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Part IVMagistrates' courts

Magistrates' courts committees

72Supplementary provisions as to magistrates' courts committees

(1)Section 22 of the 1979 Act (supplementary provisions as to magistrates' courts committees) shall be amended in accordance with this section.

(2)For subsection (1) there shall be substituted—

(1)Subject to subsection (1A) below, a magistrates' courts committee shall appoint one of their members to be chairman of the committee.

(1A)Until such day as the Lord Chancellor may by order made by statutory instrument appoint, the chief metropolitan stipendiary magistrate shall by virtue of his office be the chairman of any magistrates' courts committee for an area which consists of or includes the whole of the inner London area.

(3)Subsection (2) shall be omitted.

(4)At the end of subsection (4) there shall be added the words “which may, if they include at least one member of the committee, also include persons who are not members”.

(5)After subsection (4) there shall be inserted—

(4A)A magistrates' courts committee may also arrange for the discharge of any of their functions—

(a)by the chairman of the committee, or

(b)by the justices' chief executive.

(6)At the end there shall be added—

(8)A magistrates' courts committee shall, on at least one occasion in every calendar year, admit members of the public to a meeting of the committee.

(9)The minutes of proceedings of every meeting of a magistrates' courts committee shall be open to inspection by members of the public at the offices of the committee, except to the extent that the committee determine that the minutes disclose information of a confidential nature.

(10)Copies of any minutes which are open to inspection under subsection (9) above shall be made available to the public on payment of such reasonable fee as the magistrates' courts committee may in any case determine.

(11)A magistrates' courts committee making a determination under subsection (9) above shall state their reasons for regarding the information in question as being of a confidential nature.