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Courts Bill [HL]


Courts Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Justices of the peace

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Lay justices

 9     Meaning of “lay justice”

In this Act “lay justice” means a justice of the peace who is not a District Judge

(Magistrates’ Courts).

 10    Appointment of lay justices etc.

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     (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

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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.

 11    Retirement and removal of lay justices

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     (1)    A lay justice ceases to hold office as a justice of the peace on the day on which

he reaches 70.

     (2)    A lay justice who, immediately before that day, is chairman of the lay justices

assigned to a local justice area does not cease to hold office as a justice of the

peace until the end, or earlier determination, of the term for which he is serving

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as chairman on that date.

     (3)    The Lord Chancellor, or a person acting on his behalf, may authorise a lay

justice to continue to hold office (despite subsection (1)) for the purposes of

specified proceedings.

     (4)    The proceedings which may be specified under subsection (3) are any—

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           (a)           which are, or are expected to be, in progress on the day on which the

lay justice reaches 70, and

           (b)           in which the lay justice has been exercising functions as a justice of the

peace.

     (5)    A lay justice may resign his office at any time.

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     (6)    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, or

           (b)           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.

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 12    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.

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Courts Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Justices of the peace

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     (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

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perform his duties.

     (4)    A lay justice’s subsistence allowance is an allowance in respect of

expenditure—

           (a)           which is incurred by him on subsistence, and

           (b)           which is necessarily incurred for the purpose of enabling him to

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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

duties, and

           (b)           any loss of earnings or social security benefits suffered by reason of the

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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

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           (b)           entitlement to the payment is excluded by regulations made by the

Lord Chancellor.

     (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

Chancellor.

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     (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

provision—

           (a)           prescribing sums (including tax credits) that are to be treated as social

security benefits for the purposes of financial loss allowances,

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           (b)           prescribing the particulars to be provided for claiming payment of

allowances, and

           (c)           for avoiding duplication between payments under this section and

under other arrangements where expenditure is incurred for more than

one purpose.

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 13    Records of lay justices

     (1)    The Lord Chancellor—

           (a)           must appoint a person to be keeper of the rolls for each local justice

area, and

           (b)           may appoint the same person to be keeper of the rolls for more than one

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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

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ceases to be assigned to the area, and

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Justices of the peace

    7

 

           (c)           the resignation or death of a lay justice for the time being assigned to

the area.

     (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

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 14    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.

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     (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

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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.

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     (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;

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           (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

is held.

 15    Rights to preside and size of bench

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     (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.

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     (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.

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     (5)    Subsections (1) and (2) do not confer on the chairman or a deputy chairman a

right to preside—

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Justices of the peace

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           (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.

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     (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—

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                  (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

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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

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           (b)           as to the arrangements to be made for securing the presence on the

bench of enough, but not more than enough, lay justices.

 16    Rules about chairmen, deputy chairmen and the bench: supplementary

     (1)    In sections 14 and 15 “rules” means rules made by the Lord Chancellor.

     (2)    Before making any rules for the purposes of section 14 or 15 the Lord

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Chancellor must consult—

           (a)           the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee,

           (b)           the Family Procedure Rule Committee, and

           (c)           the Magistrates’ Courts Rule Committee.

District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts)

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 17    Appointment etc.

     (1)    Her Majesty may, on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor, appoint a

person who has a 7 year general qualification to be a District Judge

(Magistrates’ Courts).

     (2)    A District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) must, before acting as such, take the

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oath of allegiance and judicial oath in accordance with the Promissory Oaths

Act 1868 (c. 72) and the Promissory Oaths Act 1871 (c. 48), except that the oaths

must be taken before someone other than a lay justice.

     (3)    The Lord Chancellor may pay to a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) such

allowances as he may determine.

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     (4)    Any such allowances are in addition to the salary charged on and paid out of

the Consolidated Fund under section 9 of the Administration of Justice Act

1973 (c. 15).

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Justices of the peace

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     (5)    The Lord Chancellor may remove a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) from

office on the ground of incapacity or misbehaviour.

 18    Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate)

The Lord Chancellor—

           (a)           may designate one of the District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) to be

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Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate), and

           (b)           if he does so, may designate another of them to be the deputy of the

Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate).

 19    Deputy District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts)

     (1)    The Lord Chancellor may appoint a person who has a 7 year general

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qualification to be a Deputy District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) for such

period as the Lord Chancellor considers appropriate (but subject to subsection

(4)).

     (2)    A Deputy District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) must, before acting as such, take

the oath of allegiance and judicial oath in accordance with the Promissory

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Oaths Act 1868 (c. 72) and the Promissory Oaths Act 1871 (c. 48), except that the

oaths—

           (a)           must be taken before someone other than a lay justice, and

           (b)           may be taken before a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts).

     (3)    The Lord Chancellor may pay to a Deputy District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts)

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such remuneration and allowances as he may determine.

     (4)    The Lord Chancellor may remove a Deputy District Judge (Magistrates’

Courts) from office on the ground of incapacity or misbehaviour.

     (5)    During the period of his appointment, a Deputy District Judge (Magistrates’

Courts)—

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           (a)           is to act as a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts), and

           (b)           is to be treated for all purposes (apart from appointment, tenure,

remuneration, allowances and pensions) as if he were a District Judge

(Magistrates’ Courts).

 20    District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) as justices of the peace

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     (1)    A District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) is by virtue of his office a justice of the

peace for England and Wales.

     (2)    It is the duty of a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) to act as a justice of the

peace in any local justice area in accordance with arrangements made by or on

behalf of the Lord Chancellor.

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 21    District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) able to act alone

     (1)    Nothing in the 1980 Act—

           (a)           requiring a magistrates’ court to be composed of two or more justices,

or

           (b)           limiting the powers of a magistrates’ court when composed of a single

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justice,

            applies to a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts).

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Justices of the peace

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     (2)    A District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) may—

           (a)           do any act, and

           (b)           exercise alone any jurisdiction,

            which can be done or exercised by two justices, apart from granting or

transferring a licence.

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     (3)    Any enactment making provision ancillary to the jurisdiction exercisable by

two justices of the peace also applies to the jurisdiction of a District Judge

(Magistrates’ Courts), unless the provision relates to granting or transferring a

licence.

     (4)    This section does not apply to the hearing or determination of family

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proceedings (as defined by section 65 of the 1980 Act).

     (5)    “The 1980 Act” means the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 (c. 43).

Justices’ clerks and assistant clerks

 22    Justices’ clerks and assistant clerks

     (1)    A justices’ clerk is a person who is—

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           (a)           appointed by the Lord Chancellor under section 2(1), and

           (b)           designated by the Lord Chancellor as a justices’ clerk.

     (2)    A person may be designated as a justices’ clerk only if he—

           (a)           has a 5 year magistrates’ court qualification,

           (b)           is a barrister or solicitor who has served for not less than 5 years as an

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assistant to a justices’ clerk, or

           (c)           has previously been a justices’ clerk.

     (3)    An assistant to a justices’ clerk is a person who is—

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

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

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           (b)           designated by the Lord Chancellor as an assistant to a justices’ clerk.

     (4)    The Lord Chancellor may by regulations provide that, subject to such

exceptions as may be prescribed by the regulations, a person may be

designated as an assistant to a justices’ clerk only if he—

           (a)           has a 5 year magistrates’ court qualification, or

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           (b)           has such qualifications as may be prescribed by, or approved by the

Lord Chancellor in accordance with, the regulations.

     (5)    In this Part “assistant clerk” is short for “assistant to a justices’ clerk”.

 23    Functions

     (1)    Rules may make provision enabling things authorised to be done by, to or

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before a single justice of the peace to be done instead by, to or before a justices’

clerk.

     (2)    Rules may also make provision enabling things authorised to be done by, to or

before a justices’ clerk (whether by virtue of subsection (1) or otherwise) to be

done instead by, to or before an assistant clerk.

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     (3)    An enactment or rule of law which—

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Justices of the peace

    11

 

           (a)           regulates the exercise of any jurisdiction or powers of justices of the

peace, or

           (b)           relates to things done in the exercise or purported exercise of any such

jurisdiction or powers,

            applies in relation to the exercise or purported exercise of any such jurisdiction

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or powers by a justices’ clerk by virtue of subsection (1) as if he were a justice

of the peace.

     (4)    The functions of a justices’ clerk include giving advice to any or all of the

justices of the peace to whom he is clerk about matters of law (including

procedure and practice) on questions arising in connection with the discharge

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of their functions, including questions arising when the clerk is not personally

attending on them.

     (5)    The powers of a justices’ clerk include, at any time when he thinks he should

do so, bringing to the attention of any or all of the justices of the peace to whom

he is clerk any point of law (including procedure and practice) that is or may

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be involved in any question so arising.

     (6)    For the purposes of subsections (4) and (5) the functions of justices of the peace

do not include functions as a judge of the Crown Court.

     (7)    Subsections (4) and (5) do not limit—

           (a)           the powers and duties of a justices’ clerk, or

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           (b)           the matters on which justices of the peace may obtain assistance from

their clerk.

     (8)    In this section “rules” means rules made by the Lord Chancellor.

     (9)    Before making any rules for the purposes of this section the Lord Chancellor

must consult—

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           (a)           the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee,

           (b)           the Family Procedure Rule Committee, and

           (c)           the Magistrates’ Courts Rule Committee.

 24    Independence

     (1)    A justices’ clerk exercising—

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           (a)           a function exercisable by one or more justices of the peace,

           (b)           a function specified in section 23(4) or (5) (advice on matters of law,

including procedure and practice), or

           (c)           a function as a member of the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee or

the Family Procedure Rule Committee,

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            is not subject to the direction of the Lord Chancellor or any other person.

     (2)    An assistant clerk who is exercising any such function is not subject to the

direction of any person other than a justices’ clerk.

Places, dates and times of sittings

 25    Places, dates and times of sittings

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     (1)    The Lord Chancellor may give directions as to the places in England and Wales

at which magistrates’ courts may sit.

 

 

 
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