House of Lords portcullis
House of Lords
Session 2002 - 03
Internet Publications
Other Bills before Parliament

Courts Bill [HL]


Courts Bill [HL]
Part 3 — Magistrates’ courts

    20

 

Civil jurisdiction and procedure

 42    Jurisdiction to issue summons and deal with complaints

     (1)    For section 51 of the 1980 Act (issue of summons on complaint) substitute—

       “51            Issue of summons on complaint

Where a complaint relating to a person is made to a justice of the peace,

5

the justice of the peace may issue a summons to the person requiring

him to appear before a magistrates’ court to answer to the complaint.”

     (2)    For section 52 of the 1980 Act (jurisdiction to deal with complaints) substitute—

       “52            Jurisdiction to deal with complaints

           (1)           A magistrates’ court has jurisdiction to hear any complaint.

10

           (2)           But subsection (1) is subject to provision made by any enactment.”

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

     (1)    After section 57 of the 1980 Act insert—

“Transfer of civil proceedings (other than family proceedings)

       57A            Power to transfer civil proceedings (other than family proceedings)

15

           (1)           A magistrates’ court may at any time, whether before or after

beginning to hear a complaint, transfer the hearing to another

magistrates’ court.

           (2)           But if the court transfers the matter after it has begun to hear the

evidence and the parties, the court to which the matter is transferred

20

must begin hearing the evidence and the parties again.

           (3)           This section does not apply to family proceedings.”

Family proceedings courts and youth courts

 44    Family proceedings courts

     (1)    For section 67 of the 1980 Act (family proceedings courts and panels)

25

substitute—

       “67 Family proceedings courts

           (1)           Magistrates’ courts—

                  (a)                 constituted in accordance with this section or section 61 of the

Courts Act 2003 (judges having powers of District Judges

30

(Magistrates’ Courts)), and

                  (b)                 sitting for the purpose of hearing family proceedings,

                         are to be known as family proceedings courts.

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 3 — Magistrates’ courts

    21

 

           (2)           A justice of the peace is not qualified to sit as a member of a family

proceedings court to hear family proceedings of any description unless

he has an authorisation extending to the proceedings.

           (3)           He has an authorisation extending to the proceedings only if he has

been authorised by the Lord Chancellor or a person acting on his behalf

5

to sit as a member of a family proceedings court to hear—

                  (a)                 proceedings of that description, or

                  (b)                 all family proceedings.

           (4)           The Lord Chancellor may by rules make provision about—

                  (a)                 the grant and revocation of authorisations,

10

                  (b)                 the appointment of chairmen of family proceedings courts, and

                  (c)                 the composition of family proceedings courts.

           (5)           Rules under subsection (4) may confer powers on the Lord Chancellor

with respect to any of the matters specified in the rules.

           (6)           Rules under subsection (4) may be made only after consultation with

15

the Family Procedure Rule Committee.

           (7)           Rules under subsection (4) are to be made by statutory instrument.

           (8)           A statutory instrument containing rules under subsection (4) is subject

to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of

Parliament.”

20

     (2)    Omit section 68 of the 1980 Act (combined family panels for two or more petty

sessions areas).

 45    Youth courts

     (1)    For section 45 of the 1933 Act (constitution of youth courts) substitute—

       “45 Youth courts

25

           (1)           Magistrates’ courts—

                  (a)                 constituted in accordance with this section or section 61 of the

Courts Act 2003 (judges having powers of District Judges

(Magistrates’ Courts)), and

                  (b)                 sitting for the purpose of—

30

                        (i)                        hearing any charge against a child or young person or

                        (ii)                       exercising any other jurisdiction conferred on youth

courts by or under this or any other Act,

                         are to be known as youth courts.

           (2)           A justice of the peace is not qualified to sit as a member of a youth court

35

for the purpose of dealing with any proceedings unless he has an

authorisation extending to the proceedings.

           (3)           He has an authorisation extending to the proceedings only if he has

been authorised by the Lord Chancellor or a person acting on his behalf

to sit as a member of a youth court to deal with—

40

                  (a)                 proceedings of that description, or

                  (b)                 all proceedings dealt with by youth courts.

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 4 — Court security

    22

 

           (4)           The Lord Chancellor may by rules make provision about—

                  (a)                 the grant and revocation of authorisations,

                  (b)                 the appointment of chairmen of youth courts, and

                  (c)                 the composition of youth courts.

           (5)           Rules under subsection (4) may confer powers on the Lord Chancellor

5

with respect to any of the matters specified in the rules.

           (6)           Rules under subsection (4) may be made only after consultation with

the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee.

           (7)           Rules under subsection (4) are to be made by statutory instrument.

           (8)           A statutory instrument containing rules under subsection (4) is subject

10

to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of

Parliament.”

     (2)    Omit Schedule 2 to the 1933 Act (constitution of youth courts).

     (3)    Omit section 146 of the 1980 Act (rules relating to youth court panels and the

composition of youth courts).

15

     (4)    “The 1933 Act” means the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (c. 12).

Part 4

Court security

 46    Court security officers

     (1)    A court security officer is a person who is—

20

           (a)           appointed by the Lord Chancellor under section 2(1) or provided under

arrangements made by him under section 2(4), and

           (b)           designated by the Lord Chancellor as a court security officer.

     (2)    The Lord Chancellor may by regulations make provision as to—

           (a)           training courses to be completed by court security officers;

25

           (b)           conditions to be met before a person may be designated as a court

security officer.

     (3)    For the purposes of this Part a court security officer who is not readily

identifiable as such (whether by means of his uniform or badge or otherwise),

is not to be regarded as acting in the execution of his duty.

30

 47    Powers of search

     (1)    A court security officer acting in the execution of his duty may search—

           (a)           any person who is in, or seeking to enter, a court building, and

           (b)           any article in the possession of such a person.

     (2)    Subsection (1) does not authorise the officer to require a person to remove any

35

of his clothing other than a coat, jacket, gloves or hat.

     (3)    In this Part “court building” means any building—

           (a)           where the business of any of the courts referred to in section 1 is carried

on, and

           (b)           to which the public has access.

40

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 4 — Court security

    23

 

 48    Powers to exclude, remove or restrain persons

     (1)    A court security officer acting in the execution of his duty may exclude or

remove from a court building, or a part of a court building, any person who

refuses—

           (a)           to permit a search under section 47(1), or

5

           (b)           to surrender an article in his possession when asked do so under

section 49(1).

     (2)    A court security officer acting in the execution of his duty may—

           (a)           restrain any person who is in a court building, or

           (b)           exclude or remove any person from a court building, or part a of court

10

building,

            if it is reasonably necessary to do so for one of the purposes given in subsection

(3).

     (3)    The purposes are—

           (a)           enabling court business to be carried on without interference or delay;

15

           (b)           maintaining order;

           (c)           securing the safety of any person in the court building.

     (4)    A court security officer acting in the execution of his duty may remove any

person from a courtroom at the request of a judge or a justice of the peace.

     (5)    The powers conferred by subsections (1), (2) and (4) include power to use

20

reasonable force, where necessary.

 49    Surrender and seizure of articles

     (1)    If a court security officer acting in the execution of his duty reasonably believes

that an article in the possession of a person who is in, or seeking to enter, a

court building ought to be surrendered on any of the grounds given in

25

subsection (3), he must ask the person to surrender the article.

     (2)    If the person refuses to surrender the article, the officer may seize it.

     (3)    The grounds are that the article—

           (a)           may jeopardise the maintenance of order in the court building (or a part

of it),

30

           (b)           may put the safety of any person in the court building at risk, or

           (c)           may be evidence of, or in relation to, an offence.

 50    Powers to retain articles surrendered or seized

     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), a court security officer may retain an article which

was—

35

           (a)           surrendered in response to a request under section 49(1), or

           (b)           seized under section 49(2),

            until the time when the person who surrendered it, or from whom it was

seized, is leaving the court building.

     (2)    If a court security officer reasonably believes that the article may be evidence

40

of, or in relation to, an offence, he may retain it until—

           (a)           the time when the person who surrendered it, or from whom it was

seized, is leaving the court building, or

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 5 — Inspectors of court administration

    24

 

           (b)           the end of the permitted period,

            whichever is later.

     (3)    “The permitted period” means such period, not exceeding 24 hours from the

time the article was surrendered or seized, as will enable the court security

officer to draw the article to the attention of a constable.

5

 51    Regulations about retention of articles

     (1)    The Lord Chancellor may by regulations make provision as to—

           (a)           the provision to persons—

                  (i)                 by whom articles have been surrendered in response to a

request under section 49(1), or

10

                  (ii)                from whom articles have been seized under section 49(2),

                         of written information about the powers of retention of court security

officers,

           (b)           the keeping of records about articles which have been so surrendered

or seized,

15

           (c)           the period for which unclaimed articles have to be kept, and

           (d)           the disposal of unclaimed articles at the end of that period.

     (2)    “Unclaimed article” means an article—

           (a)           which has been retained under section 50,

           (b)           which a person is entitled to have returned to him,

20

           (c)           which has not been returned, and

           (d)           whose return has not been requested by a person entitled to it.

 52    Assaulting and obstructing court security officers

     (1)    Any person who assaults a court security officer acting in the execution of his

duty commits an offence.

25

     (2)    A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary

conviction to—

           (a)           a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or

           (b)           imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months,

            or to both.

30

     (3)    A person who resists or wilfully obstructs a court security officer acting in the

execution of his duty commits an offence.

     (4)    A person guilty of an offence under subsection (3) is liable on summary

conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

Part 5

35

Inspectors of court administration

 53    Inspectors of court administration etc.

     (1)    The Lord Chancellor may appoint such number of inspectors of court

administration as he considers appropriate.

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 5 — Inspectors of court administration

    25

 

     (2)    They are to be known collectively as “Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Court

Administration”.

     (3)    The Lord Chancellor must appoint one of the persons so appointed to be Her

Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Court Administration.

     (4)    In this Part that person is referred to as “the Chief Inspector”.

5

     (5)    The Lord Chancellor may make to or in respect of inspectors of court

administration such payments by way of remuneration, allowances or

otherwise as he may determine.

     (6)    In this Act—

           (a)           “CAFCASS” means the Children and Family Court Advisory and

10

Support Service, and

           (b)           “CAFCASS functions” means the functions of CAFCASS and its

officers.

 54    Functions of inspectors

     (1)    It is the duty of inspectors of court administration to—

15

           (a)           inspect and report to the Lord Chancellor on the system that supports

the carrying on of the business of the courts listed in subsection (2) and

the services provided for those courts;

           (b)           inspect and report to the Lord Chancellor on the performance of

CAFCASS functions;

20

           (c)           discharge any other particular functions which may be specified in

connection with—

                  (i)                 the courts listed in subsection (2), or

                  (ii)                CAFCASS functions or related functions of any other person.

     (2)    The courts are—

25

           (a)           the Crown Court,

           (b)           county courts, and

           (c)           magistrates’ courts.

     (3)    The Lord Chancellor may by order—

           (a)           add to the list in subsection (2) any court having jurisdiction in the

30

United Kingdom, other than one having jurisdiction only in relation to

Scotland or Northern Ireland, and

           (b)           remove any court from the list.

     (4)    “Specified” means specified in a direction given by the Lord Chancellor; but

before giving any such direction the Lord Chancellor must consult the Chief

35

Inspector.

     (5)    Nothing in this section is to be read as enabling inspectors to inspect persons—

           (a)           making judicial decisions, or

           (b)           exercising any judicial discretion.

 55    Functions of Chief Inspector

40

     (1)    The Chief Inspector must make an annual report to the Lord Chancellor as to

the discharge of the functions of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Court

Administration.

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 5 — Inspectors of court administration

    26

 

     (2)    The Lord Chancellor may give directions as to—

           (a)           the information to be included in the report,

           (b)           the form of the report, and

           (c)           the time by which the report is to be made.

     (3)    The Lord Chancellor must, within one month of receiving the annual report,

5

lay a copy of it before both Houses of Parliament.

     (4)    The Chief Inspector must report to the Lord Chancellor on any matter which

the Lord Chancellor refers to him and which is connected with—

           (a)           the courts listed in section 54(2), or

           (b)           CAFCASS functions or related functions of any other person.

10

     (5)    The Chief Inspector may designate an inspector of court administration to

discharge his functions during any period when he is absent or unable to act.

 56    Rights of entry and inspection

     (1)    An inspector exercising functions under section 54 may enter—

           (a)           any place of work occupied by persons provided under arrangements

15

made by the Lord Chancellor under section 2(4);

           (b)           any premises occupied by CAFCASS.

     (2)    An inspector exercising functions under section 54 may inspect and take copies

of —

           (a)           any records kept by persons provided under arrangements made by

20

the Lord Chancellor under section 2(4), or

           (b)           any records kept by CAFCASS or other documents containing

information relating to the performance of CAFCASS functions,

            which he considers relevant to the discharge of his functions.

     (3)    Subsection (1) does not entitle an inspector—

25

           (a)           to be present when a court listed in section 54(2) is hearing proceedings

in private, or

           (b)           to attend any private deliberations of persons having jurisdiction to

hear or determine any proceedings.

     (4)    The records referred to in subsection (2) include records kept by means of a

30

computer.

     (5)    An inspector exercising the power under subsection (2) to inspect records—

           (a)           is entitled to have access to, and inspect and check the operation of, any

computer and associated apparatus or material which is or has been in

use in connection with the records in question, and

35

           (b)           may require—

                  (i)                 the person by whom or on whose behalf the computer is or has

been used, or

                  (ii)                any person having charge of, or otherwise concerned with the

operation of, the computer, apparatus or material,

40

                         to afford him such reasonable assistance as he may require.

     (6)    The powers conferred by subsections (1), (2) and (5) may be exercised at

reasonable times only.

 

 

 
previous section contents continue
 
House of Lords home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Revised 29 November 2002