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Access to Justice Act 1999


Magistrates and magistrates’ courts

352.The following provisions of Part V will be brought into force on a day or days appointed by the Lord Chancellor by order.

  • Section 77 (Youth courts) and section 78 (Unification and renaming of stipendiary bench). The Government’s current intention is to bring these provisions into force during Spring 2000, following consultation on youth court rules (see paragraph 272 above) and consideration of various practical issues relating to the unified bench (e.g. the procedures for deploying District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) to different areas in response to fluctuations in workload).

  • Section 79 (Justices not to sit on committals for sentence) and section 80 (Jurisdiction over offences outside area). It is intended to bring these changes into force as soon as the necessary secondary legislation can be made.

  • Section 83 (Greater London Magistrates’ Courts Authority). It is intended that the Authority will commence with a period of preparatory running, prior to taking up its full role as the MCC for London in April 2001.

  • Section 85 (Power to direct implementation of inspectors’ reports). It is intended to bring this provision into force before the end of 1999, following consultation with the Inspectorate and the magistrates’ courts service.

  • Sections 88-89 (Role of justices’ chief executives and independence of justices’ clerks). It is intended that these changes will be brought into effect in Autumn 1999.

  • Sections 90-91 (Transfer of functions from justices’ clerks to justices’ chief executive ). It is intended that these changes will be brought into effect on 1 April 2000.

  • Sections 92-97 (Execution of warrants). It is intended that magistrates’ courts should assume full responsibility for the enforcement of financial warrants on 1 October 2000. The transfer of responsibility for the enforcement of arrest warrants in connection with non-financial penalties could be brought into effect at the same time, or a later date.

353.The other provisions of Part V (Territorial organisation; areas and constitution of magistrates’ courts committees outside Greater London; standard goods and services; code of conduct for MCC members etc., qualification of justices’ chief executives) will come into force two months after Royal Assent.

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