Section 66: Preliminary inquiry
59.This section is concerned with committal proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court. It allows the prosecutor to request a preliminary inquiry in relation to scheduled offences. The provision was introduced in 1975 following the Gardiner Report, as a means of dealing with the problem of non-recognition of the court system by many defendants. In ordinary law a preliminary inquiry may be held only if the prosecutor requests it and the accused does not object. The effect of this section is that the alternative less expeditious preliminary investigation can be avoided. However, if the court considers that a preliminary investigation is in the interest of justice, it will not accede to the prosecution request for a preliminary inquiry. While committal proceedings remain part of the system, this section is useful as a means of keeping delays to a minimum.