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
(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
(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.
(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 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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(c) for avoiding duplication between payments under this section and
under other arrangements where expenditure is incurred for more than
16 Records of lay justices
(1) The Lord Chancellor—
(a) must appoint a person to be keeper of the rolls for each local justice
(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
(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;
(c) in relation to a contested election, restricting the right of lay justices to
vote, with a view to securing that the election is made by those
experienced as lay justices in the local justice area for which the 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.
(2) If, in the absence of the chairman, one or more of the deputy chairmen for a
local justice area is present at a sitting or other meeting of lay justices assigned
to or acting in that area he (or the most senior of them) must preside.
(3) Neither subsection (1) nor subsection (2) applies if, in accordance with rules,
the chairman or (as the case may be) the deputy chairman asks another of the
lay justices to preside.
(4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not confer on the chairman or a deputy chairman a
right to preside in court if, under rules, he is ineligible to do so.
(5) Subsections (1) and (2) do not confer on the chairman or a deputy chairman a
right to preside—
(a) in a youth court or family proceedings court,
(b) at meetings of a committee or other body of justices of the peace which
has its own chairman, or
(c) at sittings when a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) is engaged as
such in administering justice.
(6) Rules may make provision for the purposes of subsections (3) and (4) and may
in particular make provision—
(a) as to training courses to be completed by lay justices before they may
preside in court,
(b) as to—
(i) the approval of lay justices, in accordance with the rules, before
they may preside in court,
(ii) the lay justices who may be so approved, and
(iii) the courts to which the approval relates, and
(c) as to circumstances in which a lay justice may preside in court even
though requirements imposed under paragraph (a) or (b) are not met in
relation to him.
(7) Rules may also make provision—
(a) specifying the maximum number of lay justices who may sit to deal
with a case as a magistrates’ court, and
(b) as to the arrangements to be made for securing the presence on the
bench of enough, but not more than enough, lay justices.