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LORDS Amendments to A Commons Amendment

AND A LORDS CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENT TO THE

COURTS BILL [HL]


[The page and line references are to Bill 112 as first printed for the Commons.]

After Schedule 5

COMMONS AMENDMENT No. 24

24

Insert the following new Schedule—

 

“Discharge of fines by unpaid work

 

Part 1

 

Work orders

 

Introductory

 

1     (1)  

This Part of this Schedule applies if a person aged 18 or over (“P”) is

 

liable to pay a sum which is or is treated for the purposes of Part 3 of the

 

1980 Act as a sum adjudged to be paid by conviction of a magistrates’

 

court.

 

      (2)  

In this Part of this Schedule—

 

         

“the prescribed hourly sum” means such sum as may be

 

prescribed by regulations;

 

         

“regulations” means regulations made under this Schedule by the

 

Lord Chancellor;

 

         

“the relevant court” means—

 

(a)   

the court imposing the liability to pay the relevant sum,

 

or

 

(b)   

if that liability has previously been imposed, the

 

magistrates’ court responsible for enforcing payment of

 

the relevant sum;

 

         

“the relevant sum” means the sum for which P is liable as

 

mentioned in sub-paragraph (1), but excluding any pecuniary

 
Bill 17753/2

 

(  2  )

 
 

compensation, any pecuniary forfeiture or any sum due in

 

respect of prosecution costs.

 

Cases where work order may be made

 

2     (1)  

The relevant court may, on the application of a fines officer or of its own

 

motion, make an order under this Schedule (a “work order”) where—

 

(a)   

it appears to the court that in view of P’s financial circumstances

 

all the following methods of enforcing payment of the relevant

 

sum are likely to be impracticable or inappropriate—

 

(i)   

a warrant of distress under section 76 of the 1980 Act,

 

(ii)   

an application to the High Court or county court for

 

enforcement under section 87 of the 1980 Act,

 

(iii)   

an order under section 88 of the 1980 Act,

 

(iv)   

an attachment of earnings order,

 

(v)   

an application for deductions to be made by virtue of

 

section 24 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (recovery of

 

fines etc. by deductions from income support etc.), and

 

(vi)   

a collection order under Schedule (Collection of fines),

 

(b)   

it appears to the court that P is a suitable person to perform

 

unpaid work under this Schedule, and

 

(c)   

P consents to the making of the order.

 

      (1)  

A court which is considering the making of a work order may issue a

 

summons requiring P to appear before the court.

 

      (2)  

A magistrates’ court which is considering the making of a work order

 

may order P to give to the court, within a specified period, such a

 

statement of his means as the court may require.

 

      (3)  

Subsections (2) to (4) of section 84 of the 1980 Act (offences in respect of

 

statement of means) apply to an order made under sub-paragraph (3) as

 

they apply to an order made under subsection (1) of that section.

 

Provisions of order

 

3     (1)  

A work order is an order requiring P to perform unpaid work for a

 

specified number of hours, in accordance with instructions to be given

 

by the fines officer, in order to discharge by virtue of this Schedule his

 

liability for the relevant sum.

 

      (2)  

The order must also—

 

(a)   

state the amount of the relevant sum,

 

(b)   

specify a fines office to which the order is allocated, and

 

(c)   

specify a person (“the supervisor”) who is to act as supervisor in

 

relation to P.

 

      (1)  

The specified number of hours is to be determined by dividing the

 

relevant sum by the prescribed hourly sum and, where the result is not

 

a whole number, adjusting the result upwards to the next whole

 

number.

 

      (2)  

A work order must specify a date (“the specified date”) not later than

 

which the required hours of unpaid work must be performed.

 

      (3)  

In the following provisions of this Part of this Schedule “the fines

 

officer”, in relation to P, means any fines officer working at the fines

 

office specified in the work order.


 

(  3  )

 
 

Effect of order on enforcement of payment

 

4     (1)  

Where a work order has been made in respect of the relevant sum,

 

payment of that sum may not be enforced against P unless the order is

 

revoked.

 

      (2)  

On making a work order, the court must revoke any order relating to the

 

enforcement of the payment of the relevant sum.

 

Appointment of, and duties of, supervisor

 

5     (1)  

A person may not be appointed as the supervisor without his consent.

 

      (2)  

It is the duty of the supervisor—

 

(a)   

to monitor P’s compliance with the requirements of the work

 

order, and

 

(b)   

to provide the court with such information as the court may

 

require relating to P’s compliance with those requirements.

 

Obligations of person subject to work order, and effect of compliance

 

6     (1)  

Where a work order is in force, P must perform for the number of hours

 

specified in the order such work, at such places and at such times as he

 

may be instructed by the fines officer.

 

      (2)  

The fines officer must ensure, as far as practicable, that any instructions

 

given to P in pursuance of the work order are such as to avoid—

 

(a)   

any conflict with P’s religious beliefs, and

 

(b)   

any interference with the times, if any, at which he normally

 

works or attends school or any other educational establishment.

 

      (1)  

If not later than the specified date P performs work in accordance with

 

the instructions of the fines officer for the specified number of hours, his

 

liability to pay the relevant sum is discharged.

 

Effect of payment

 

7     (1)  

Where a work order has been made in respect of any sum—

 

(a)   

on payment of the whole of the sum to any person authorised to

 

receive it, the work order ceases to have effect, and

 

(b)   

on payment of part of the sum to any such person, the number of

 

hours specified in the order is to be taken to be reduced by a

 

proportion corresponding to that which the part paid bears to the

 

whole of the relevant sum.

 

      (1)  

In calculating any reduction required by sub-paragraph (1)(b), any

 

fraction of an hour is to be disregarded.

 

Revocation or variation of order

 

8     (1)  

If, on the application of the fines officer, it appears to the relevant court

 

that P is failing or has failed to comply with a work order without

 

reasonable excuse, the court must revoke the order.

 

      (2)  

If, on the application of the fines officer, it appears to the relevant court—

 

(a)   

that P has failed to comply with a work order but has a

 

reasonable excuse for the failure, or


 

(  4  )

 
 

(b)   

that, because of a change in circumstances since the order was

 

made, P is unlikely to be able to comply with a work order,

 

           

the court may revoke the order or postpone the specified date.

 

      (1)  

The relevant court may of its own motion revoke a work order if it

 

appears to the court that, because of a change in circumstances since the

 

order was made, P is unlikely to be able to comply with the order.

 

      (2)  

A work order may be revoked under any of sub-paragraphs (1) to (3), or

 

varied under sub-paragraph (2), before the specified date (as well as on

 

or after that date).

 

      (3)  

Regulations may provide for the fines officer to have the power to issue

 

a summons for the purpose of ensuring that P attends the court to which

 

an application has been made under sub-paragraph (1) or (2).

 

Allowing for work done

 

9     (1)  

If it appears to the court revoking a work order under paragraph 8(1), (2)

 

or (3) that P has performed at least one hour of unpaid work in

 

accordance with the instructions of the fines officer, the court must by

 

order specify the number of hours of work that have been performed;

 

and for this purpose any fraction of an hour is to be disregarded.

 

      (2)  

Where the court has specified a number of hours under this paragraph,

 

P’s liability to pay the relevant sum is discharged to the extent of the

 

prescribed hourly sum in respect of each hour.

 

Effect of revocation

 

10    (1)  

Where a work order is revoked under paragraph 8(1), (2) or (3),

 

immediate payment of the relevant sum (subject to any reduction under

 

paragraph 9(2)) may be enforced against P.

 

      (2)  

Sub-paragraph (1) does not limit the court’s power, on or after the

 

revocation of the work order, to allow time for payment or to direct

 

payment by instalments.

 

Order not directly enforceable

 

11         

The obligations of P under a work order are not enforceable against him

 

except by virtue of paragraph 10(1).

 

Evidence of supervisor

 

12    (1)  

This paragraph applies where—

 

(a)   

it falls to a court to determine whether P has performed unpaid

 

work in accordance with a work order, and

 

(b)   

the court is satisfied—

 

(i)   

that the supervisor is likely to be able to give evidence

 

that may assist the court in determining that matter, and

 

(ii)   

that the supervisor will not voluntarily attend as a

 

witness.

 

      (1)  

The court may issue a summons directed to that person requiring him to

 

attend before the court at the time and place appointed in the summons

 

to give evidence.


 

(  5  )

 
 

Provision of information

 

13         

Regulations may—

 

(a)   

require a work order to contain prescribed information,

 

(b)   

require the court making a work order to give a copy of the order

 

to such persons as may be prescribed, and

 

(c)   

require the court revoking or varying a work order to give notice

 

of the revocation or variation to such persons as may be

 

prescribed.”

 

 

The Lords agree to this amendment with the following amendments

24A

Line 6, leave out “Part of this”

24B

Line 10, leave out “Part of this”

24C

Line 67, leave out “Part of this”

 

 

The Lords have made the following consequential amendment to the Bill

24D

Page 58, line 19, at end insert—

 

“( )   

regulations under Schedule (Discharge of fines by unpaid work)

 

relating to the prescribed hourly sum.”


 

(  6  )


 
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