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Courts Act 1971

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

4Establishment of the Crown Court

(1)There shall be a Crown Court in England and Wales which shall be a superior court of record.

(2)The jurisdiction and powers of the Crown Court shall be exercised by—

(a)any judge of the High Court, or

(b)any Circuit judge or Recorder, or

(c)subject to and in accordance with the provisions of the next following section, a judge of the High Court, Circuit judge or Recorder sitting with justices of the peace,

and any such persons when exercising the jurisdiction and powers of the Crown Court shall be judges of the Crown Court.

(3)Any judge of the Court of Appeal may, on the request of the Lord Chancellor, sit and act as a judge of the Crown Court, and when so sitting and acting shall be regarded for the purposes of this Part of this Act, or of any other enactment relating to the Crown Court, as a judge of the High Court.

(4)Subject to the provisions of the next following section as respects a court comprising justices of the peace, all proceedings in the Crown Court shall be heard and disposed of before a single judge, and—

(a)any Crown Court business may be conducted at any place in England or Wales,

(b)sittings of the Crown Court at any place may be continuous or intermittent or occasional,

(c)judges may sit simultaneously to take any number of different cases in the same or in different places, and all or any of them may adjourn cases from place to place at any time.

(5)The cases or classes of cases suitable for allocation respectively to a judge of the High Court, and to a Circuit judge or Recorder, and all other matters relating to the distribution of Crown Court business, shall be determined in accordance with directions given by or on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor given by him or on his behalf.

(6)The places at which the Crown Court sits, and the days and times when the Crown Court sits at any place, shall be determined in accordance with directions given by or on behalf of the Lord Chancellor.

(7)When the Crown Court sits in the City of London it shall be known as the Central Criminal Court, and, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (4) above requiring proceedings to be heard and disposed of before a single judge, the Lord Mayor of the City and any Alderman of the City shall be entitled to sit as judges of the Central Criminal Court with any judge of the High Court or any Circuit judge or Recorder.

(8)Subject to section 8 of the Criminal Procedure (Attendance of Witnesses) Act 1965 (which in criminal cases substitutes the procedure in that Act for procedure by way of subpoena), and to any provision contained in or having effect under this Act, the Crown Court shall, in relation to the attendance and examination of witnesses, any contempt of court, the enforcement of its orders and all other matters incidental to its jurisdiction have the like powers, rights, privileges and authority as the High Court.

(9)The fees to be taken in any proceedings in the Crown Court shall be such, if any, as the Lord Chancellor, with the concurrence of the Treasury may from time to time prescribe by order in a statutory instrument.

(10)The officers of the Crown Court shall be responsible for the keeping of the records of the proceedings of the court, the signing of indictments, the notification to those concerned of the place and time appointed for any proceedings or other business, and such other formal or administrative matters as may be specified by directions given by or on behalf of the Lord Chancellor.

(11)Officers of the Crown Court shall in particular give effect to any orders or directions of the court for taking into custody, and detaining, any person committing contempt of court, and shall execute any order or warrant duly issued by the court for the committal of any person to prison for contempt of court.

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