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Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002

Civil Procedure

146.Sections 73 to 75 implement recommendations of the Civil Justice Reform Group which was established by the Lord Chancellor to review civil justice procedures in Northern Ireland and which issued its final report in June 2000.

Section 73: Constitution of Rules Committees

147.Section 73 amends section 54(1) of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 and Article 46(1) of the County Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1980 (S.I. 1980/397 (N.I. 3)), respectively to provide for the reconstitution of the Supreme Court and County Court Rules Committees. The newly constituted Committees are intended to be more representative of the legal and litigant communities as a whole and will each include two lay persons.

Section 74: Appeals in small claims cases

148.At present, the route of appeal from a small claims court is to the High Court by way of case stated on point of law. Appeals by way of case stated from other lower courts or tribunals are to the Court of Appeal. Subsection (2)(a) of this section inserts a new sub-paragraph (ab) into Article 30(4) of the County Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1980, to provide for appeals on a question of law to a county court judge.

149.Subsection (2)(b) amends Article 30(4)(b) of the County Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1980, replacing references to the High Court with references to the Court of Appeal and ensuring that appeals on a point of law may only be brought to the Court of Appeal where they have not previously been brought before a county court judge.

150.Subsection (2)(c) amends Article 30(4)(c) of the County Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1980 to take account of the new right of appeal and ensure that no further right of appeal is available.

151.Subsection (3) inserts a new paragraph (4A) into Article 30 of the County Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1980 to prescribe the time limits for, and powers of the judge on, the new right of appeal.

Section 75: Time limit for cases stated by county court

152.This section amends Article 61(2) of the County Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1980 to change the time limit for appealing from a county court judge to the Court of Appeal by case stated on a point of law from fourteen days to twenty one days.

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