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Access to Justice Act 1999

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Justices and their clerks

98Justices and clerks: immunity from costs

(1)In the [1997 c. 25.] Justices of the Peace Act 1997, after section 53 insert—

53ACosts in legal proceedings

(1)A court may not order any justice of the peace or justices' clerk to pay costs in any proceedings in respect of any act or omission of his in the execution (or purported execution) of his duty—

(a)as such a justice; or

(b)as such a clerk exercising, by virtue of any statutory provision, any of the functions of a single justice.

(2)Subsection (1) above does not apply in relation to—

(a)any proceedings in which a justice or justices' clerk is being tried for an offence or is appealing against a conviction; or

(b)any proceedings in which it is proved that a justice or justices' clerk acted in bad faith in respect of the matters giving rise to the proceedings.

(3)Where a court is prevented by subsection (1) above from ordering a justice or justices' clerk to pay costs in any proceedings, the court may instead order the making by the Lord Chancellor of a payment in respect of the costs of a person in the proceedings.

(4)The Lord Chancellor may by statutory instrument make regulations specifying—

(a)circumstances when a court shall or shall not exercise the power conferred on it by subsection (3) above; and

(b)how the amount of any payment ordered under that subsection is to be determined.

(5)No regulations may be made under subsection (4) above unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing them has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(6)In this section references to a justices' clerk include any person appointed by a magistrates' courts committee to assist a justices' clerk.

(2)In the [S.I. 1981/1765 (N.I.26).] Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981, after Article 6 insert—

6ACosts in legal proceedings

(1)A court may not order any resident magistrate, justice of the peace or clerk of petty sessions to pay costs in any proceedings in respect of any act or omission of his in the execution (or purported execution) of his duty—

(a)as such a magistrate or justice; or

(b)as such a clerk exercising, by virtue of any statutory provision, any of the functions of a magistrates' court.

(2)Paragraph (1) does not apply in relation to—

(a)any proceedings in which a resident magistrate, justice of the peace or clerk of petty sessions is being tried for an offence or is appealing against a conviction; or

(b)any proceedings in which it is proved that a resident magistrate, justice of the peace or clerk of petty sessions acted in bad faith in respect of the matters giving rise to the proceedings.

(3)Where a court is prevented by paragraph (1) from ordering a resident magistrate, justice of the peace or clerk of petty sessions to pay costs in any proceedings, the court may instead order the making by the Lord Chancellor of a payment in respect of the costs of a person in the proceedings.

(4)The Lord Chancellor may by regulations specify—

(a)circumstances when a court shall or shall not exercise the power conferred on it by paragraph (3); and

(b)how the amount of any payment ordered under that paragraph is to be determined.

(5)Regulations under paragraph (4) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament in like manner as a statutory instrument and section 5 of the [1946 c. 36.] Statutory Instruments Act 1946 shall apply accordingly.

(3)In—

(a)Article 145A of the [S.I. 1981/1675 (N.I.26).] Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (county court judge hearing certain appeals to be treated like resident magistrate in relation to immunity), and

(b)paragraph 2A of Schedule 2 to the [1968 c. 34 (N.I.).] Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968 (member of panel formed under paragraph 1 of that Schedule to be so treated),

after “6” insert “, 6A”.

99Justices and clerks: indemnity

In section 54 of the [1997 c. 25.] Justices of the Peace Act 1997 (indemnity for justices and their clerks)—

(a)in subsection (1)(a)(i) (which refers to proceedings against a justice, clerk or assistant clerk), omit “against him”, and

(b)in subsection (2)(b)(i) (which makes provision for the indemnification of a justice, clerk or assistant clerk on a discretionary basis), after “funds” insert “unless it is proved, in respect of the matters giving rise to the proceedings or claim, that he acted in bad faith”.

100Assistant justices' clerks: immunity from action

In each of sections 51 and 52 of the [1997 c. 25.] Justices of the Peace Act 1997 (immunity for acts of justices and justices' clerks within and beyond jurisdiction), number the existing provision as subsection (1) and after it insert—

(2)In this section references to a justices' clerk include any person appointed by a magistrates' courts committee to assist a justices' clerk.

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