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The Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981

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PART IVN.I.MAGISTRATES' COURTS RULES

Magistrates' courts rulesN.I.

13.  (1)  For the purposes of or in relation to any jurisdiction exercisable by magistrates' courts, any such rules as may be made with respect to such courts by virtue of section 21 (1) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954F1. . . may be made in accordance with the provisions of this Article.

(2) There shall be a Rules Committee appointed by the[F2Lord Chief Justice] (which may be styled “The Magistrates' Courts Rules Committee”) which shall consist of such number of persons not exceeding nine as may be appointed and shall include at least two resident magistrates, one practising barrister and one practising solicitor.

[F3(3) It is for the Rules Committee to make such rules as are referred to in paragraph (1) (which may be known as “magistrates' courts rules”).

[F4(3ZA) For the purposes of paragraphs (3A) to (3D), “relevant authority” means—

(a)in relation to magistrates' courts rules which deal (or would deal) with an excepted matter, the Lord Chancellor; and

(b)otherwise, the Department of Justice;

and for the purposes of this paragraph “deal with” and “excepted matter” have the same meanings as in the Northern Ireland Act 1998.]

(3A) The Rules Committee may make magistrates' courts rules only—

(a)after consultation with the [F5relevant authority], and

(b)with the agreement of the Lord Chief Justice.

(3B) Paragraph (3C) applies if the [F6relevant authority] gives the Rules Committee written notice that [F7it] thinks it is expedient for magistrates' courts rules to include provision that would achieve a purpose specified in the notice.

(3C) The Rules Committee must make such magistrates' courts rules as it considers necessary to achieve the specified purpose.

(3D) Those rules must be—

(a)made within a reasonable period after the [F8relevant authority] gives notice under paragraph (3B);

(b)made in accordance with this Article.]

(4) The Rules Committee may regulate their own quorum and procedure and appoint such sub-committee as they think fit.

(5) The chairman of the Rules Committee shall be such member of the committee[F9 as the Lord Chief Justice shall designate] and the secretary to such committee shall be such person as the Lord Chancellor shall designate.

(6) Where any enactment—

(a)in force on 16th August 1964 (other than an enactment referred to in Article 15 (1)); or

(b)passed after 6th July 1964 and which does not expressly provide otherwise;

requires or authorises the making of rules (including rules prescribing forms and costs) in relation to any proceeding or matter whatsoever in magistrates' courts, such rules shall be made in accordance with the provisions of this Article and the provisions of any such enactment shall have effect accordingly.

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Rules Committee may make recommendations to Lord ChancellorN.I.

14.  F10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Rules under or for the purpose of particular enactmentsN.I.

15.  (1)  The power under[F11 section 32A(1) of the Treatment of Offenders Act (Northern Ireland) 1968] with respect to the making of rules under that Act regarding persons charged before magistrates' courts shall be exercised by the Secretary of State after consultation with the Rules Committee.

(2) Magistrates' courts rules may assign to juvenile courts the hearing of any applications for orders or licences relating to childrenF12. . . being applications cognizable by courts of summary jurisdiction, if in the opinion of the[F13Lord Chief Justice] after consultation with the Rules Committee it is desirable in the interests of the childrenF12. . . concerned that such applications should be heard by juvenile courts.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2), any complaint under[F14 Schedule 13] to the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order[F14 1986] (which relates to compulsory attendance at school), shall be deemed to be an application for an order relating to a child.

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