Search Legislation

Courts Act 2003

Section 52: Powers of search

131.This section gives a court security officer power to search a person who is entering,  or who is already in, a court building and also any article in such a person’s possession. This power is similar to the existing powers enjoyed by court security officers in the magistrates’ courts under section 77 of the CJA 1991 and court security officers under section 80(1)(c) of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 (J (NI) A 2002), although the power goes slightly further (see para 132)

132.Court security officers may require only removal of a coat, jacket, headgear, gloves or footwear.  This is slightly wider than the articles that can be requested to be removed under section 77(2) of the CJA 1991 or section 80(2) of the J(NI)A 2002 which authorise removal of coat, jacket, gloves or hat and enables proportionate searching to take place which does not fall foul of human rights legislation. A search may only take place in a “court building”. This will include places such as Probate sub-registries and offices where members of the public are interviewed in connection with probate matters.

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