Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twelfth Report


Memorandum from the Lord Chancellor's Department


1. The Lord Chancellor's Department submits this memorandum in response to the request dated 20 November 2001 on the point set out below:

Article 3 provides that in section 1 of the 1975 Act the expression "rules of court", in relation to magistrates' courts in England and Wales, means rules made under section 144 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980. Explain-

(a) the need for this provision, given that that expression is defined in the Interpretation Act 1978 (in Schedule 1); and

(b) what authorises its inclusion, given that section 1(4)(c) of the 1975 Act refers to a tribunal and not to a court.

2. It is conceded that it was not necessary to include this provision, given that "rules of court" is defined in Schedule 1 to the Interpretation Act 1978. It is also conceded that section 1(4)(c) of the 1975 Act does not apply to courts, as opposed to tribunals, and therefore does not confer power to define "rules of court" in section 1(1) of the 1975 Act in relation to magistrates' courts. It was therefore incorrect to cite section 1(4)(c) as one of the powers exercised.

26th November 2001

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