Access to Justice Bill [H.L.] - continued        House of Lords

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  PART IV
  APPEALS ETC.
 
Right of appeal
Permission to appeal.     38. - (1) Rules of court may provide that any right of appeal to-
 
 
    (a) a county court,
 
    (b) the High Court, or
 
    (c) the Court of Appeal,
  may be exercised only with permission.
 
      (2) This section does not apply to a right of appeal in a criminal cause or matter.
 
      (3) For the purposes of subsection (1) rules of court may make provision as to-
 
 
    (a) the classes of case in which a right of appeal may be exercised only with permission,
 
    (b) the court which may give permission for the purposes of this section,
 
    (c) any considerations to be taken into account in deciding whether permission should be given, and
 
    (d) any requirements to be satisfied before permission may be given,
  and may make different provision for different circumstances.
 
      (4) For the purposes of this section a right to make an application to have a case stated for the opinion of the High Court constitutes a right of appeal.
 
      (5) For the purposes of this section a right of appeal to the Court of Appeal includes-
 
 
    (a) the right to make an application for a new trial, and
 
    (b) the right to make an application to set aside a verdict, finding or judgment in any cause or matter in the High Court which has been tried, or in which any issue has been tried, by a jury.
      (6) In this section-
 
 
    (a) references to a county court include a judge and district judge of a county court, and
 
    (b) references to the High Court include a judge of that Court and an officer specified in Part II of Schedule 2 to the Supreme Court Act 1981.
Second appeals.     39. - (1) Where an appeal is made to a county court or the High Court in relation to any matter, and on hearing the appeal the court makes a decision in relation to that matter, no appeal may be made from that decision unless-
 
 
    (a) the appeal would raise an important point of principle or practice, or
 
    (b) there is some other special reason for the appeal to be made.
      (2) This section does not apply in relation to an appeal in a criminal cause or matter.
 
      (3) In this section-
 
 
    (a) references to a county court include a judge of a county court, a district judge and a deputy or assistant district judge, and
 
    (b) references to the High Court include a judge of that Court and an officer specified in Part II of Schedule 2 to the Supreme Court Act 1981.
 
Destination of appeals
Power to prescribe alternative destination.     40. - (1) The Lord Chancellor may by order provide that appeals which would otherwise lie to-
 
 
    (a) a county court,
 
    (b) the High Court, or
 
    (c) the Court of Appeal,
  shall lie instead to another of those courts, as specified in the order.
 
      (2) This section does not apply to an appeal in a criminal cause or matter.
 
      (3) An order under subsection (1)-
 
 
    (a) may make different provision for different classes of proceedings or appeals, and
 
    (b) may contain consequential amendments or repeals of enactments.
      (4) Before making an order under subsection (1) the Lord Chancellor shall consult-
 
 
    (a) the Lord Chief Justice,
 
    (b) the Master of the Rolls,
 
    (c) the Vice-Chancellor, and
 
    (d) the President of the Family Division.
      (5) An order under subsection (1) shall be made by statutory instrument.
 
      (6) No such order may be made unless a draft of it has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.
 
      (7) For the purposes of this section an application to have a case stated for the opinion of the High Court constitutes an appeal.
 
      (8) In this section-
 
 
    (a) references to a county court include a judge and district judge of a county court, and
 
    (b) references to the High Court include a judge of that Court and an officer specified in Part II of Schedule 2 to the Supreme Court Act 1981.
Assignment of appeals to Court of Appeal.     41. - (1) Where in any proceedings in a county court or the High Court a person appeals, or seeks permission to appeal, to a court other than the Court of Appeal or the House of Lords-
 
 
    (a) the Master of the Rolls, or
 
    (b) the court from which or to which the appeal is made, or from which permission to appeal is sought,
  may direct that the appeal shall be heard instead by the Court of Appeal.
 
      (2) The power conferred by subsection (1)(b) shall be subject to rules of court.
 
      (3) In subsection (1)-
 
 
    (a) references to a county court include a judge and district judge of a county court, and
 
    (b) references to the High Court include a judge of that Court and an officer specified in Part II of Schedule 2 to the Supreme Court Act 1981.
 
Civil division of Court of Appeal
Composition.     42. In section 54 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 (composition of court of civil division of Court of Appeal), for subsections (2) to (4) (number of judges) substitute-
 
 
    "(2) Subject as follows, a court shall be duly constituted for the purpose of exercising any of its jurisdiction if it consists of one or more judges.
 
      (3) The Master of the Rolls may, with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor, give (or vary or revoke) directions about the minimum number of judges of which a court must consist if it is to be duly constituted for the purpose of any description of proceedings.
 
      (4) The Master of the Rolls, or any Lord Justice of Appeal designated by him, may (subject to any directions under subsection (3)) determine the number of judges of which a court is to consist for the purpose of any particular proceedings.
 
      (4A) The Master of the Rolls may give directions as to what is to happen in any particular case where one or more members of a court which has partly heard proceedings are unable to continue."
 
Registrar of civil appeals.     43. The office of registrar of civil appeals is abolished.
 
 
Jurisdiction of single judge of High Court
Criminal causes and matters.     44. - (1) In section 1(1)(a) of the Administration of Justice Act 1960 (appeal to House of Lords from decision of Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division in a criminal cause or matter), for "a Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division" substitute "the High Court".
 
      (2) In sections 4(2) and (3) and 9(2) of that Act (bail pending appeal), for "a Divisional Court" substitute "the High Court".
 
Contempt of court.     45. - (1) Section 13(2) of the Administration of Justice Act 1960 (appeals in cases of contempt of court) is amended as follows.
 
      (2) In paragraph (a) (appeal from inferior courts from which appeal does not lie to Court of Appeal to lie to a Divisional Court of the High Court), omit "a Divisional Court of".
 
      (3) In paragraph (b) (appeal to Court of Appeal from county court or single judge of High Court), for "decision, of a single" substitute "decision (other than a decision on an appeal under this section) of a single".
 
      (4) In paragraph (c) (appeal from Divisional Court or Court of Appeal to House of Lords), insert at the beginning "from a decision of a single judge of the High Court on an appeal under this section,".
 
Habeas corpus.     46. - (1) In the Administration of Justice Act 1960, omit-
 
 
    (a) section 14(1) (order for release on criminal application for habeas corpus to be refused only by Divisional Court of Queen's Bench Division), and
 
    (b) section 15(2) (no appeal to House of Lords from order made by single judge on criminal application for habeas corpus).
      (2) In section 15 of that Act (appeals in habeas corpus cases)-
 
 
    (a) in subsection (3) (no restriction on grant of leave to appeal to House of Lords against decision of Divisional Court on a criminal application for habeas corpus), and
 
    (b) in subsection (4) (exceptions to right to be discharged in case of appeal to House of Lords against order of Divisional Court on such an application),
  for "a Divisional Court" substitute "the High Court".
 
 
Cases stated
Cases stated by Crown Court for opinion of High Court.     47. For section 28A of the Supreme Court Act 1981 (proceedings on case stated by magistrates' court) substitute-
 
 
"Proceedings on case stated by magistrates' court or Crown Court.     28A. - (1) This section applies where a case is stated for the opinion of the High Court-
 
    (a) by a magistrates' court under section 111 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980; or
 
    (b) by the Crown Court under section 28(1) of this Act.
      (2) The High Court may, if it thinks fit, cause the case to be sent back for amendment and, where it does so, the case shall be amended accordingly.
 
      (3) The High Court shall hear and determine the question arising on the case (or the case as amended) and shall-
 
 
    (a) reverse, affirm or amend the determination in respect of which the case has been stated; or
 
    (b) remit the matter to the magistrates' court, or the Crown Court, with the opinion of the High Court,
  and may make such other order in relation to the matter (including as to costs) as it thinks fit.
 
      (4) Except as provided by the Administration of Justice Act 1960 (right of appeal to House of Lords in criminal cases), a decision of the High Court under this section is final."
 
 
Reporting of proceedings about children
Reporting of proceedings relating to children.     48. In section 97 of the Children Act 1989 (privacy for children involved in certain proceedings)-
 
 
    (a) in subsection (2) (which prohibits the publication of material intended or likely to identify a child as being involved in proceedings before a magistrates' court in which powers under that Act may be exercised), after "before" insert "the High Court, a county court or", and
 
    (b) in subsection (8) (which makes provision about the application of certain provisions of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 in relation to proceedings to which section 97 applies), after "any proceedings" insert "(before a magistrates' court)".
 
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Prepared 3 December 1998