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Courts Act 2003


Head and deputy head of civil justice,

147.The Act establishes the positions of Head and Deputy Head of Civil Justice as statutory titles.

148.The creation of the post of Head of Civil Justice was recommended in Lord Woolf’s report on 'Access to Justice' (1996). The above posts are created in the Act on the basis that the Lord Chancellor must appoint a Head of Civil Justice, but that the power to appoint a Deputy Head is a permissive one.

Judicial titles

149.These sections deal with the modernisation of judicial titles in order to change a presumption of male gender for Court of Appeal judges and also allow for future changes by order of the Lord Chancellor after consultation, for example, to change other presumptions of male gender or to aid court users’ understanding of the functions carried out by the post holders.

Judicial deployment

150.As part of the policy of greater flexibility in judicial deployment, it is proposed that High Court judges (and deputies), Circuit judges (and deputies) and Recorders should have the same powers as magistrates in criminal and family cases.

151.District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) are to be capable of exercising some powers of a Crown Court judge. Schedule 4 sets out a number of interlocutory proceedings and rulings that it is intended could be performed by District Judges before a case is ready to go before a Crown Court judge.

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