68 Exercise of High Court jurisdiction otherwise than by judges of that court.E+W
(1)Provision may be made by rules of court as to the cases in which jurisdiction of the High Court may be exercised by—
(a)such [F1Circuit judges, deputy Circuit judges or Recorders] as the [F2Lord Chief Justice may, after consulting the Lord Chancellor,]F2 from time to time nominate to deal with official referees’ business; or
(b)special referees; [F3or
(c)masters, registrars, district registrars or other officers of the court.]
(2)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), rules of court may in particular—
[F4(a)authorise the whole of any cause or matter, or any question or issue therein, to be tried before any such person as is mentioned in that subsection; or]
(b)authorise any question arising in any cause or matter to be referred to [F5a special referee] for inquiry and report.
(3)Rules of court shall not authorise the exercise of powers of attachment and committal by [F6a special referee or any officer or other staff of the court].
(4)Subject to subsection (5), the decision of
(b)any officer or other staff of the court]
may be called in question in such manner as may be prescribed by rules of court, whether by appeal to the Court of Appeal, or by an appeal or application to a divisional court or a judge in court or a judge in chambers, or by an adjournment to a judge in court or a judge in chambers.
(5)Rules of court may provide either generally or to a limited extent for decisions of [F9persons] nominated under subsection (1)(a) being called in question only by appeal on a question of law.
(6)The cases in which jurisdiction of the High Court may be exercised by [F9persons] nominated under subsection (1)(a) shall be known as “official referees’ business”; and, subject to rules of court, the distribution of official referees’ business among [F10persons] so nominated shall be determined in accordance with directions given [F11by the Lord Chief Justice after consulting the Lord Chancellor]F11.
(7)Any reference to an official referee in any enactment, whenever passed, or in rules of court or any other instrument or document, whenever made, shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as, or (where the context requires) as including a reference to a [F12person] nominated under subsection (1)(a).
[F13(8)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 subsections (1)(a) and (6).F13]
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