Search Legislation

Courts Act 1971

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

5Justices as judges of the Crown Court

(1)On any hearing by the Crown Court—

(a)of any appeal, or

(b)of proceedings on committal to the Court for sentence, the Crown Court shall consist of a judge of the High Court or a Circuit judge or a Recorder who, subject to the following provisions of this section, shall sit with not less than two nor more than four justices of the peace.

(2)Crown Court rules may, subject to subsection (1) above, prescribe the number of justices of the peace constituting the Court on any hearing within subsection (1)(a) or (b) above, and

may prescribe the qualifications to be possessed by any such justices of the peace ; and the rules may make different provision for different descriptions of cases, different places of sitting or other different circumstances.

(3)Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection (1) above, any jurisdiction or power of the Crown Court may be exercised by a judge of the High Court, Circuit judge or Recorder sitting with not more than four justices of the peace.

(4)Subject to the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) above, the cases or classes of cases suitable for allocation to a court comprising justices of the peace (including those by way of trial on indictment which are suitable for allocation to such a court) shall be determined in accordance with directions given by or on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor.

(5)The Lord Chancellor may from time to time, having regard to the number of justices, or the number of justices with any prescribed qualifications, available for service in the Crown Court, give directions providing that, in such descriptions of proceedings as may be specified by the Lord Chancellor, the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) above shall not apply. Directions under this subsection may frame descriptions of proceedings by reference to the place of trial, or by reference to the time of trial, or in any other way.

(6)Crown Court rules may authorise or require a judge of the High Court, Circuit judge or Recorder, in such circumstances as are specified by the rules, to enter on, or at any stage to continue with, any proceedings with a court not comprising the justices required by subsections (1) and (2) above or at any stage to continue with any proceedings with a court from which any one or more of the justices initially comprising the court has withdrawn, or is absent for any reason.

(7)No decision of a court shall be questioned on the ground that it was not constituted as required by subsections (1) and (2) above unless objection was taken on that ground by or on behalf of a party to the proceedings not later than the time when the proceedings were entered on, or when the alleged irregularity began.

(8)When a judge of the High Court, Circuit judge or Recorder sits with justices of the peace he shall preside, and—

(a)the decision of the Crown Court may be a majority decision, and

(b)if the members of the court are equally divided, the judge of the High Court, Circuit judge or Recorder shall have a second and casting vote.

(9)A justice of the peace shall not be disqualified from acting as a judge of the Crown Court for the reason that the proceedings are not at a place within the area for which he was appointed as a justice, or because the proceedings are not related to that area in any other way.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act as a PDF

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources