Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twelfth Report


Memorandum by the Lord Chancellor's Department


  By a letter of 5 November from its Commons Clerk, the Joint Committee asked for a memorandum on the following point:

    Article 4(1) provides that, subject to certain specified provisions (including paragraph 1 of Schedule 7 to the 1996 Act) proceedings under Part IV of that Act may be commenced in a county court or in a family proceedings court. Explain the significance of the reference to paragraph 1 of Schedule 7 to the 1996 Act.

  2. Section 53 of the 1996 Act and Schedule 7 give the courts power to transfer certain tenancies in the context of proceedings under Part IV of the Act. Paragraph 1 of Schedule 7 is an interpretation provision. It includes a provision that the court does not include a magistrates' court; in other words, magistrates' courts (or more specifically family proceedings courts) do not have jurisdiction to make orders under Schedule 7.

  3. The purpose of including the reference to the provisions mentioned by the Committee, including paragraph 1 of Schedule 7, was to draw attention to the limitations on the broad choice of venue for commencing proceedings otherwise provided by article 4(1). The department accepts that the intention might have emerged more clearly had the drafting referred more directly to the exclusion of magistrates' jurisdiction.

10th November 1997

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