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Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980

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Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980

1980 CHAPTER 43

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to the jurisdiction of, and the practice and procedure before, magistrates’ courts and the functions of justices’ clerks, and to matters connected therewith, with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Law Commission.

[1st August 1980]

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Extent Information

E1Act extends to England and Wales but for exceptions to this see s. 155(2)-(6)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Act extended by Insurance Companies Act 1981 (c. 31, SIF 67), s. 14(3)

Act extended (E.W.) by Housing and Building Control Act 1984 (c. 29, SIF 61), s. 47(3)

Act extended (E.W.) by County Courts Act 1984 (c. 28, SIF 34), s. 129(b)

Act extended (N.I.) by Insurance Companies Act 1982 (c. 50, SIF 67), s. 14(3)

Act modified (11.3.1999) by S.I. 1999/450, art. 140

Act excluded (1.4.2000) by 1999 c. 22, s. 21(3) (with s. 107, Sch. 14 para. 7(2)); S.I. 2000/774, art. 2(a)(i)

Act excluded (31.8.2000) by 1997 c. 25, s. 10E (as substituted (31.8.2000) by 1999 c. 22, s. 78(1),(with s. 107, Sch. 14 para. 7(2)); S.I. 2000/1920, art. 3(a))

Act applied (E.)(1.4.2000) by S.I. 2000/227, reg. 8(1)

C8Act: definition of "petty sessional court-house" applied (E.W.) (31.10.1991) by Criminal Justice Act 1991 (c. 53, SIF 39:1), s. 92(1); S.I. 1991/2208, art. 2(4), Sch. 3

C9By Criminal Justice Act 1991 (c. 53, SIF 39:1), s. 101(1), Sch. 12 para. 23; S.I. 1991/2208, art. 2(1), Sch.1 it is provided (14.10.1991) that in relation to any time before the commencement of s. 70 of that 1991 Act (which came into force on 1.10.1992 by S.I. 1992/333, art. 2(2), Sch. 2) references in any enactment amended by that 1991 Act, to youth courts shall be construed as references to juvenile courts.

C10Act applied (prosp.) by Charities Act 1992 (c. 41), ss. 71(3), 79(2) (the said s. 71 being repealed before coming into force by Charities Act 2006 (c. 41), s. 75, Sch. 9)

Act applied (1.4.1997) by 1996 c. 14, s. 100, Sch. 2 para. 3(2) (with s. 72(5)); S.I. 1997/305, art.2

Act applied (W.) (1.7.2001) by S.I. 2001/2197, s. 8(1)

Act applied (E.W.) (1.12.2001) by 2001 c. 16, s. 20(7); S.I. 2001/3736, art. 2(a)

Act applied (E.W.) (1.12.2001) by 2001 c. 16, s. 23(5); S.I. 2001/3736, art. 2(a)

Act applied (22.1.2002) by 1998 c. 34, ss. 25(3), (with s. 29); S.I. 2000/3144, art. 2

Act applied (W.) (22.5.2002) by S.I. 2002/1387, reg. 21(6)

Act applied (E.) (22.5.2002) by S.I. 2002/1227, reg. 21(6) (with regs. 3, 29)

Act applied (15.8.2002) by S.I. 2002/1998 art. 16(2) (with art. 33)

Act applied (W.) (19.8.2002) by S.I. 2002/2127, reg. 24(6)

Act applied (W.) (9.9.2002) by S.I. 2002/2295, reg. 6(3)

Act applied (W) (9.9.2002) by S.I. 2002/2296, reg. 6(3)

Act applied (E.) (13.9.2002) by S.I. 2002/2350, reg. 6(5)

Act applied (E.) (13.9.2002) by S.I. 2002/2351, reg. 6(5)

Act applied (E.) (1.10.2002) by S.I. 2000/3047 reg. 13A (as inserted by S.I. 2002/2315, reg. 2(3))

Act applied (E.W.) (21.10.2002) by 2001 c. 3, s. 6(3); S.I. 2002/1914, art. 2

Act applied (E.W.) (1.12.2002 for certain purposes, otherwise 1.1.2003) by 2001 c. 3, s. 23(3); S.I. 2002/2957, arts. 2, 3

Act applied (E.) (30.6.2003) by S.I. 2003/1478, reg. 8(5)

Act applied (E.) (11.7.2003) by S.I. 2003/1722, reg. 6(5)

Act applied (E.) (30.7.2003) by S.I. 2003/1940 {reg. 6(5)}

Act. applied (E.) (31.7.2003) by S.I. 2003/1956, reg. 6(5) (as substituted (7.2.2005) by S.I. 2005/208, reg. 2(5))

Act applied (W.) (5.9.2003) by S.I. 2003/2254, reg. 6(5)

Act applied (E.) (1.5.2004) by S.I. 2004/1214, reg. 21(6)

Act applied (E.) (1.8.2004) by S.I. 2004/1740, reg. 21(6)

Act applied (E) (20.12.2004) by S.I. 2004/3062, reg. 8(5)

Act applied (W.) (10.6.2005) by S.I. 2005/1540, reg. 6(5)

Act applied (E.W.) (8.10.2005) by S.I. 2005/2469, reg. 25(3)

Act applied (30.10.2005) by S.I. 2005/2745, reg. 38(2) (which S.I. was revoked (1.10.2006) by S.I. 2006/2407, reg. 44(1))

Act applied (E.) (1.1.2006) by S.I. 2005/2059, reg. 20(2) (which S.I. was revoked (11.1.2006) by S.I. 2006/14, reg. 34)

Act applied (W.) (1.1.2006) by S.I. 2005/3254, reg. 12(2) (which S.I. was revoked (8.3.2006) by S.I. 2006/590, reg. 48)

Act applied (W.) (1.1.2006) by S.I. 2005/3254, reg. 31(2) (which S.I. was revoked (8.3.2006) by S.I. 2006/590, reg. 48)

Act applied (W.) (1.1.2006) by S.I. 2005/3368, reg. 13(2)

Act applied (W.) (1.1.2006) by S.I. 2005/3368, reg. 18(2)

Act applied (E.) (1.1.2006) by S.I. 2005/2626, reg. 12(2) (which S.I. was revoked (11.1.2006) by S.I. 2006/15, reg. 48)

Act applied (E.) (1.1.2006) by S.I. 2005/2626, reg. 31(2) (which S.I. was revoked (11.1.2006) by S.I. 2006/15, reg. 48)

Act applied (W.) (1.1.2006) by S.I. 2005/3292, reg. 20(2) (which S.I. was revoked (11.1.2006) by S.I. 2006/31, reg. 34)

Act applied (E.) (1.1.2006) by S.I. 2005/3280, reg. 13(2)

Act applied (E.) (1.1.2006) by S.I. 2005/3280, reg. 18(2)

Act applied (E.) (11.1.2006) by S.I. 2006/14, reg. 20

Act applied (E.) (11.1.2006) by S.I. 2006/15, reg. 31 (which S.I. was revoked (14.12.2007) by S.I. 2007/3185, reg. 49)

Act applied (W.) (11.1.2006) by S.I. 2006/31, reg. 20(2)

Act applied (W.) (8.3.2006) by S.I. 2006/590, reg. 12(2) (which S.I. was revoked (14.12.2007) by S.I. 2007/3185, reg. 49)

Act applied (W.) (8.3.2006) by S.I. 2006/590, reg. 31(2) (which S.I. was revoked (14.12.2007) by S.I. 2007/3185, reg. 49)

Act applied (1.10.2006) by 2006/2407, {reg. 38(2)}

Act applied (E.) (24.11.2006) by S.I. 2006/2841, reg. 19(6)

Act applied (E.) (24.11.2006) by S.I. 2006/2841, reg. 21(8)

Act applied (W.) (14.2.2007) by S.I. 2007/376, reg. 21(8) (subject to reg. 22)

Act applied (12.7.2007) by S.I. 2007/1711, Sch. 5 para. 4(2)

Act applied (1.10.2007) by S.I. 2007/2539, regs. 38(2), 40(7)

Act applied (3.12.2007) by S.I. 2007/3106, reg. 10(4)

Act applied (E.) (14.12.2007) by S.I. 2007/3185, reg. 12(2)

Act applied (E.) (14.12.2007) by S.I. 2007/3185, reg. 31(2)

Act applied (W.) (14.12.2007) by S.I. 2007/3294, reg. 12(2)

Act applied (W.) (14.12.2007) by S.I. 2007/3294, reg. 31(2)

Act applied (prosp.) by 2006 c. 50, ss. 62(4), 79

C12Act restricted (E.W.) (1.4.2005) by Courts Act 2003 (c. 39), s. 26(1), 110; S.I. 2005/910, art. 3

Act restricted (E.W.) (15.12.2006) by S.I. 2006/3407, art. 7

C13Act modified (E.W.) (24.3.2003) by 2002 c. 29, ss. 67(6)(b), 458(1)(3); S.I. 2003/333, art. 2, Sch.

Act modified (E.W.) (4.4.2005) by S.I. 2005/384, {rule 26.4(2)-(7)}

C14Act applied (W.) (25.9.2003) by The Food (Hot Chilli and Hot Chilli Products) (Emergency Control) (Wales) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003/2455), reg. 6(5)

Act applied (with modifications) (E.W.) (27.3.2006) by The Collection of Fines (Pilot Scheme) and Discharge of Fines by Unpaid Work (Pilot Schemes) (Amendment) Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/502), arts. 1(1)(b)(2) {7}

C16Act applied (15.2.2008) by The Environmental Protection (Controls on Ozone-Depleting Substances) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2002/528), reg. 16(2) (as substituted by 2008/91, reg. 2, {Sch. para. 5})

Part IE+W+S+N.I. Criminal Jurisdiction and Procedure

Jurisdiction to issue process and deal with chargesE+W

1 Issue of summons to accused or warrant for his arrest.E+W

[F1(1)On an information being laid before a justice of the peace that a person has, or is suspected of having, committed an offence, the justice may issue—

(a)a summons directed to that person requiring him to appear before a magistrates' court to answer the information, or

(b)a warrant to arrest that person and bring him before a magistrates' court.]

(2)F2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)No warrant shall be issued under this section unless the information is in writing F3. . . .

(4)No warrant shall be issued under this section for the arrest of any person who has attained [F4 the age of 18 years] unless—

(a)the offence to which the warrant relates is an indictable offence or is punishable with imprisonment, or

(b)the person’s address is not sufficiently established for a summons to be served on him.

(5)F2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(6)Where the offence charged is an indictable offence, a warrant under this section may be issued at any time notwithstanding that a summons has previously been issued.

(7)A justice of the peace may issue a summons or warrant under this section upon an information being laid before him notwithstanding any enactment requiring the information to be laid before two or more justices.

(8)F2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F3Words in s. 1(3) omitted (29.1.2004) by virtue of Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), ss. {31(1)}, 336; S.I. 2004/81, art. 4(1)(2)(d) and the same words repealed (15.12.2004) by s. 332, {Sch. 37 Part. 12} of that Act; S.I. 2004/3033, art. 3(2)(e)(ii)

[F52Trial of summary offencesE+W

(1)A magistrates' court has jurisdiction to try any summary offence.

(2)A magistrates' court has jurisdiction [F6under sections 51 and 51A of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 in respect of] any offence committed by a person who appears or is brought before the court.

(3)Subject to—

(a)sections 18 to 22, and

(b)any other enactment (wherever contained) relating to the mode of trial of offences triable either way,

a magistrates' court has jurisdiction to try summarily any offence which is triable either way.

(4)A magistrates' court has jurisdiction, in the exercise of its powers under section 24, to try summarily an indictable offence.

(5)This section does not affect any jurisdiction over offences conferred on a magistrates' court by any enactment not contained in this Act.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F6Words in s. 2(2) substituted (9.5.2005 for specified purposes, otherwise prosp.) by Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), ss. 41, 336, Sch. 3 para. 51(2); S.I. 2005/1267, art. 2(2)(a), Sch. para. 1(1)(i)

3 Offences committed on boundaries, etc.E+W

F7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

[F83A Offences committed on ships and abroad.E+W

Sections 280, 281 and 282 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (offences on ships and abroad by British citizens and others) apply in relation to other offences under the law of England and Wales as they apply in relation to offences under that Act or instruments under that Act.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F8S. 3A inserted (1.1.1996) by 1995 c. 21, ss. 314(2), 316(2), Sch. 13 para.55 (with s. 312(1))

3B Transfer of trials of summary offences.E+W

F9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F9S. 3B repealed (1.4.2005) by Courts Act 2003 (c. 39), ss. 46(2), 109(3), 110, {Sch. 10)}; S.I. 2005/910, art. 3

Committal proceedingsE+W+S

4 General nature of committal proceedings.E+W

(1)The functions of examining justices may be discharged by a single justice.

(2)Examining justices shall sit in open court except where any enactment contains an express provision to the contrary and except where it appears to them as respects the whole or any part of committal proceedings that the ends of justice would not be served by their sitting in open court.

[F10(3)Subject to subsection (4) below, evidence tendered before examining justices shall be tendered in the presence of the accused.]

(4)Examining justices may allow evidence to be [F11tendered] before them in the absence of the accused if—

(a)they consider that by reason of his disorderly conduct before them it is not practicable for the evidence to be [F11 tendered] in his presence, or

(b)he cannot be present for reasons of health but is represented by [F12 a legal representative] and has consented to the evidence being [F11tendered] in his absence.

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Amendments (Textual)

F10S. 4(3) substituted (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of the substituting Act) by 1996 c. 25, s. 47, Sch. 1 Pt. I para. 2(2) (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2)

F11Words in s. 4(4) inserted (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of the inserting Act) by 1996 c. 25, s. 47, Sch. 1 Pt. I para. 2(3) (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2)

5 Adjournment of inquiry.E+W

(1)A magistrates’ court may, before beginning to inquire into an offence as examining justices, or at any time during the inquiry, adjourn the hearing, and if it does so shall remand the accused.

(2)The court shall when adjourning fix the time and place at which the hearing is to be resumed; and the time fixed shall be that at which the accused is required to appear or be brought before the court in pursuance of the remand [F13or would be required to be brought before the court but for section 128(3A) below].

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Amendments (Textual)

[F145A Evidence which is admissible.E+W

(1)Evidence falling within subsection (2) below, and only that evidence, shall be admissible by a magistrates’ court inquiring into an offence as examining justices.

(2)Evidence falls within this subsection if it—

(a)is tendered by or on behalf of the prosecutor, and

(b)falls within subsection (3) below.

(3)The following evidence falls within this subsection—

(a)written statements complying with section 5B below;

(b)the documents or other exhibits (if any) referred to in such statements;

(c)depositions complying with section 5C below;

(d)the documents or other exhibits (if any) referred to in such depositions;

(e)statements complying with section 5D below;

(f)documents falling within section 5E below.

(4)In this section “document” means anything in which information of any description is recorded.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F14Ss. 5A-5F inserted (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of the inserting Act) by 1996 c. 25, s. 47, Sch. 1 Pt. I para.3 (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C30S. 5A extended (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of 1996 c. 25) by 1972 c. 71, s. 46(1A)(a)(1B)(a) (as inserted by 1996 c. 25, s. 47, Sch. 1 Pt. II para. 22(3) (with s. 78(1); S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2))

F155B Written statements.E+W

(1)For the purposes of section 5A above a written statement complies with this section if—

(a)the conditions falling within subsection (2) below are met, and

(b)such of the conditions falling within subsection (3) below as apply are met.

(2)The conditions falling within this subsection are that—

(a)the statement purports to be signed by the person who made it;

(b)the statement contains a declaration by that person to the effect that it is true to the best of his knowledge and belief and that he made the statement knowing that, if it were tendered in evidence, he would be liable to prosecution if he wilfully stated in it anything which he knew to be false or did not believe to be true;

(c)before the statement is tendered in evidence a copy of the statement is given, by or on behalf of the prosecutor, to each of the other parties to the proceedings.

(3)The conditions falling within this subsection are that—

(a)if the statement is made by a person under 18 years old, it gives his age;

(b)if it is made by a person who cannot read it, it is read to him before he signs it and is accompanied by a declaration by the person who so read the statement to the effect that it was so read;

(c)if it refers to any other document as an exhibit, the copy given to any other party to the proceedings under subsection (2)(c) above is accompanied by a copy of that document or by such information as may be necessary to enable the party to whom it is given to inspect that document or a copy of it.

(4)So much of any statement as is admitted in evidence by virtue of this section shall, unless the court commits the accused for trial by virtue of section 6(2) below or the court otherwise directs, be read aloud at the hearing; and where the court so directs an account shall be given orally of so much of any statement as is not read aloud.

(5)Any document or other object referred to as an exhibit and identified in a statement admitted in evidence by virtue of this section shall be treated as if it had been produced as an exhibit and identified in court by the maker of the statement.

(6)In this section “document” means anything in which information of any description is recorded.

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Amendments (Textual)

F15Ss. 5A-5F inserted (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of the inserting Act) by 1996 c. 25, s. 47, Sch. 1 Pt. I para.3; S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C31S. 5B extended (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of 1996 c. 25) by 1972 c. 71, s. 46(1A)(b) (as inserted by 1996 c. 25, s. 47, Sch. 1 Pt. II para. 22(3) (with s. 78(1); S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2))

S. 5B extended (with modifications) (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of 1996 c. 25) by 1972 c. 71, s. 46(1B)(b) (as inserted by 1996 c. 25, Sch. 1 Pt. II para. 22(3) (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2)

C32S. 5B modified (prosp.) by 1997 c. 39, ss. 9(1), 11(2) (with ss. 1(4), 11(3))

F165C Depositions.E+W

(1)For the purposes of section 5A above a deposition complies with this section if—

(a)a copy of it is sent to the prosecutor under section 97A(9) below,

(b)the condition falling within subsection (2) below is met, and

(c)the condition falling within subsection (3) below is met, in a case where it applies.

(2)The condition falling within this subsection is that before the magistrates’ court begins to inquire into the offence concerned as examining justices a copy of the deposition is given, by or on behalf of the prosecutor, to each of the other parties to the proceedings.

(3)The condition falling within this subsection is that, if the deposition refers to any other document as an exhibit, the copy given to any other party to the proceedings under subsection (2) above is accompanied by a copy of that document or by such information as may be necessary to enable the party to whom it is given to inspect that document or a copy of it.

(4)So much of any deposition as is admitted in evidence by virtue of this section shall, unless the court commits the accused for trial by virtue of section 6(2) below or the court otherwise directs, be read aloud at the hearing; and where the court so directs an account shall be given orally of so much of any deposition as is not read aloud.

(5)Any document or other object referred to as an exhibit and identified in a deposition admitted in evidence by virtue of this section shall be treated as if it had been produced as an exhibit and identified in court by the person whose evidence is taken as the deposition.

(6)In this section “document” means anything in which information of any description is recorded.

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Amendments (Textual)

F16Ss. 5A-5F inserted (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of the inserting Act) by 1996 c. 25, s. 47, Sch. 1 Pt. I para.3; S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C33S. 5C modified (prosp.) by 1997 c. 39, ss. 9(1), 11(2) (with ss. 1(4), 11(3))

F175D Statements.E+W

(1)For the purposes of section 5A above a statement complies with this section if the conditions falling within subsections (2) to (4) below are met.

(2)The condition falling within this subsection is that, before the committal proceedings begin, the prosecutor notifies the magistrates’ court and each of the other parties to the proceedings that he believes—

(a)that the statement might by virtue of section 23 or 24 of the M1Criminal Justice Act 1988 (statements in certain documents) be admissible as evidence if the case came to trial, and

(b)that the statement would not be admissible as evidence otherwise than by virtue of section 23 or 24 of that Act if the case came to trial.

(3)The condition falling within this subsection is that—

(a)the prosecutor’s belief is based on information available to him at the time he makes the notification,

(b)he has reasonable grounds for his belief, and

(c)he gives the reasons for his belief when he makes the notification.

(4)The condition falling within this subsection is that when the court or a party is notified as mentioned in subsection (2) above a copy of the statement is given, by or on behalf of the prosecutor, to the court or the party concerned.

(5)So much of any statement as is in writing and is admitted in evidence by virtue of this section shall, unless the court commits the accused for trial by virtue of section 6(2) below or the court otherwise directs, be read aloud at the hearing; and where the court so directs an account shall be given orally of so much of any statement as is not read aloud.

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Amendments (Textual)

F17Ss. 5A-5F inserted (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of the inserting Act) by 1996 c. 25, s. 47, Sch. 1 Pt. I para.3; S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C34S. 5D modified (prosp.) by 1997 c. 39, ss. 9(1), 11(2) (with ss. 1(4), 11(3))

Marginal Citations

F185E Other documents.E+W

(1)The following documents fall within this section—

(a)any document which by virtue of any enactment is evidence in proceedings before a magistrates’ court inquiring into an offence as examining justices;

(b)any document which by virtue of any enactment is admissible, or may be used, or is to be admitted or received, in or as evidence in such proceedings;

(c)any document which by virtue of any enactment may be considered in such proceedings;

(d)any document whose production constitutes proof in such proceedings by virtue of any enactment;

(e)any document by the production of which evidence may be given in such proceedings by virtue of any enactment.

(2)In subsection (1) above—

(a)references to evidence include references to prima facie evidence;

(b)references to any enactment include references to any provision of this Act.

(3)So much of any document as is admitted in evidence by virtue of this section shall, unless the court commits the accused for trial by virtue of section 6(2) below or the court otherwise directs, be read aloud at the hearing; and where the court so directs an account shall be given orally of so much of any document as is not read aloud.

(4)In this section “document” means anything in which information of any description is recorded.

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Amendments (Textual)

F18Ss. 5A-5F inserted (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of the inserting Act) by 1996 c. 25, s. 47, Sch. 1 Pt. I para.3; S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2)

F195F Proof by production of copy.E+W

(1)Where a statement, deposition or document is admissible in evidence by virtue of section 5B, 5C, 5D or 5E above it may be proved by the production of—

(a)the statement, deposition or document, or

(b)a copy of it or the material part of it.

(2)Subsection (1)(b) above applies whether or not the statement, deposition or document is still in existence.

(3)It is immaterial for the purposes of this section how many removes there are between a copy and the original.

(4)In this section “copy”, in relation to a statement, deposition or document, means anything onto which information recorded in the statement, deposition or document has been copied, by whatever means and whether directly or indirectly.

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Amendments (Textual)

F19Ss. 5A-5F inserted (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of the inserting Act) by 1996 c. 25, s. 47, Sch. 1 Pt. I para.3; S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2)

6 Discharge or committal for trial.E+W

[F20(1)A magistrates’ court inquiring into an offence as examining justices shall on consideration of the evidence—

(a)commit the accused for trial if it is of opinion that there is sufficient evidence to put him on trial by jury for any indictable offence;

(b)discharge him if it is not of that opinion and he is in custody for no other cause than the offence under inquiry;

but the preceding provisions of this subsection have effect subject to the provisions of this and any other Act relating to the summary trial of indictable offences.

(2)If a magistrates’ court inquiring into an offence as examining justices is satisfied that all the evidence tendered by or on behalf of the prosecutor falls within section 5A(3) above, it may commit the accused for trial for the offence without consideration of the contents of any statements, depositions or other documents, and without consideration of any exhibits which are not documents, unless—

(a)the accused or one of the accused has no legal representative acting for him in the case, or

(b)a legal representative for the accused or one of the accused, as the case may be, has requested the court to consider a submission that there is insufficient evidence to put that accused on trial by jury for the offence;

and subsection (1) above shall not apply to a committal for trial under this subsection.]

(3)Subject to section 4 of the M2Bail Act 1976 and section 41 below, the court may commit a person for trial—

(a)in custody, that is to say, by committing him to custody there to be safely kept until delivered in due course of law, or

(b)on bail in accordance with the M3Bail Act 1976, that is to say, by directing him to appear before the Crown Court for trial;

and where his release on bail is conditional on his providing one or more surety or sureties and, in accordance with section 8(3) of the M4Bail Act 1976, the court fixes the amount in which the surety is to be bound with a view to his entering into his recognizance subsequently in accordance with subsections (4) and (5) or (6) of that section the court shall in the meantime commit the accused to custody in accordance with paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(4)Where the court has committed a person to custody in accordance with paragraph (a) of subsection (3) above, then, if that person is in custody for no other cause, the court may, at any time before his first appearance before the Crown Court, grant him bail in accordance with the M5Bail Act 1976 subject to a duty to appear before the Crown Court for trial.

(5)Where a magistrates’ court acting as examining justices commits any person for trial or determines to discharge him, the [F21designated officer for] the court shall, on the day on which the committal proceedings are concluded or the next day, cause to be displayed in a part of the court house to which the public have access a notice—

(a)in either case giving that person’s name, address, and age (if known);

(b)in a case where the court so commits him, stating the charge or charges on which he is committed and the court to which he is committed;

(c)in a case where the court determines to discharge him, describing the offence charged and stating that it has so determined;

but this subsection shall have effect subject to [F22section 4 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1976 (anonymity of complainant in rape etc. cases)].

(6)A notice displayed in pursuance of subsection (5) above shall not contain the name or address of any person under [F23the age of 18 years] unless the justices in question have stated that in their opinion he would be mentioned in the notice apart from the preceding provisions of this subsection and should be mentioned in it for the purpose of avoiding injustice to him.

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Amendments (Textual)

F20S. 6(1)(2) substituted (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of the substituting Act) by 1996 c. 25, s. 47, Sch. 1 Pt. I para. 4 (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

7 Place of trial on indictment.E+W

A magistrates’ court committing a person for trial shall specify the place at which he is to be tried, and in selecting that place shall have regard to—

(a)the convenience of the defence, the prosecution and the witnesses,

(b)the expediting of the trial, and

(c)any direction given by or on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor under section 4(5) of the M6Courts Act 1971.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C37S. 7 applied (prosp.) by War Crimes Act 1991 (c. 13, SIF 39:4), ss. 1(4), 3(4), Sch. Pt. I para. 2(1) (which affecting provision was repealed (4.7.1996) before coming into force by Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (c. 25), ss. 46(1)(b), 80, Sch. 5 para. 2 (with s. 78(1))

Marginal Citations

8 Restrictions on reports of commital proceedings.E+W+S

(1)Except as provided by subsections (2), (3) and (8) below, it shall not be lawful to publish in Great Britain a written report, or to [F24include in a relevant programme for reception]in Great Britain a report, of any committal proceedings in England and Wales containing any matter other than that permitted by subsection (4) below.

(2)[F25Subject to subsection (2A) below]a magistrates’ court shall, on an application for the purpose made with reference to any committal proceedings by the accused or one of the accused, as the case may be, order that subsection (1) above shall not apply to reports of those proceedings.

[F26(2A)Where in the case of two or more accused one of them objects to the making of an order under subsection (2) above, the court shall make the order if, and only if, it is satisfied, after hearing the representations of the accused, that it is in the interests of justice to do so.

(2B)An order under subsection (2) above shall not apply to reports of proceedings under subsection (2A) above, but any decision of the court to make or not to make such an order may be contained in reports published [F27or included in a relevant programme]before the time authorised by subsection (3) below.]

(3)It shall not be unlawful under this section to publish [F28or include in a relevant programme]a report of committal proceedings containing any matter other than that permitted by subsection (4) below—

(a)where the magistrates’ court determines not to commit the accused, or determines to commit none of the accused, for trial, after it so determines;

(b)where the court commits the accused or any of the accused for trial, after the conclusion of his trial or, as the case may be, the trial of the last to be tried;

and where at any time during the inquiry the court proceeds to try summarily the case of one or more of the accused under section 25(3) or (7) below, while committing the other accused or one or more of the other accused for trial, it shall not be unlawful under this section to publish [F28or include in a relevant programme]as part of a report of the summary trial, after the court determines to proceed as aforesaid, a report of so much of the committal proceedings containing any such matter as takes place before the determination.

(4)The following matters may be contained in a report of committal proceedings published [F29 or included in a relevant programme]without an order under subsection (2) above before the time authorised by subsection (3) above, that is to say—

(a)the identity of the court and the names of the examining justices;

(b)the names, addresses and occupations of the parties and witnesses and the ages of the accused and witnesses;

(c)the offence or offences, or a summary of them, with which the accused is or are charged;

(d)the names of [F30 the legal representatives]engaged in the proceedings;

(e)any decision of the court to commit the accused or any of the accused for trial, and any decision of the court on the disposal of the case of any accused not committed;

(f)where the court commits the accused or any of the accused for trial, the charge or charges, or a summary of them, on which he is committed and the court to which he is committed;

(g)where the committal proceedings are adjourned, the date and place to which they are adjourned;

(h)any arrangements as to bail on committal or adjournment;

[F31(i)whether a right to representation funded by the Legal Services Commission as part of the Criminal Defence Service was granted to the accused or any of the accused.]

(5)If a report is published [F32 or included in a relevant programme] in contravention of this section, the following persons, that is to say—

(a)in the case of a publication of a written report as part of a newspaper or periodical, any proprietor, editor or publisher of the newspaper or periodical;

(b)in the case of a publication of a written report otherwise than as part of a newspaper or periodical, the person who publishes it;

[F33(c)in the case of the inclusion of a report in a relevant programme, any body corporate which provides the service in which the programme is included and any person having functions in relation to the programme corresponding to those of an editor of a newspaper.]

shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding [F34level 5 on the standard scale].

(6)Proceedings for an offence under this section shall not, in England and Wales, be instituted otherwise than by or with the consent of the Attorney-General.

(7)Subsection (1) above shall be in addition to, and not in derogation from, the provisions of any other enactment with respect to the publication of reports and proceedings of magistrates’ and other courts.

(8)For the purposes of this section committal proceedings shall, in relation to an information charging an indictable offence, be deemed to include any proceedings in the magistrates’ court before the court proceeds to inquire into the information as examining justices; but where a magistrates’ court which has begun to try an information summarily discontinues the summary trial in pursuance of section 25(2) or (6) below and proceeds to inquire into the information as examining justices, that circumstance shall not make it unlawful under this section for a report of any proceedings on the information which was published [F35or included in a relevant programme] before the court determined to proceed as aforesaid to have been so published [F35or included in a relevant programme].

(9). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F36

(10)In this section—

  • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F37

  • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F38

  • publish”, in relation to a report, means publish the report, either by itself or as part of a newspaper or periodical, for distribution to the public.

  • [F39relevant programme” means a programme included in a programme service (within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990).]

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Amendments (Textual)

F39Definition of “relevant programme" inserted by Broadcasting Act 1990 (c. 42, SIF 96), s. 203(1), Sch. 20, para. 29(1)(e)

[F40Pre-trial hearingsE+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F40Ss. 8A-8D and cross-heading inserted (1.4.2005) by Courts Act 2003 (c. 39), ss. 45, 110, Sch. 3; S.I. 2005/910, art. 3(p)

8APower to make rulings at pre-trial hearingE+W

(1)For the purposes of this section a hearing is a pre-trial hearing if—

(a)it relates to an information—

(i)which is to be tried summarily, and

(ii)to which the accused has pleaded not guilty, and

(b)it takes place before the start of the trial.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b), the start of a summary trial occurs when the court begins—

(a)to hear evidence from the prosecution at the trial, or

(b)to consider whether to exercise its power under section 37(3) of the Mental Health Act 1983 (power to make hospital order without convicting the accused).

(3)At a pre-trial hearing, a magistrates' court may make a ruling as to any matter mentioned in subsection (4) if—

(a)the condition in subsection (5) is met,

(b)the court has given the parties an opportunity to be heard, and

(c)it appears to the court that it is in the interests of justice to make the ruling.

(4)The matters are—

(a)any question as to the admissibility of evidence;

(b)any other question of law relating to the case.

(5)The condition is that, if the accused is not legally represented F41. . . —

(a)[F42the court must]ask whether he wishes to be granted a right to representation funded by the Legal Services Commission as part of the Criminal Defence Service, and

(b)if he does, [F43the Legal Services Commission must] decide whether or not to grant him that right.

(6)A ruling may be made under this section—

(a)on an application by a party to the case, or

(b)of the court’s own motion.

(7)For the purposes of this section and section 8B, references to the prosecutor are to any person acting as prosecutor, whether an individual or body.

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Amendments (Textual)

8BEffect of rulings at pre-trial hearingE+W

(1)Subject to subsections (3) and (6), a ruling under section 8A has binding effect from the time it is made until the case against the accused or, if there is more than one, against each of them, is disposed of.

(2)The case against an accused is disposed of if—

(a)he is acquitted or convicted,

(b)the prosecutor decides not to proceed with the case against him, or

(c)the information is dismissed.

(3)A magistrates' court may discharge or vary (or further vary) a ruling under section 8A if—

(a)the condition in section 8A(5) is met,

(b)the court has given the parties an opportunity to be heard, and

(c)it appears to the court that it is in the interests of justice to do so.

(4)The court may act under subsection (3)—

(a)on an application by a party to the case, or

(b)of its own motion.

(5)No application may be made under subsection (4)(a) unless there has been a material change of circumstances since the ruling was made or, if a previous application has been made, since the application (or last application) was made.

(6)A ruling under section 8A is discharged in relation to an accused if—

(a)the magistrates' court commits or sends him to the Crown Court for trial for the offence charged in the information, or

(b)a count charging him with the offence is included in an indictment by virtue of section 40 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

8CRestrictions on reportingE+W

(1)Except as provided by this section no report of matters falling within subsection (2) may be published in England and Wales.

(2)The following matters fall within this subsection—

(a)a ruling under section 8A;

(b)proceedings on an application for a ruling under section 8A;

(c)an order under section 8B that a ruling under section 8A be discharged, varied or further varied;

(d)proceedings on an application under section 8B for a ruling under section 8A to be discharged, varied or further varied.

(3)A magistrates' court dealing with any matter falling within subsection (2) may order that subsection (1) does not apply, or does not apply to a specified extent, to a report of the matter.

(4)Where there is only one accused and he objects to the making of an order under subsection (3)—

(a)the court may make the order if (and only if) satisfied after hearing the representations of the accused that it is in the interests of justice to do so, and

(b)if the order is made, it shall not apply to the extent that a report deals with any such objection or representations.

(5)Where there are two or more accused and one or more of them objects to the making of an order under subsection (3)—

(a)the court may make the order if (and only if) satisfied after hearing the representations of each of the accused that it is in the interests of justice to do so, and

(b)if the order is made, it shall not apply to the extent that a report deals with any such objection or representations.

(6)Subsection (1) does not apply to the publication of a report of matters after the case against the accused or, if more than one, against each of them, is disposed of.

(7)Subsection (1) does not apply to a report which contains only one or more of the following matters—

(a)the identity of the court and the names of the justices;

(b)the names, ages, home addresses and occupations of the accused and witnesses;

(c)the offence or offences, or a summary of them, with which the accused or any of the accused are charged;

(d)the names of counsel and solicitors in the proceedings;

(e)where the proceedings are adjourned, the date and place to which they are adjourned;

(f)any arrangements as to bail;

(g)whether a right to representation funded by the Legal Services Commission as part of the Criminal Defence Service was granted to the accused or any of the accused.

(8)The addresses that may be included in a report by virtue of subsection (7) are addresses—

(a)at any relevant time, and

(b)at the time of their inclusion in the publication.

(9)In subsection (8), “relevant time” means a time when events giving rise to the charges to which the proceedings relate are alleged to have occurred.

(10)Nothing in this section affects any prohibition or restriction imposed by virtue of any other enactment on the publication of a report of any matter.

(11)In this section and in section 8D—

(a)references to publication of a report of matters falling within subsection (2)—

(i)include references to inclusion of those matters in any speech, writing, relevant programme or other communication in whatever form which is addressed to the public at large or any section of the public (and for this purpose every relevant programme is to be taken to be so addressed), but

(ii)do not include references to inclusion of those matters in a document prepared for use in particular legal proceedings;

(b)relevant programme” means a programme included in a programme service, within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990.

8DOffences in connection with reportingE+W

(1)If a report is published in contravention of section 8C each of the following persons is guilty of an offence—

(a)in the case of a publication of a report as part of a newspaper or periodical, any proprietor, editor or publisher of the newspaper or periodical;

(b)in the case of the inclusion of a report in a relevant programme, any body corporate which is engaged in providing the service in which the programme is included and any person having functions in relation to the programme corresponding to those of an editor of a newspaper;

(c)in the case of any other publication, any person publishing it.

(2)If an offence under this section committed by a body corporate is proved—

(a)to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or

(b)to be attributable to any neglect on the part of,

an officer, the officer as well as the body corporate is guilty of the offence and liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

(3)In subsection (2), “officer” means a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body, or a person purporting to act in any such capacity.

(4)If the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, “director”in subsection (3) means a member of that body.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine of an amount not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(6)Proceedings for an offence under this section may not be instituted otherwise than by or with the consent of the Attorney General.]

Summary trial of informationE+W+S

9 Procedure on trial.E+W

(1)On the summary trial of an information, the court shall, if the accused appears, state to him the substance of the information and ask him whether he pleads guilty or not guilty.

(2)The court, after hearing the evidence and the parties, shall convict the accused or dismiss the information.

(3)If the accused pleads guilty, the court may convict him without hearing evidence.

10 Adjournment of trial.E+W

(1)A magistrates’ court may at any time, whether before or after beginning to try an information, adjourn the trial, and may do so, notwithstanding anything in this Act, when composed of a single justice.

(2)The court may when adjourning either fix the time and place at which the trial is to be resumed, or, unless it remands the accused, leave the time and place to be determined later by the court; but the trial shall not be resumed at that time and place unless the court is satisfied that the parties have had adequate notice thereof.

(3)A magistrates’ court may, for the purpose of enabling inquiries to be made or of determining the most suitable method of dealing with the case, exercise its power to adjourn after convicting the accused and before sentencing him or otherwise dealing with him; but, if it does so, the adjournment shall not be for more than 4 weeks at a time unless the court remands the accused in custody and, where it so remands him, the adjournment shall not be for more than 3 weeks at a time.

[F44(3A)A youth court shall not be required to adjourn any proceedings for an offence at any stage by reason only of the fact—

(a)that the court commits the accused for trial for another offence; or

(b)that the accused is charged with another offence.]

(4)On adjourning the trial of an information the court may remand the accused and, where the accused has attained [F45the age of 18 years], shall do so if the offence is triable either way and—

(a)on the occasion on which the accused first appeared, or was brought, before the court to answer to the information he was in custody or, having been released on bail, surrendered to the custody of the court; or

(b)the accused has been remanded at any time in the course of proceedings on the information;

and, where the court remands the accused, the time fixed for the resumption of the trial shall be that at which he is required to appear or be brought before the court in pursuance of the remand [F46or would be required to be brought before the court but for section 128(3A) below].

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

11 Non-appearance of accused: general provisions.E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of this Act, where at the time and place appointed for the trial or adjourned trial of an information the prosecutor appears but the accused does not,

[F47(a)if the accused is under 18 years of age, the court may proceed in his absence; and

(b)if the accused has attained the age of 18 years, the court shall proceed in his absence unless it appears to the court to be contrary to the interests of justice to do so.

This is subject to subsections (2), (2A), (3) and (4).] .

(2)Where a summons has been issued, the court shall not begin to try the information in the absence of the accused unless either it is proved to the satisfaction of the court, on oath or in such other manner as may be prescribed, that the summons was served on the accused within what appears to the court to be a reasonable time before the trial or adjourned trial or the accused has appeared on a previous occasion to answer to the information.

[F48(2A)The court shall not proceed in the absence of the accused if it considers that there is an acceptable reason for his failure to appear.]

(3)[F49In proceedings to which this subsection applies, the court.] shall not in a person’s absence sentence him to imprisonment or detention in a detention centre or make [F50a [F51detention and training order] or] an order under [F52paragraph 8(2)(a) or (b) of Schedule 12 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003] that a suspended sentence passed on him shall take effect.

[F53(3A)But where a sentence or order of a kind mentioned in subsection (3) is imposed or given in the absence of the offender, the offender must be brought before the court before being taken to a prison or other institution to begin serving his sentence (and the sentence or order is not to be regarded as taking effect until he is brought before the court).]

(4)[F49In proceedings to which this subsection applies, the court.] shall not in a person’s absence impose any disqualification on him, except on resumption of the hearing after an adjournment under section 10(3) above; and where a trial is adjourned in pursuance of this subsection the notice required by section 10(2) above shall include notice of the reason for the adjournment.

[F54(5)Subsections (3) and (4) apply to—

(a)proceedings instituted by an information, where a summons has been issued; and

(b)proceedings instituted by a written charge.

(6)Nothing in this section requires the court to enquire into the reasons for the accused's failure to appear before deciding whether to proceed in his absence.

(7)The court shall state in open court its reasons for not proceeding under this section in the absence of an accused who has attained the age of 18 years; and the court shall cause those reasons to be entered in its register of proceedings.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F51Words in s. 11(3) substituted (1.4.2000) by 1998 c. 37, s. 119, Sch. 8 para. 39; S.I. 1999/3426, art. 3(b)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C45S. 11(1) applied (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 2(5), 168(1)

[F5512 Non-appearance of accused: plea of guilty.E+W+S

(1)This section shall apply where—

(a)a summons has been issued requiring a person to appear before a magistrates’ court, other than a youth court, to answer to an information for a summary offence, not being—

(i)F56. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(ii)an offence specified in an order made by the Secretary of State by statutory instrument; and

(b)the [F57designated officer for] the court is notified by or on behalf of the prosecutor that the documents mentioned in subsection (3) below have been served upon the accused with the summons.

(2)The reference in subsection (1)(a) above to the issue of a summons requiring a person to appear before a magistrates’ court other than a youth court includes a reference to the issue of a summons requiring a person who has attained the age of 16 at the time when it is issued to appear before a youth court.

(3)The documents referred to in subsection (1)(b) above are—

(a)a notice containing such statement of the effect of this section as may be prescribed;

[F58(b)either of the following, namely—

(i)a concise statement of such facts relating to the charge as will be placed before the court by the prosecutor if the accused pleads guilty without appearing before the court, or

(ii)a copy of such written statement or statements complying with subsections (2)(a) and (b) and (3) of section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 (proof by written statement) as will be so placed in those circumstances; and]]

(c)if any information relating to the accused will or may, in those circumstances, be placed before the court by or on behalf of the prosecutor, a notice containing or describing that information.

(4)Where the [F57designated officer for] the court receives a notification in writing purporting to be given by the accused or by a legal representative acting on his behalf that the accused desires to plead guilty without appearing before the court—

(a)the [F57designated officer for] the court shall inform the prosecutor of the receipt of the notification; and

(b)the following provisions of this section shall apply.

(5)If at the time and place appointed for the trial or adjourned trial of the information—

(a)the accused does not appear; and

(b)it is proved to the satisfaction of the court, on oath or in such manner as may be prescribed, that the documents mentioned in subsection (3) above have been served upon the accused with the summons,

the court may, subject to section 11(3) and (4) above and subsections (6) to (8) below, proceed to hear and dispose of the case in the absence of the accused, whether or not the prosecutor is also absent, in like manner as if both parties had appeared and the accused had pleaded guilty.

(6)If at any time before the hearing the [F57designated officer for] the court receives an indication in writing purporting to be given by or on behalf of the accused that he wishes to withdraw the notification—

(a)the [F57designated officer for] the court shall inform the prosecutor of the withdrawal; and

(b)the court shall deal with the information as if the notification had not been given.

(7)Before accepting the plea of guilty and convicting the accused under subsection (5) above, the court shall cause the following to be read out before the court by the clerk of the court, namely—

[F59(a)in a case where a statement of facts as mentioned in subsection (3)(b)(i) above was served on the accused with the summons, that statement;

(aa)in a case where a statement or statements as mentioned in subsection (3)(b)(ii) above was served on the accused with the summons and the court does not otherwise direct, that statement or those statements;]

(b)any information contained in a notice so served, and any information described in such a notice and produced by or on behalf of the prosecutor;

(c)the notification under subsection (4) above; and

(d)any submission received with the notification which the accused wishes to be brought to the attention of the court with a view to mitigation of sentence.

[F60(7A)Where the court gives a direction under subsection (7)(aa) above the court shall cause an account to be given orally before the court by the clerk of the court of so much of any statement as is not read aloud.

(7B)Whether or not a direction under paragraph (aa) of subsection (7) above is given in relation to any statement served as mentioned in that paragraph the court need not cause to be read out the declaration required by section 9(2)(b) of the Criminal Justice Act 1967.]

(8)If the court proceeds under subsection (5) above to hear and dispose of the case in the absence of the accused, the court shall not permit—

(a)any other statement with respect to any facts relating to the offence charged; or

(b)any other information relating to the accused,

to be made or placed before the court by or on behalf of the prosecutor except on a resumption of the trial after an adjournment under section 10(3) above.

(9)If the court decides not to proceed under subsection (5) above to hear and dispose of the case in the absence of the accused, it shall adjourn or further adjourn the trial for the purpose of dealing with the information as if the notification under subsection (4) above had not been given.

(10)In relation to an adjournment on the occasion of the accused’s conviction in his absence under subsection (5) above or to an adjournment required by subsection (9) above, the notice required by section 10(2) above shall include notice of the reason for the adjournment.

(11)No notice shall be required by section 10(2) above in relation to an adjournment—

(a)which is for not more than 4 weeks; and

(b)the purpose of which is to enable the court to proceed under subsection (5) above at a later time.

(12)No order shall be made under subsection (1) above unless a draft of the order has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

(13)Any such document as is mentioned in subsection (3) above may be served in Scotland with a summons which is so served under the Summary Jurisdiction (Process) Act 1881.

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Extent Information

E2S. 12(13) extends to Scotland see s. 155(2) (as amended by 1994 c. 33, s. 45, Sch. 5 para. 3(4))

Amendments (Textual)

F55S. 12 substituted (E.W.) (4.9.1995) by 1994 c. 33, s. 45, Sch. 5 para. 1; S.I. 1995/1957, art. 4

F58S. 12(3)(b)(i)(ii) substituted for s. 12(3)(b) (4.5.1999) by 1998 c. 15, s. 1(1); S.I. 1999/1197, art. 2 (with art. 3)

F59S. 12(7)(a)(aa) substituted for s. 12(7)(a) (4.5.1999) by 1998 c. 15, s. 1(2); S.I. 1999/1197, art. 2 (with art. 3)

[F6112A Application of section 12 where accused appears.E+W+S

(1)Where the [F62designated officer for] the court has received such a notification as is mentioned in subsection (4) of section 12 above but the accused nevertheless appears before the court at the time and place appointed for the trial or adjourned trial, the court may, if he consents, proceed under subsection (5) of that section as if he were absent.

(2)Where the [F63designated officer for] the court has not received such a notification and the accused appears before the court at that time and place and informs the court that he desires to plead guilty, the court may, if he consents, proceed under section 12(5) above as if he were absent and the [F64designated officer] had received such a notification.

(3)For the purposes of subsections (1) and (2) above, subsections (6) to (11) of section 12 above shall apply with the modifications mentioned in subsection (4) or, as the case may be, subsection (5) below.

(4)The modifications for the purposes of subsection (1) above are that—

(a)before accepting the plea of guilty and convicting the accused under subsection (5) of section 12 above, the court shall afford the accused an opportunity to make an oral submission with a view to mitigation of sentence; and

(b)where he makes such a submission, subsection (7)(d) of that section shall not apply.

(5)The modifications for the purposes of subsection (2) above are that—

(a)subsection (6) of section 12 above shall apply as if any reference to the notification under subsection (4) of that section were a reference to the consent under subsection (2) above;

(b)subsection (7)(c) and (d) of that section shall not apply; and

(c)before accepting the plea of guilty and convicting the accused under subsection (5) of that section, the court shall afford the accused an opportunity to make an oral submission with a view to mitigation of sentence.]

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Amendments (Textual)

13 Non-appearance of accused: issue of warrant.E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, where the court, instead of proceeding in the absence of the accused, adjourns or further adjourns the trial, the court may, F65. . ., issue a warrant for his arrest.

(2)Where a summons has been issued, the court shall not issue a warrant under this section [F66unless the condition in subsection (2A) below or that in subsection (2B) below is fulfilled].

[F67(2A)The condition in this subsection is that it is proved to the satisfaction of the court, on oath or in such other manner as may be prescribed, that the summons was served on the accused within what appears to the court to be a reasonable time before the trial or adjourned trial.

(2B)The condition in this subsection is that—

(a)the adjournment now being made is a second or subsequent adjournment of the trial,

(b)the accused was present on the last (or only) occasion when the trial was adjourned, and

(c)on that occasion the court determined the time for the hearing at which the adjournment is now being made.]

[F68(3)A warrant for the arrest of any person who has attained the age of 18 shall not be issued under this section unless—

(a)F69. . . the offence to which the warrant relates is punishable with imprisonment, or

(b)the court, having convicted the accused, proposes to impose a disqualification on him.

(3A)A warrant for the arrest of any person who has not attained the age of 18 shall not be issued under this section unless—

[F70(a)the offence to which the warrant relates is punishable, in the case of a person who has attained the age of 18, with imprisonment, or]

(b)the court, having convicted the accused, proposes to impose a disqualification on him.]

[F71(4)This section shall not apply to an adjournment on the occasion of the accused’s conviction in his absence under subsection (5) of section 12 above or to an adjournment required by subsection (9) of that section.]

(5)F72. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F65Words in s. 13(1) repealed (1.9.1998 subject as mentioned in S.I. 1998/1837, art. 4) by 1998 c. 15, s. 3(1); S.I. 1998/1837, arts2, 4

F66Words in s. 13(2) substituted (4.7.1996 with application where the court proposes to issue a warrant under s. 13 on or after 1.10.1996) by 1996 c. 25, s. 48(2)(4) (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1996/2343, art. 2

F67S. 13(2A)(2B) inserted (4.7.1996 with application where the court proposes to issue a warrant under s. 13 on or after 1.10.1996) by 1996 c. 25, s. 48(3)(4) (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1996/2343, art. 2

F68S. 13(3)(3A) substituted for s. 13(3) (1.9.1998 subject as mentioned in S.I. 1998/1837, art. 4) by 1998 c. 15, s. 3(2); S.I. 1998/1837, arts2, 4

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C46S. 13(1)-(3A)(5) applied (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 2(5), 168(1)

14 Proceedings invalid where accused did not know of them.E+W

(1)Where a summons has been issued under section 1 above and a magistrates’ court has begun to try the information to which the summons relates, then, if—

(a)the accused, at any time during or after the trial, makes a statutory declaration that he did not know of the summons or the proceedings until a date specified in the declaration, being a date after the court has begun to try the information; and

(b)within 21 days of that date the declaration is served on the [F73designated officer for the court],

without prejudice to the validity of the information, the summons and all subsequent proceedings shall be void.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1) above a statutory declaration shall be deemed to be duly served on the [F74designated officer] if it is delivered to him, or left at his office, or is sent in a registered letter or by the recorded delivery service addressed to him at his office.

(3)If on the application of the accused it appears to a magistrates’ court (which for this purpose may be composed of a single justice) that it was not reasonable to expect the accused to serve such a statutory declaration as is mentioned in subsection (1) above within the period allowed by that subsection, the court may accept service of such a declaration by the accused after that period has expired; and a statutory declaration accepted under this subsection shall be deemed to have been served as required by that subsection.

(4)Where any proceedings have become void by virtue of subsection (1) above, the information shall not be tried again by any of the same justices.

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Amendments (Textual)

15 Non-appearance of prosecutor.E+W

(1)Where at the time and place appointed for the trial or adjourned trial of an information the accused appears or is brought before the court and the prosecutor does not appear, the court may dismiss the information or, if evidence has been received on a previous occasion, proceed in the absence of the prosecutor.

(2)Where, instead of dismissing the information or proceeding in the absence of the prosecutor, the court adjourns the trial, it shall not remand the accused in custody unless he has been brought from custody or cannot be remanded on bail by reason of his failure to find sureties.

16 Non-appearance of both parties.E+W

Subect to section 11(3) and (4) and to section 12 above, where at the time and place appointed for the trial or adjourned trial of an information neither the prosecutor nor the accused appears, the court may dismiss the information or, if evidence has been received on a previous occasion, proceed in their absence.

Offences triable on indictment or summarilyE+W

17 Certain offences triable either way.E+W

(1)The offences listed in Schedule 1 to this Act shall be triable either way.

(2)Subsection (1) above is without prejudice to any other enactment by virtue of which any offence is triable either way.

[F7517A Initial procedure: accused to indicate intention as to plea.E+W

(1)This section shall have effect where a person who has attained the age of 18 years appears or is brought before a magistrates’ court on an information charging him with an offence triable either way.

(2)Everything that the court is required to do under the following provisions of this section must be done with the accused present in court.

(3)The court shall cause the charge to be written down, if this has not already been done, and to be read to the accused.

(4)The court shall then explain to the accused in ordinary language that he may indicate whether (if the offence were to proceed to trial) he would plead guilty or not guilty, and that if he indicates that he would plead guilty—

(a)the court must proceed as mentioned in subsection (6) below; and

(b)he may be committed for sentence to the Crown Court under [F76 section 3 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000]] if the court is of such opinion as is mentioned in subsection (2) of that section.

(5)The court shall then ask the accused whether (if the offence were to proceed to trial) he would plead guilty or not guilty.

(6)If the accused indicates that he would plead guilty the court shall proceed as if—

(a)the proceedings constituted from the beginning the summary trial of the information; and

(b)section 9(1) above was complied with and he pleaded guilty under it.

(7)If the accused indicates that he would plead not guilty section 18(1) below shall apply.

(8)If the accused in fact fails to indicate how he would plead, for the purposes of this section and section 18(1) below he shall be taken to indicate that he would plead not guilty.

(9)Subject to subsection (6) above, the following shall not for any purpose be taken to constitute the taking of a plea—

(a)asking the accused under this section whether (if the offence were to proceed to trial) he would plead guilty or not guilty;

(b)an indication by the accused under this section of how he would plead.

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Amendments (Textual)

F75Ss. 17A-17C inserted (4.7.1996 with application where a person appears or is brought before a magistrates' court on or after 1.10.1997) by 1996 c. 25, s. 49(2)(6) (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1997/2199, art. 2

F76Words in s. 17A(4) substituted (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 165, 168(1), Sch. 9 para. 62

F7717B Intention as to plea: absence of accused.E+W

(1)This section shall have effect where—

(a)a person who has attained the age of 18 years appears or is brought before a magistrates’ court on an information charging him with an offence triable either way,

(b)the accused is represented by a legal representative,

(c)the court considers that by reason of the accused’s disorderly conduct before the court it is not practicable for proceedings under section 17A above to be conducted in his presence, and

(d)the court considers that it should proceed in the absence of the accused.

(2)In such a case—

(a)the court shall cause the charge to be written down, if this has not already been done, and to be read to the representative;

(b)the court shall ask the representative whether (if the offence were to proceed to trial) the accused would plead guilty or not guilty;

(c)if the representative indicates that the accused would plead guilty the court shall proceed as if the proceedings constituted from the beginning the summary trial of the information, and as if section 9(1) above was complied with and the accused pleaded guilty under it;

(d)if the representative indicates that the accused would plead not guilty section 18(1) below shall apply.

(3)If the representative in fact fails to indicate how the accused would plead, for the purposes of this section and section 18(1) below he shall be taken to indicate that the accused would plead not guilty.

(4)Subject to subsection (2)(c) above, the following shall not for any purpose be taken to constitute the taking of a plea—

(a)asking the representative under this section whether (if the offence were to proceed to trial) the accused would plead guilty or not guilty;

(b)an indication by the representative under this section of how the accused would plead.

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Amendments (Textual)

F77Ss. 17A-17C inserted (4.7.1996 with application where a person appears or is brought before a magistrates' court on or after 1.10.1997) by 1996 c. 25, s. 49(2)(6) (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1997/2199, art.2

F7817C Intention as to plea: adjournment.E+W

A magistrates’ court proceeding under section 17A or 17B above may adjourn the proceedings at any time, and on doing so on any occasion when the accused is present may remand the accused, and shall remand him if—

(a)on the occasion on which he first appeared, or was brought, before the court to answer to the information he was in custody or, having been released on bail, surrendered to the custody of the court; or

(b)he has been remanded at any time in the course of proceedings on the information;

and where the court remands the accused, the time fixed for the resumption of proceedings shall be that at which he is required to appear or be brought before the court in pursuance of the remand or would be required to be brought before the court but for section 128(3A) below.

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Amendments (Textual)

F78Ss. 17A-17C inserted (4.7.1996 with application where a person appears or is brought before a magistrates' court on or after 1.10.1997) by 1996 c. 25, s. 49(2)(6) (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1997/2199, art.2

Prospective

[F7917DMaximum penalty under section 17A(6) or 17B(2)(c) for certain offencesE+W

(1)If—

(a)the offence is a scheduled offence (as defined in section 22(1) below);

(b)the court proceeds in relation to the offence in accordance with section 17A(6) or 17B(2)(c) above; and

(c)the court convicts the accused of the offence,

the court shall consider whether, having regard to any representations made by him or by the prosecutor, the value involved (as defined in section 22(10) below) appears to the court to exceed the relevant sum (as specified for the purposes of section 22 below).

(2)If it appears to the court clear that the value involved does not exceed the relevant sum, or it appears to the court for any reason not clear whether the value involved does or does not exceed the relevant sum—

(a)subject to subsection (4) below, the court shall not have power to impose on the accused in respect of the offence a sentence in excess of the limits mentioned in section 33(1)(a) below; and

(b)sections 3 and 4 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 shall not apply as regards that offence.

(3)Subsections (9) to (12) of section 22 below shall apply for the purposes of this section as they apply for the purposes of that section (reading the reference to subsection (1) in section 22(9) as a reference to subsection (1) of this section).

(4)Subsection (2)(a) above does not apply to an offence under section 12A of the Theft Act 1968 (aggravated vehicle-taking).

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Amendments (Textual)

Prospective

17EFunctions under sections 17A to 17D capable of exercise by single justiceE+W

(1)The functions of a magistrates' court under sections 17A to 17D above may be discharged by a single justice.

(2)Subsection (1) above shall not be taken as authorising—

(a)the summary trial of an information (otherwise than in accordance with section 17A(6) or 17B(2)(c) above); or

(b)the imposition of a sentence,

by a magistrates' court composed of fewer than two justices.]

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Amendments (Textual)

18 Initial procedure on information against adult for offence triable either way.E+W

(1)Sections 19 to 23 below shall have effect where a person who has attained [F80the age of 18 years] appears or is brought before a magistrates’ court on an information charging him with an offence triable either way [F81and—

(a)he indicates under section 17A above that (if the offence were to proceed to trial) he would plead not guilty, or

(b)his representative indicates under section 17B above that (if the offence were to proceed to trial) he would plead not guilty]

(2)Without prejudice to section 11(1) above, everything that the court is required to do under sections 19 to 22 below must be done before any evidence is called and, subject to subsection (3) below and section 23 below, with the accused present in court.

(3)The court may proceed in the absence of the accused in accordance with such of the provisions of sections 19 to 22 below as are applicable in the circumstances if the court considers that by reason of his disorderly conduct before the court it is not practicable for the proceedings to be conducted in his presence; and the subsections (3) to (5) of section 23 below, so far as applicable, shall have effect in relation to proceedings conducted in the absence of the accused by virtue of this subsection (references in those subsections to the person representing the accused being for this purpose read as references to the person, if any, representing him).

(4)A magistrates’ court proceeding under sections 19 to 23 below may adjourn the proceedings at any time, and on doing so on any occasion when the accused is present may remand the accused, and shall remand him if—

(a)on the occasion on which he first appeared, or was brought, before the court to answer to the information he was in custody or, having been released on bail, surrendered to the custody of the court; or

(b)he has been remanded at any time in the course of proceedings on the information;

and where the court remands the accused, the time fixed for the resumption of the proceedings shall be that at which he is required to appear or be brought before the court in pursuance of the remand [F82or would be required to be brought before the court but for section 128(3A) below].

(5)The functions of a magistrates’ court under sections 19 to 23 below may be discharged by a single justice, but the foregoing provision shall not be taken to authorise the summary trial of an information by a magistrates’ court composed of less than two justices.

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Amendments (Textual)

F81S. 18(1)(a)(b) and the word “and” immediately preceding inserted (4.7.1996 with application as mentioned in s. 49(6) of the inserting Act and S.I. 1997/2199) by 1996 c. 25, s. 49(3)(6) (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1997/2199, art.2

19 Court to begin by considering which mode of trial appears more suitable.E+W

(1)The court shall consider whether, having regard to the matters mentioned in subsection (3) below and any representations made by the prosecutor or the accused, the offence appears to the court more suitable for summary trail or for trial on indictment.

(2)Before so considering, the court—

F83(a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(b)shall afford first the prosecutor and then the accused an opportunity to make representations as to which mode of trial would be more suitable.

(3)The matters to which the court is to have regard under subsection (1) above are the nature of the case; whether the circumstances make the offence one of serious character; whether the punishment which a magistrates’ court would have power to inflict for it would be adequate; and any other circumstances which appear to the court to make it more suitable for the offence to be tried in one way rather than the other.

(4)If the prosecution is being carried on by the Attorney General, the Solicitor General or the Director of Public Prosecutions and he applies for the offence to be tried on indictment, the preceding provisions of this section and sections 20 to 21 below shall not apply, and the court shall proceed to inquire into the information as examining justices.

[F84(5)The power of the Director of Public Prosecutions under subsection (4) above to apply for an offence to be tried on indictment shall not be exercised except with the consent of the Attorney General.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F83S. 19(2)(a) repealed (4.7.1996 with application as mentioned in s. 49(6) of the repealing Act and S.I. 1997/2199) by 1996 c. 25, ss. 49(4)(6), 80, Sch. 5 table3 (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1997/2199, art.2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C47S. 19(5) modified (24.4.2009 for certain purposes and 31.10.2009 otherwise) by The Armed Forces Act 2006 (Transitional Provisions etc) Order 2009 (S.I. 2009/1059), art. 205, Sch. 1 para. 18(1)

20 Procedure where summary trial appears more suitable.E+W

(1)If, where the court has considered as required by section 19(1) above, it appears to the court that the offence is more suitable for summary trial, the following provisions of this section shall apply (unless excluded by section 23 below).

(2)The court shall explain to the accused in ordinary language—

(a)that it appears to the court more suitable for him to be tried summarily for the offence, and that he can either consent to be so tried or, if he wishes, be tried by a jury; and

(b)that if he is tried summarily and is convicted by the court, he may be committed for sentence to the Crown Court under [F85section 3 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000] if the convicting court, [F86is of such opinion as is mentioned in subsection (2) of that section].

(3)After explaining to the accused as provided by subsection (2) above the court shall ask him whether he consents to be tried summarily or wishes to be tried by a jury, and—

(a)if he consents to be tried summarily, shall proceed to the summary trial of the information;

(b)if he does not so consent, shall proceed to inquire into the information as examining justices.

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Amendments (Textual)

F85Words in s. 20(2) substituted (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 165, 168(1), Sch. 9 para. 63

Prospective

[F8720AProcedure where summary trial appears more suitable: supplementaryE+W

(1)Where the case is dealt with in accordance with section 20(7) above, no court (whether a magistrates' court or not) may impose a custodial sentence for the offence unless such a sentence was indicated in the indication of sentence referred to in section 20 above.

(2)Subsection (1) above is subject to sections 3A(4), 4(8) and 5(3) of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000.

(3)Except as provided in subsection (1) above—

(a)an indication of sentence shall not be binding on any court (whether a magistrates' court or not); and

(b)no sentence may be challenged or be the subject of appeal in any court on the ground that it is not consistent with an indication of sentence.

(4)Subject to section 20(7) above, the following shall not for any purpose be taken to constitute the taking of a plea—

(a)asking the accused under section 20 above whether (if the offence were to proceed to trial) he would plead guilty or not guilty; or

(b)an indication by the accused under that section of how he would plead.

(5)Where the court gives an indication of sentence under section 20 above, it shall cause each such indication to be entered in the register.

(6)In this section and in section 20 above, references to a custodial sentence are to a custodial sentence within the meaning of section 76 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, and references to a non-custodial sentence shall be construed accordingly.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

21 Procedure where trial on indictment appears more suitable.E+W

If, where the court has considered as required by section l9(1) above, it apears to the court that the offence is more suitable for trial on indictment, the court shall tell the accused that the court has decided that it is more suitable for him to be tried for the offence by a jury, and shall proceed to inquire into the information as examining justices.

22 Certain offences triable either way to be tried summarily if value involved is small.E+W

(1)If the offence charged by the information is one of those mentioned in the first column of Schedule 2 to this Act (in this section referred to as “scheduled offences”) then, F88. . . the court shall, before proceeding in accordance with section l9 above, consider whether, having regard to any representations made by the prosecutor or the accused, the value involved (as defined in subsection (10) below) appears to the court to exceed the relevant sum.

For the purposes of this section the relevant sum is [F89£5,000].

(2)If, where subsection (1) above applies, it appears to the court clear that, for the offence charged, the value involved does not exceed the relevant sum, the court shall proceed as if the offence were triable only summarily, and sections l9 to 21 above shall not apply.

(3)If, where subsection (1) above applies, it appears to the court clear that, for the offence charged, the value involved exceeds that relevant sum, the court shall thereupon proceed in accordance with section 19 above in the ordinary way without further regard to the provisions of this section.

(4)If, where subsection (1) above applies, it appears to the court for any reason not clear whether, for the offence charged, the value involved does or does not exceed the relevant sum, the provisions of subsections (5) and (6) below shall apply.

(5)The court shall cause the charge to be written down, if this has not already been done, and read to the accused, and shall explain to him in ordinary language—

(a)that he can, if he wishes, consent to be tried summarily for the offence and that if he consents to be so tried, he will definitely be tried in that way; and

(b)that if he is tried summarily and is convicted by the court, his liability to imprisonment or a fine will be limited as provided in section 33 below.

(6)After explaining to the accused as provided by subsection (5) above the court shall ask him whether he consents to be tried summarily and—

(a)if he so consents, shall proceed in accordance with subsection (2) above as if that subsection applied;

(b)if he does not so consent, shall proceed in accordance with subsection (3) above as if that subsection applied.

(7). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F90

(8)Where a person is convicted by a magistrates’ court of a scheduled offence, it shall not be open to him to appeal to the Crown Court against the conviction on the ground that the convicting court’s decision as to the value involved was mistaken.

(9)If, where subsection (1) above applies, the offence charged is one with which the accused is charged jointly with a person who has not attained [F91the age of 18 years], the reference in that subsection to any representations made by the accused shall be read as including any representations made by the person [F92under 18].

(10)In this section “the value involved”, in relation to any scheduled offence, means the value indicated in the second column of Schedule 2 to this Act, measured as indicated in the third column of that Schedule; and in that Schedule “the material time” means the time of the alleged offence.

[F93(11)Where—

(a)the accused is charged on the same occasion with two or more scheduled offences and it appears to the court that they constitute or form part of a series of two or more offences of the same or a similar character; or

(b)the offence charged consists in incitement to commit two or more scheduled offences,

this section shall have effect as if any reference in it to the value involved were a reference to the aggregate of the values involved.]

[F94(12)Subsection (8) of section 12A of the Theft Act 1968 (which determines when a vehicle is recovered) shall apply for the purposes of paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 to this Act as it applies for the purposes of that section.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F88Words in s. 22(1) repealed (3.2.1995) by 1994 c. 33, s. 168(3), Sch.11; S.I. 1995/127, art. 2(1), Sch. 1 Appendix C

F89Sum in s. 22(1) substituted (3.2.1995) by virtue of 1994 c. 33, s.46; S.I. 1995/127, art. 2(1), Sch.1

F94S. 22(12) added (1.4.1992) by Aggravated Vehicle-Taking Act 1992 (c. 11), s. 2(2); S.I. 1992/764, art. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

23 Power of court, with consent of legally represented accused, to proceed in his absence.E+W

(1)Where—

(a)the accused is represented by [F95a legal representative]who in his absence signifies to the court the accused’s consent to the proceedings for determining how he is to be tried for the offence being conducted in his absence; and

(b)the court is satisfied that there is good reason for proceeding in the absence of the accused,

the following provisions of this section shall apply.

(2)Subject to the following provisions of this section, the court may proceed in the absence of the accused in accordance with such of the provisions of sections 19 to 22 above as are applicable in the circumstances.

(3)If, in a case where subsection (1) of section 22 above applies, it appears to the court as mentioned in subsection (4) of that section, subsections (5) and (6) of that section shall not apply and the court—

(a)if the accused’s consent to be tried summarily has been or is signified by the person representing him, shall proceed in accordance with subsection (2) of that section as if that subsection applied; or

(b)if that consent has not been and is not so signified, shall proceed in accordance with subsection (3) of that section as if that subsection applied.

(4)If, where the court has considered as required by section l9(1) above, it appears to the court that the offence is more suitable for summary trial then—

(a)if the accused’s consent to be tried summarily has been or is signified by the person representing him, section 20 above shall not apply, and the court shall proceed to the summary trial of the information; or

(b)if that consent has not been and is not so signified, section 20 above shall not apply and the court shall proceed to inquire into the information as examining justices and may adjourn the hearing without remanding the accused.

(5)If, where the court has considered as required by section 19(1) above, it appears to the court that the offence is more suitable for trial on indictment, section 21 above shall not apply, and the court shall proceed to inquire into the information as examining justices and may adjourn the hearing without remanding the accused.

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Amendments (Textual)

24 Summary trial of information against child or young person for indictable offence.E+W

(1)Where a person under [F96the age of l8 years] appears or is brought before a magistrates’ court on an information charging him with an indictable offence other than [F97one falling within subsection (1B) below] , he shall be tried summarily unless—

(a)F98. . . the offence is such as is mentioned in [F99subsection (1) or (2) of section 91 of the M7Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000] (under which young persons convicted on indictment of certain grave crimes may be sentenced to be detained for long periods) and the court considers that if he is found guilty of the offence it ought to be possible to sentence him in pursuance of [F100subsection (3) of that section]; or

(b)he is charged jointly with a person who has attained [F96the age of 18 years] and the court considers it necessary in the interests of justice to commit them both for trial;

and accordingly in a case falling within paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection the court shall commit the accused for trial if either it is of opinion that there is sufficient evidence to put him on trial or it has power under section 6(2) above so to commit him without consideration of the evidence.

[F101(1A)Where a magistrates’ court—

(a)commits a person under the age of 18 for trial for an offence [F102falling within subsection (1B) below] ; or

(b)in a case falling within subsection (1)(a) above, commits such a person for trial for an offence,

the court may also commit him for trial for any other indictable offence with which he is charged at the same time if the charges for both offences could be joined in the same indictment.]

[F103(1B)An offence falls within this subsection if—

(a)it is an offence of homicide; F104. . .

(b)each of the requirements of section 51A(1) of the Firearms Act 1968 would be satisfied with respect to—

(i)the offence; and

(ii)the person charged with it,

if he were convicted of the offence.][F105 or

(c)section 29(3) of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 (minimum sentences in certain cases of using someone to mind a weapon) would apply if he were convicted of the offence.]

(2)Where, in a case falling within subsection (1)(b) above, a magistrates’ court commits a person under [F96the age of 18 years] for trial for an offence with which he is charged jointly with a person who has attained that age, the court may also commit him for trial for any other indictable offence with which he is charged at the same time (whether jointly with the person who has attained that age or not) if [F106the charges for both offences could be joined in the same indictment].

(3)If on trying a person summarily in pursuance of subsection (1) above the court finds him guilty, it may impose a fine of an amount not exceeding [F107£1000] or may exercise the same powers as it could have exercised if he had been found guilty of an offence for which, but for [F108section 89(1) of the said Act of 2000][F109, it could have sentenced him to imprisonment for a term not exceeding—

(a)the maximum term of imprisonment for the offence on conviction on indictment; or

(b)six months,

whichever is the less.]

(4)In relation to a person under the age of l4 subsection (3) above shall have effect as if for the words “ [F110£1000]” there were substituted the words “ [F111£250]”; F112. . ..

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Amendments (Textual)

F99Words in s. 24(1)(a) substituted (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 165, 168(1), Sch. 9 para. 64(1)(2)

F106Words in s. 24(2) substituted (4.1.1999 for the purpose of sending any person for trial under s. 51 of the substituting Act from any area specified in S.I. 1998/2327, Sch. 2 (as amended by S.I. 1998/2412 and S.I. 2000/924) otherwise 15.1.2001) by 1998 c. 37, ss. 119, 121(2), Sch. 8 para. 40(2); S.I. 1998/2327, art. 4(2)(c), Sch. 2; S.I. 2000/3283, art. 2(c) (subject to art. 3)

F108Words in s. 24(3) substituted (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 165, 168(1), Sch. 9 para. 64(1)(3)

F109Words substituted by Criminal Justice Act 1982 ( c. 48, SIF 39:1), s. 77, Sch. 14 para. 47

Marginal Citations

Prospective

[F11324AChild or young person to indicate intention as to plea in certain casesE+W

(1)This section applies where—

(a)a person under the age of 18 years appears or is brought before a magistrates' court on an information charging him with an offence other than one falling within section 51A(12) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (“the 1998 Act”); and

(b)but for the application of the following provisions of this section, the court would be required at that stage, by virtue of section 51(7) or (8) or 51A(3)(b), (4) or (5) of the 1998 Act to determine, in relation to the offence, whether to send the person to the Crown Court for trial (or to determine any matter, the effect of which would be to determine whether he is sent to the Crown Court for trial).

(2)Where this section applies, the court shall, before proceeding to make any such determination as is referred to in subsection (1)(b) above (the “relevant determination”), follow the procedure set out in this section.

(3)Everything that the court is required to do under the following provisions of this section must be done with the accused person in court.

(4)The court shall cause the charge to be written down, if this has not already been done, and to be read to the accused.

(5)The court shall then explain to the accused in ordinary language that he may indicate whether (if the offence were to proceed to trial) he would plead guilty or not guilty, and that if he indicates that he would plead guilty—

(a)the court must proceed as mentioned in subsection (7) below; and

(b)(in cases where the offence is one mentioned in section 91(1) of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000) he may be sent to the Crown Court for sentencing under section 3B or (if applicable) 3C of that Act if the court is of such opinion as is mentioned in subsection (2) of the applicable section.

(6)The court shall then ask the accused whether (if the offence were to proceed to trial) he would plead guilty or not guilty.

(7)If the accused indicates that he would plead guilty, the court shall proceed as if—

(a)the proceedings constituted from the beginning the summary trial of the information; and

(b)section 9(1) above was complied with and he pleaded guilty under it,

and, accordingly, the court shall not (and shall not be required to) proceed to make the relevant determination or to proceed further under section 51 or (as the case may be) section 51A of the 1998 Act in relation to the offence.

(8)If the accused indicates that he would plead not guilty, the court shall proceed to make the relevant determination and this section shall cease to apply.

(9)If the accused in fact fails to indicate how he would plead, for the purposes of this section he shall be taken to indicate that he would plead not guilty.

(10)Subject to subsection (7) above, the following shall not for any purpose be taken to constitute the taking of a plea—

(a)asking the accused under this section whether (if the offence were to proceed to trial) he would plead guilty or not guilty;

(b)an indication by the accused under this section of how he would plead.

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Amendments (Textual)

Prospective

24BIntention as to plea by child or young person: absence of accusedE+W

(1)This section shall have effect where—

(a)a person under the age of 18 years appears or is brought before a magistrates' court on an information charging him with an offence other than one falling within section 51A(12) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998;

(b)but for the application of the following provisions of this section, the court would be required at that stage to make one of the determinations referred to in paragraph (b) of section 24A(1) above (“the relevant determination”);

(c)the accused is represented by a legal representative;

(d)the court considers that by reason of the accused’s disorderly conduct before the court it is not practicable for proceedings under section 24A above to be conducted in his presence; and

(e)the court considers that it should proceed in the absence of the accused.

(2)In such a case—

(a)the court shall cause the charge to be written down, if this has not already been done, and to be read to the representative;

(b)the court shall ask the representative whether (if the offence were to proceed to trial) the accused would plead guilty or not guilty;

(c)if the representative indicates that the accused would plead guilty the court shall proceed as if the proceedings constituted from the beginning the summary trial of the information, and as if section 9(1) above was complied with and the accused pleaded guilty under it;

(d)if the representative indicates that the accused would plead not guilty the court shall proceed to make the relevant determination and this section shall cease to apply.

(3)If the representative in fact fails to indicate how the accused would plead, for the purposes of this section he shall be taken to indicate that the accused would plead not guilty.

(4)Subject to subsection (2)(c) above, the following shall not for any purpose be taken to constitute the taking of a plea—

(a)asking the representative under this section whether (if the offence were to proceed to trial) the accused would plead guilty or not guilty;

(b)an indication by the representative under this section of how the accused would plead.

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Amendments (Textual)

Prospective

24CIntention as to plea by child or young person: adjournmentE+W

(1)A magistrates' court proceeding under section 24A or 24B above may adjourn the proceedings at any time, and on doing so on any occasion when the accused is present may remand the accused.

(2)Where the court remands the accused, the time fixed for the resumption of proceedings shall be that at which he is required to appear or be brought before the court in pursuance of the remand or would be required to be brought before the court but for section 128(3A) below.

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Amendments (Textual)

Prospective

24DFunctions under sections 24A to 24C capable of exercise by single justiceE+W

(1)The functions of a magistrates' court under sections 24A to 24C above may be discharged by a single justice.

(2)Subsection (1) above shall not be taken as authorising—

(a)the summary trial of an information (other than a summary trial by virtue of section 24A(7) or 24B(2)(c) above); or

(b)the imposition of a sentence,

by a magistrates' court composed of fewer than two justices.]

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Amendments (Textual)

25 Power to change from summary trial to committal proceedings, and vice versa.E+W

(1)Subsections (2) to (4) below shall have effect where a person who has attained [F114the age of 18 years] appears or is brought before a magistrates’ court on an information charging him with an offence triable either way.

(2)Where the court has (otherwise than in pursuance of section 22(2) above) begun to try the information summarily, the court may, at any time before the conclusion of the evidence for the prosecution, discontinue the summary trial and proceed to inquire into the information as examining justices and, on doing so, [F115shall adjourn the hearing.]

(3)Where the court has begun to inquire into the information as examining justices, then, if at any time during the inquiry it appears to the court, having regard to any representations made in the presence of the accused by the prosecutor, or made by the accused, and to the nature of the case, that the offence is after all more suitable for summary trial, the court may, after doing as provided in subsection (4) below, ask the accused whether he consents to be tried summarily and, if he so consents, may [F116subject to subsection (3A) below ] proceed to try the information summarily; F117

[F118(3A)Where the prosecution is being carried on by the Attorney General or the Solicitor General, the court shall not exercise the power conferred by subsection (3) above without his consent and, where the prosecution is being carried on by the Director of Public Prosecutions, shall not exercise that power if the Attorney General directs that it should not be exercised.]

(4)Before asking the accused under subsection (3) above whether he consents to be tried summarily, the court shall in ordinary language—

(a)explain to him that it appears to the court more suitable for him to be tried summarily for the offence, but that this can only be done if he consents to be so tried; and

(b)unless it has already done so, explain to him, as provided in section 20(2)(b) above, about the court’s power to commit to the Crown Court for sentence.

(5)Where a person under [F114 the age of 18 years] appears or is brought before a magistrates’ court on an information charging him with an indictable offence other than [F119one falling within section 24(1B) above] , and the court—

(a)has begun to try the information summarily on the footing that the case does not fall within paragraph (a) or (b) of section 24(1) above and must therefore be tried summarily, as required by the said section 24(1); or

(b)has begun to inquire into the case as examining justices on the footing that the case does so fall,

subsection (6) or (7) below, as the case may be, shall have effect.

(6)If, in a case falling within subsection (5)(a) above, it appears to the court at any time before the conclusion of the evidence for the prosecution that the case is after all one which under the said section 24(1) ought not to be tried summarily, the court may discontinue the summary trial and proceed to inquire into the information as examining justices and, on doing so, [F115shall adjourn the hearing.]

(7)If, in a case falling within subsection (5)(b) above, it appears to the court at any time during the inquiry that the case is after all one which under the said section 24(1) ought to be tried summarily, the court may proceed to try the information summarily.

[F120(8)If the court adjourns the hearing under subsection (2) or (6) above it may (if it thinks fit) do so without remanding the accused.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F115Words in s. 25(2)(6) substituted (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of the substituting Act) by 1996 c. 25, s. 47, Sch. 1 Pt. I para. 5(2) (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2)

F120S. 25(8) inserted (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of the inserting Act) by 1996 c. 25, s. 47, Sch. 1 Pt. I para. 5(3) (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2)

26 Power to issue summons to accused in certain circumstances.E+W

(1)Where—

(a)in the circumstances mentioned in section 23(1)(a) above the court is not satisfied that there is good reason for proceeding in the absence of the accused; or

(b)subsection (4)(b) or (5) of section 23 or subsection (2) or (6) of section 25 above applies, and the court adjourns the hearing in pursuance of that subsection without remanding the accused,

the justice or any of the justices of which the court is composed may issue a summons directed to the accused requiring his presence before the court.

(2)If the accused is not present at the time and place appointed—

(a)in a case within subsection (1)(a) above, for the proceedings under section 19(1) or 22(1) above, as the case may be; or

(b)in a case within subsection (1)(b) above, for the resumption of the hearing,

the court may issue a warrant for his arrest.

27 Effect of dismissal of information for offence triable either way.E+W

Where on the summary trial of an information for an offence triable either way the court dismisses the information, the dismissal shall have the same effect as an acquittal on indictment.

[F121Transfer of criminal proceedingsE+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

F121S. 27A and cross-heading inserted (1.4.2005) after s. 27 by Courts Act 2003 (c. 39), ss. 46(1), 110; S.I. 2005/910, art. 3(p)

27APower to transfer criminal proceedingsE+W

(1)Where a person appears or is brought before a magistrates' court—

(a)to be tried by the court for an offence, or

(b)for the court to inquire into the offence as examining justices,

the court may transfer the matter to another magistrates' court.

(2)The court may transfer the matter before or after beginning the trial or inquiry.

(3)But if the court transfers the matter after it has begun to hear the evidence and the parties, the court to which the matter is transferred must begin hearing the evidence and the parties again.

(4)The power of the court under this section to transfer any matter must be exercised in accordance with any directions given under section 30(3) of the Courts Act 2003.

X1F12228]. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W+S+N.I.

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Editorial Information

X1The insertion of the new crossheading "Transfer of criminal proceedings" on 1.4.2005 gives rise to a change in the structure of this legislation on SLD which breaks the continuity of historical versions of the existing provisions which are now brought under that new heading.

Amendments (Textual)

F122S. 28 repealed (4.7.1996 with effect as mentioned in Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 39 of the repealing Act) by 1996 c. 25, ss. 44, 47, 80, Sch. 1 Pt. I para. 6, Sch. 5 table10 (with s. 78(1)); S.I. 1997/683, art. 1(2)

Power to remit person under 17 for trial to juvenile courtE+W

29 Power of magistrates’ court to remit a person under 17 for trial to a [F123youth court] in certain circumstances.E+W

(1)Where—

(a)a person under [F124the age of 18 years] (“the juvenile”) appears or is brought before a magistrates’ court other than a [F123youth court] on an information jointly charging him and one or more other persons with an offence; and

(b)that other person, or any of those other persons, has attained that age,

subsection (2) below shall have effect notwithstanding proviso (a) in section 46(1) of the M8Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (which would otherwise require the charge against the juvenile to be heard by a magistrates’ court other than a [F123youth court]).

In the following provisions of this section “the older accused” means such one or more of the accused as have attained [F124the age of 18 years].

(2)If—

(a)the court proceeds to the summary trial of the information in the case of both or all of the accused, and the older accused or each of the older accused pleads guilty; or

(b)the court—

(i)in the case of the older accused or each of the older accused, [F125sends him to the Crown Court for trial under section 51 or 51A of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998; and]

(ii)in the case of the juvenile, proceeds to the summary trial of the information,

then, if in either situation the juvenile pleads not guilty, the court may before any evidence is called in his case remit him for trial to a [F123youth court] acting for the same place as the remitting court or for the place where he habitually resides.

(3)A person remitted to a [F123youth court] under subsection (2) above shall be brought before and tried by a [F123youth court] accordingly.

(4)Where a person is so remitted to a [F123youth court]

(a)he shall have no right of appeal against the order of remission; and

(b)the remitting court may [F126, subject to section 25 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994,] give such directions as appear to be necessary with respect to his custody or for his release on bail until he can be brought before the [F123youth court].

(5)The preceding provisions of this secion shall apply in relation to a corporation as if it were an individual who has attained [F124the age of 18 years].

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Amendments (Textual)

F125Words in s. 29(2)(b)(i) substituted (9.5.2005 for certain purposes, otherwise prosp.) by Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), ss. 41, 336, Sch. 3 Pt. 2 para. 51(5); S.I. 2005/1267, art. 2, Sch. Pt. 1 para. 1(1)(i)

F126Words in s. 29(4)(b) inserted (10.4.1995) by 1994 c. 33, s. 168(2), Sch. 10 para.41; S.I. 1995/721, art. 2, Sch. AppendixA

Marginal Citations

Remand for medical examinationE+W

F12730. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F127S. 30 repealed (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 165, 168(1), Sch. 12 Pt. I (with Sch. 11 paras. 1, 2)

Powers in respect of offendersE+W+S+N.I.

F12831. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

F128S. 31 repealed (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 165, 168(1), Sch. 12 Pt. I (with Sch. 11 paras. 1, 2)

32 Penalties on summary conviction for offences triable either way.E+W

(1)On summary conviction of any of the offences triable either way listed in Schedule 1 to this Act a person shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the prescribed sum or both, except that—

(a)a magistrates’ court shall not have power to impose imprisonment for an offence so listed if the Crown Court would not have that power in the case of an adult convicted of it on indictment;

(b)F129. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F130

(2)For any offence triable either way which is not listed in Schedule 1 to this Act, being an offence under a relevant enactment, the maximum fine which may be imposed on summary conviction shall by virtue of this subsection be the prescribed sum unless the offence is one for which by virtue of an enactment other than this subsection a larger fine may be imposed on summary conviction.

(3)Where, by virtue of any relevant enactment, a person summarily convicted of an offence triable either way would, apart from this section, be liable to a maximum fine of one amount in the case of a first conviction and of a different amount in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, subsection (2) above shall apply irrespective of whether the conviction is a first, second or subsequent one.

(4)Subsection (2) above shall not affect so much of any enactment as (in whatever words) makes a person liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding a specified amount for each day on which a continuing offence is continued after conviction or the occurrence of any other specified event.

(5)Subsection (2) above shall not apply on summary conviction of any of the following offences:—

(a)offences under section 5(2) of the M9Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (having possession of a controlled drug) where the controlled drug in relation to which the offence was committed was a Class B or Class C drug;

(b)offences under the following provisions of that Act, where the controlled drug in relation to which the offence was committed was a Class C drug, namely—

(i)section 4(2) (production, or being concerned in the production, of a controlled drug);

(ii)section 4(3) (supplying or offering a controlled drug or being concerned in the doing of either activity by another);

(iii)section 5(3) (having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply it to another);

(iv)section 8 (being the occupier, or concerned in the management, of premises and permitting or suffering certain activities to take place there);

(v)section 12(6) (contravention of direction prohibiting practitioner etc. from possessing, supplying etc. controlled drugs); or

(vi)section 13(3) (contravention of direction prohibiting practitioner etc. from prescribing, supplying etc. controlled drugs).

(6)Where, as regards any offence triable either way, there is under any enactment (however framed or worded) a power by subordinate instrument to restrict the amount of the fine which on summary conviction can be imposed in respect of that offence—

(a)subsection (2) above shall not affect that power or override any restriction imposed in the exercise of that power; and

(b)the amount to which that fine may be restricted in the exercise of that power shall be any amount less than the maximum fine which could be imposed on summary conviction in respect of the offence apart from any restriction so imposed.

(7). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F131

(8)In subsection (5) above “controlled drug”, “Class B drug” and “Class C drug” have the same meaning as in the M10Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

(9)In this section—

  • fine” includes a pecuniary penalty but does not include a pecuniary forfeiture or pecuniary compensation;

  • the prescribed sum” means [F132£5,000] or such sum as is for the time being substituted in this definition by an order in force under section 143(1) below;

  • relevant enactment” means an enactment contained in the M11Criminal Law Act 1977 or in any Act passed before, or in the same Session as, that Act.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C51S. 32 extended with modifications (Isle of Man) (1.12.1992) by S.I. 1992/2670, art. 2(b)

C52S. 32 extended with modifications (Guernsey) (1.2.1993) by S.I. 1992/3202, art. 2(b), Sch. para. 2

Marginal Citations

33 Maximum penalties on summary conviction in pursuance of section 22.E+W

(1)Where in pursuance of subsection (2) of section 22 above a magistrates’ court proceeds to the summary trial of an information, then, if the accused is summarily convicted of the offence—

(a)[F133subject to subsection (3) below] the court shall not have power to impose on him in respect of that offence imprisonment for more than 3 months or a fine greater than [F134level 4 on the standard scale]; and

(b)[F135section 3 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000]shall not apply as regards that offence.

(2)In subsection (1) above “fine” includes a pecuniary penalty but does not include a pecuniary forfeiture or pecuniary compensation.

[F136(3)Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) above does not apply to an offence under section 12A of the Theft Act 1968 (aggravated vehicle-taking).]

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Amendments (Textual)

F133Words in s. 33(1)(a) inserted (1.4.1992) by Aggravated Vehicle-Taking Act 1992 (c. 11), s. 2(3)(a); S.I. 1992/764, art. 2

F135Words in s. 33(1)(b) substituted (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 165, 168(1), Sch. 9 para. 65

F136S. 33(3) inserted (1.4.1992) by Aggravated Vehicle-Taking Act 1992 (c. 11), s. 2(3)(b); S.I. 1992/764, art. 2

34 Mitigation of penalties, etc.E+W

(1)Where under any enactment whether passed before or after the commencement of this Act a magistrates’ court has power to sentence an offender to imprisonment for a period specified by the enactment, or to a fine of an amount specified by the enactment, then, except where an Act passed after 31st December 1879 expressly provides to the contrary, the court may sentence him to imprisonment for less than that period or, as the case may be, to a fine of less than that amount.

(2)Where under any such enactment an offender sentenced on summary conviction to imprisonment or a fine is required to enter into a recognizance with or without sureties to keep the peace or observe any other condition, the court convicting him may dispense with or modify the requirement.

(3)Where under any such enactment a magistrates’ court has power to sentence an offender to imprisonment or other detention but not to a fine, then, except where an Act passed after 31st December 1879 expressly provides to the contrary, the court may, instead of sentencing him to imprisonment or other detention, impose a fine which—

(a)for an offence triable either way, shall not exceed the prescribed sum within the meaning of section 32 above; and

(b)for a summary offence, shall—

(i)not exceed [F137level 3 on the standard scale]; and

(ii)not be of such an amount as would subject the offender, in default of payment of the fine, to a longer term of imprisonment or detention than the term to which he is liable on conviction of the offence.

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Amendments (Textual)

F13835. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F13936. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F139S. 36 repealed (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 165, 168(1), Sch. 12 Pt. I (with Sch. 11 paras. 1, 2)

[F14036A Alterations of names of petty sessions areas in inner London area.E+W

(1)The committee of magistrates may at any time submit to the Secretary of State a draft order altering the name of any petty sessions area in the inner London area.

(2)Where the committee submit a draft order to the Secretary of State under this section, he may by statutory instrument make the order either in the terms of the draft or with such modifications as he thinks fit.

(3)Any order under this section may contain transitional and other consequential provisions.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F14137. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F14238. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F142S. 38 repealed (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 165, 168(1), Sch. 12 Pt. I (with ss. Sch. 11 paras. 1, 2)

F14338A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F143S. 38A repealed (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 165, 168(1), Sch. 12 Pt. I (with ss. Sch. 11 paras. 1, 2)

F14439. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F144S. 39 repealed (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 165, 168(1), Sch. 12 Pt. I (with Sch. 11 paras. 1, 2)

F14540. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F145S. 40 repealed (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 165, 168(1), Sch. 12 Pt. I (with Sch. 11 paras. 1, 2)

MiscellaneousE+W

41 Restriction on grant of bail in treason.E+W

A person charged with treason shall not be granted bail except by order of a judge of the High Court or the Secretary of State.

42 Restriction on justices sitting after dealing with bail.E+W

(1)A justice of the peace shall not take part in trying the issue of an accused’s guilt on the summary trial of an information if in the course of the same proceedings the justice has been informed, for the purpose of determining whether the accused shall be granted bail, that he has one or more previous convictions.

(2)For the purposes of this section any committal proceedings from which the proceedings on the summary trial arose shall be treated as part of the trial.

[F14643 Bail on arrest.E+W

(1)Where a person has been granted bail under [F147Part IV of] the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 subject to a duty to appear before a magistrates’ court, the court before which he is to appear may appoint a later time as the time at which he is to appear and may enlarge the recognizances of any sureties for him at that time.

(2)The recognizance of any surety for any person granted bail subject to a duty to attend at a police station may be enforced as if it were conditioned for his appearance before a magistrates’ court [F148acting in the local justice] area in which the police station named in the recognizance is situated.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F147Words in s. 43(1) inserted (10.4.1995) by 1994 c. 33, s. 168(2), Sch. 10 para.43; S.I. 1995/721, art. 2, Sch. AppendixA

[F14943A Functions of magistrates’ court where a person in custody is brought before it with a view to his appearance before the Crown Court.E+W

(1)Where a person in custody in pursuance of a warrant issued by the Crown Court with a view to his appearance before the Crown Court is brought before a magistrates’ court in pursuance of section 81(5) of the [F150Senior Courts Act 1981]

(a)the magistrates’ court shall commit him in custody or release him on bail until he can be brought or appear before the Crown Court at the time and place appointed by the Crown Court;

(b)if the warrant is endorsed for bail, but the person in custody is unable to satisfy the conditions endorsed, the magistrates’ court may vary those conditions, if satisfied that it is proper to do so.

(2)A magistrates’ court shall have jurisdiction under subsection (1) whether or not the offence was committed, or the arrest was made, within the court’s area.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

[F15143B Power to grant bail where police bail has been granted.E+W

(1)Where a custody officer—

(a)grants bail to any person under Part IV of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 in criminal proceedings and imposes conditions, or

(b)varies, in relation to any person, conditions of bail in criminal proceedings under section 3(8) of the Bail Act 1976,

a magistrates’ court may, on application by or on behalf of that person, grant bail or vary the conditions.

(2)On an application under subsection (1) the court, if it grants bail and imposes conditions or if it varies the conditions, may impose more onerous conditions.

(3)On determining an application under subsection (1) the court shall remand the applicant, in custody or on bail in accordance with the determination, and, where the court withholds bail or grants bail the grant of bail made by the custody officer shall lapse.

(4)In this section “bail in criminal proceedings” and “vary” have the same meanings as they have in the Bail Act 1976.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

44 Aiders and abettors.E+W

(1)A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission by another person of a summary offence shall be guilty of the like offence and may be tried (whether or not he is charged as a principal) either by a court having jurisdiction to try that other person or by a court having by virtue of his own offence jurisdiction to try him.

(2)Any offence consisting in aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of an offence triable either way (other than an offence listed in Schedule 1 to this Act) shall by virtue of this subsection be triable either way.

45 Incitement.E+W

F152. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

46 Corporations.E+W

The provisions of Schedule 3 to this Act shall have effect where a corporation is charged with an offence before a magistrates’ court.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

47 Service of summons out of time after failure to prove service by post.E+W

Where any enactment requires, expressly or by implication, that a summons in respect of an offence shall be issued or served within a specified period after the commission of the offence, and service of the summons may under [F153rules of court] be effected by post, then, if under the rules service of the summons is not treated as proved, but it is shown that a letter containing the summons was posted at such time as to enable it to be delivered in the ordinary course of post within that period, a second summons may be issued on the same information; and the enactment shall have effect, in relation to that summons, as if the specified period were a period running from the return day of the original summons.

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Amendments (Textual)

48 Return of property taken from accused.E+W

Where a summons or warrant has been issued requiring any person to appear or be brought before a magistrates’ court to answer to an information, or where any person has been arrested without a warrant for an offence, and property has been taken from him after the issue of the summons or warrant or, as the case may be, on or after his arrest without a warrant, the police shall report the taking of the property, with particulars of the property, to the magistrates’ court which deals with the case; and, if the court, being of opinion that the whole or any part of the property can be returned to the accused consistently with the interests of justice and the safe custody of the accused, so directs, the property, or such part of it as the court directs, shall be returned to the accused or to such other person as he may require.

49. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F154E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

50 Construction of references to complaint in enactments dealing with offences.E+W

In any enactment conferring power on a magistrates’ court to deal with an offence, or to issue a summons or warrant against a person suspected of an offence, on the complaint of any person, for references to a complaint there shall be substituted references to an information.

Part IIE+W Civil Jurisdiction and Procedure

Jurisdiction to issue summons and deal with complaintsE+W

[F15551Issue of summons on complaintE+W

Where a complaint relating to a person is made to a justice of the peace, the justice of the peace may issue a summons to the person requiring him to appear before a magistrates' court to answer to the complaint.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C58S. 51 applied (with modifications) (1.4.1997) by S.I. 1997/704, rule 5(2)(3)(4)(a)

52 Jurisdiction to deal with complaints.E+W

[F156(1)A magistrates' court has jurisdiction to hear any complaint.

(2)But subsection (1) is subject to provision made by any enactment.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Hearing of complaintE+W

53 Procedure on hearing.E+W

(1)On the hearing of a complaint, the court shall, if the defendant appears, state to him the substance of the complaint.

(2)The court, after hearing the evidence and the parties, shall make the order for which the complaint is made or dismiss the complaint.

(3)Where a complaint is for an order for the payment of a sum recoverable summarily as a civil debt, or for the variation of the rate of any periodical payments ordered by a magistrates’ court to be made, or for such other matter as may be prescribed, the court may make the order with the consent of the defendant without hearing evidence.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C59S. 53(1)(2) applied (with modifications) (1.4.1997) by S.I. 1997/704, rule 5(2)(3)(4)(b)

C60S. 53(3) extended (14.10.1991) by S.I. 1991/1991, rule. 16(1) (as amended (5.12.2005) by S.I. 2005/2930, Sch. 1 {rule 14})

54 AdjournmentE+W

(1)A magistrates’ court may at any time, whether before or after beginning to hear a complaint, adjourn the hearing, and may do so, notwithstanding anything in this Act, when composed of a single justice.

(2)The court may when adjourning either fix the time and place at which the hearing is to be resumed or, unless it remands the defendant under section 55 below, leave the time and place to be determined later by the court; but the hearing shall not be resumed at that time and place unless the court is satisfied that the parties have had adequate notice thereof.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C61S. 54 applied (with modifications) (1.4.1997) by S.I. 1997/704, rule 5(2)(3)(4)(c)

55 Non-appearance of defendant.E+W

(1)Where at the time and place appointed for the hearing or adjourned hearing of a complaint the complainant appears but the defendant does not, the court may, subject to subsection (3) below, proceed in his absence.

(2)Where the court, instead of proceeding in the absence of the defendant, adjourns, or further adjourns, the hearing, the court may, if the complaint has been substantiated on oath, and subject to the following provisions of this section, issue a warrant for his arrest.

(3)The court shall not begin to hear the complaint in the absence of the defendant or issue a warrant under this section unless either it is proved to the satisfaction of the court, on oath or in such other manner as may be prescribed, that the summons was served on him within what appears to the court to be a reasonable time before the hearing or adjourned hearing or the defendant has appeared on a previous occasion to answer to the complaint.

(4)Where the defendant fails to appear at an adjourned hearing, the court shall not issue a warrant under this section unless it is satisfied that he has had adequate notice of the time and place of the adjourned hearing.

(5)Where the defendant is arrested under a warrant issued under this section, the court may, on any subsequent adjournment of the hearing, but subject to the provisions of subsection (6) below, remand him.

(6)The court shall not issue a warrant or remand a defendant under this section or further remand him by virtue of section 128(3) below after he has given evidence in the proceedings.

(7)Where the court remands the defendant, the time fixed for the resumption of the hearing shall be that at which he is required to appear or be brought before the court in pursuance of the remand.

(8)A warrant under this section shall not be issued in any proceedings for the recovery or enforcement of a sum recoverable summarily as a civil debt or in proceedings in any matter of bastardy.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C62S. 55 applied (with modifications) (1.4.1997) by S.I. 1997/704, rule 5(2)(3)(4)(d)(5)

C64S. 55(2) excluded (3.11.1994) by 1994 c. 33, s. 78(6)

C65S. 55(3)(4) applied (with modifications) (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 65, 168(1), Sch. 7 para. 7(3)

S. 55(3)(4) applied (with modifications) (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 72, 75, 168(1), Sch. 8 para. 6(3)

56 Non-appearance of complainant.E+W

Where at the time and place appointed for the hearing or adjourned hearing of a complaint the defendant appears but the complainant does not, the court may dismiss the complaint or, if evidence has been received on a previous occasion, proceed in the absence of the complainant.

57 Non-appearance of both parties.E+W

Where at the time and place appointed for the hearing or adjourned hearing of a complaint neither the complainant nor the defendant appears, the court may dismiss the complaint.

[F157Transfer of civil proceedings (other than family proceedings)E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F157S. 57A and cross-heading inserted (1.4.2005) by Courts Act 2003 (c. 39), ss. 48, 110; S.I. 2005/910, art. 3(q)

57APower to transfer civil proceedings (other than family proceedings)E+W

(1)A magistrates' court may at any time, whether before or after beginning to hear a complaint, transfer the hearing to another magistrates' court.

(2)But if the court transfers the matter after it has begun to hear the evidence and the parties, the court to which the matter is transferred must begin hearing the evidence and the parties again.

(3)This section does not apply to family proceedings.

(4)The power of the court under this section to transfer a hearing must be exercised in accordance with any directions given under section 30(3) of the Courts Act 2003.]

Civil debtE+W

58 Money recoverable summarily as civil debt.E+W

(1)A magistrates’ court shall have power to make an order on complaint for the payment of any money recoverable summarily as a civil debt.

(2)Any sum payment of which may be ordered by a magistrates’ court shall be recoverable summarily as a civil debt except—

(a)a sum recoverable on complaint for [F158a magistrates’ court maintenance order]; or

(b)a sum that may be adjudged to be paid by a summary conviction or by an order enforceable as if it were a summary conviction.

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Amendments (Textual)

Orders for periodical paymentE+W

[F15959 Orders for periodical payment: means of payment.E+W

(1)In any case where a magistrates’ court orders money to be paid periodically by one person (in this section referred to as “the debtor”) to another (in this section referred to as “the creditor”), then—

(a)if the order is a qualifying maintenance order, the court shall at the same time exercise one of its powers under paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (3) below;

(b)if the order is not a maintenance order, the court shall at the same time exercise one of its powers under paragraphs (a) and (b) of that subsection.

(2)For the purposes of this section a maintenance order is a “qualifying maintenance order” if, at the time it is made, the debtor is ordinarily resident in England and Wales.

(3)The powers of the court are—

(a)the power to order that payments under the order be made directly by the debtor to the creditor;

(b)the power to order that payments under the order be made to [F160the designated officer for the court or for any other magistrates' court];

(c)the power to order that payments under the order be made by the debtor to the creditor by such method of payment falling within subsection (6) below as may be specified;

[F161(cc)the power to order that payments under the order be made in accordance with arrangements made by the Secretary of State for their collection;]

(d)the power to make an attachment of earnings order under the Attachment of Earnings Act 1971 to secure payments under the order.

[F162(3A)No order made by a magistrates’ court under paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (3) above (other than one made under paragraph (cc)) shall have effect at any time when the Secretary of State is arranging for the collection of payments under the qualifying maintenance order concerned.]

(4)In any case where—

(a)the court proposes to exercise its power under paragraph (c) of subsection (3) above, and

(b)having given the debtor an opportunity of opening an account from which payments under the order may be made in accordance with the method of payment proposed to be ordered under that paragraph, the court is satisfied that the debtor has failed, without reasonable excuse, to open such an account,

the court in exercising its power under that paragraph may order that the debtor open such an account.

(5)In deciding, in the case of a maintenance order, which of the powers under paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (3) above [F163(other than paragraph (cc))] it is to exercise, the court having (if practicable) given them an opportunity to make representations shall have regard to any representations made—

(a)by the debtor,

(b)by the creditor, and

(c)if the person who applied for the maintenance order is a person other than the creditor, by that other person.

(6)The methods of payment referred to in subsection (3)(c) above are the following, that is to say—

(a)payment by standing order; or

(b)payment by any other method which requires one person to give his authority for payments of a specific amount to be made from an account of his to an account of another’s on specific dates during the period for which the authority is in force and without the need for any further authority from him.

(7)Where the maintenance order is an order—

(a)under the Guardianship of Minors Acts 1971 and 1973,

(b)under Part I of the Domestic Proceedings and Magistrates’ Courts Act 1978 [F164or Schedule 6 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004] , or

(c)under, or having effect as if made under, Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989,

and the court does not propose to exercise its power under [F165paragraph (c), (cc) or (d)] of subsection (3) above, the court shall, unless upon representations expressly made in that behalf by the person who applied for the maintenance order it is satisfied that it is undesirable to do so, exercise its power under paragraph (b) of that subsection.

(8)The [F166Lord Chancellor] may by regulations confer on magistrates’ courts, in addition to their powers under paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (3) above, the power (the “additional power”) to order that payments under a qualifying maintenance order be made by the debtor to the creditor or [F167the designated officer for a magistrates' court] (as the regulations may provide) by such method of payment as may be specified in the regulations.

(9)Any reference in any enactment to paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (3) above (but not a reference to any specific paragraph of that subsection) shall be taken to include a reference to the additional power, and the reference in subsection (10) below to the additional power shall be construed accordingly.

(10)Regulations under subsection (8) above may make provision for any enactment concerning, or connected with, payments under maintenance orders to apply, with or without modifications, in relation to the additional power.

(11)The power of the [F166Lord Chancellor] to make regulations under subsection (8) above shall be exercisable by statutory instrument and any such statutory instrument shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

[F168(12)For the purposes of this section—

(a)the reference in subsection (1) above to money paid periodically by one person to another includes, in the case of a maintenance order, a reference to a lump sum paid by instalments by one person to another; and

(b)references to arrangements made by the Secretary of State for the collection of payments are to arrangements made by him under section 30 of the Child Support Act 1991 and regulations made under that section.]]

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Amendments (Textual)

F161S. 59(3)(cc) inserted (11.4.1994) by S.I. 1994/731, art. 3(2)

F162S. 59(3A) inserted (11.4.1994) by S.I. 1994/731, art. 3(3)

F163Words in s. 59(5) inserted (11.4.1994) by S.I. 1994/731, art. 3(4)

F165Words in s. 59(7) substituted (11.4.1994) by S.I. 1994/731, art. 3(5)

F166Words in s. 59(8)(11) substituted (1.4.1992) by S.I. 1992/709, art. 3(2), Sch. 2

F168S. 59(12) substituted (11.4.1994) by S.I. 1994/731, art. 3(6)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C71S. 59(8)(10)(11) functions of the Secretary of State transferred to the Lord Chancellor (1.4.1992) by S.I. 1992/709, art. 3(1), Sch. 2

[F16959A Orders for periodical payment: proceedings by [F170designated officer].E+W

(1)Where payments under a relevant UK order are required to be made periodically—

(a)to or through [F171the designated officer for a magistrates' court], or

(b)by any method of payment falling within section 59(6) above,

and any sums payable under the order are in arrear, [F172the relevant designated officer] shall, if the person for whose benefit the payments are required to be made so requests in writing, and unless it appears [F173to that designated officer] that it is unreasonable in the circumstances to do so, proceed in his own name for the recovery of those sums.

(2)Where payments under a relevant UK order are required to be made periodically to or through [F174the designated officer for a magistrates' court], the person for whose benefit the payments are required to be made may, at any time during the period in which the payments are required to be so made, give authority in writing to [F175the relevant designated officer for him] to proceed as mentioned in subsection (3) below.

(3)Where authority under subsection (2) above is given to [F176the relevant designated officer, he] shall, unless it appears to him that it is unreasonable in the circumstances to do so, proceed in his own name for the recovery of any sums payable to or through him under the order in question which, on or after the date of the giving of the authority, fall into arrear.

(4)In any case where—

(a)authority under subsection (2) above has been given to [F177the relevant designated officer], and

(b)the person for whose benefit the payments are required to be made gives notice in writing to the [F178relevant designated officer cancelling] the authority,

the authority shall cease to have effect and, accordingly, the [F179relevant designated officer shall] not continue any proceedings already commenced by virtue of the authority.

(5)The person for whose benefit the payments are required to be made shall have the same liability for all the costs properly incurred in or about proceedings taken under subsection (1) above at his request or under subsection (3) above by virtue of his authority (including any costs incurred as a result of any proceedings commenced not being continued) as if the proceedings had been taken by him.

(6)Nothing in subsection (1) or (3) above shall affect any right of a person to proceed in his own name for the recovery of sums payable on his behalf under an order of any court.

(7)In this section—

  • [F180the relevant designated officer”, in relation to an order, means—

    (a)

    in a case where payments under the order are required to be made to or through the designated officer for a magistrates' court, the designated officer for that magistrates' court;

    (b)

    in a case where such payments are required to be made by any method of payment falling within section 59(6) and the order was made by a magistrates' court, the designated officer for that magistrates' court; and

    (c)

    in a case where such payments are required to be made by any method of payment falling within section 59(6) and the order was not made by a magistrates' court, the designated officer for the magistrates' court in which the order is registered;]

  • relevant UK order” means—

    (a)

    an order made by a magistrates’ court, other than an order made by virtue of Part II of the M12Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1972;

    (b)

    an order made by the High Court or a county court (including an order deemed to be made by the High Court by virtue of section 1(2) of the M13Maintenance Orders Act 1958) and registered under Part I of that Act of 1958 in a magistrates’ court; or

    (c)

    an order made by a court in Scotland or Northern Ireland and registered under Part II of the M14Maintenance Orders Act 1950 in a magistrates’ court;

and any reference to payments required to be made periodically includes, in the case of a maintenance order, a reference to instalments required to be paid in respect of a lump sum payable by instalments.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F180S. 59A(7): definition of "the relevant designated officer" substituted (1.4.2005) by Courts Act 2003 (c. 39), ss. 109(1), 110, Sch. 8 para. 209(6); S.I. 2005/910, art. 3(y)

Marginal Citations

[F18159BMaintenance orders: penalty for breach.E+W

(1)In any case where—

(a)payments under a relevant English maintenance order are required to be made periodically in the manner mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) of section 59A(1) above, and

(b)the debtor fails, on or after the date of commencement of this section, to comply with the order in so far as the order relates to the manner of payment concerned,

the person for whose benefit the payments are required to be made may make a complaint to a relevant justice giving details of the failure to comply.

(2)If the relevant justice is satisfied that the nature of the alleged failure to comply may be such as to justify the relevant court in exercising its power under subsection (3) below, he shall issue a summons directed to the debtor requiring him to appear before the relevant court to answer the complaint.

(3)On the hearing of the complaint, the relevant court may order the debtor to pay a sum not exceeding £1000.

(4)Any sum ordered to be paid under subsection (3) above shall for the purposes of this Act be treated as adjudged to be paid by a conviction of a magistrates’ court.

(5)In this section—

  • debtor” has the same meaning as it has in section 59 above;

  • [F182the relevant court”, in relation to an order, means—

    (a)

    in a case where payments under the order are required to be made to or through the designated officer for a magistrates' court, that magistrates' court;

    (b)

    in a case where such payments are required to be made by any method of payment falling within section 59(6) and the order was made by a magistrates' court, that magistrates' court; and

    (c)

    in a case where such payments are required to be made by any method of payment falling within section 59(6) and the order was not made by a magistrates' court, the magistrates' court in which the order is registered;]

  • relevant English maintenance order” means—

    (a)

    a maintenance order made by a magistrates’ court, other than an order made by virtue of Part II of the M15Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1972; or

    (b)

    an order made by the High Court or a county court (other than an order deemed to be made by the High Court by virtue of section 1(2) of the M16Maintenance Orders Act 1958) and registered under Part I of that Act of 1958 in a magistrates’ court;

  • relevant justice”, in relation to a relevant court, means a justice of the peace [F183acting in the local justice area in] which the relevant court is acting;

and any reference to payments required to be made periodically includes a reference to instalments required to be paid in respect of a lump sum payable by instalments.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F182S. 59B(5): definition of "the relevant court" substituted (1.4.2005) by Courts Act 2003 (c. 39), ss. 109(1), 110, Sch. 8 para. 210(2); S.I. 2005/910, art. 3(y)

F183S. 59B(5): words in the definition of "relevant justice" substituted (1.4.2005) by Courts Act 2003 (c. 39), ss. 109(1), 110, Sch. 8 para. 210(3); S.I. 2005/910, art. 3(y)

Marginal Citations

[F18460 Revocation, variation, etc. of orders for periodical payment.E+W

(1)Where a magistrates’ court has made an order for money to be paid periodically by one person to another, the court may, by order on complaint, revoke, revive or vary the order.

(2)The power under subsection (1) above to vary an order shall include power to suspend the operation of any provision of the order temporarily and to revive the operation of any provision so suspended.

(3)Where the order mentioned in subsection (1) above is a maintenance order, the power under that subsection to vary the order shall include power, if the court is satisfied that payment has not been made in accordance with the order, to exercise one of its powers under paragraphs (a) to (d) of section 59(3) above.

(4)In any case where—

(a)a magistrates’ court has made a maintenance order, and

(b)payments under the order are required to be made by any method of payment falling within section 59(6) above,

an interested party may apply in writing to F185. . . the court for the order to be varied as mentioned in subsection (5) below.

(5)Subject to subsection (8) below, where an application has been made under subsection (4) above, [F186a justices' clerk] , after giving written notice (by post or otherwise) of the application to any other interested party and allowing that party, within the period of 14 days beginning with the date of the giving of that notice, an opportunity to make written representations, may vary the order to provide that payments under the order shall be made [F187to the designated officer for the court].

(6)The clerk may proceed with an application under subsection (4) above notwithstanding that any such interested party as is referred to in subsection (5) above has not received written notice of the application.

(7)In subsections (4) to (6) above “interested party”, in relation to a maintenance order, means—

(a)the debtor;

(b)the creditor; and

(c)if the person who applied for the maintenance order is a person other than the creditor, that other person.

(8)Where an application has been made under subsection (4) above, the clerk may, if he considers it inappropriate to exercise his power under subsection (5) above, refer the matter to the court which may vary the order by exercising one of its powers under paragraphs (a) to (d) of section 59(3) above.

(9)Subsections (4), (5) and (7) of section 59 above shall apply for the purposes of subsections (3) and (8) above as they apply for the purposes of that section.

(10)None of the powers of the court, or of [F188a justices' clerk] , conferred by subsections (3) to (9) above shall be exercisable in relation to a maintenance order which is not a qualifying maintenance order (within the meaning of section 59 above).

(11)For the purposes of this section—

(a)creditor” and “debtor” have the same meaning as they have in section 59 above; and

(b)the reference in subsection (1) above to money paid periodically by one person to another includes, in the case of a maintenance order, a reference to a lump sum paid by instalments by one person to another.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C75S. 60(3)-(11) excluded by 1972 c. 18, s. 34A(1) (as inserted (1.4.1992) by 1991 c. 17, Sch. 1 para. 19(2); S.I. 1992/455, art. 2)

61 Periodical payments payable by one person under more than one order. E+W

(1)[F189Rules of court may] make provision—

(a)for enabling a person to make one complaint for the recovery of payments required to be made to him by another person under more than one periodical payments order; and

(b)for apportioning between two or more periodical payments orders, in such manner as may be prescribed by the rules, any sum paid to [F190the designated officer for a magistrates' court] on any date by the person liable to make payments under the orders which is less than the total sum required to be paid on that date to [F191that designated officer] by that person in respect of those orders (being orders one of which requires payments to be made for the benefit of a child to the person with whom the child has his home and one or more of which requires payments to be made to that person either for his own benefit or for the benefit of another child who has his home with him) [F192and sums paid into court in pursuance of orders under section 35 of the Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973 (compensation orders)].

(2)In this section—

  • child” means a person who has not attained the age of 18;

  • periodical payments order” means an order made by a magistrates’ court, or registered in a magistrates’ court under Part II of the M17Maintenance Orders Act 1950 or Part I of the M18Maintenance Orders Act 1958, which requires the making of periodical payments,

and any payments required under a periodical payments order to be made to a child shall for the purposes of subsection (1) above be treated as if they were required to be made to the person with whom the child has his home.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

Payments to childrenE+W

62 Provisions as to payments required to be made to a child, etc.E+W

(1)Where—

(a)periodical payments are required to be made, or a lump sum is required to be paid, to a child under an order made by a magistrates’ court, or

(b)periodical payments are required to be made to a child under an order which is registered in a magistrates’ court,

any sum required under the order to be paid to the child may be paid to the person with whom the child has his home, and that person—

(i)may proceed in his own name for the variation, revival or revocation of the order, and

(ii)may either proceed in his own name for the recovery of any sum required to be paid under the order or [F193request or authorise the [F194designated officer for] the magistrates’ court under subsection (1) or subsection (2) respectively of section 59A above], to proceed for the recovery of that sum.

(2)Where a child has a right under any enactment to apply for the revival of an order made by a magistrates’ court which provided for the making of periodical payments to or for the benefit of the child, the person with whom the child has his home may proceed in his own name for the revival of that order.

(3)Where any person by whom periodical payments are required to be paid to a child under an order made by or registered in a magistrates’ court makes a complaint for the variation or revocation of that order, the person with whom the child has his home may answer the complaint in his own name.

(4)Nothing in subsections (1) and (2) above shall affect any right of a child to proceed in his own name for the variation, revival or revocation of an order or for the recovery of any sum payable thereunder.

[F195(5)In this section references to the person with whom a child has his home—

(a)in the case of any child who is being looked after by a local authority (within the meaning of section 22 of the Children Act 1989), are references to that local authority; and

(b)in any other case, are references to the person who, disregarding any absence of the child at a hospital or boarding school and any other temporary absence, has care of the child.]

(6)In this section any reference to an order registered in a magistrates’ court is a reference to an order registered in a magistrates’ court under Part II of the M19Maintenance Orders Act 1950 or Part I of the M20Maintenance Orders Act 1958.

(7)In this section “child” means a person who has not attained the age of 18.

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Amendments (Textual)

Marginal Citations

Orders other than for payment of moneyE+W

63 Orders other than for payment of money.E+W

(1)Where under any Act passed after 31st December 1879 a magistrates’ court has power to require the doing of anything other than the payment of money, or to prohibit the doing of anything, any order of the court for the purpose of exercising that power may contain such provisions for the manner in which anything is to be done, for the time within which anything is to be done, or during which anything is not to be done, and generally for giving effect to the order, as the court thinks fit.

(2)The court may by order made on complaint suspend or rescind any such order as aforesaid.

(3)Where any person disobeys an order of a magistrates’ court made under an Act passed after 31st December 1879 to do anything other than the payment of money or to abstain from doing anything the court may—

(a)order him to pay a sum not exceeding £50 for every day during which he is in default or a sum not exceeding [F196£5,000]; or

(b)commit him to custody until he has remedied his default or for a period not exceeding 2 months;

but a person who is ordered to pay a sum for every day during which he is in default or who is committed to custody until he has remedied his default shall not by virtue of this section be ordered to pay more than £1,000 or be committed for more than 2 months in all for doing or abstaining from doing the same thing contrary to the order (without prejudice to the operation of this section in relation to any subsequent default).

(4)Any sum ordered to be paid under subsection (3) above shall for the purposes of this Act be treated as adjudged to be paid by a conviction of a magistrates’ court.

(5)The preceding provisions of this section shall not apply to any order for the enforcement of which provision is made by any other enactment.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C84S. 63(3) extended (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20) ss. 14(1), 108(6) (with Sch. 14 para. 1(1)); S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)

CostsE+W

64 Power to award costs and enforcement of costs.E+W

(1)On the hearing of a complaint, a magistrates’ court shall have power in its discretion to make such order as to costs—

(a)on making the order for which the complaint is made, to be paid by the defendant to the complainant;

(b)on dismissing the complaint, to be paid by the complainant to the defendant,

as it thinks just and reasonable; but if the complaint is for an order for the periodical payment of money, or for the revocation, revival or variation of such an order, or for the enforcement of such an order, the court may, whatever adjudication it makes, order either party to pay the whole or any part of the other’s costs.

(2)The amount of any sum ordered to be paid under subsection (1) above shall be specified in the order, or order of dismissal, as the case may be.

(3)Subject to subsection (4) below, costs ordered to be paid under this section shall be enforceable as a civil debt.

[F197(4)Any costs awarded on a complaint for a maintenance order, or for the enforcement, variation, revocation, discharge or revival of such an order, against the person liable to make payments under the order shall be enforceable as a sum ordered to be paid by a magistrates’ court maintenance order.]

(5)The preceding provisions of this section shall have effect subject to any other Act enabling a magistrates’ court to order a successful party to pay the other party’s costs.

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Amendments (Textual)

Domestic proceedingsE+W

65 Meaning of domestic proceedings.E+W

(1)In this Act “ [F198family proceedings]” means proceedings under any of the following enactments, that is to say—

(a)the M21Maintenance Orders (Facilities for Enforcement) Act 1920;

(b)F199. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(c)section 3 of the M22Marriage Act 1949;

[F200(ca)Schedule 2 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004;]

(d). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F201

F202(e). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F203(ee)section 35 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973;]

[F204(ef)paragraphs 69 to 72 of Schedule 5 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004;]

(f)Part I of the M23Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1972;

F202(g). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F205(h)the Adoption and Children Act 2002;]

(i)section 18 F206 of the M24Supplementary Benefits Act 1976;

(j)Part I of the M25Domestic Proceedings and Magistrates" Courts Act 1978;

[F207(ja)Schedule 6 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004;]

F208(k). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(l)section 60 of this Act;

[F209(m)Part I of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982, so far as that Part relates to the recognition or enforcement of maintenance orders;]

F210(m). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F211(m). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F212(mm)section 55A of the M26Family Law Act 1986;]

[F213(n)the Children Act 1989]

[F214(nza)section 72 or section 79 of the Childcare Act 2006;]

[F215(na)section 30 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990;]

[[F216F217(nb)]]section 106 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992;

(o)section 20 (so far as it provides, by virtue of an order under section 45 F218, for appeals to be made to a court) F219. . . of the Child Support Act 1991; except that, subject to subsection (2) below, it does not include—

(i)proceedings for the enforcement of any order made, confirmed or registered under any of those enactments;

(ii)proceedings for the variation of any provision for the periodical payment of money contained in an order made, confirmed or registered under any of those enactments; or

(iii)proceedings on an information in respect of the commission of an offence under any of those enactments.

[F220(p)Part IV of the Family Law Act 1996;]

[F221(q)sections 11 and 12 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998;]

[F222(r)Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 of 22nd December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters [F223, as amended from time to time and as applied by the Agreement made on 19th October 2005 between the European Community and the Kingdom of Denmark on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (OJ No. L 299 16.11.2005 at p62)] , so far as that Regulation relates to the recognition or enforcement of maintenance orders;]

[F224(s)Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27th November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility, so far as that Regulation relates to jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement in parental responsibility matters;]

(2)The court before which there fall to be heard any of the following proceedings, that is to say—

(a)proceedings (whether under this Act or any other enactment) for the enforcement of any order made, confirmed or registered under any of the enactments specified in paragraphs (a) to (k) [F225(m), (n) and [F226, (p) and (r)]] of subsection (1) above;

(b)proceeding (whether under this Act or any other enactment) for the variation of any provision for the making of periodical payments contained in an order made, confirmed or registered under any of those enactments;

(c)proceedings for an attachment of earnings order to secure maintenance payments within the meaning of the M27Attachment of Earnings Act 1971 or for the discharge or variation of such an order; or

(d)proceedings for the enforcement of a maintenance order which is registered in a magistrates’ court under Part II of the M28Maintenance Orders Act 1950 or Part I of the M29Maintenance Orders Act 1958 or for the variation of the rate of payments specified by such an order.

[F227(e)[F228proceedings under]]section 20 (so far as it provides, by virtue of an order under section 45, for appeals to be made to a court) F219. . .of the Child Support Act 1991.

may if it thinks fit order that those proceedings and any other proceedings being heard therewith shall, notwithstanding anything in subsection (1) above, be treated as [F198family proceedings]for the purposes of this Act.

(3)Where the same parties are parties—

(a)to proceedings which are [F198family proceedings] by virtue of subsection (1) above, and

(b)to proceedings which the court has power to treat as [F198family proceedings] by virtue of subsection (2) above,

and the proceedings are heard together by a magistrates’ court, the whole of those proceedings shall be treated as [F198family proceedings]for the purposes of this Act.

(4)No appeal shall lie from the making of, or refusal to make, an order under subsection (2) above.

(5)Until the M30Adoption Act 1976 comes into force subsection (1) above shall have effect as if for paragraph (h) thereof there were substituted the following paragraph—

(h)The Adoption Act 1958,the Adoption Act 1960 or Part I of the Children Act 1975, except proceedings under section 42 or 43 of the Adoption Act 1958.

(6)Until the M31Child Care Act 1980 comes into force subsection (1) above shall have effect as if for paragraph (k) thereof there were substituted the following paragraph—

(k)Section 87 or section 88 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 or section 26 of the Children Act 1948.

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Amendments (Textual)

F209S. 65(1)(m) commencing “Part I of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982" inserted (1.1.1987) by Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 (c. 27, SIF 45:3), s. 15(4), Sch. 12 Pt. I para. 7(a)

F216S. 65(1)(n) as inserted by 1992 c. 6 renumbered as s. 65(1)(nb) (1.4.2005) by Courts Act 2003 (c. 39), ss. 109(1), 110, Sch. 8 para. 214(3); S.I. 2005/910, art. 3(y)

F218S.I. 1993/961 provides for appeals on parentage issues to be made to a court instead of to a child support appeals tribunal.

F225Words in s. 65(2)(a) substituted (1.10.1997) by virtue of S.I. 1997/1898, art. 2

F226Words in s. 65(2)(a) substituted (1.3.2002) by S.I. 2001/3929, arts. 1(b), 5, Sch. 3 para. 11(b)

F228Words in 65(2)(e) inserted (1.4.2001) by 2000 c. 19, s. 83, Sch. 8 para. 2(3) (with s. 83(6)); S.I. 2001/774, art. 2(b)(c)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

[F22966 Composition of magistrates’ courts for family proceedings: general.E+W

(1)A magistrates’ court when hearing family proceedings shall be composed of—

(a)two or three lay justices; or

(b)a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) as chairman and one or two lay justices;

or, if it is not practicable for such a court to be so composed, a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) sitting alone.

(2)Except where such a court is composed of a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) sitting alone, it shall, so far as practicable, include both a man and a woman.

(3)In this section [F230lay justice” has the same meaning as in the Courts Act 2003] .]

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Amendments (Textual)

[F23167 Family proceedings courts.E+W

(1)Magistrates' courts—

(a)constituted in accordance with this section or section 66 of the Courts Act 2003 (judges having powers of District Judges (Magistrates' Courts)), and

(b)sitting for the purpose of hearing family proceedings,

are to be known as family proceedings courts.

(2)A justice of the peace is not qualified to sit as a member of a family proceedings court to hear family proceedings of any description unless he has an authorisation extending to the proceedings.

(3)He has an authorisation extending to the proceedings only if he has been authorised by the [F232Lord Chief Justice] to sit as a member of a family proceedings court to hear—

(a)proceedings of that description, or

(b)all family proceedings.

(4)The [F233Lord Chief Justice may, after consulting the Lord Chancellor, by rules] make provision about—

(a)the grant and revocation of authorisations,

(b)the appointment of chairmen of family proceedings courts, and

(c)the composition of family proceedings courts.

(5)Rules under subsection (4) may confer powers on the [F234Lord Chief Justice] with respect to any of the matters specified in the rules.

(6)Rules under subsection (4) may be made only after consultation with the Family Procedure Rule Committee.

(7)Rules under subsection (4) are to be made by statutory instrument.

(8)A statutory instrument containing rules under subsection (4) is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

[F235(9)The Lord Chief Justice may nominate a judicial office holder (as defined in section 109(4) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005) to exercise his functions under subsection (3) or (4) or the powers conferred on him by rules under subsection (4).]]

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Amendments (Textual)

F231S. 67 substituted (1.4.2005) by Courts Act 2003 (c. 39), ss. 49(1), 110; S.I. 2005/910, art. 3(r) (with saving for the effect of the amending provision 2003 c. 39, s. 49(1) (1.4.2005) by virtue of The Courts Act 2003 (Transitional Provisions, Savings and Consequential Provisions) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/911, art. 8(1))

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C88S. 67 modified (prosp.) by Courts Act 2003 (c. 39), ss. 66(4), 110

68 Combined domestic court panels.E+W

F236. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

69 Sittings of magistrates’ courts for domestic proceedings.E+W

(1)The business of magistrates’ courts shall, so far as is consistent with the due dispatch of business, be arranged in such manner as may be requisite for separating the hearing and determination of [F237family proceedings] from other business.

(2)In the case of [F237family proceedings] in a magistrates’ court other than proceedings under [F238the Adoption and Children Act 2002], no person shall be present during the hearing and determination by the court of the proceedings except—

(a)officers of the court;

(b)parties to the case before the court, their [F239legal representatives], witnesses and other persons directly concerned in the case;

(c)representatives of newspapers or news agencies;

(d)any other person whom the court may in its discretion permit to be present, so, however, that permission shall not be withheld from a person who appears to the court to have adequate grounds for attendance.

(3)In relation to any [F237family proceedings] under [F238the Adoption and Children Act 2002], subsection (2) above shall apply with the omission of paragraphs (c) and (d).

(4)When hearing [F237family proceedings], a magistrates’ court may, if it thinks it necessary in the interest of the administration of justice or of public decency, direct that any persons, not being officers of the court or parties to the case, the parties’ [F240legal representatives], or other persons directly concerned in the case, be excluded during the taking of any indecent evidence.

(5)The powers conferred on a magistrates’ court by this section shall be in addition and without prejudice to any other powers of the court to hear proceedings in camera.

(6)Nothing in this section shall affect the exercise by a magistrates’ court of the power to direct that witnesses shall be excluded until they are called for examination.

(7)Until the coming into operation of the M32Adoption Act 1976 this section shall have effect as if for any reference to that Act there were substituted a reference to the M33Adoption Act 1958, the M34Adoption Act 1960 and Part I of the M35Children Act 1975.

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Amendments (Textual)

Marginal Citations

70 Jurisdiction of magistrates’ courts in inner London for domestic proceedings.E+W

(1)A relevant court [F241acting in an inner London local justice] area shall, in addition to hearing proceedings which (apart from subsection (2) below) may be heard by a relevant court [F242acting in that] area, have jurisdiction to hear proceedings which could be heard before a relevant court [F243acting in any] other such area, but shall not exercise the jurisdiction conferred by this subsection except in such cases or classes of case as may be determined by the [F244Lord Chancellor].

(2)A magistrates’ court [F245acting in an inner London local justice] area shall not hear any [F246family proceedings] if the [F247Lord Chancellor so determines] .

(3)In this section—

  • relevant court” means a magistrates’ court when composed for the purpose of exercising jurisdiction to hear [F246family proceedings];

  • [F248inner London local justice area” means any local justice] area falling wholly or partly within the area consisting of the inner London boroughs and the City of London.

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Amendments (Textual)

71 Newspaper reports of domestic proceedings. E+W

[F249(1)In the case of [F250family proceedings] in a magistrates’ court F251. . . it shall not be lawful for a person to whom this subsection applies—

(a)to print or publish, or cause or procure to be printed or published, in a newspaper or periodical, or

(b)to include, or cause or procure to be included, in a programme included in a programme service (within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990) for reception in Great Britain,

any particulars of the proceedings other than such particulars as are mentioned in subsection (1A) below.

(1A)The particulars referred to in subsection (1) above are—

(a)the names, addresses and occupations of the parties and witnesses;

(b)the grounds of the application, and a concise statement of the charges, defences and counter-charges in support of which evidence has been given;

(c)submissions on any point of law arising in the course of the proceedings and the decision of the court on the submissions;

(d)the decision of the court, and any observations made by the court in giving it.

(1B)Subsection (1) above applies—

(a)in relation to paragraph (a) of that subsection, to the proprietor, editor or publisher of the newspaper or periodical, and

(b)in relation to paragraph (b) of that subsection, to any body corporate which provides the service in which the programme is included and to any person having functions in relation to the programme corresponding to those of an editor of a newspaper.]

(2)In the case of [F250family proceedings] in a magistrates’ court under [F252the Adoption and Children Act 2002], [F253subsection (1A)]above shall apply with the omission of paragraphs (a) and (b) F254. . .

(3)Any person acting in contravention of this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding [F255level 4 on the standard scale].

(4)No prosecution for an offence under this section shall be begun without the consent of the Attorney General.

(5)Nothing in this section shall prohibit the printing or publishing of any matter in a newspaper or periodical of a technical character bona fide intended for circulation among members of the legal or medical professions.

(6)Until the coming into operation of the M36Adoption Act 1976 this section shall have effect as if for any reference to that Act there were substituted a reference to the M37Adoption Act 1958, the M38Adoption Act 1960 and Part I of the M39Children Act 1975.

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Amendments (Textual)

F254Words in s. 71(2) repealed (30.12.2005) by 2002 c. 38, ss. 139, 148, Sch. 3 para. 39(b)(ii), Sch. 5 (with Sch. 4 paras. 6-8); S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(o); S.I 2005/2897, {art. 2}

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

F25672 Report by probation officer on means of parties.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

73 Examination of witnesses by court.E+W

Where in any [F257family proceedings], or in any proceedings for the enforcement or variation of an order made in [F257family proceedings], it appears to a magistrates’ court that any party to the proceedings who is not legally represented is unable effectively to examine or cross-examine a witness, the court shall ascertain from that party what are the matters about which the witness may be able to depose or on which the witness ought to be cross-examined, as the case may be, and shall put, or cause to be put, to the witness such questions in the interests of that party as may appear to the court to be proper.

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Amendments (Textual)

74 Reasons for decisions in domestic proceedings.E+W

(1)[F258Rules of court may] make provision for the recording by a magistrates’ court, in such manner as may be prescribed by the rules, of reasons for a decision made in such [F259family proceedings] or class of [F259family proceedings] as may be so prescribed, and for making available a copy of any record made in accordance with those rules of the reasons for a decision of a magistrates’ court to any person who requests a copy thereof for the purposes of an appeal against that decision or for the purpose of deciding whether or not to appeal against that decision.

(2)A copy of any record made by virtue of this section of the reasons for a decision of a magistrates’ court shall, if certified by such officer of the court as may be prescribed, be admissible as evidence of those reasons.

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Amendments (Textual)

Part IIIE+W+S+N.I. Satisfaction and Enforcement

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C90Part III (ss. 75–96) modified: (E.W.) by Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986 (c. 32, SIF 39:1), s. 6(4)(6); by Criminal Justice Act 1988 (c. 33, SIF 39:1), ss. 75(5)(6), 123(6), Sch. 8 para. 16; (3.2.1995) by 1994 c. 37, ss. 9(4)(6), 69(2) (with s. 66(2))

Part III (ss. 75-96) extended (1.9.1994) by 1994 c. 22, ss. 32(3)(a), 41(3)(a), 66(1)

Part III (ss. 75-96) applied (with modifications) (24.3.2003) (E.W.) by 2002 c. 29, ss. 35(3), 458(1)(3); S.I. 2003/333, art. 2 Sch.

General provisionsE+W

75 Power to dispense with immediate payment.E+W

(1)A magistrates’ court by whose conviction or order a sum is adjudged to be paid may, instead of requiring immediate payment, allow time for payment, or order payment by instalments.

(2)Where a magistrates’ court has allowed time for payment, the court may, on application by or on behalf of the person liable to make the payment, allow further time or order payment by instalments.

[F260(2A)An order under this section that a lump sum required to be paid under a maintenance order shall be paid by instalments (a “maintenance instalments order”) shall be treated for the purposes of sections 59, 59B and 60 above as a maintenance order.

(2B)Subsections (5) and (7) of section 59 above (including those subsections as they apply for the purposes of section 60 above) shall have effect in relation to a maintenance instalments order—

(a)as if in subsection (5), paragraph (c) and the word “and” immediately preceding it were omitted; and

(b)as if in subsection (7)—

(i)the reference to the maintenance order were a reference to the maintenance order in respect of which the maintenance instalments order in question is made;

(ii)for the words “the person who applied for the maintenance order” there were substituted “the debtor”.

(2C)Section 60 above shall have effect in relation to a maintenance instalments order as if in subsection (7), paragraph (c) and the word “and” immediately preceding it were omitted.]

(