) has effect.

(4) The Justices of the Peace Act 1997 (c. 25) ceases to have effect.



Part 2 Justices of the peace

The commission of the peace and local justice areas

7 The commission of the peace for England and Wales

There shall be a commission of the peace for England and Wales--

(a) issued under the Great Seal, and

(b) addressed generally, and not by name, to all such persons as may from time to time hold office as justices of the peace for England and Wales.

8 Local justice areas

(1) England and Wales is to be divided into areas to be known as local justice areas.

(2) The areas are to be those specified by an order made by the Lord Chancellor.

(3) Each local justice area established by order under subsection (2) is to be known by such name as is specified in the order (but subject to subsection (4)).

(4) The Lord Chancellor may make orders altering local justice areas.

(5) "Altering", in relation to a local justice area, includes (as well as changing its boundaries)--

(a) combining it with one or more other local justice areas,

(b) dividing it between two or more other local justice areas, and

(c) changing its name.

(6) Before making an order under subsection (4) in relation to a local justice area the Lord Chancellor must consult--

(a) the justices of the peace assigned to the local justice area,

(b) any courts board whose area includes the local justice area or a part of the local justice area, and

(c) unless the alteration consists only of a change of name, any local authorities whose area includes the local justice area or a part of the local justice area.

(7) "Local authority" means--

(a) any council of a county, a county borough, a London borough or a council of a district,

(b) the Common Council of the City of London, or

(c) a police authority established under section 3 of the Police Act 1996 (c. 16) or the Metropolitan Police Authority.



Lay justices

9 Meaning of "lay justice"

In this Act "lay justice" means a justice of the peace who is not a District Judge (Magistrates' Courts).

10 Appointment of lay justices etc.

(1) Lay justices are to be appointed for England and Wales by the Lord Chancellor by instrument on behalf and in the name of Her Majesty.

(2) The Lord Chancellor--

(a) must assign each lay justice to one or more local justice areas, and

(b) may change an assignment so as to assign the lay justice to a different local justice area or to different local justice areas.

(3) Every lay justice is, by virtue of his office, capable of acting as such in any local justice area (whether or not he is assigned to it); but he may do so only in accordance with arrangements made by or on behalf of the Lord Chancellor.

(4) Rules may make provision about the training courses to be completed before a person may exercise functions as a lay justice in any proceedings or class of proceedings specified in the rules.

(5) Subsection (3) is subject to section 12 (the supplemental list).

11 Resignation and removal of lay justices

(1) A lay justice may resign his office at any time.

(2) The Lord Chancellor may remove a lay justice from his office by an instrument on behalf and in the name of Her Majesty--

(a) on the ground of incapacity or misbehaviour,

(b) on the ground of a persistent failure to meet such standards of competence as are prescribed by a direction given by the Lord Chancellor, or

(c) if he is satisfied that the lay justice is declining or neglecting to take a proper part in the exercise of his functions as a justice of the peace.

12 The supplemental list

(1) A list, to be known as "the supplemental list", must be kept in the office of the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery.

(2) A lay justice whose name is entered in the supplemental list is not qualified as a justice of the peace to do any act or to be a member of a committee or other body.

(3) No act or appointment is invalidated by reason of the disqualification of a lay justice under subsection (2).

13 Entry of names in the supplemental list

(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the name of a lay justice who has reached 70 must be entered in the supplemental list.

(2) The name of a lay justice who, when he reaches 70, is chairman of the lay justices assigned to a local justice area need not be entered in the supplemental list until the term for which he is serving as chairman has ended.

(3) Where--

(a) proceedings are, or are expected to be, in progress on the day on which the lay justice reaches 70, and

(b) the lay justice is exercising functions in those proceedings as a justice of the peace,

the Lord Chancellor may direct that the name of the lay justice need not be entered in the supplemental list until the proceedings have ended.

(4) The name of a lay justice must be entered in the supplemental list if--

(a) he applies for it to be entered, and

(b) the application is approved by the Lord Chancellor.

(5) The Lord Chancellor may direct that the name of a lay justice is to be entered in the supplemental list on the ground of incapacity.

14 Removal of names from the supplemental list

(1) A person's name must be removed from the supplemental list if he ceases to be a justice of the peace.

(2) A person's name must be removed from the supplemental list if--

(a) his name is in the list as a result of section 13(4) or (5), and

(b) the Lord Chancellor directs its removal.

15 Lay justices' allowances

(1) A lay justice is entitled to payments by way of--

(a) travelling allowance,

(b) subsistence allowance, and

(c) financial loss allowance.

(2) Allowances under this section are to be paid by the Lord Chancellor at rates determined by him.

(3) A lay justice's travelling allowance is an allowance in respect of expenditure--

(a) which is incurred by him on travelling, and

(b) which is necessarily incurred for the purpose of enabling him to perform his duties.

(4) A lay justice's subsistence allowance is an allowance in respect of expenditure--

(a) which is incurred by him on subsistence, and

(b) which is necessarily incurred for the purpose of enabling him to perform his duties.

(5) A lay justice's financial loss allowance is an allowance in respect of--

(a) any other expenditure incurred by reason of the performance of his duties, and

(b) any loss of earnings or social security benefits suffered by reason of the performance of his duties.

(6) A lay justice is not entitled to a payment under this section in respect of the performance of his duties if--

(a) a payment of a similar kind in respect of those duties may be made to him apart from this section, or

(b) entitlement to the payment is excluded by regulations made by the Lord Chancellor.

(7) For the purposes of this section the performance of a lay justice's duties includes taking a training course provided by or on behalf of the Lord Chancellor.

(8) The Lord Chancellor may by regulations make provision about the way in which this section is to be administered and may in particular make provision--

(a) prescribing sums (including tax credits) that are to be treated as social security benefits for the purposes of financial loss allowances,

(b) prescribing the particulars to be provided for claiming payment of allowances, and

(c) for avoiding duplication between payments under this section and under other arrangements where expenditure is incurred for more than one purpose.

16 Records of lay justices

(1) The Lord Chancellor--

(a) must appoint a person to be keeper of the rolls for each local justice area, and

(b) may appoint the same person to be keeper of the rolls for more than one local justice area.

(2) The keeper of the rolls for a local justice area must be notified, in such manner as the Lord Chancellor may direct, of--

(a) any assignment of a lay justice to the area,

(b) any change in an assignment of a lay justice as a result of which he ceases to be assigned to the area, and

(c) the fact that a lay justice assigned to the area has ceased to be a justice of the peace or that his name has been entered in or removed from the supplemental list.

(3) The keeper of the rolls for a local justice area must ensure that an accurate record is maintained of all lay justices for the time being assigned to the area.



Chairman and deputy chairmen and the bench

<<<< >>>>

17 Chairman and deputy chairmen: selection

(1) For each local justice area there is to be--

(a) a chairman of the lay justices assigned to the area, and

(b) one or more deputy chairmen of those lay justices,

chosen by them from among their number.

(2) Rules may make provision--

(a) subject to subsection (3), as to the term of office of the chairman and deputy chairmen, and

(b) as to the number of deputy chairmen to be elected for any area.

(3) The Lord Chancellor, or a person acting on his behalf, may authorise a lay justice to continue to hold office as chairman or deputy chairman for the purposes of specified proceedings which are, or are expected to be, in progress on the day on which the lay justice's office would otherwise end.

(4) Any contested election for choosing the chairman or a deputy chairman is to be held by secret ballot.

(5) Rules may make provision for the purposes of this section and may in particular make provision--

(a) about the procedure for nominating candidates for election as a chairman or a deputy chairman;

(b) about the procedure at such an election.

18 Rights to preside and size of bench

(1) If the chairman for a local justice area is present at a sitting or other meeting of lay justices assigned to or acting in the area, he must preside.

Pages: P.1 | P.2 | P.3 | P.4 | P.5 | P.6 | P.7 | P.8 | P.9 | P.10 | P.11 | P.12 | P.13 | P.14 | P.15 | P.16 | P.17

-- Back--

<<<< >>>>

Stat




Search
Popular article
Advert