Courts Bill [HL]—
Amendments to be debated in the House of Lordscontinued

House of Lords

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Payments to boards

 11   (1)   The Lord Chancellor shall pay to an area courts management board any amount he considers appropriate to enable it to discharge its duties under section 5.
(2)      If he considers it appropriate, he may make any payment on conditions.
(3)      The conditions may (among other things)—
(a)  regulate the purposes for which the payment or any part of it may be used, and
(b)  require repayment to the Lord Chancellor in specified circumstances.
 

Supervision

 12   (1)   Functions and other powers of area courts management boards must be performed in accordance with any directions given to them by the Lord Chancellor.
(2)      An area courts management board must provide the Lord Chancellor with any information relating to the performance of its functions or other powers which he may from time to time require.
 

Ancillary powers

 13   (1)   Subject to any directions given by the Lord Chancellor, an area courts management board may do anything which appears to it to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of, or in connection with, the exercise of its functions, including—
(a)  holding property,
(b)  entering into contracts,
(c)  investing sums not immediately required for the purpose of performing its functions,
(d)  accepting gifts.
(2)      But an area courts management board may not—
(a)  hold land (though it may manage it), and
(b)  borrow money, whether by way of overdraft or otherwise, without the approval of the Lord Chancellor.
(3)      Approval under sub-paragraph (2)(b) may be either general or special.
 

Directions

 14   (1)   Different directions may be given under this Schedule for different purposes.
(2)      Directions under this Schedule may be either general or special.
(3)      Directions under this Schedule may apply in relation to area courts management boards generally or in relation to one or more area courts management boards identified in the directions.
 

Annual plan

 15   (1)   An area courts management board must, before the beginning of each financial year—
(a)  prepare a plan setting out how it intends to exercise its functions in that year, having regard to the circumstances prevailing in its area, and dealing with any other matter which the Lord Chancellor by directions requires it to deal with in respect of that year,
(b)  send a copy of the plan to the Lord Chancellor.
(2)      If the plan does not appear to the Lord Chancellor to be satisfactory, he may direct the area courts management board to modify it.
 

Reports

 16   (1)   An area courts management board must—
(a)  make a report to the Lord Chancellor on the performance of its functions during each financial year, and
(b)  arrange for the report to be published.
(2)      The Lord Chancellor may give directions as to—
(a)  the information to be given in the report and the form in which it is to be given,
(b)  the time by which the report is to be made,
(c)  the form and manner in which the report is to be published.
 

Accounts

 17   (1)   An area courts management board must—
(a)  keep proper accounts and proper records in relation to the accounts,
(b)  prepare in respect of each financial year of the board a statement of accounts.
(2)      The Comptroller and Auditor General may examine any accounts of an area courts management board, any records relating to the accounts and any auditor's report on them.
(3)      In the Audit Commission Act 1998 (c. 18)—
(a)  in section 11(2) (consideration of reports and recommendations), for paragraph (f) there is substituted—
"(f)  area courts management boards established under section 4 of the Courts Act 2003",
(b)  in Schedule 2 (accounts subject to audit), for paragraph 1(p) there is substituted—
"(p)  an area courts management board established under section 4 of the Courts Act 2003".
(4)      The Lord Chancellor must prepare in respect of each financial year consolidated accounts of the area courts management boards and send them, not later than the time specified in directions given by the Treasury, to the Comptroller and Auditor General.
(5)      The Comptroller and Auditor General must examine and certify the consolidated accounts and lay copies of them, together with his report on them, before the House of Commons.
 

Complaints

 18      Regulations may require each area courts management board to make and publicise arrangements for dealing with complaints made by or on behalf of prescribed persons in relation to things done under the arrangements made by the board under section 5.
 

Status

 19      An area courts management board is not to be regarded as the servant or agent of the Crown, or as enjoying any status, privilege or immunity of the Crown; and its property is not to be regarded as property of, or property held on behalf of, the Crown.
 

Interpretation

 20      "Financial year", in this Schedule, means—
(a)  the period beginning with the date on which the area courts management board is established and ending with the next following 31st March, and
(b)  each successive period of twelve months."
 

Schedule 1

 

THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE LORD HUNT OF WIRRAL

31Page 54, line 23, at end insert—
"(2A)  Before making any property transfer scheme, the Lord Chancellor shall consult any of the persons mentioned in sub-paragraph (2) who are affected by the scheme."
 

THE BARONESS GIBSON OF MARKET RASEN
THE LORD LEA OF CRONDALL
THE LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE

32Page 56, line 14, leave out paragraph 9 and insert—
 "9   (1)   The Lord Chancellor shall make a scheme (a "staff transfer scheme") for the transfer, immediately before Magistrates' Courts Committees are abolished by section 6, of all eligible employees into employment by the Lord Chancellor.
(2)      "Eligible employee" means a person who is employed under a contract of employment—
(a)  by a Magistrates' Courts Committee, or
(b)  by a local authority in that part of the local authority's undertaking which carries out the local authority's functions under section 55 of the Justices of the Peace Act 1997 (c. 25) (duties of local authorities).
(3)      All eligible employees shall be treated in the same way as an employee in circumstances where the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 (S.I. 1981/1794) apply and, for the purposes of this Schedule, the employing Magistrates' Courts Committee or local authority shall be treated as transferor and the Lord Chancellor shall be treated as the transferee."
 

THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE LORD HUNT OF WIRRAL

33Page 56, line 18, at end insert—
"(2A)  Before making any staff transfer scheme the Lord Chancellor shall consult any eligible employees who are affected by the scheme."
 

THE LORD GOODHART
THE LORD THOMAS OF GRESFORD

34Page 57, line 25, leave out paragraph 10
 

Clause 8

 

THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE LORD HUNT OF WIRRAL

35Page 4, line 11, at beginning insert "Subject to subsection (2A),"
36Page 4, line 11, at end insert—
"(2A)  In specifying local justice areas under subsection (2), the Lord Chancellor shall have regard to the desirability of ensuring that their boundaries are coterminous with such areas as are established for the time being in respect of the police and the Crown Prosecution Service."
 

THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS ANELAY OF ST JOHNS

37Page 4, line 19, at end insert—
"(   )  In making an order under subsection (2) or (4), the Lord Chancellor shall—
(a)  make provision for the continuation of the employment of those justices' clerks who are currently employed, without imposing any requirement for a process of re-appointment; and
(b)  have regard to the importance of retaining a link between existing benches of justices and their justices' clerk."
 

THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE LORD HUNT OF WIRRAL

38Page 4, line 27, at end insert—
"(d)  such other persons as appear to him to be appropriate"
 

Clause 10

 

THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS ANELAY OF ST JOHNS

39Page 5, line 3, at end insert—
"(1A)  The Lord Chancellor shall appoint such a number of lay justices as appears to him to be appropriate for the purpose of discharging the work of the magistrates' courts.
(1B)  To assist him in discharging his duties under subsections (1) and (1B), the Lord Chancellor shall publish within six months of Royal Assent a national recruitment strategy for the recruitment of lay justices."
 

THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE LORD HUNT OF WIRRAL

40Page 5, line 10, leave out "or on behalf of"
 

THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS ANELAY OF ST JOHNS

41Page 5, line 10, at end insert—
"(   )  The Lord Chancellor shall produce an annual report which shall include information reporting the optimum number of lay magistrates to be assigned to each local justice area."
 

Clause 11

 

THE LORD GOODHART
THE LORD THOMAS OF GRESFORD

42Page 5, line 27, leave out "Chancellor" and insert "Chief Justice"
 

After Clause 13

 

THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS ANELAY OF ST JOHNS

43Insert the following new Clause—
  "Supplemental list
(1)  There shall be kept in the office of the keeper of the rolls for each local justice area a supplemental list as provided for by this Act (in this Act referred to as "the supplemental list").
(2)  There shall be entered in the supplemental list the name of any justice of the peace who has attained the age of 70.
(3)  The name of a justice of the peace shall be entered in the supplemental list if he applies for it to be so entered and the application is approved by the Lord Chancellor.
(4)  A person's name shall be removed from the supplemental list if—
(a)  he ceases to be a justice of the peace; or
(b)  the Lord Chancellor so directs.
(5)  A justice of the peace for any area while his name is entered in the supplemental list shall not by reason of being a justice for that area be qualified as a justice to do any act or to be a member of any committee or other body."
 

Clause 15

 

THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS ANELAY OF ST JOHNS

44Page 7, line 27, leave out "sitting or other"
45Page 7, line 30, leave out "sitting or other"
 

After Clause 15

 

THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS ANELAY OF ST JOHNS

46Insert the following new Clause—
  "Training and appraisal of lay justices
(1)  The justices for each local justice area shall establish a bench training and development committee to monitor the training and appraisal of lay justices.
(2)  The bench training and development committee may make recommendations to the Lord Chancellor to which he shall have regard in carrying out his duties under the provisions of section 11(6)."
 

Clause 17

 

THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS ANELAY OF ST JOHNS

47Page 8, line 29, at end insert—
"(   )  Before making a recommendation under subsection (1), the Lord Chancellor shall consult the lay justices of the local justice area to which it is intended that the District Judge may be assigned."

 
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©Parliamentary copyright 2003
3 February 2003