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Courts Bill [HL]


Courts Bill [HL]



Explanatory notes to the Bill, prepared by the Lord Chancellor’s Department, are

published separately as HL Bill 12—EN.


The Lord Chancellor has made the following statement under section 19(1)(a) of the

Human Rights Act 1998:

In my view the provisions of the Courts Bill [HL] are compatible with the Convention


HL Bill 1253/2

Courts Bill [HL]




Part 1

Maintaining the court system

The general duty

      1        The general duty

Court staff and accommodation

      2        Court officers, staff and services

      3        Provision of accommodation

Court administration councils

      4        Establishment of court administration councils

      5        Role of court administration councils

Abolition of magistrates’ courts committees

      6        Abolition of magistrates’ courts committees, etc.

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

      8        Local justice areas

Lay justices

      9        Meaning of “lay justice”

      10        Appointment of lay justices etc.

      11        Retirement and removal of lay justices

      12        Lay justices’ allowances

      13        Records of lay justices

Chairman and deputy chairmen and the bench

      14        Chairman and deputy chairmen: selection

      15        Rights to preside and size of bench

HL Bill 1253/2

Courts Bill [HL]



      16        Rules about chairmen, deputy chairmen and the bench: supplementary

District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts)

      17        Appointment etc.

      18        Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate)

      19        Deputy District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts)

      20        District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) as justices of the peace

      21        District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) able to act alone

Justices’ clerks and assistant clerks

      22        Justices’ clerks and assistant clerks

      23        Functions

      24        Independence

Places, dates and times of sittings

      25        Places, dates and times of sittings

Protection and indemnification of justices and justices’ clerks

      26        Immunity for acts within jurisdiction

      27        Immunity for certain acts beyond jurisdiction

      28        Striking out proceedings where action prohibited

      29        Costs in legal proceedings

      30        Indemnity

Fines officers and designated officers

      31        Fines officers

      32        Designated officers and magistrates’ courts

Application of receipts of magistrates’ courts etc.

      33        Application of receipts of designated officers

      34        Limits to requirements about application of receipts

      35        Regulations about payments, accounting and banking by designated officers


      36        Disqualification of lay justices who are members of local authorities

      37        Effect of Act of Settlement on existing justices of the peace

Part 3

Magistrates’ courts

Criminal jurisdiction and procedure

      38        Summons or warrant for suspected offender

      39        Trial of summary offences

      40        Power to make rulings at pre-trial hearings

      41        Power to transfer criminal cases


Courts Bill [HL]



Civil jurisdiction and procedure

      42        Jurisdiction to issue summons and deal with complaints

      43        Power to transfer civil proceedings (other than family proceedings)

Family proceedings courts and youth courts

      44        Family proceedings courts

      45        Youth courts

Part 4

Court security

      46        Court security officers

      47        Powers of search

      48        Powers to exclude, remove or restrain persons

      49        Surrender and seizure of articles

      50        Powers to retain articles surrendered or seized

      51        Regulations about retention of articles

      52        Assaulting and obstructing court security officers

Part 5

Inspectors of court administration

      53        Inspectors of court administration etc.

      54        Functions of inspectors

      55        Functions of Chief Inspector

      56        Rights of entry and inspection

Part 6


Offices, titles, styles etc.

      57        Head and Deputy Head of Civil Justice

      58        Ordinary judges of the Court of Appeal

      59        Power to alter judicial titles

Flexibility in deployment of judicial resources

      60        District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) as Crown Court judges etc.

      61        Judges having powers of District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts)

      62        Removal of restriction on Circuit judges sitting on certain appeals

Part 7

Procedure rules and practice directions

Criminal Procedure Rules and practice directions

      63        Meaning of “criminal court”

      64        Criminal Procedure Rules

      65        Criminal Procedure Rule Committee


Courts Bill [HL]



      66        Power to change certain requirements relating to Committee

      67        Process for making Criminal Procedure Rules

      68        Power to amend legislation in connection with the rules

      69        Practice directions as to practice and procedure of the criminal courts

Family Procedure Rules and practice directions

      70        Family Procedure Rules

      71        Further provision about scope of Family Procedure Rules

      72        Family Procedure Rule Committee

      73        Power to change certain requirements relating to Committee

      74        Process for making Family Procedure Rules

      75        Power to amend legislation in connection with the rules

      76        Practice directions relating to family proceedings

Civil Procedure Rules

      77        Civil Procedure Rules

      78        Civil Procedure Rule Committee

      79        Power to change certain requirements relating to Committee

      80        Process for making Civil Procedure Rules

Part 8


Provisions relating to criminal procedure and appeals

      81        Alteration of place fixed for Crown Court trial

      82        Appeals to Court of Appeal: procedural directions

      83        Prosecution appeals from Court of Appeal

      84        Retirement age of Registrar of Criminal Appeals

      85        Appeals to Courts-Martial Appeal Court: procedural directions

      86        Defence Council appeals from Courts-Martial Appeal Court

Fees, costs and fines

      87        Fees

      88        Award of costs against third parties

      89        Fixing of fines: failure to furnish statement of financial circumstances

Register of judgments etc. and execution of writs

      90        Register of judgments and orders etc.

      91        High Court writs of execution


      92        Periodical payments

      93        Periodical payments: security

Provisions relating to Northern Ireland

      94        Power to alter judicial titles: Northern Ireland

      95        Official Solicitor of Northern Ireland


Courts Bill [HL]



Part 9

Final provisions

      96        Interpretation

      97        Rules, regulations and orders

      98        Minor and consequential amendments, repeals, etc.

      99        Commencement

      100        Extent

      101        Short title

                  Schedule 1                                         Abolition of magistrates’ courts committees: transfers

                  Schedule 2                                         Collection of fines by fines officers

                  Part 1                    —                     Introduction

                  Part 2                    —                     The fines collection scheme: main components

                  Part 3                    —                     Supplementary provisions

                  Schedule 3                                         Pre-trial hearings in magistrates’ courts

                  Schedule 4                                         Further functions conferred on District Judges (Magistrates’


                  Schedule 5                                         High Court writs of execution

                  Schedule 6                                         Minor and consequential amendments

                  Schedule 7                                         Repeals


contents continue
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Revised 29 November 2002