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Courts Bill [HL]


Courts Bill [HL]
Part 7 — Procedure rules and practice directions

    35

 

Family Procedure Rules and practice directions

 75    Family Procedure Rules

     (1)    There are to be rules of court (to be called “Family Procedure Rules”) governing

the practice and procedure to be followed in family proceedings in—

           (a)           the High Court,

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           (b)           county courts, and

           (c)           magistrates’ courts.

     (2)    Family Procedure Rules are to be made by a committee known as the Family

Procedure Rule Committee.

     (3)    “Family proceedings”, in relation to a court, means proceedings in that court

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which are family proceedings as defined by either—

           (a)           section 65 of the 1980 Act, or

           (b)           section 32 of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (c. 42).

     (4)    The power to make Family Procedure Rules includes power to make different

provision for different areas, including different provision—

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           (a)           for a specified court or description of courts, or

           (b)           for specified descriptions of proceedings or a specified jurisdiction.

     (5)    Any power to make or alter Family Procedure Rules is to be exercised with a

view to securing that—

           (a)           the family justice system is accessible, fair and efficient, and

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           (b)           the rules are both simple and simply expressed.

 76    Further provision about scope of Family Procedure Rules

     (1)    Family Procedure Rules may not be made in respect of matters which may be

dealt with in probate rules made by the President of the Family Division, with

the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor, under section 127 of the 1981 Act.

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     (2)    Family Procedure Rules may —

           (a)           modify or exclude the application of any provision of the County

Courts Act 1984 (c. 28), and

           (b)           provide for the enforcement in the High Court of orders made in a

divorce county court.

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     (3)    Family Procedure Rules may modify the rules of evidence as they apply to

family proceedings in any court within the scope of the rules.

     (4)    Family Procedure Rules may apply any rules of court (including in particular

Civil Procedure Rules) which relate to—

           (a)           courts which are outside the scope of Family Procedure Rules, or

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           (b)           proceedings other than family proceedings.

     (5)    Any rules of court, not made by the Family Procedure Rule Committee, which

apply to proceedings of a particular kind in a court within the scope of Family

Procedure Rules may be applied by Family Procedure Rules to family

proceedings in such a court.

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     (6)    In subsections (4) and (5) “rules of court” includes any provision governing the

practice and procedure of a court which is made by or under an enactment.

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 7 — Procedure rules and practice directions

    36

 

     (7)    Where Family Procedure Rules may be made by applying other rules, the other

rules may be applied—

           (a)           to any extent,

           (b)           with or without modification, and

           (c)           as amended from time to time.

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     (8)    Family Procedure Rules may, instead of providing for any matter, refer to

provision made or to be made about that matter by directions.

 77    Family Procedure Rule Committee

     (1)    The Family Procedure Rule Committee is to consist of—

           (a)           the President of the Family Division, and

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           (b)           the persons currently appointed by the Lord Chancellor under

subsection (2).

     (2)    The Lord Chancellor must appoint—

           (a)           two judges of the Supreme Court, at least one of whom must be a

puisne judge attached to the Family Division,

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           (b)           one Circuit judge,

           (c)           one district judge of the principal registry of the Family Division,

           (d)           one district judge appointed under section 6 of the County Courts Act

1984 (c. 28),

           (e)           one District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts),

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           (f)           one lay justice,

           (g)           one justices’ clerk,

           (h)           one person who has—

                  (i)                 a Supreme Court qualification, and

                  (ii)                particular experience of family practice in the High Court,

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           (i)           one person who has—

                  (i)                 a Supreme Court qualification, and

                  (ii)                particular experience of family practice in county courts,

           (j)           one person who has—

                  (i)                 a Supreme Court qualification, and

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                  (ii)                particular experience of family practice in magistrates’ courts,

           (k)           one person who—

                  (i)                 has been granted by an authorised body, under Part 2 of the

1990 Act, the right to conduct litigation in relation to all

proceedings in the Supreme Court, and

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                  (ii)                has particular experience of family practice in the High Court,

           (l)           one person who—

                  (i)                 has been so granted that right, and

                  (ii)                has particular experience of family practice in county courts,

           (m)           one person who—

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                  (i)                 has been so granted that right, and

                  (ii)                has particular experience of family practice in magistrates’

courts,

           (n)           one person nominated by CAFCASS, and

           (o)           one person with experience in and knowledge of the lay advice sector

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or the system of justice in relation to family proceedings.

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 7 — Procedure rules and practice directions

    37

 

     (3)    Before appointing a person under subsection (2), the Lord Chancellor must

consult the President of the Family Division.

     (4)    Before appointing a person under subsection (2)(a), the Lord Chancellor must

consult the Lord Chief Justice.

     (5)    Before appointing a person under subsection (2)(h) to (m), the Lord Chancellor

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must consult any body which—

           (a)           has members eligible for appointment under the provision in question,

and

           (b)           is an authorised body for the purposes of section 27 or 28 of the 1990

Act.

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     (6)    The Lord Chancellor may reimburse the members of the Family Procedure

Rule Committee their travelling and out-of-pocket expenses.

 78    Power to change certain requirements relating to Committee

     (1)    The Lord Chancellor may by order—

           (a)           amend section 77(2) (persons to be appointed to Committee by Lord

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Chancellor), and

           (b)           make consequential amendments in any other provision of section 77.

     (2)    Before making an order under this section the Lord Chancellor must consult

the President of the Family Division.

 79    Process for making Family Procedure Rules

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     (1)    The Family Procedure Rule Committee must, before making Family Procedure

Rules—

           (a)           consult such persons as they consider appropriate, and

           (b)           meet (unless it is inexpedient to do so).

     (2)    Rules made by the Family Procedure Rule Committee must be—

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           (a)           signed by a majority of the members of the Committee, and

           (b)           submitted to the Lord Chancellor.

     (3)    The Lord Chancellor may allow, disallow or alter rules so made.

     (4)           Before altering rules so made the Lord Chancellor must consult the Committee.

     (5)    Rules so made, as allowed or altered by the Lord Chancellor—

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           (a)           come into force on such day as the Lord Chancellor directs, and

           (b)           are to be contained in a statutory instrument to which the Statutory

Instruments Act 1946 (c. 36) applies as if the instrument contained rules

made by a Minister of the Crown.

     (6)    Subject to subsection (7), a statutory instrument containing Family Procedure

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Rules is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of

Parliament.

     (7)           A statutory instrument containing rules altered by the Lord Chancellor is of no

effect unless approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament before the

day referred to in subsection (5)(a).

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Courts Bill [HL]
Part 7 — Procedure rules and practice directions

    38

 

 80    Power to amend legislation in connection with the rules

The Lord Chancellor may by order amend, repeal or revoke any enactment to

the extent that he considers necessary or desirable—

           (a)           in order to facilitate the making of Family Procedure Rules, or

           (b)           in consequence of section 75, 76 or 79 or Family Procedure Rules.

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 81    Practice directions relating to family proceedings

     (1)    The President of the Family Division may, with the concurrence of the Lord

Chancellor, give directions as to the practice and procedure of—

           (a)           county courts, and

           (b)           magistrates’ courts,

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            in family proceedings.

     (2)    Directions as to the practice and procedure of those courts in family

proceedings may not be given by anyone other than the President of the Family

Division without the approval of the President of the Family Division and the

Lord Chancellor.

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     (3)    The power to give directions under subsection (1) includes power—

           (a)           to vary or revoke directions as to the practice and procedure of

magistrates’ courts and county courts (or any of them) in family

proceedings, whether given by the President of the Family Division or

any other person,

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           (b)           to give directions containing different provision for different cases

(including different areas), and

           (c)           to give directions containing provision for a specific court, for specific

proceedings or for a specific jurisdiction.

Civil Procedure Rules

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 82    Civil Procedure Rules

     (1)    For section 1(3) of the 1997 Act (general objectives of Civil Procedure Rules)

substitute—

           “(3)              Any power to make or alter Civil Procedure Rules is to be exercised

with a view to securing that—

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                  (a)                 the system of civil justice is accessible, fair and efficient, and

                  (b)                 the rules are both simple and simply expressed.”

     (2)    “The 1997 Act” means the Civil Procedure Act 1997 (c. 12).

 83    Civil Procedure Rule Committee

     (1)    For section 2(1)(a) and (b) of the 1997 Act (ex officio members of the

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Committee) substitute—

                  “(aa)                    the Head of Civil Justice,

                  (ab)                    the Deputy Head of Civil Justice (if there is one),

                  (a)                    the Master of the Rolls (unless he holds an office mentioned in

paragraph (aa) or (ab)), and”.

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     (2)    For section 2(2)(a) of the 1997 Act (one judge of the Supreme Court to be

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Part 7 — Procedure rules and practice directions

    39

 

appointed to Committee) substitute—

                  “(a)                    either two or three judges of the Supreme Court,”.

     (3)    For section 2(2)(g) and (h) of the 1997 Act (appointment of persons with

experience etc. of lay advice sector and consumer affairs) substitute “and

                  (g)                    two persons with experience in and knowledge of the lay advice

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sector or consumer affairs.”

 84    Power to change certain requirements relating to Committee

After section 2 of the 1997 Act insert—

       “2A            Power to change certain requirements relating to Committee

           (1)           The Lord Chancellor may by order—

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                  (a)                 amend section 2(2) (persons to be appointed to Committee by

Lord Chancellor), and

                  (b)                 make consequential amendments in any other provision of

section 2.

           (2)           Before making an order under this section the Lord Chancellor must

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consult—

                  (a)                 the Head of Civil Justice,

                  (b)                 the Deputy Head of Civil Justice (if there is one), and

                  (c)                 the Master of the Rolls (unless he holds an office mentioned in

paragraph (a) or (b)).

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           (3)           The power to make an order under this section is exercisable by

statutory instrument.

           (4)           A statutory instrument containing such an order is subject to

annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.”

 85    Process for making Civil Procedure Rules

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     (1)    Omit section 2(6) to (8) of the 1997 Act (process for making Civil Procedure

Rules).

     (2)    For section 3 of the 1997 Act (section 2: supplementary) substitute—

       “3            Process for making Civil Procedure Rules

           (1)           The Civil Procedure Rule Committee must, before making Civil

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Procedure Rules—

                  (a)                 consult such persons as they consider appropriate, and

                  (b)                 meet (unless it is inexpedient to do so).

           (2)           Rules made by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee must be—

                  (a)                 signed by a majority of the members of the Committee, and

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                  (b)                 submitted to the Lord Chancellor.

           (3)           The Lord Chancellor may allow, disallow or alter rules so made.

           (4)                         Before altering rules so made the Lord Chancellor must consult the

Committee.

           (5)           Rules so made, as allowed or altered by the Lord Chancellor—

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Courts Bill [HL]
Part 8 — Miscellaneous

    40

 

                  (a)                 come into force on such day as the Lord Chancellor directs, and

                  (b)                 are to be contained in a statutory instrument to which the

Statutory Instruments Act 1946 applies as if the instrument

contained rules made by a Minister of the Crown.

           (6)           Subject to subsection (7), a statutory instrument containing Civil

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Procedure Rules is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of

either House of Parliament.

           (7)                         A statutory instrument containing rules altered by the Lord Chancellor

is of no effect unless approved by a resolution of each House of

Parliament before the day referred to in subsection (5)(a).”

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Part 8

Miscellaneous

Provisions relating to criminal procedure and appeals

 86    Alteration of place fixed for Crown Court trial

An application under section 76(3) of the 1981 Act (application for variation of

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place fixed for Crown Court trial) is no longer required to be heard in open

court by a judge of the High Court; and accordingly section 76(4) of the 1981

Act ceases to have effect.

 87    Appeals to Court of Appeal: procedural directions

     (1)    In section 31 of the 1968 Act (powers of the Court of Appeal under Part 1 of that

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Act exercisable by single judge), in subsection (2), after paragraph (h) insert—

                  “(i)                    to make orders under section 23(1)(a).”

     (2)    In section 31A of the 1968 Act (powers of Court of Appeal under Part 1 of that

Act exercisable by registrar), in subsection (2), after paragraph (c) insert—

                  “(d)                    to make orders under section 23(1)(a).”,

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            and at the end of paragraph (b), omit “and”.

     (3)    After section 31A of the 1968 Act insert—

       “31B            Procedural directions: powers of single judge and registrar

           (1)           The power of the Court of Appeal to determine an application for

procedural directions may be exercised by—

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                  (a)                 a single judge, or

                  (b)                 the registrar.

           (2)           “Procedural directions” means directions for the efficient and effective

preparation of—

                  (a)                 an application for leave to appeal, or

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                  (b)                 an appeal,

                         to which this section applies.

           (3)           A single judge may give such procedural directions as he thinks fit—

                  (a)                 when acting under subsection (1);

                  (b)                 on a reference from the registrar;

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Courts Bill [HL]
Part 8 — Miscellaneous

    41

 

                  (c)                 of his own motion, when he is exercising, or considering

whether to exercise, any power of his in relation to the

application or appeal.

           (4)           The registrar may give such procedural directions as he thinks fit—

                  (a)                 when acting under subsection (1);

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                  (b)                 of his own motion.

           (5)           This section applies to an appeal, and an application to the Court of

Appeal for leave to appeal, under—

                  (a)                 this Part,

                  (b)                 section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987, or

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                  (c)                 section 35 of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act

1996.

       31C            Appeals against procedural directions

           (1)           Subsection (2) applies if a single judge gives, or refuses to give,

procedural directions.

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           (2)           The Court of Appeal may, on an application to it under subsection (5)—

                  (a)                 confirm, set aside or vary any procedural directions given by

the single judge, and

                  (b)                 give such procedural directions as it thinks fit.

           (3)           Subsection (4) applies if the registrar gives, or refuses to give,

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procedural directions.

           (4)           A single judge may, on an application to him under subsection (5)—

                  (a)                 confirm, set aside or vary any procedural directions given by

the registrar, and

                  (b)                 give such procedural directions as he thinks fit.

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           (5)           An application under this subsection may be made by—

                  (a)                 an appellant;

                  (b)                 a respondent, if the directions—

                        (i)                        relate to an application for leave to appeal and appear to

need the respondent’s assistance to give effect to them,

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                        (ii)                       relate to an application for leave to appeal which is to be

determined by the Court of Appeal, or

                        (iii)                      relate to an appeal.

           (6)           In this section—

                                  “appellant” includes a person who has given notice of application

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for leave to appeal under any of the provisions mentioned in

section 31B(5);

                                  “respondent” includes a person who will be a respondent if leave

to appeal is granted.”

     (4)    Sections 31B to 31C of the 1968 Act apply to—

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           (a)           applications for leave to appeal falling to be determined on or after the

date on which this section comes into force, and

           (b)           appeals in relation to which—

                  (i)                 a certificate under Part 1 of the 1968 Act that the case is fit for

appeal, or

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